Hi-Fi Brewing

Update: Hi-Fi Brewing closed, and Big Block Brewing moved into their space.

Took me a while, but I finally realized that when you’re on the Sammamish River Trail and getting close to downtown Redmond, that little pedestrian/bike bridge across the river is a really handy shortcut to Hi-Fi Brewing (and Black Raven). Wish I’d figured that out years ago. Anyway, Hi-Fi’s been open for about a year now, and their name lends itself to plenty of music puns, e.g. their maibock is called “Mai Sharona” and they call their blends “mix tapes.” At least they didn’t name their Vienna Lager the Vienna Waits For You Lager. They also have a turntable in their pretty slick taproom and host weekly Bring Your Own Vinyl nights, and there’s a bust of Elvis watching over their mash tun and kettle.

Hi-Fi Brewing singles, 45s and under

Taster flight (compilation album?) at Hi-Fi Brewing — Redmond, WA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Thai-Fi – 4.4% – Basil Pale Ale. Herbal and light floral hops. Biscuit, toasty malt. Basil is pretty light at first but becomes more noticeable as it warms up, and mixes nicely with the hop flavors.
  • Mai Sharona – 6% – Very light breadiness, fairly sweet, with a little fruitiness. Crisp, with a good lagery alcohol edge. Good post-bike ride beverage.
  • Kölsch – 4.6% – Light, crisp, lightly bready. Some herbal and spicy hops, and a touch of caramel. Nice and drinkable.
  • Summer Ale – 4.6% – Smooth and fairly sweet, with some lemon flavor. Light spicy and herbal hops. Pretty refreshing.
  • Vienna Lager – 4.3% –  Unfiltered, peachy color. Fruity, with banana/clove flavors. Pretty solid caramel maltiness but not too big. Bit of spicy hoppiness.
  • Porter – 5.1% – Strong coffee and chocolate aroma. Good amount of coffee and chocolate flavors, too, with caramel and a great roasty quality throughout. Touch of sweetness. Solid.
  • Mix Tape: Allison – 4.9% – Pale Ale and Porter blend. Floral aroma. Cool mix of floral and all the Porter flavors. Kind of like a CDA. Really drinkable.
    The Rest

  • Little Czar – 6.4% – Thick stout with fairly strong chocolate and light coffee flavors that linger nicely, but there’s a little bit of a phenolic band-aid flavor.
  • Amarillo Pale Ale – Big citrus aroma. Flavor is mainly odd tropical fruit bubblegum with some light citrus. Interesting, I suppose, but not my thing at all.
  • English Pale Ale – 6.1% – Slight floral aroma. Caramel maltiness and fairly strong floral hops.
  • IPA – 6.3% – Floral aroma. Floral and herbal hop flavors. Smooth and a little creamy, with a good caramel malt backbone.

One thing about Hi-Fi that surprised me on my second visit was they had a couple beers on tap only available for their mug club/founders/whatever members. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before at a brewery (NW Peaks has a monthly subscription plan but it’s a bit different than this). Not sure how I feel about it. I don’t go to Hi-Fi (or any one brewery, really) often enough that it would make sense to sign up for something like this. Oh well. I suppose if I run out of new beers available to try at Hi-Fi there’s always Black Raven a block or two away.

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