Machine House

Named after the particular old Rainier Brewery building they call home, Machine House Brewery in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood is a two-person endeavor making amazingly authentic English-style cask ales. They’ve been open since January 2013 and have so far produced six beers, three of which are their year-round staples. I first stopped by in December during a casual open house they had when putting on the finishing touches but before they had beer to sell. Pretty cool space they’re in — tall ceilings, exposed brick, industrial feel, beautiful single-pane windows, and absolutely freezing in the wintertime. They had a stockpile of blankets ready for folks when they began their extended soft opening. Finally, during their grand opening party (and a great party it was, by the way), the sun was out, streaming in through the windows, and it was awesome.

Welcome to the Machine House

At the Machine House Brewery bar — Seattle, WA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Oatmeal Stout – 6% – Sweet molasses aroma. Full-bodied dark chocolate bitterness and molasses sweetness, but not particularly thick on the tongue. Touch of alcohol, too. Quite smooth, slowly mellows to a good lingering finish. Usual minimal carbonation, but there’s something special about a well-made English-style cask beer.
  • English IPA – 7% – Limited release. Citrus and caramel aroma. Really smooth and somewhat creamy. Nice citrus and grapefruit hoppiness with a strong malt flavor mix — bit of caramel comes through. Some lingering bitterness. Hope this isn’t as limited as advertised…
  • Mild – 3.6% – Dark in color but light on the tongue. Good bitter dark chocolate flavor and some lingering coffee notes. Very subtle nuttiness. Pretty refreshing and drinkable.
  • Gold – 4.4% – Nice amber/gold color. Little bit of caramel sweetness, a bit bready, and good lingering bitterness. A little more sweet than the brewer originally planned, so it may have changed, but I thought it was quite nicely balanced. As it warms up, some honey comes out in the aroma and flavor.
  • Bitter – 4% – Darker amber color. Maltier and not quite as bitter as the Gold, although it does build up. Slightly more prominent caramel/honey sweetness. Hint of apple, as well.
  • U Name It Ale – 5.5% – Sort of a darker, strong ESB. Solid caramel flavor with a bit of chocolate/coffee. Touch of bitterness on finish. Very drinkable.
  • Nettle Beer – 4.6% – Light brown/amber color. Grassy/nettle aroma. Light and smooth, with a pretty cool mix of vegetal, almost grassy, nettle and caramel flavors. Fairly bitter finish with a bit of lingering nettle flavor.
    The Rest

  • Beer Ginger – 4.4% – Ginger aroma, not surprisingly. Light on the tongue with fairly strong ginger flavor. Light biscuity and caramel maltiness. Pretty bitter, too. Interesting mix of ginger and bitter, but not my thing.

They debuted the U Name It Ale at their opening party and had a sheet for people to write down name suggestions, but when I returned about a month later to try the Nettle Beer, they still hadn’t decided what to call it and seemed to be leaning towards keeping the conversation-starting name (or non-name). I suggested doing the acronym thing and calling it UNI Ale. So if they use that, you have me to thank. You’re welcome.

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