roblog - Official Blog of Rob Hurvitz

25 Mar 2011 - 3:03:25 PM
Big Time Brewery

Winter's over, and so are the short bike rides to local brewpubs. Instead, my friend and I hopped on a bus to South Everett and took a long bike ride to the otherwise local Big Time Brewery. Stayed mostly on bike trails, too -- the Interurban to the North Creek to the Sammamish River to the Burke-Gilman. Hadn't gone on a ride in a month, and so Big Time was a welcome end to the 30 mile ride.

Update! I tried Whiny the Complainer, their Pliny the Younger consolation brew, when I was at Naked City, and while I don't usually include beers tried outside of the brewery or brewpub, I'll make an exception here, because how can I not include a beer named Whiny the Complainer?

    Rob's Picks
  • Whiny the Complainer - 9.1% - Triple IPA. Good hoppy IPA. Piney and malty, with an unfiltered fullness. Nice spiciness on the tongue and subtle citrus/grapefruit flavor.
  • Prime Time Pale Ale - Good caramel flavor. Somewhat hoppy, but not particularly so. Smooth and very drinkable.
  • Coal Creek Porter - 4.5% - Nice! I like the smokiness. Coffee and chocolate flavors not overpowering -- great balance. Yum!
  • Sunbreak Blonde - seasonal - 4.1% - Light and citrusy, not too bready. Great summer beer.
  • Big Dance Imperial Amber - seasonal - 8.1% - Strong taste with great caramel flavor. Dance party in your mouth!
  • Hop on Pop Imperial IPA - seasonal - Least floral of the three IPAs on tap. Smoothest, too. Really nice. A good full-bodied IPA.
  • Breakfast Cereal Killer Oatmeat Stout - seasonal - Mmm, so thick and creamy and smooth and chocolatey and coffee-y. A great meal.
    The Rest
  • Atlas Amber - Big caramel flavor, but not too interesting to me. Fairly typical amber.
  • Bhagwan's Best IPA - 5% - Very floral, good hop bite, but too floral for me.
  • Scarlet Fire IPA - seasonal - 6.4% - Not quite as floral as Bhagwan's Best, more complexity to the flavor. Interesting.
  • Saison Grisette - seasonal - Very light, with a slight sour Belgian taste. Pretty good, but a little lacking in body for me.
  • Buck Mulligan's Dublin Stout - seasonal - 4% - Nitro pour. Smooth and light, but a bit watery and slightly sour. A very, very different stout than Breakfast Cereal Killer, but not in a good way...
Big Time Brewery
Sampler tray at the Big Time Brewery and Alehouse -- Seattle, WA

I made an effort to take a better picture this time. Hope you like it.
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18 Mar 2011 - 3:20:49 PM
Harmon Brewing Company

Back in January a cousin of mine and his wife moved from Boston to Tacoma for all the obvious reasons, and I'd been meaning to meet up with them. Then one of his brothers came up to the Puget Sound area for a few weeks, and that seemed to be the tipping point for taking the long trek to T-Town. The initial plan was to hit the Harmon brewpub, but soon after we arrived, the evening's entertainment, a fairly standard bar band, cranked up their amps and started playing, making conversation basically impossible. Kids these days, with their loud rock music! No wonder they're all deaf! Anyway, the staff directed us to the Tap Room, another location in Harmon Brewing Company's south sound beer empire, and away we went. Turned out to be a smaller place, but they didn't do sampler trays, and as soon as we sat down, they cranked up the stereo. Those meddling kids! I shook my cane at the waitstaff, and they thankfully turned down the volume from 11 to something that allowed us to talk to each other. These kids, with their "smarty-phones," they don't talk to each other anymore, they just beep-beep-boop-boop on their sexting and the Twitters. I don't understand it. At least they're still drinking. So where was I? Oh yeah, the Tap Room didn't do sampler trays, nor sell logo pint glasses. Crazy! Between the three of us who were drinking that evening, we were able to sample all ten of the beers they had on tap, mostly through periodic requests for tastes but also occasional pints. And then we found out Sundays at the Tap Room are half-off everything. Combined with two free pizzas because they managed to mess up the first order, and it was a very inexpensive night, indeed. Good times.

    Rob's Picks
  • Point Defiance IPA - 5.8% - Kind of mellow for an IPA but tasty and very drinkable. Not particularly crisp, but it's smooth.
  • Mt. Takhoma Blonde - 3.8% - Lemony aroma, and slight lemon taste. Very light and drinkable, not too fizzy, not too bready. All around, pretty good.
  • Puget Sound Porter - 5.4% - Good solid porter. Slight chocolate flavor. No fancy vanilla stuff (see below). Pretty crisp, too.
  • Vanilla Porter - seasonal - Awesome aroma: chocolate/coffee/alcohol -- very Kahlua-ish. Tastes pretty good, too. Has a lot going on -- chocolate with a bitter edge. Noticed the vanilla more in the aroma than in the taste, actually. It's a porter that makes you think, but not in a bad way.
  • Bourbon Oak Winter Warmer - seasonal - Really nice. Smooth, dark, not very heavy, doesn't taste strong. Yum!
    The Rest
  • Pinnacle Peak Pale Ale - 4.2% - Strong floral hoppy bite at first, then mellows to nice breadiness. Pretty decent.
  • Brown's Point ESB - 5.6% - Very smooth, not very hoppy, bit of breadiness. Their description says, "full-bodied amber." I agree.
  • Banana Hammock Blonde - seasonal - Another f'n banana beer. Strong banana aroma, but banana flavor is not as strong as El Jefe, thankfully. Can actually get a light fizzy beer taste at the end. Still not my thing.
  • Cream Cicle Pale Ale - seasonal - Cream soda aroma. Orange taste comes through. Kind of odd. Not my thing, again.
  • T-Town Brown - seasonal - No Tacoma aroma, thank goodness. Basically smells and tastes like an alcoholic root beer. Another odd experiment.
my worst beer picture
Not even Photoshop can save this awful picture -- Tacoma, WA

I have no excuse for the terrible picture I ended up taking. It's like I wasn't even trying. Managed to tart it up a bit in Photoshop, but still, it'd probably be better to leave this post picture-less. Oh well.
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14 Mar 2011 - 9:43:03 PM
Airways Brewing Company

A friend and I took advantage of some sunny weekend weather, as well as the 20 mph winds from the north, to bike south to Kent's brewery, Airways Brewing Company. It was an awesome ride, cruising along at 20+ mph with no wind in our faces -- the air felt quite still as we flew down the trails. The ride north up to Seatac wasn't quite as enjoyable, unfortunately, struggling against the wind to keep up a 12 mph pace, but Link Light Rail handled the headwind all the way back to Seattle very well.

There was some good news and some bad news with the visit. Good news was they had logo glasses for sale. Bad news was they were out of two of their five year-round beers, the Starliner Stout and the Sky Hag IPA. Doh! I considered posting this entry and then updating after a re-visit, but I got lazy and just waited until their one year birthday party, figuring they'd have all the taps running, including some kind of small batch brew. But they were once again out of their stout, and were between small batches. Jeez. At least I got to cozy up with the Sky Hag. And partake of the free snack buffet. Mmm, free snacks...

    Rob's Picks
  • Jet City ESB - 5.5% - Good balance. Drinkable.
  • Sky Hag IPA - 7.8% - Light floral aroma. Nice and hoppy, smooth, with a sweet caramel taste. Yum.
    The Rest
  • T-Tail Blonde - 5% - Fizzy, nothing particularly remarkable, but crisp, with some breadiness.
  • First Class IPA - 5.6% - Decent hoppiness. A bit floral, but otherwise okay. A full-bodied IPA.
three out of five samples each
Three out of five samplings (or six out of ten, perhaps) at Airways Brewing -- Kent, WA

747 nose cone at the brewery
Airways Brewing is a much better name than Nose Cone Brewing -- Kent, WA

I don't think I'll be heading down again just to try their stout, although they do seem to brew up small batches of beer fairly regularly (which run out very quickly, apparently). Oh well. They'll be opening a brewpub in downtown Kent at some point this year, which is pretty cool. So, never say never, I suppose.

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