Big E Ales

After a lazy tasting session at Lazy Boy, I got back on the bike and continued my solstice ride south along the Interurban trail to Lynnwood and Big E Ales.  I’d visited once before, back in 2008 (on the same tour that hit Lazy Boy, along with several other breweries) but didn’t remember much, aside from the general layout.  They may have added the outdoor patio area in the back since then, but I can’t say for sure.  Perhaps I should’ve asked someone.  Oh well.  I sat down at the bar and agonized over which 6 of the 11 beers on tap to include in the taster flight.  They also have a home-brewed root beer on tap, which I did not select.  I was pleasantly surprised to see they had a sour beer available.  Turns out it was their third, the first two being a raspberry and a cinnamon.  Too bad I missed those.  Cinnamon sour sounds pretty cool.  Another thing I learned is they have canning equipment in house and will start canning sometime this year (probably the Hoppy Red Head and the Scotch Ale).

A Big E regular who sat down at the bar next to me talked up the Copper and Blackberry Ales when he saw me scribbling in my notebook.  He got the woman working the bar to give me free tastes of those two.  Nice guy.

little glasses of Big E Ales

Little glasses of Big E Ales – Lynnwood, WA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Hoppy Ending Pale Ale – 5.2% – Bubbly, bready start to crisp hoppy finish.
  • IPA – 6.5% – Good hoppy aroma and flavors.  Maltiness tones down the 80 IBUs.  Lingering bitterness slowly builds up.
  • Scotch Ale – 7.2% – Dark and dry, with a good little edge to it.  Bit of caramel and slight coffee notes.  Pretty complex.
  • 2 Pint IPA – 9.5% – Nice amber color.  Wave of floral and citrus hoppiness with smooth malty base.  Bit of caramel flavor, too.  Awesome!
  • Dark Sour Ale – 6.7% – Really interesting.  Tart sourness and roasted maltiness.  Slight coffee finish, too.  Not the usual sour but very good.  Aged for eight months.
  • Copper Ale – 6.2% – Malty and crisp, slightly sweet, but with a bit of a hoppy edge to it.
    The Rest

  • Hoppy Red Head – 6.5% – Hoppy and malty, with a slight floral aroma.  But the start had that stale, papery flavor, although it became harder to identify as it warmed up.  I asked a guy working there if it was a bad batch, but he said nope, it was their most popular beer.  Hmm.  I’m hoping it was a bad batch.
  • Blackberry Ale – Bit of blackberry aroma.  Blackberry/malty/coffee flavors, with blackberry finish.  Odd mix, I thought.

After all those samplers as well as a tasty dinner, it was time to get back on the bike.  Even though it was the longest day of the year, with a mid-afternoon departure and two long brewery stops, I didn’t get home until after dark.  All in all, though, it was a fine way to spend the solstice.

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