roblog - Official Blog of Rob Hurvitz

13 Oct 2010 - 10:53:31 AM
Scuttlebutt Brewing Company

Finally made it to Scuttlebutt Brewing. The original planned visit was at the end of the Bellingham to Everett bike ride, but it was a Sunday, and they were closed. Harumph! This time we biked around Camano Island and then down to Everett, on a Saturday. The atmosphere was pretty basic, but the beer was pretty good.

    Rob's Picks
  • Homeport Blonde - goes right down. Good light beer. 4.6%
  • Amber Ale - subtle and very drinkable, with a nice little hoppy edge. 5.1%
  • Porter - liked the chocolate/coffee flavors. That + self-described smokey aroma = "smocha". (Credit to Jonny for that terminology.) 5.8%
  • Weizenbock (seasonal) - kinda like the Amber, with a higher alcohol kick to it. 8%
    The Rest
  • Hefeweizen - typical but watery, could use a lemon wedge. 4.7%
  • Sequoia Red (+ nitro) - also subtle, but this time not in such a great way. It's okay, but I'd take the Amber over this. The nitro pour was much smoother, but accentuated its flaws rather than its strengths, I thought. 5.2%
  • Gale Force IPA - fairly nice, but something about it didn't quite jibe with me. A bit watery? Hmm. 5.3%
Scuttlebutt Brewing
6 oz pours in the Scuttlebutt sampler -- Everett, WA

And that brings me up to date with the brewery posts. Yay! Guess I'll have to get out and hit some more soon.
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12 Oct 2010 - 10:29:28 AM
Black Raven Brewing

Another bike ride, another brewery. This time it was only 50 miles, around the north half of Lake Washington, with a final destination of the Black Raven Brewing taproom. Got the obligatory sampler tray and yet another logo pint glass. I'm starting to run out shelf space with all these pint glasses. Sheesh. They don't do food, but you can order from the pizza/calzone/etc place next door, and they'll walk it over to you. The delivery guy shows up every 20 minutes or so with orders, so you have to pay attention or else some other hungry patron might grab your food...

    Rob's Picks
  • Hochzeitbier Pilsner - small batch. Good. Clean, crisp, and light with a hoppy edge, but not the usual wheaty pils taste. German for "wedding beer." 5.7%
  • Trickster Northwest IPA - also good. Not quite as crisp as I usually like but good. 6.8%
  • Tamerlane Brown Porter - awesome. Very drinkable. Great finish. 5.8%
    The Rest
  • Sunthief Kristallweizen - very light. Maybe too light for me. Filtered. My iPhone tried to correct the spelling of the name to "Kristallnacht." 4.8%
  • Hefeweizen - sweet. Ok. Drinkable. 4.8%
  • Totem Pale Ale - interesting. Strong hoppy flavor -- they say citrusy, I say soapy. 5.8%
  • La Petite Mort 2010 - seasonal. Pretty good Belgian, but not nearly as good as Big Al's. A little light on flavor but it does the job. 8.8%
  • Hoppy Fruit Ale Cask - small batch. Thankfully not quite as fruity as advertised. Strongest flavor is ginger. Sampler is fine, though -- a pint would be too much.
Black Raven Brewing
Black Raven Brewing's stylish taster tray + 2 -- Redmond, WA

All in all, Black Raven's a cool spot. Makes it tempting to visit the Redmond Vertical World more often because it's just a block away -- convenient for post-climbing beers.
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11 Oct 2010 - 11:55:46 PM
Diamond Knot Brewing

A friend and I visited the Diamond Knot Brewery and Alehouse in scenic Mukilteo after an 88 mile bike ride from Bellingham to Everett. Ended up liking a lot of their beers, but after such a long ride anything would taste good, I suppose, so this little review may be a bit skewed.

Anyway, their Front Street location was the only thing happening in Mukilteo the Sunday night we showed up. Pretty crowded and loud, with lots of peanut baskets and shells on the floor. I assumed the food would be pretty basic, but my salmon sandwich had the fanciest presentation I'd ever seen for such a meal: a triptych of a platter, condiments on the left, the bun and fixin's on the right, and the fish and onions cooking and sizzling away in the middle on a piping hot square stone. The "stonegrill" stayed hot a long time; my friend ended up using it later to keep his pizza slices warm. We went with the full-on sampler of all the Diamond Knot beers on tap. Good thing I wasn't driving.

    Rob's Picks
  • Blonde Ale - like it. Nice drinkable blonde.
  • ESB - nice balance, nice caramel flavor. Not very hoppy for an ESB but very drinkable.
  • Whip Ale - good citrus and hop flavor, and there's a Queensryche connection. Rock on!
  • IPA - really good. Not particularly crisp but great flavor and hoppiness. Yum!
  • Industrial IPA - tastes a lot like the IPA but 7.9% instead of 6%. Dangerous if you like very hoppy beers.
  • Brown Ale - also very drinkable. Not your usual brown, though -- fairly light. Maybe a better name would be "Beige Ale." Ha!
    The Rest
  • Golden Ale - okay for a light beer but not really my thing
  • Cream Ale - tastes a lot like the Golden, but with a very slight edge to the aftertaste. Not too creamy actually.
  • Hefeweizen - decent hefe. Slightly sweet -- no lemon wedge needed, really.
  • Possession Porter - kinda weak. Not such a good porter IMHO, although the aftertaste is okay.
  • Steamer Glide Stout - Guinness wannabe. Okay, but I'd rather drink a Guinness.
Diamond Knot Brewing
Diamond Knot tasters galore -- Mukilteo, WA

Another brew post down! Woo hoo! Two more to go and I'll be all caught up once again.
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6 Oct 2010 - 2:33:16 PM
Howe Sound Brewery

Spent a few days this summer climbing in and around Squamish, British Columbia, and finally made it to the Howe Sound Brewery. They had a dozen or so beers on tap, and I was thirsty. We sat down at a table, and I asked about a sampler tray, expecting to soon have a tray of tasty beer in front of me. Rather than the usual, "I'll have that right out for you!" response, however, the otherwise friendly waitress launched into a long sob story about what a pain it was to put together a sampler tray: the little glasses foam up, and there are so many beers on tap that it takes forever, and they have to kill a kitten or something, so they hate making them. If I really, really, really wanted one they'd do it, but how about a couple of tasters for free, instead, but not too many? Um, okay. So I picked three, and the little glasses arrived, half full of beer, half full of foam. As I made my way through those, a couple other climbers joined us, and we ended up ordering a pitcher of a fourth.

    Rob's Picks
  • Baldwin & Cooper Best Bitter - nice and smooth with a slight hoppy edge
  • Pilsner Plunge - drinkable, which is always nice, and pretty crisp. Not too "wheaty."
    The Rest
  • Devil's Elbow IPA - not bad, decent hoppiness, flavor a bit blah but, again, not bad
  • Diamond Head Stout - sorta watery and sour but actually not too bad
Forgot to get a picture, but next time I'm hanging out in Squamish I'll fix that as well as try their other beers, with or without a sampler tray.
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