Jun 27, 2013

Guest Contributor: A short tour of breweries SE of Seattle

We hear a lot of about breweries in the Pacific NW, Oregon, and Seattle has a ton of worth while, even world class breweries. We don't hear a lot of breweries outside of Seattle however. Well, luckily, I had a good friend Daniell, take her family to her home state of Washington, and they took some time to do a little 3 brewery tour of some breweries SE of Seattle. She was kind enough to write up a quick review of her time at these breweries to share with us, so, welcome to our second Guest Contributor, Daniell, thank you!

A short tour of breweries SE of Seattle

This week our family returned from a long overdue trip to my home st
ate of Washington. We decided to try a few local breweries so we could share our experience with you.
I choose a few towns that are near and dear to my heart.

Icicle's bar
Our first visit was to Icicle Brewing Company in Leavenworth WA.

Leavenworth is an amazing town to visit. Icicle Creek runs right through town, hence the name. Deep with Bavarian culture it’s no surprise that they would have such a remarkable brewery. Being new to beers, the ambiance and presentation is important to me almost as important as the beer (wink). The staff was friendly and showed interest in the blog. They allowed us to take pictures and were wonderful at explaining the beers and what they had to offer. I was very pleased to see the actually brewing facilities and they were working that day so we could see some of the goings on.
Awesome flight holder!
Icicle's brewing system
We decided to sample all the beers they had including a guest
beer from Idaho.   The beers came on slice a tree with notches drilled in for the cups to sit on, very impressive. The beers we sampled were Khaos Kolsch (German Style Blond Ale), Cross Lager (German- style Helles Lager), Colchuck Citrus Wheat (American Wheat), Dirtyface Amber (German style Amber Lager), Bootjack IPA (India Pale Ale), Priebe Porter (Robust Porter)  My favorite was the Colchuck Citrus Wheat. Their description pretty much says it all, why rewrite perfection. Fresh, satisfying, medium bodied golden ale. Moderate wheat flavor, malty sweetness, and a bright citrus note. I found it to be a little hearty but not over powering.  My Husbands favorite was their summer beer, the Oaked Life Guard.  He’s notes read, Very good tasting smooth, nice aroma. From the looks of things they have raving reviews and awards a plenty for the following beers, The Dark Persuasion German Chocolate Ale (Winter Seasonal), Dirty Face Amber, Bootjack IPA.

Snoqualmie flight
A few days later we stopped in to Snoqualmie Brewery and Tap room. Snoqualmie Valley is known Snoqualmie Falls, The filming of the movie and show Twin Peaks and were my parents are from. Unfortunately I was not as impressed with this brewery.
Snoqualmie's bar
Their brewing facilities are not view able and though there was someone working in the back that day we were turned down when we asked to take a quick peek.  Makes me sad, as my parents are from this town. Oh well. The beer was OK, our favorite was the Haystack Hefeweizen.  The food there was pretty good. Might be a better place for a glass of beer and a meal rather than someone really wanting the full beer sampling experience. Our waitress was nice, but the overall impression was fair at best.

And last but certainly not least was Iron Horse Brewery “Micro Pub” in Ellensburg Washington. They have two locations and are currently working on opening the actual brewing location to the public. I have to say I found this to be the most drinkable beer (all of it). We got there a little before opening so we were the first ones in, within minutes the place was packed. Which is a great sign. Now there was no food here so people were coming in for the beer! The beer we liked the best happens to be highly sought after and it’s sold by the pint only, the Biere de Garde. Their description of it is “deep in copper color, with fine bubbles that contribute to a very bright mouth feel. You will find aromas of bread crumb, candied citrus fruit, and raisin, the flavor is clearly malt focused, with touches of orange peel, biscuit and dark caramel, citric, and earthy noble hops to balance”. The growler we took home was our third option Light Rail Ale.  2nd choice was High Five but the
Iron Horse flight
keg ran out. But the third choice was great never the less. I am usually not an IPA lover (sad I know) But I can tell you with all honesty that I loved theirs. The thing I am not found of with IPA’s is the after taste. I was very pleased to find an IPA I could drink. The beer they are most famous for is the Quilters Irish Death, which is also very drinkable, smooth and tasty. We drank all of the samples in our flight. To me this says a lot. We were impressed and brought a few bottles home with us for our friends to try! The name Iron Horse: Iron Horse State Park/ John Wayne Trail is a 1,612-acre park that was once part of the path of the Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul-Pacific Railroad. More than 100 miles of trail extends from Cedar Falls to the Columbia River. High trestles provide spectacular views of the valley below. This trial runs through Ellensburg.

So if ever you take a trip to Seattle and head over the Cascades here are three places to try! Cheers

Iron Horse Brewing's website
Icicle Brewing's Website
Snoqualmie Brewing Company's website

My thanks again to Daniell, great job!!! I must say, they also brought me back a bomber of Icicle's Bootjack IPA, it was VERY good, nicely done!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar

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