Ultimate Drinkers Guide to Renton

Much could be said about Renton.  It’s not quite the eastside, it’s nothing like Seattle; and it doesn’t have much in common with Kent and further south.  It seems to be the forgotten city in the Seattle area.  But I am here to tell you that there is a wonderful beer drinking scene that is emerging in this underrated city and I am here to help you.

To make things easier, I’ve created 4 categories of drinking. We have Craft Beer, Dive Bars, Specialty Bars, and Date Night.  I do this cause everyone has a different idea how they want to drink, people who frequent dive bars and want a cheap Coors want nothing to do with a craft beer bar… and that’s just life.

First we start with.

Craft Beer Bars 

Brewmasters Taproom – The jewel of craft beer in Renton.  The beer drinking community is becoming quite smitten with this bar as it features 24 rotating taps, a wide variety of bottles and cans, and a fun atmosphere.  Owner Marley has built a family of friends among her regulars. Highly recommended if you are a craft beer lover.

Four Generals Brewing – The only brewery in Renton, and known to put out some outstanding lagers and lighter beers.  The Brewing Network recently did a piece on this brewery – as they continue to get more love in the brewery community. Located in the old city hall, ask nicely and you might be able to visit the old jail cell. A good stop.

Local 907 – Craft beer bar and restaurant, this establishment offers traditional bar food plus a good size craft beer list.  A good place to stop before a night of drinking to get a good burger and a few beers. They also have darts, pool and buck hunter for those who like to be entertained.

The Brick Pub and Grill – The unsung hero of the highlands, the Brick boasts a great menu with a solid selection of craft beer.  This is a great spot for those who are looking for something off the beaten path of downtown Renton.

Dog and Pony Alehouse – Famously known for being on Restaurant: Impossible, the DnP is a local hangout for Boeing employees. Boasting a wide variety of local craft beers and a menu that features my favorite fish and chips in Renton, a good spot in the North Renton neighborhood.

Whistle Stop – Advertised as a “Your neighborhood family pub”, the Whistle Stop has a great food menu and a quality craft beer selection. They always have a cask beer on tap to keep things interesting. Whistle Stop often has brewers nights also for those looking to try to breweries from around the northwest.

Trenchers – Originally the site of World of Beer, Trenchers as undergone a lot of change in the past years.  While they have pulled back on the craft beer and have focused more on their food menu, you can still find quality beer and slightly higher than average prices.

 

Entry 69: Ten Hut! Four Generals ready for duty.

Brewery:  Four Generals Brewing

Location: Renton, WA

Reason: Its literally 2 blocks away

Okay, I’m not a military guy. So I have no idea what the title means.  But I do know beer, and there is a new brewery opening in Renton.

First off, let me tell you a little bit about Renton. Its home. It has always been home for me (Matt) and a somewhat newer home for others (Sam), and it has been a giant open space for breweries. Sure, it has been home to Strong Arm and Herbert-B-Friendly for years, and while both are awesome stops, they are far from full time tap rooms.  If you head to the downtown area of almost any town in Western WA you will find a brewery, for Renton, that is now Four Generals Brewing.

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Four Generals isn’t quite open yet.  The grand opening is just days away on July 22nd at noon.  Their location is 3rd and Wells in DTR (Downtown Renton, for all you non-Renton folks).  We’ve been eagerly awaiting the opening for months, watching their updates on Facebook, commenting and liking as we went along. Luckily for me this was how I was able to  get to know the owner and brewer Russ (as in, I’ve annoyed the hell out of him).  I’ll tell you right now, he is a good guy and a good brewer.

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The location is right in DTR. The brewery has a brewery feel to it.  And if you frequent enough breweries, you know that feeling. Roll up doors, limited but wonderful outside seating and a small but quaint taproom.  Once you walk into the doors, you’ll love the place.

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As of the soft opening, they had 4 beers on tap.  A sour (Sam is happy), a bitter, an east coast IPA (not too hoppy) and a CDA (cascadian dark ale, love that roasted malt).  When talking to Russ he told me their flagship will be their scotch ale (yay!) and they’ll have a gambit of different styles of beer.  Four Generals will also be barrel aging several beers, so this brewery is up to some big things. Even though I was only able to try 4 of their beers, I really liked them.  I’m not a sour guy, so I’ll leave that up to Sam (she had two). The three other beers: all different, all delicious. If you’re not a hoppy person, the east coast IPA is a damn good beer.  Or if you like a little malt and low alcohol (3.5%) their bitter is the way to go.  And of course, CDA is a CDA and if you like CDA, drink this CDA.  CDA!!!

Come to Renton on Friday and give Four Generals a chance, you will not regret it.

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Entry 36: The Strong Arm of Renton

Location:  Renton, WA

Brewery:  Strong Arm Brewing

Reason:  Wanted to stay in Renton

Knowing that we had a big weekend ahead of us, including an early morning hike on Mt Rainier and the Forth of July, Matt and I decided to hang out in town one Thursday night. Luckily this Thursday night was followed by a Friday off, so in WABL Journey fashion we decided to make the most of our “night in” by visiting a local brewery. For a town filled with beer drinkers, Renton is a little light on the craft breweries. There was one we had seen at beer festivals that we were ready to cross off our list, and that was Strong Arm.

Strong Arm is located in a residential area in Renton and is only open a few nights a week, but it does not lack in flavor or friendliness. Pulling up to Strong Arm, we were a little unsure if we were in the right place, but once we walked up to the brewery itself I was pleasantly surprised. Its definitely an outdoor space where you kind of stand up by the bar, but on the upside they serve full pints and the service is friendly and awesome.

Mack, one of  the owners, was pouring the night that we visited. While I haven’t had the chance to visit while any of the other brewers were pouring, I found him to be welcoming and easy to chat with while Matt and I enjoyed a couple beers. He offered to let us try samples if we wanted but I decided to dive in and try the Drop Hammer Pale Ale. The beer is good, so good, that I decided to follow it up with a Torque IPA and a Coconut Porter. Matt also tried the Drop Hammer Pale but really wanted to try out the Denunciation Triple IPA, which he liked enough to grab a bottle to take home. I would say all of the beers we tried were above average and I would gladly order Strong Arm if I found it on tap somewhere.