Northwest Peaks

With a title like “Northwest Peaks” you’d think this would be a post about climbing or hiking, but April Fools! It is, once again, about a brewery. Specifically, the NW Peaks Brewery, a one-man show in Ballard, just around the corner from the significantly more funded Hilliard’s.

It’s a nice casual vibe at the NW Peaks Base Camp. I rolled my bike right in, propped it up against the fence, grabbed a sampler, and sat down at one of the two plastic picnic tables. Other folks wandered in, and the table eventually filled up. Lots of beer talk, and one guy was also a beer biker, although he was on foot that day. Good times.

Update! 4/25/12: I happened to be in the neighborhood just as Base Camp was opening, and they had four new beers on tap. Seemed like a good time for another sampler.

not my usual picture of northwest peaks

Easy climbing with the Northwest Peaks sampler — Seattle, WA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Redoubt Red – Nice crisp malty red, bit of bitterness. Yum.
  • Esmeralda English Pale Ale – Pretty light with really nice caramel sweetness. Interesting cherry flavor, too, and an underlying bitterness. Nice smooth body.
  • Hannegan Red – 4.7% – Pretty mellow and smooth. Good maltiness to strong bready finish. Subtle hoppiness. Quite drinkable. Slightly flat, but sometimes reds are.
  • Early Morning Stout – Good dry coffee flavor and somewhat hoppy. Fairly light on the tongue for a stout, too.
  • Oak Aged Stuart Stout – Strong oaky/bourbon start. Gives way to dry bourbon/coffee mix. Yum!
    The Rest

  • Ingalls Ginger Pale Ale – Light and crisp, with a nice ‘n easy ginger flavor and underlying bitterness. Slightly watery, though.
  • Colchuck Pale Ale – Very light in color. Pretty crisp and light with subtle maltiness. Very slight sweet start but quickly replaced by a lingering bitterness. Supposedly more grapefruit notes in the hops.
  • Eldorado Pale Ale – Interesting. Lots of floral hops. Somewhat bready. Fairly bold, but light on the tongue. Lingering floral hoppiness. Pretty good, but too floral for me.

NW Peaks is one of those places I’ll have to re-visit periodically because they have no year-round beers — new brews every month. There are lots of mountains to climb in the Cascades, and lots of beers to make at NW Peaks.

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