Entry 81: 20,000 Leagues under the Maelstorm

Brewery: Maelstorm Brewing

Location: Kirkland WA

Reason: New Day, New Brewery

There came a time recently where WABL journey needed to explore, to sail into the sunset and discover new breweries. So we set a course and headed north towards the great unknown, when we noticed something ominous on the horizon, a swirling vortex, and before we knew it, we found ourselves caught in the grips of the Maelstorm.

On July 13, 2017, Maelstorm Brewing finally opened their doors in Kirkland. A project that has been brewing since owner and head brewer, Scott developed a love of beer. The newest kid on the WABL block, has a welcoming tap room with roll up doors and an outdoor seating area for those sunny Kirkland afternoons. The central location in Kirkland is perfect for meeting up with our friends on the north end of the lake. I would recommend getting a sampler tray at least once, if for no other reason, to admire the custom sampler trays.

Finally, for the real reason that everyone is here, the contents of those sampler trays. Maelstorm specializes in traditional craft beers. Matt and I tried the Petra Kolsh, the Pale, and the Anodyne IPA. I really liked the IPA, a traditional west coast IPA. Matt was a big fan of the Kolsh, very light and refreshing on a summer day, or when you are in the mood for a lighter beer. The pale had a maltier body giving it a fuller mouth feel, one of our friends left the brewery raving about this one.

Entry 80: Wet Coast, Best Coast

Brewery: Wet Coast Brewing

Location: Gig Harbor, WA

Reason: Weekend in Bremerton, needed a beer on the way home.

 

After weeks apart, our brave WABL journeymen came together to brave a new terrain. Samwise and I loaded up the war wagon (Fiat) for a long mission (overnight). Upon our journey home, we had to stop for sustenance. We found ourselves peering over a vast ocean, an ocean of beer.

Wet Coast is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries in this great state of Washington.  It may not get the publicity of a Fremont or Cloudburst, but the beer is equal if not better.  In a strip mall off of highway 16, the brewery is has a classic feel that you come to expect.  Operating on a 3.5 barrel system, Wet Coast is able to keep 8 beers plus a cider on tap at all times.  When our journey took us near this brewery, I knew it was a must stop.

If you can get there now, I highly suggest their triple IPA.  When you think of IPAs, especially triples, you think hoppy and boozy.  But, this triple has a sweet finish that can be incredibly dangerous.  If you’re looking for that stronger IPA flavor, they have an imperial IPA for you.  If you are looking for something on the lighter side, the Pale, Cream, and IPA will all satisfy.

There are very few breweries I can recommend more that Wet Coast.  Child friendly, cool swag and a friendly vibe should be a reason alone, but the beer is easily one of the top 10 in Washington.

eNTRY 77: lOWERCASE bREWING

Brewery: Lowercase

Location: Seattle (Georgetown)

Reason: Grand re-opening of new location!

Welcome to Georgetown, Lowercase Brewing! After a few months of getting permits and fighting the bureaucracy that is Seattle it is wonderful to see your beautiful doors open once again.  No journey is ever complete without visiting the nice folks at Lowercase Brewing.

Starting off in South Park area of Seattle, Lowercase made the long and arduous trek all the way to Georgetown and moved into an old welding building.  And I know what you’re thinking, “Old welding building?!? Awesome!” and it is!  Roll up doors, large outdoor seating area with incandescent lights hanging and wood accents all throughout the brewery.

The beer itself is very traditional.  As in, when you order a beer from them, expect it to taste like you think that style should be.  Their ESB tastes like an ESB, their pale taste like a pale.  Which is wonderful because you know exactly what you’re going to get and if you enjoy a certain style, you’re going to love their beer.

Also, get the shandy.  It’s probably my favorite.  They carbonate their lemonade/limeade so when you combine it with either their pale or Mexican lager you’re going to get a refreshing low alcohol beer with POP!

Wonderful brewery, with wonderful beer.  Head to Georgetown and have a fun night.  The brewery is on airport way, just south of all the bars and restaurants in that area.img_20161111_194728

Entry: A Toast to Triplehorn!

Brewery: Triplehorn

Location: Woodinville, WA

Reason: No reasons needed. Delicious.

 

As someone who has Nordic blood flowing through my veins, I’ve always felt a close kinship to my Viking brethren.  Someday, a long time from now, I wish to enter the halls of Valhalla and with my fellow Vikings drink a truly wonderful beer, Triplehorn.

As you enter Triplehorn brewery in Woodinville you are in awe of the “brewery feel” of this place.  You see large tanks holding soon to be delicious beer. You’re always greeted by a friendly dog (A must in my eyes).  And in front of you as you step up to the bar is a myriad number of wonderful Washington craft Triplehorn beers.  I’ve had a lot of Triplehorn in my life, and can you blame me? They’re fantastic.  Anyone who has ever been to the Washington brewerfest knows that Triplehorn is always a must to visit.  And this last year, they took 1st place is popularity. So you know they are doing something right.

I feel like I am running out of words to describe the deliciousness of Triplehorn beers. Amazing, fantastic, orgamsmic, fantastic.  All of them cannot do justice.  It is few and far between you meet someone who has had Triplehorn and doesn’t love it.  Be it their Landwink IPA, Falcon Cloak Golden Blonde, or the numerous seasonal beers they create, they are all mind-blowing.

I know in the past, I would list which beers are the best and a brief bio of that beer and their taste profiles. But no. Just visit. And if you’re with someone who doesn’t like beer there is a boat load of wineries right next to it.  Stop reading and go!

 

 

Entry 72: Turn up the Decibels

Brewery: Decibel Brewing

Location: Bothell, WA

Reason: Soft Opening

 

As we slow down and take our time with this journey we notice something unique happening.  In the far distance we notice a beautiful sound being emitted from a friendly building.  As we get closer, we notice that the decibels are getting higher and higher. Once we get to the source of the divine tone, we instantly fell in love.  We have arrived at Decibel Brewing.

I love being able to go to soft openings of brewers.  It makes me feel like I am part of the ‘in’ crowd.  I got an email early last week from the guys at Decibel inviting myself and any of my friends to check out the soft opening of the brewery.  So obviously Sam-wise and I, plus 2 of our friends headed that way.

The brewery itself is in a nondescript building, nestled snugly to an auto body shop.  Once you walk into the brewery, you’ll notice a bar lined with Christmas lights and wide open spaces.  On the far back wall you’ll see all the people who supported the brewery via the kickstarter campaign.  While you there, look for the handsome ‘Holt’ on the wall. img_20160904_185549

I know what people really want to read about though, the beer.  I really enjoyed the beer.  Although I was very disappointed that they ran out of pale before I arrived, but I’m sure I can forgive them. They’re brewing on a 2 barrel system, which means they’ll occasionally run out of a certain beer.  But they still had 7 others on tap, which shows that they have been prepping for this soft opening for a while.  When I encounter soft openings, usually there are a handful of beers, but 7 is very very impressive.

The beers they had were an IPA, Cream, Belgium Farmhouse, Stout, Alt, Dark Ale, and Wit.  Sam was a big fan of the IPA and Cream ale.  I didn’t get around to the IPA (Very weird, but shush), but I enjoyed the cream thoroughly.  It had a nice foaming feel to it with just a hint of the butteryness you can get from pilsner malt. Very tasty.  I also enjoy the Alt, which really reminds me of the classic German flavor, a bit sweet with a malty body.

If you’re in the Bothell area why not check out Decibel (Or in Mill Creek since they’re right there too!).

Cheers!

Entry 71: Engine Engine Number 9

Brewery:  Engine House 9 (E9)

Location: Tacoma, WA

Reason: Tacoma is awesome

With the flames of thirst consuming us, we knew it was time to press on.  Fire, the most dangerous element was threatening our very journey.  But with bells ringing and sirens roaring, we see help.  Engine House 9 was there to save the day.

If you like themed breweries or just fire houses, there is no brewery better than E9.  Housed in an old fire station in Tacoma, the brewery is adorned with antique firefighting artifacts.   While I may not know much about the fire industry, I do know my history.  Engine House 9’s building was built in 1907, and it was in service until 1965.  The building has a rich history and is a registered historical building.  So if you’re looking for some cool architecture and enjoy a great beer. E9 is your place.

The beer itself is wonderfully delicious.  In the craft beer world, E9 is a very well respected brewery.  Known for having a large variety of beers and bottling their very popular sours, this brewery will have everything for everyone.  Tart Farmhouse, Wild Ale, Saison, Pale Ale, Wile Ale, IPA, Kolsch, Stouts. All of them.  If you’re a fan of the sour beer scene, I highly recommend going down to Tacoma and checking out E9.

The food is also wonderful.  You can trust me. I’m a fat guy.