Bartlett Hall

On the last day of my January 2015 Bay Area trip, I had lunch at Bartlett Hall, a new brewpub near Union Square in downtown SF. From their web site, I got the feeling that it was started by some business types to see if it would make a good franchise, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. There are no other locations yet, and I decided that made it qualify for a blog post. Anyway, I went in and sat down at the bar. The menu was the usual pub food, nothing too interesting, and when the bartender said they weren’t serving any of their beers in order to make sure they had enough for the upcoming SF beer week, I almost left. But he was kind enough to keep me there by pouring a couple ounces of the two they had on tap. So I got lunch, which was okay, and a full pour of some other beer. The on-site brewery is cooped up behind glass in a small corner of the restaurant space. I could see why they were saving up for the beer week events – pretty small production capacity. Not sure the business types thought this whole thing through too thoroughly.

    Rob’s Picks

  • Turbulent ESB – 5.1% – Fruity, melon hops, bit of spiciness, to bready finish. Interesting mix.
  • From A to Z IPA – 6% – Tannic herbal hops, touch of spiciness. Light on the tongue. Very light malt that blends in with the herbal flavors. Some tannic bitterness on the finish.

So yeah, the two beers were all right, but the ambiance was a little too corporate for my tastes, and the food didn’t make up for it. I think the main reason I’d go back is to get a picture for this post. The little tastes I got didn’t really lend themselves to an interesting photo.

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Triple Voodoo Brewery

On Day 4 of my January 2015 Bay Area trip I visited Triple Voodoo Brewery in the trendy, up-and-coming Dogpatch neighborhood. I also visited them on Day 5 because ten beers (even small-ish samplers) were just too much to try in one afternoon. I assumed Triple Voodoo was a new place, but found out they’d been around for about five years as a gypsy brewing outfit until they recently settled down into this slick new space and got their own brewhouse. They also have cool-looking logo tulip glasses for sale.

quadruple voodoo

Sampler flight at Triple Voodoo — San Francisco, CA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Inception – 8% – Belgian tripel. Caramel, banana/clove, herbal hops. Bit of tannic finish. Light creaminess.
  • Samurai Saison – 6.5% – Dry hopped with Simcoe and Sorachi Ace. Fun tropical fruit hop flavors with pretty solid saison base. Light lemon, spiciness, touch of funk. Great mix.
  • Working Vacation – 6.9% – IPA. Big citrus aroma and flavor. Mainly grapefruit, but some tropical fruit, too. Supposedly some toasty malt but too subtle for me.
  • EF YEA! – 9.5% – Imperial IPA. Big and dank. Piney, tropical, touch of earthy hops, with solid caramel base. Yum!
  • Outlaw’s Gold – 5.5% – Blonde ale. Light malt, some honey. Grassy, herbal hops, with a hint of bitterness on the finish.
  • Ultra Violet – 6.9% – Dubbel. Big malts. Caramel and fruity. Plum, raisin, bit of apple. Light underlying funk. Would go well with a dessert.
    The Rest

  • Phantom Empire – 5% – Grisette. Very light. Dry, fairly crisp, grainy. Light citrus, herbal, and grassy hops, with a hint of honey. Light bitterness on the finish.
  • Stag Hop #4 – 6.4% – Single hop (Motueka) extra pale ale. Floral with some grassiness and tropical fruit. Light underlying breadiness. Bitter floral finish.
  • Breaka’ Dawn – 5.7% – Belgian pale ale. Fairly crisp. Light citrus at the start. Funk, herbal hops, tannic, with a dry finish. Lingering funk.
  • Symmetry Saison – 7% – Smooth, a little spicy. Some citrus, some bubblegum, some herbal hops, bit of funk. Touch of creaminess.

Dogpatch is shaping up to be a good neighborhood for a day of brewery hopping. Triple Voodoo is about two blocks from Magnolia Smokestack and about six blocks from the very new Harmonic Brewing. If you need some exercise, there’s a bouldering gym there, too. What more could you want? Oh yeah, Almanac to open a taproom.

Anchor Brewing

2015 is the 50th anniversary of Fritz Maytag buying Anchor Brewing and giving a handy start date for the US craft beer movement. Thinking about it, it might seem a bit odd that I’d never visited Anchor before. I lived in the Bay Area for about seven years, but I wasn’t so much into beer way back then. On my periodic visits to SF after moving to Seattle I never planned far enough in advance for a spot on one of their tours – they were free and booked solid for several months out. But with this most recent visit, I figured I’d take a look and see if there was any possibility of getting myself on a tour. And lo and behold, Anchor had switched from self-booked free tours to a third-party, $15 tour-booking site. While a small part of me was bummed that tours were no longer free, I was much more happy that I could actually reserve a spot two weeks before my trip. And yeah, it was a great tour, with a healthy amount of beer sampling.

full steam ahead. well, half-full.

Sampling beer in the Anchor Brewing tasting room — San Francisco, CA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Double Liberty IPA – 8.2% – Caramel with light citrus, floral mix, touch of earthiness, and nice lingering flavors.
  • Zymaster No. 7 – 7% – Portrero Hill Sour-Mash IPA. Sweet caramel and light honey with herbal and light floral and spicy hops. Bit of sour mash tang in aroma, very light in flavor at end. Quite drinkable.
  • Zymaster No. 6 – 6% – Saaremaa Island Ale. “Estonian-style pale ale.” Something unique about the taste but hard to pinpoint. Herbal, tea-like, spicy, light caramel and toffee, hint of floral. Pretty fun. (After recently visiting Estonia (and Finland), I’m guessing the “hard to pinpoint” flavor was juniper, but I would need to have some more No. 6 to confirm…)
  • Summer Wheat – 4.5% – Good balance of banana, light breadiness, touch of lemon and hint of herbal hops. Light bitterness on finish.
  • Steam – 4.9% – Caramel and alcohol aroma and flavor. Touch of honey. As flavors fade, bitterness becomes more prominent. Very easy drinking.
  • California Lager – 4.9% – Crisp and light, caramel, to a touch of honey on finish, with light underlying bitterness. Nice balance. Also easy drinking.
  • Liberty Ale – 5.9% – Sweet floral aroma. Honey, caramel, floral, citrus. Sweet zing at end. Light underlying bitterness. Great balance.
  • Brotherhood Steam – 5.6% – Dry-hopped Steam. Tour beer for Chris Robinson’s Brotherhood. Fruity, melon notes to the steam beer. Adds a good extra level to it. Smooth, a touch creamy, fairly sweet but with just enough bitterness.
  • Porter – 5.6% – Lots of malt but not a big beer. Quite crisp and fairly light on the tongue. Honey, caramel, with coffee/chocolate on finish. Bit of dark choc bitterness. Very easy drinking.
  • Christmas 2014 – 5.5% – Smooth caramel malts with nice spices. Nutmeg? Bit of spruce/birch/pine on finish. Pretty fun.
  • Christmas 2013 – 5.5% – Big caramel malts with nutmeg. Touch of spiciness on the tongue. Very drinkable.
  • Winter Wheat – 7% – Crisp liquid caramel with touches of chocolate and honey. Very subtle floral hops. Pretty big body.
    The Rest

  • BigLeaf Maple Autumn Red – 6% – Biscuit, light caramel malt and floral hops, with a little bit of herbal. A fair amount of bitterness on the finish, along with a bit of maple syrup.
  • Saison Spring Ale – 7.2% – Made with lemongrass, lemon peel, and ginger. Lemony clove aroma. Light, with bready malt base and big clove, bitter lemon, pepper, and a touch of bubblegum and funk. Ginger is either too subtle for me or just blends in with the other flavors. Bitter finish.
  • IPA – 6.5% – Caramel and honey, herbal and citrus, bit of melon. Little more lingering bitterness than Steam, Liberty, California Lager. Pretty good but not my favorite.

I sampled eight different Anchor beers on the tour, and in the eight months since then I managed to try seven more. It’s great to see they keep doing new beers in addition to their regular line-up, and while they’re not pushing too many boundaries these days, they’re still independent and making solid beer. And they really pushed the boundaries for US beer back in the 60s and 70s, so respect.

Woods Beer Co

When I first saw via the SF Brewer’s Guild a new little place called Cervecería de Mateveza, I was a bit puzzled. They brewed some of their own beer, and some they seemed to contract out. When I finally visited during my January 2015 Bay Area trip, I saw just how small their space was, which answered one question but also raised some more. They had a tiny brewing system (5 gallons?) but were selling bottles of their beer, and their then-named “Woods Wheat” mentioned Woods Beer Co. Were they still doing contract brewing? Who was this Woods Beer in Oakland? Why didn’t I ask the guy working there these questions? They eventually updated their web site, so I finally learned that they upgraded to a bigger system but based it in Oakland with the new name. Then I was torn – since their production brewery was now elsewhere, would this count as an official visit? Yeah, I actually debated that. The Cervecería was their original location, though, and they still had their old equipment there, and they’re still a SF Brewers Guild member, so I figured what the hell. And here it is.

cervecitas en La Ciudad

Cervecería de Mateveza, the original location of Woods Beer Co — San Francisco, CA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Yerba Mate IPA – 7% – Smooth, with a big herbal quality, to a mildly bitter finish. Slight cool mint edge to the herbal aspect.
  • Morpho – 6% – Gruit style with yerba mate, hibiscus, and bay leaf. Interesting fruity/berry, herbal, dry, lightly tannic, subdued beer.
    The Rest

  • Dry Hopped Wheat – 5.2% – Floral and citrus aroma. Light on the tongue with citrus and floral hops to lightly bitter finish. Not bready until a hint at the end, with the bitterness.

On my next Bay Area visit I’ll have to check out the Woods Beer location in Oakland to assuage any lingering guilt.

Cellarmaker

And so my Bay Area trip came to a close with a visit to Cellarmaker Brewing, and I have to say it was an excellent finish. They’d opened about two months previous, and I didn’t know much about them. One of their beers was on tap at the new Mikkeller Bar in the Tenderloin, which was a good sign. They weren’t too many people in the taproom when I showed up on a Tuesday afternoon. I parked my carry-on under one of the tables, ordered a taster flight, and was promptly blown away. Loved everything they had on tap. They’re making some of the best beer in SF.

Update! October 6, 2015: Went back for a second visit on my January 2015 Bay Area trip and got eight more tastes. Visited in the evening this time, and it was quite crowded. Good vibe, but I’ll have to remember to go in the afternoon next time. As I type this update, they’re celebrating their second anniversary. It’s a week-long event, and once again I’m wondering why I’m not down there. Will have to put the date on my calendar for next year, I guess.

This beer makes me want to move back to SF.

Seven tasters of awesomeness at Cellarmaker Brewing — San Francisco, CA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Many Blessings – 4.7% – Saison. Lemony, dry, kinda grainy, a touch tart, with tropical fruit notes. Bit of a tannic finish.
  • Hop Making Sense! – 6.4% – Fun mix of citrus, guava, herbal, melon hop flavors. Light malt base. Some bitterness on the finish.
  • Admiration IPA – 6.3% – Big grapefruit and tropical fruit aroma and flavors. Light malt, bitter finish, a touch dry.
  • Cellarmaker Porter – 4% – Dry, with coffee, chocolate, and roasty maltiness. Light citrus edge.
  • Blammo! – 14.5% – Imperial stout with coconut. Big. Intense coffee, chocolate, alcohol, molasses. Light coconut on the finish. Appropriate name.
  • Bourbon Barrel Vastness of Space – 11% – Barrel aged for 13 months. Bourbon and chocolate aroma and flavors. Smooth and rich, with molasses sweetness and fairly big oaky vanilla aspect.
  • Coquette – 4.2% – Grisette, a wheat saison. Bready, a little funky, with some lemon and light spiciness. Light and refreshing.
  • Taco Hands IPA – 7.2% – 57 ITU’s (International Taco Units). Collaboration with Tired Hands Brewing of Pennsylvania. Made with light cumin, coriander, cilantro, pepper, pasilla chile, lime zest and juice. Mashed with corn and corn tortilla shells. “This beer should suck, but is actually super drinkable.” Yup. Lots of cool spiciness and citrus and fruit. Unique and awesome.
  • Questionable Origins #2 – 6.1% – Big tropical fruit hop blast, with light citrus and spicy hops, as well. Guess there’s some malt, too. Good lingering bitterness.
  • Cage Free IPA – 6.4% – Big citrus, tropical fruit, and light piney hop flavors. Underlying rye spice. Zingy lingering bitterness.
  • Are You Afraid of the Dank? – 8.5% – Even bigger tropical fruit hop flavor party. Some spicy and piney hops, too. Lovely lingering flavors.
  • Jezebel – 7.5% – Cloudy, fruity, lightly funky saison. Really smooth, with bits of sweetness to dry and lightly bitter finish.
  • Peach Nightmare – 4.7% – Light, lingering wheat sour with just enough peach flavor. Could drink this all day.
    The Rest

  • Saison des Flandres – 5.9% – Collaboration with Brasserie Thiriez. Good saison base with herbal hops to bitter finish.
  • Tim’s Brown – 6.4% – Coffee and chocolate with some roastiness. Bit of floral and piney hops at the end. Interesting.

As I’m finishing up this post, Cellarmaker is celebrating their first anniversary. It was tempting to fly down and help them celebrate by drinking more of their beer. Yeah, why am I not down there? Will have to head back to the Bay Area again soon.

ThirstyBear

The fourth and final day of my Bay Area trip started off uneventfully. Leisurely packing, then coffee at a cool little cafe en route to the BART station. I got up to the Macarthur station platform, and the SF-bound train was right there with the doors open. I scurried onto the closest car, but soon noticed two things: there were way too many people on it for post-morning rush hour, and the doors weren’t closing. Eventually I found out that in one of the downtown Oakland stations someone had jumped onto the tracks (not in front of a train, though) and was running around the tunnels. The BART police were searching for him, but he was a slippery one, apparently — the entire BART system shut down for about an hour. By the time I finally got to San Francisco and ThirstyBear Brewing, I was quite the hungry bear. Ha! Yeah, anyway, the hostess kindly showed me an out-of-the-way spot where I could park my rolling carry-on bag before I sat down at the bar, where I got some food and a flight. An interesting thing about ThirstyBear is they are certified organic. Makes sense it being SF and all, but as far as I know there aren’t many organic breweries in the Bay Area, surprisingly. Go figure. Full disclosure: I’m a UC Berkeley alum, so I think this place has a great name.

Go ThirstyBears!

ThirstyBear’s taster flight at a very jaunty and artistic angle — San Francisco, CA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Grizzly Bear Red Ale – 6.5% – Fairly big caramel and biscuit maltiness, with big herbal and spicy hops.
  • Kozlov Stout – 6.3% – Nitro pour. Creamy smooth with solid coffee/chocolate flavors.
  • SF Winter Beer – 6.1% – California Common with spices. Light a little bit creamy. Caramel maltiness, herbal hops, and a nice spice profile that all mixed well.
  • Doppelbock – 7.2% – Light with roasty maltiness and herbal hops. Smooth, but with a touch of spiciness.
    The Rest

  • Polar Bear Pils – 5.7% – Light bready with spicy hops. Light bitterness on the finish. Very drinkable, but maybe too light at the end.
  • Panda Bear Ale – 4.5% – Golden ale made with cocoa nibs and vanilla beans. Caramel malt and chocolate and vanilla flavors. Interesting mix but didn’t work for me.
  • Valencia Wheat – 5% – Belgian-style wit with coriander and orange peel. Decent spice, some banana/clove flavor, muted sweetness. Should’ve been a lot more interesting.
  • Meyer ESB – 6.4% – Nitro pour. Really smooth. Big biscuit malt and a touch of honey. Body is a little weak, though.

They had a guest IPA on tap because they were out of their own. Usually this would make me put a brewery on my re-visit list, but with so many other places I want to check out next time I’m in the Bay Area I don’t think that’ll be the case with ThirstyBear, unfortunately. So many beers, so little time…

Social Kitchen and Brewery

The third brewery on the third day of my Bay Area trip was Social Kitchen and Brewery, where I would be meeting a couple friends for dinner. It didn’t take too long to walk from Magnolia in The Haight, and so I arrived a bit early. But that was a good thing because I could then get started on a taster flight and not be as distracted when my friends showed up. (I was going to make some sort of pun about being social, but I’m somehow managing to resist, luckily for you.) SKB has a pretty upscale feel to it – I felt a bit conspicuous with my jeans, t-shirt and daypack, but nobody seemed to mind. Prices were fairly reasonable, too.

Social lubricants

Cooking up some samplers at Social Kitchen and Brewery — San Francisco, CA

    Rob’s Picks

  • SKB Pilsner – 4.9% – Somewhat bready, with light herbal hops. Pretty crisp. Bitter zing at the end.
  • Saison du Semillon – 8% – Nice mix of saison and grape. Smooth, doesn’t taste 8%.
  • Waterfront Porter – 4.9% – Coffee/chocolate aroma and flavors. Light, somewhat dry, and very drinkable.
  • New World Lager – 6% – Citrus and tropical fruit hops. Crisp and light, with some bitterness on the finish.
    The Rest

  • SF Session – 4% – English summer wheat. Light, and not very bready. Some bitterness that mellows out on the finish.
  • Rapscallion – 6.7% – Belgian golden. Banana/clove start. Some caramel malt. Smooth, but not much else.
  • Mr. Kite’s Pale Ale – 5.9% – Floral and fairly malty.
  • The Smell – 6.7% – IPA. Tropical fruit, some citrus, and earthy hop flavors. Light caramel malt. Wasn’t too fond of the earthiness.

What else? I was there on a Monday, and they seemed fairly busy. Glad I didn’t try and visit over the weekend. And yeah, that wraps up Day 3.

Magnolia Pub and Brewery

My second stop on the N-Judah brewery day was Haight-Ashbury’s Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery. I knew I was in The Haight because they were playing The Grateful Dead when I walked inside. Hoping to fit in, I pulled out my emergency bottle of patchouli oil, dabbed a little on my wrists, then on my neck. All the hippies sniffed the air, relaxed into their seats, and resumed their beer drinking. Success! I took a seat at the bar and tried to figure out which six of the twenty available beers (including five casks hooked up to beer engines) I wanted in my sampler triangle. There’d been a recent Belgian fest, and so they had several Belgian-style beers available, as well as a collaboration or two with 21st Amendment. One that I picked was the first beer made in their new brewery in the rapidly gentrifying Dogpatch neighborhood, where there will be lots more brewing capacity and eventually a new pub. I’ll definitely have to check it out next time I visit.

Update! September 28, 2015: Well, I visited SF again in January 2015 and spent some time in Dogpatch at the new Magnolia Smokestack – the bar/taproom and meat-smoking endeavor adjoining their new brewing space. So you can either drink and eat a bunch of meat, or you can drink and breathe in the robust aromas of smoked meats. I went with the latter, being sort of a vegetarian and all. Hard to say whether the ambiance may or may not have affected my tasting experience. I tried to focus on the beers, but it was pretty difficult to ignore all the meat smells. Beautiful space, though. So yeah, if you’re vegetarian, I would highly recommend sticking with their original location in The Haight. If you’re into the meats, you’ll love Magnolia Smokestack.

cut your job and get a beer

Getting in touch with my inner beer-drinking hippy at Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery on Haight St — San Francisco, CA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Cole Porter – 4.9% – Fairly light and dry. Chocolate/coffee flavors with a little bit of a sweet citrus zing.
  • In with the New IPA – 6.1% – Caramel, biscuit, honey malts. Citrus, earthy, and herbal hops with some lingering bitterness.
  • Prescription Pale Ale – 4.7% – Floral aroma. Big caramel, biscuit, and a touch of honey maltiness. Light floral hop flavor and good lingering bitterness.
  • Maiden Voyage Bitter – 4.5% – Caramel, biscuit, and light honey maltiness. Light floral hops. Sound familiar? Light and drinkable. 1st beer from their new Magnolia Dogpatch facility.
  • Proving Ground IPA – 7% – Citrus and tropical fruit hop flavors and caramel maltiness with some bitterness on the finish. Pretty solid.
  • Paint It Black – 5.9% – Chocolate aroma. Fairly thick stout with chocolate/coffee and slight alcohol flavors. Supposedly a Belgian-style stout, but the Belgian aspect was too subtle for me…
  • Winter Warmer – 7.5% – Cloudy dark red color. Plum aroma. Very smooth and thick. Big caramel malts and not too sweet. A good dessert beer.
    The Rest

  • Sarah Hughes Rich Ruby Mild – 3.9% – Berry aroma. Light berry flavor to bready finish. Easy drinking but not too interesting.
  • Dark Star Mild – 3.6% – Light coffee and nuttiness with a bit of a sweet edge. Okay but not too interesting.
  • Branthill ESB – 4.2% – Biscuit and honey malts. Some herbal hops. Light bitter finish. Easy drinking but, again, not too interesting.
  • Bonnie Lee’s Best Bitter – 4.1% – Berry aroma and flavor. Caramel and honey. Subtle herbal hops. Too sweet for me.
  • Tweezer Tripel – 9.9% – Coriander, banana/clove, and some alcohol aroma and flavors. Big caramel malt. Fairly thick for a tripel. Finish a little too sweet for me and builds up to a syrupy quality.

Would’ve been nice to have tried everything on tap, but then I never would have made it to my third stop of the day where I was meeting a couple friends for dinner. Next time in Dogpatch, I suppose (and I’ll be able to leave the patchouli at home).

The Beach Chalet

The plan for Day Three of my Bay Area trip was to visit three breweries more or less along the N-Judah MUNI line. I got off at the end of the line at Ocean Beach and walked to the northwestern corner of Golden Gate Park to The Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant for lunch and a set of samplers. I felt a little out of place — I was one of the younger customers there, by myself, had eight little beers in front of me, and my daypack on the other chair — but nobody seemed to mind.

beach chalet taster flight

Beautiful spot for a beer (or eight) at The Beach Chalet — San Francisco, CA

    Rob’s Picks

  • V.F.W. Light – 4.8% – Blonde. Very light and quite bready. Touch of lemon and honey. Decent herbal hop finish.
  • Presidio IPA – 6.5% – Herbal and floral hops. Light honey and caramel malt. Some underlying bitterness that blends back in well.
  • Riptide Red – 5.8% – Big caramel and light honey malt. Very light hops (herbal?). Bit of dryness. Pretty easy drinking.
  • Fogtown Brown – 5.3% – For the malt lovers. Big caramel and some honey malt, with some coffee flavor. Light bitterness on the finish.
  • Rye Porter – 4.8% – Dark Side Series. Not very dark in color, maybe dark amber. Light rye aspect, coffee/chocolate flavors, and touch of honey. Some dryness and light lingering bitterness.
    The Rest

  • Weizenbock – 6.5% – Bready, with big banana and medium clove flavors.
  • Playland Pale Ale – 5.5% – Floral hops. Caramel and biscuity maltiness. Good balance but the floral aspect didn’t do it for me.
  • Pumpkin Ale – 5.3% – With cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and clove. Big aroma with all those spices. Pretty decent mix of spices, pumpkin, and herbal hops. Some honey, too. A taster was enough for me, though.

If you can get a window table (reservations might be helpful), then sipping a beer or two while watching the waves crash onto the beach would be a fine way to spend an hour or two. Seemed like the folks sitting by the windows were enjoying it.

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

For the second stop on the Bay Area brewery weekend, Marcus took us on the scenic route from the Mission District to Hunters Point via Bernal Heights, zig zagging around hilly streets I’d never been on before and would probably never see again. With some assistance from Google Maps, we eventually made it to Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, where we left behind the sunny December afternoon for the dark, cozy Speakeasy Tap Room. It was fairly crowded, but a couple spots opened up at the bar. We snagged those seats, and I soon had a line of tasters in front of me. The note-taking this time was a bit less awkward — the folks sitting next to Marcus took an interest, and soon they were all joking about my beer geekiness. I got my scribbling done, so I’ll consider it a win.

speakeasy and drink hard

Gangster-style tasters at Speakeasy Ales & Lagers — San Francisco, CA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Untouchable IPA – 6.2% – Big tropical fruit and light floral hop flavors with plenty of caramel malt.
  • SF Lager Batch #4 – 5.2% – Light floral hops, crisp, with honey sweetness and a bitter finish.
  • Scarlett Red Rye – 5.5% – Pretty smooth. Some caramel and biscuit malt and light floral hops. Rye is pretty subtle.
  • Double Daddy – 8.5% – Imperial IPA. Floral hops and big caramel maltiness, but still pretty crisp.
  • Payback Porter – 7.5% – Coffee and subtle alcohol flavors. Fairly light on the tongue, and a touch a dryness. Very drinkable.
  • Scarface Imperial Stout – 9.5% – Big alcohol/bourbon flavor that eventually mellows to some chocolate. Not too thick, and fairly dry.
  • Butchertown India Black Ale – 8% – Citrus, piney,  and light roasty aroma. Citrus and piney hop flavors at the start, then moves to roasty caramel maltiness for the finish, with a touch of bitterness. Light on the tongue.
  • Big Daddy IPA Wet Hopped – 6.5% – Big citrus aroma and flavor. Grapefruit and orange peel hop flavors with light maltiness and a fairly bitter finish. Bit of airy, frothy mouthfeel. Subtle hint of grassiness.
  • Blind Tiger – 9.8% – Imperial IPA. Citrus and piney aroma and flavor. Sharp, fairly boozy malty backbone. Good flavor mix on finish with complementary bitterness.
    The Rest

  • The Witness Belgian Wheat – 5.2% – Light banana/clove flavors, fairly bready, with a hint of lemon. Some bitterness on the finish.
  • Prohibition Ale – 6.1% – Very floral start to mellow caramel malt finish. Pretty cool but too floral for me.
  • Big Daddy IPA – 6.5% – Some floral and spicy hop flavors. Light caramel maltiness.
  • Betrayal IRA – 7.5% – Floral biscuity start to strong caramel finish. Very smooth. Like floral candy.

Got a few extra tasting notes here because, a couple months before my trip, Speakeasy had an event at one of my favorite Seattle bars, The Pine Box. I was pretty sure I’d be visiting the brewery, so I surreptitiously tapped notes into my phone while chatting briefly with the head brewer, Kushal. Seemed like a nice guy.

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