M.T. Head

After the dark, drizzly Seattle winter, I was itching for a long sunny bike ride. Finally got the chance with a mostly cloud-free Saturday in late March, and so a friend and I hopped on our bikes, pedaled south to Puyallup, took the very nice Foothills Trail to Orting, then made our way uphill to M.T. Head Brewing, a little brewery owned by Tim and Renee Rockey. I was more than ready for a sampler flight when we finally arrived. There was one other cyclist in the taproom, and we learned that our route from Orting along Orville Road, while scenic, is actually fairly dangerous for biking Monday-Saturday because of the lack of shoulders and the trucks that barrel up and down it hauling lumber or gravel. The safer route is to take the Orting Kapowsin Highway. Fortunately, we lucked out and didn’t get run off the road.

M.T. Head has the most impressive brewery-in-a-detached-garage set up I’ve seen. They’ve filled a spacious multi-car garage with several seven barrel fermenters and a full-size taproom. Pretty sweet. Their beer doesn’t get very far north, though — I’ve never seen them in Seattle. Oh well. After I finished jotting down my little notes, Tim offered samples of the collaboration lagers he and the head brewer from The Ram in Puyallup were doing — they had each brewed their own versions, and so it was pretty interesting to taste them side by side.

Emptying my head at M.T. Head

Empyting my head at M.T. Head Brewing — Graham, WA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Zeus’s Revenge IPA – 6.3% – Floral aroma. Floral/spicy/citrus hop flavor mix, with a good malty base and lingering bitterness.
  • Golden Blonde Ale – 4.75% – Smooth and slightly bready. Slightly bitter finish. Easy drinking.
  • Bone Head Brown – 5.6% – Smooth and a bit light on the tongue. Roasty maltiness with coffee notes and a somewhat dry finish.
  • Dark Marc CDA – 8.19% – Smooth, with wood strong dark chocolate/coffee, roasty, and lighter caramel malt flavors, with a bit of a bite at the end. Subtle bitterness.
  • M.T. Head Lager – Bit of honey sweetness, crisp and smooth. Not so bready, unlike the Ram’s version. Subtle bitterness.
  • Experimental #1 Imperial IPA – 8.3% – Pretty light on the tongue for an imperial IPA, but smooth and nicely malty, with a bitterness that creeps up on you.
    The Rest

  • No Brainer Pale Ale – 5.6% – Floral hop start, somewhat malty, to a bitter finish.
  • Punters Special Red – 5.6% – Sweet caramel flavor, almost bubble-gum-like. Lots of flavorful malt flavors going on. Subtle bitter finish.

The Ram’s version of the lager was not yet carbonated, but it was nice and bready with a good bitter twist at the end. If I ever decide to visit all the various Rams, I’ll add it to the Puyallup entry’s Rob’s Picks, but considering how far behind I am the blog I really don’t see that happening, at least not in the next couple years.

Anyway, we still had another brewery on the day’s agenda, as well as figuring out our return plan to Seattle, so instead of having a full pint of something, we got back on the bikes and flew down the hill to Orville Road (it was late enough in the afternoon that there would be no truck traffic). That’s when I realized I’d left my fancy Camelbak water bottle at M.T. Head — doh! I didn’t want to bike up the hill again to retrieve it, though. So we kept going, and then I got a flat — double doh! Good thing I had my patch kit, pump, and a river right next to the road to dunk the tube into to find the leak. Still, we didn’t arrive in Puyallup until well after the sun had set. The “long sunny bike ride” was becoming more about the “long” rather than the “sunny.” If you’ve read my other posts, you will not be surprised by this. I shouldn’t be, either…

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