Two Beers Brewing

I finally figured out how to alleviate the guilt of a short bike ride to a nearby brewery (besides by crying into my beer at said brewery): go in winter when the weather window is much shorter and/or it’s too cold to be biking all day. Also throw in some extra hills, like in today’s ride to the Two Beers Brewery in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. Instead of cruising down Capitol Hill into the flatlands, my friend and I cruised down Capitol Hill and then up Beacon Hill before cruising into the flatlands. Not the most efficient route, but it helped build up a decent thirst.

The first time I tried a Two Beers brew was a couple years ago at a bon voyage/fundraiser party for a friend and others, and there was some sort of friendship connection with the very new Two Beers, and so there was a keg of their IPA available. I filled up a cup and took a gulp — didn’t like it. Incredibly strong floral taste. I don’t remember if I even finished it. Since then, I tried them once more at some pub, one of their other beers, and, while it was okay, it didn’t win me over. But they’ve gotten bigger, and they seem to be friends with about half of Seattle, and they have logo pint glasses available, so it was time for me to bite the bullet and give them a visit. Fortunately, they either have improved quite a bit or my standards have slipped…

Oh yeah, cool guys working at the brewery. I can see why they’re buds with everyone. After a little bit of beer talk, the guy behind the bar served us up a bonus sample of the other Sodo Brown batch, but I wasn’t exactly sure which version was the one that’s been shipping. Ah well. I also managed to haggle down the price of the “vintage” logo glass to $2 — they’re going to change the glass, but haven’t ordered or received the new ones yet. Sweet deal for me.

Update! November 25, 2011: Jonny and I stopped in again to check out the expanded digs and try some new brews at the end of a chilly day biking round and round Seattle. The new taproom is awesome — go see for yourself! Update! September 9, 2013: Been a while since I updated the Two Beers post. I’ve been back to the brewery a couple times to sample some new releases and to join in on their 5th Anniversary party. Two Beers just keeps getting bigger and bigger, doing special limited run releases (the Alta Series), and Joel just opened the Seattle Cider Company right next door. They’ve come a long way in five years.

Two Beers Brewing

Two Beers taster paddle — Seattle, WA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Forester DIPA – 8.8% – Good piney and citrus aroma. Solid caramel maltiness and big, awesome mix of hop flavors, mainly citrus and pine, and it just keeps going all the way through the finish. Big beautiful beer.
  • Switchback Russian Imperial Stout – 12.5% – First in 2013 Alta Series. Aged 6 months in brandy barrels, then with Theo chocolate nibs, vanilla beans, and bing cherries. Aroma is dark – chocolate engine oil? Not as thick on the tongue as I was expecting, but a whole bunch of flavors going on. Chocolate, coffee, plum, some peat, subtle vanilla. Bit of cherry with the chocolate and coffee on the finish. Very well-balanced.
  • Anniversary DIPA – 8.8% – Made with plums and peaches (with skin). Sharp pungent spicy aroma. Cool balance of flavors – somewhat sweet and bitter with underlying maltiness and subtle fruit mostly in the finish. Strong but pretty smooth, definitely a sipping beer.
  • Requiem – 5.8% – Halo 4 release copper ale. Slight floral aroma. Smooth malty nuttiness. Subtle underlying floral hoppy flavor. Pretty solid.
  • Crooked Belgian Wit – 5.2% – Big banana/clove aroma. Smooth banana/clove flavor with good bready base and a hint of spiciness on the tongue. Orange peel, other citrus, and subtle coriander flavors, as well. Easy drinking.
  • Fresh Hop 2012 – Citrus and strong piney aroma and flavors, with a bit of sugary sweetness, too. Great malty base with some caramel. Really smooth. Almost a chewy IPA.
  • Beer Church’s Midnight Mass – Holiday pale ale. Smooth caramel nuttiness. Yum! Made in collaboration with the Beer Church as a fundraiser ale.
  • Echo IPA – Strong hoppiness and very slight lemon flavor to a strong bready finish, with a lingering bitterness. Pretty cool. Hoppiness not floral, not citrusy – just hoppy, I guess.
  • Heart of Darkness Imperial CDA – Good coffee flavor with a subtle caramel undertone. Decent hoppiness. Very very drinkable.
  • Infused Evolutionary IPA – mango, apple, peach, marigold – Strong mango and peach aroma. Fruit flavors not too strong, go well with the hoppiness. Joel says the dried marigold has a bitterness to it. Decent fruit beer
  • 20:20 Blonde – 4.8% – Interesting. Slightly crispier and hoppier than the usual blonde, with blonde finish. Like it.
  • Persnickety Pale Ale – 5.5% – Nothing persnickety about this beer. Nice balance and hops. Gives Manny’s a run for the money. Yum.
  • Impending Darkness Black IPA – 6.9% – Bit of a smoky flavor, not quite as hoppy as the Evo. Fun mix of a beer. Good.
  • Evolutionary IPA – 6.2% – Way better than that first keg — maybe that’s the reason for its name? Strong citrusy taste, but well-rounded IPA. Not as big as Total Domination, but it tries.
    The Rest

  • Fresh Hop 2013 – Citrus and piney aroma. Fairly big citrus/grapefruit/piney hop start with a bit of caramel malt. Turns a little watery, though, with lingering bitterness.
  • Ascension Triple IPA – 18.2% – November 2012 release. (The first release was summer 2012, and then it came back again in a barrel-aged version for one of their 2013 Alta Series releases.) Sharp alcohol and piney aroma. Strong alcohol flavor with some piney hoppiness. Good maltiness to try and balance the strength – reminded me a bit of that barley wine flavor I’m not too fond of, but different. A strong ass-kicking ale. Interesting, but not sure I’d have another.
  • Churchkey Can Co. Pilsner – 4.9% – There’s an interesting story here, but I don’t know the whole thing. Churchkey Can Co. contracted with Two Beers to produce this pilsner sold in flat top steel cans. But then it went off the market some time in early 2013. From Churchkey’s facebook page it sounds like they’re hoping for re-releasing in Spring 2014. Weird. Maybe I should ask next time I drop by The Woods. Anyway, the beer. Light, somewhat bready, somewhat bitter floral finish, with a touch of honey/sugary sweetness.
  • Pumpkin Spice 2012 – Yup, it’s a pumpkin beer. Sweet pumpkin pie spice flavor some floral hoppiness on the back end. Sweetness doesn’t build up, fortunately. Pretty good for a pumpkin beer, but just not really my thing.
  • Trailhead ISA – 4.6% – 4th Anniversary IPA – ISA can stand for whatever you want, but “India Session Ale” is quite fitting. Slight floral aroma. Light and almost watery, but very hoppy, with citrus notes. Quite nice, but I have mixed feelings about session beers.
  • Jive Espresso Stout – Strong espresso aroma. Stout start, then espresso kicks in and lingers a long, long time. Don’t know if I’d want to drink a whole pint.
  • Immersion Amber – 5.2% – It’s beer, which is good. Nothing too interesting, but nothing bad. A bit hoppy, which is always nice, but nothing really stood out to me. This might have been my second Two Beers experience.
  • Sodo Brown – 5.2% – Hmm. There was some subtle flavor that I couldn’t quite identify, until my friend pointed out the description on the board: “Infused with mint and cacao.” But maybe too subtle — just enough to make you think, there’s something else in this brown… I tasted the mint more after the fact, actually. The alternate (original?) batch was not subtle at all. It was like drinking a peppermint patty, which was actually pretty fun for a sample, although I wouldn’t want to drink a whole pint.

On the ride over, we passed by the new location of Georgetown Brewing, which got me thinking: there are a bunch of local breweries I’ve visited and acquired glasses from before I started writing these little “reviews,” and it’s high time I started to re-visit them, make them official and all. Yeah, that’s it — it’s my duty as a blogger to go back to these places and drink more beer. The sacrifices I make for my loyal readers…

9/9/13: While I’ve got this post open, I may as well add a new picture. The one above is pretty dated, so here’s a pic from their 5th Anniversary party back in November 2012.

two beers. five years.

Special update bonus pic! Two Beers Brewing’s 5th Anniversary goblet, filled with 5th Anniversary DIPA — Seattle, WA

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