Postdoc Brewing

There have been quite a few new breweries opening on the eastside the past couple of years. The latest Redmond spot is Postdoc Brewing, located just east of Marymoor Park and close to Mac and Jack’s. Postdoc’s taproom is pretty slick, and the adjoining warehouse where the brewing equipment resides has plenty of room for growth. The Doc Brown goggles logo is pretty cool, too.

postdoc research

Gathering experimental data at Postdoc Brewing — Redmond, WA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Goldilocks Belgian Blonde – 3.9% – Golden color. Clove and light banana aroma and flavor. Touch of alcohol, hint of breadiness, very subtle coriander, with a bit of honey on the finish.
  • Kilty MacSporran Scottish Ale – 5.7% – Smooth. Big caramel and biscuit malt. Some honey on the finish. Maybe a hint of herbal hops? Very drinkable.
  • Seamus O’Brien Irish Stout – 4.4% – On nitro. Big coffee aroma and flavor. Light chocolate. Pretty smooth to dark chocolate/coffee bitter zing on finish.
  • Herbert’s Legendary ESB – 6.1% – Caramel, some biscuit. Floral and herbal hops. Nice mix.
  • Prereq Pale Ale – 5.5% – Piney, resiny hops with solid caramel backbone. Touch of honey on the finish. Yum.
  • Alpha Factor IPA – 6.8% – Piney, citrus, resiny, light earthy hops with just enough caramel malt. Some honey on the finish.
  • Hogus Maximus – 11.1% – Triple IPA. Doesn’t have the usual big malty booziness of triple IPAs; sugar added instead to up the ABV. Sweet, big piney and citrus hops, caramel, and a touch of that malty booziness.
    The Rest

  • Homeroom Belgian Rye – 5% – Amber color. Very light clove with rye dryness and some astringency. Light spiciness. Hint of floral hops on finish.
  • Postdoc Porter – 5.1% – Smooth chocolate/coffee flavors with some brown sugar. Hint of herbal hops. Bit too sweet for me.
  • Grapefruit Goldilocks – 3.9% – Goldilocks with grapefruit extract. Really different from Goldilocks. Original flavors muted but there. Bit of saccharin, then grapefruit. Weird. As it warms, more flavors come out: caramel, clove and light banana, honey, grapefruit.

While I’m happy there are more breweries on the eastside, it means more rides on the Burke-Gilman. It’s a nice trail and all, but it’s pretty crowded and I’ve ridden it countless times. Can’t wait for the new 520 bridge to open with its pedestrian/bike trail. It’ll make for some good new Seattle/eastside loop rides.

Bushnell Craft Brewing

I don’t remember how I first heard of Bushnell Craft Brewing, but I wasn’t quite sure what to make of them. Their website features cartoony high school/college/old-timey sports characters for each of their beers and, in general, has a kooky suburban family vibe to it. Not your usual brewery, but I did my best at keeping an open mind when I biked over to Redmond on a hot summer day. Ordered a sandwich and a sampler flight, and, well, was pleasantly surprised by the beer. Not quite so much with the food, though it was a large portion, but the beer is the main focus as far as this blog is concerned. And no, I did not try one of the pickled eggs in the background of the picture below.

Bushnell Craft Brewing

Sampler flight at Bushnell Craft Brewing — Redmond, WA


    Rob’s Picks

  • Dirty Shirley Blonde – 5.6% – Light. Lightly bready with light lemon flavor. Good summer post-ride beer.
  • Bofuss Amber – 5.2% – Light citrus and tropical hop start to big caramel finish. Smooth, easy drinking. Decent lingering flavors and a touch of bitterness.
  • Dunkadelic Milk Stout – 7.2% – Big coffee/chocolate aroma and flavor with sweet lactose edge. Roasty maltiness, too.
  • Pine Tar Porter – 8.3% – Coffee/chocolate flavor with subtle citrus edge. Very light smoke. Pretty light on the tongue.
    The Rest

  • Crack Back IPA – 7.6% – Fairly malty IPA with earthy, herbal hops and a bitter finish. Kinda muddled.

They have since hired a head brewer and added to their initial line-up of five beers, so I guess I’ll be re-visiting one of these days. I’m still not quite sure what to make of Bushnell, but as long as they make decent beer I’ll keep trying to figure them out.

Hi-Fi Brewing

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.

Mac & Jack’s

Enough with the short bike rides! I went and put about 40 miles on my bike with a friend, around the north end of Lake Washington to Redmond and the Mac & Jack’s brewery, then over to Kirkland where we hopped on a bus back to Seattle.

Most people think of just one beer when they think of Mac & Jack’s, their African Amber, but they actually have four year-round brews. We missed their fall seasonal, the Cascadian Dark Ale, unfortunately, and their spring, the C U Lator Barley Wine, won’t be ready for a few weeks, yet. D’oh! Supposedly they have a Pale Ale in the works for summer — seems like as good a reason as any to re-visit them.

Mac & Jack's

Crappy photo in the Mac & Jack’s taproom — Redmond, WA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Serengeti Wheat – Spicy, bready, and a bit hoppy. Nice. Refreshing, especially after a bike ride.
  • African Amber – The old standby. Good hoppy finish for an amber. Crisp, very drinkable. Guy working the taproom said it’s dry-hopped.
  • Two Tun IPA – Aroma and taste are both very floral. Slight spiciness tempers the floral-ness. Good hoppy bite.
  • Blackcat Porter – Nice dry taste and not too heavy. Slight coffee flavor. Good porter.

Should’ve done some other angle in the photo and had the taps in the background or something, but after 30 miles on the bike I wasn’t feeling too creative. Alas. But the guy working there was cool — he let us keep the taster pint glasses, instead of having to shell out $2 a pop. Score!

Black Raven

Another bike ride, another brewery. This time it was only 50 miles, around the north half of Lake Washington, with a final destination of the Black Raven Brewing taproom. Got the obligatory sampler tray and yet another logo pint glass. I’m starting to run out shelf space with all these pint glasses. Sheesh. They don’t do food, but you can order from the pizza/calzone/etc place next door, and they’ll walk it over to you. The delivery guy shows up every 20 minutes or so with orders, so you have to pay attention or else some other hungry patron might grab your food…

Black Raven Brewing

Black Raven Brewing’s stylish taster tray + 2 — Redmond, WA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Hochzeitbier Pilsner – Small batch. Good. Clean, crisp, and light with a hoppy edge, but not the usual bready pils taste. German for “wedding beer.” 5.7%
  • Trickster Northwest IPA – Not quite as crisp as I usually like but good. 6.8%
  • Tamerlane Brown Porter – Awesome. Very drinkable. Great finish. 5.8%
    The Rest

  • Sunthief Kristallweizen – Very light. Maybe too light for me. Filtered. My iPhone tried to correct the spelling of the name to “Kristallnacht.” 4.8%
  • Hefeweizen – Sweet. Ok. Drinkable. 4.8%
  • Totem Pale Ale – Interesting. Strong hoppy flavor — they say citrusy, I say floral. 5.8%
  • La Petite Mort 2010 – Seasonal. Pretty good Belgian, but not nearly as good as Big Al’s. A little light on flavor but it does the job. 8.8%
  • Hoppy Fruit Ale Cask – Small batch. Thankfully not quite as fruity as advertised. Strongest flavor is ginger. Sampler is fine, though — a pint would be too much.

All in all, Black Raven’s a cool spot. Makes it tempting to visit the Redmond Vertical World more often because it’s just a block away — convenient for post-climbing beers.

Cascade Lakes

I visited Cascade Lakes’ 7th Street Brew House in Redmond, OR, pretty much by accident.  I arrived in nearby Terrebonne just after a particular restaurant there closed, and the hostess recommended 7th Street.  It was after 9:30 by the time I reached the Brew House, which closed at 10:00, but the very accommodating waitstaff let me order dinner as well as a taster tray.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take any notes on the beers, except for which was my favorite.  A few days later I stopped by the Cascade Lakes Lodge in Bend, as well.

Rob’s pick: Monkey Face Porter
Runner-up: Blonde Bombshell

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