Engine House Number 9 recently started brewing sours to add to their other lineup of house beers. I visited them during a trip out to Olympic National Park because we decided to start our trip in Tacoma. I had a flight of a few of their house beers and then simply ordered a full pour of the one sour they had on tap.
Their lager was fruity and delicious with a crisp biscuit malt finish. Their two IPAs were both lovely. The house IPA was juicy and soft with notes of mango and melon. It has a light bitterness and nice creamy mouthfeel. The Donna IPA was good but a bit more acidic with notes of grass and herb hops and light caramel on the finish. The Berry Manilow sour was jammy and had tons of berry notes with a light tart finish. It was super drinkable and not particularly acidic, making it approachable to even someone who isn’t into sours.
I left with a bottle of their rhubarb sour, Flanders style red and brett saison. The rhubarb was tart and funky and quite delicious. The Flanders style is bright and fruity with a tart finish that balances nicely with biscuit malts and notes of oak. If you see Engine House Number 9 sours around they are worth picking up in bottles if you would rather not make it down to Tacoma. They are a brewpub so expect it to get quite noisy inside.
You could order food to go with your beers here as well. I got a hummus appetizer the second time I visited when I was preparing to leave the area. If you like IPAs or sours, you will find quite a bit to enjoy at Engine House No. 9 though I did not see any house brewed stouts on tap when I visited.
I stopped by Fremont Brewing with my sister and my husband and we tried a small section of the available beers because it was still early in the day. I tried the pale ale, IPA, porter, imperial oatmeal stout, and imperial IPA.
The pale ale was quite surprising because it wasn’t particularly malty. Flavors of citrus and tropical fruit came out nicely. The IPA had some nice bright hop flavors. Mostly the hops came through as grapefruit and citrus flavors that dominated.
The porter had some nice chocolate flavors with a good smooth finish from the oatmeal. By contrast, the dark star imperial oatmeal stout was not for me. The majority of the flavors came forward in a more boozy taste that wasn’t particularly strong in either coffee or chocolate. I didn’t get much sense that this was an oatmeal stout either from the flavor.
The imperial IPA had some seriously intense citrus flavors. This was the closest thing I tasted in Seattle to the San Diego style of double IPA that has become quite common. It had very little malt flavor at the back end.
Fremont brewing is certainly worth stopping by for a visit so you can try the pale ale, IPA, porter, or double IPA depending on your tastes. They also had a nice large outdoor seating area with plenty of sun and shade options.
Though it is only a few miles away from Redhook, most people visiting probably only ever stop by Redhook. That is quite a shame because Triple Horn has some solid brews available that are much more flavorful than Redhook. When I stopped by I tried the blood orange wheat, IPA, session ale, oatmeal porter, and double IPA.
The blood orange wheat was quite refreshing and unlike any beer I have tried before. The infusion of blood oranges really gave it a strong citrus flavor that was very tasty. The session ale had a nice light citrus kick and yet was still solidly bitter. The IPA was certainly on the darker maltier side but it was well-balanced so the floral and pine flavors came through nicely on the back end.
The oatmeal porter was much more flavorful than the one at Redhook and had much more noticeable coffee and chocolate flavors. The Double IPA was seriously bitter and also quite heavy on the malts. Thankfully this one also has some enjoyable hop flavors at the back end leaning towards tropical fruits and citrus.
I ended with the Barrel Aged Belgian Strong Ale, aged in Jim Beam barrels. I expected to love this one but I actually hated it. The flavors of the underlying beer were far too heavy on tart fruit flavors along with the spice flavors you tend to find in some forms of darker Belgian beers. The spice and fruit flavors overpowered the rest of the beer. The whiskey flavors didn’t particularly help because they were added pretty lightly.
Overall, Triple Horn is a solid smaller brewery that you should absolutely check out if you are in the area and don’t particularly like wine. The IPAs are fantastic as well as the blood orange wheat.
Redhook is such a big name that I thought it might be disappointing. After all, many of its bigger brews make their way down to San Diego and so I have had them before. But I had hoped that I might encounter some interesting smaller batch beers that were only available at the tasting room. Sadly, they required me to buy a flight of tasters at once so I had to try almost everything even though I prefer to stick to a few styles when there are a lot of beers to taste. I tried the Wisecracker Wit, ESB, session ale, ale, porter on nitro, IPA, and double IPA.
The wit had a nice sweet Belgian flavor and a light enough ginger flavor that didn’t overpower the rest of it. The ESB you have probably had before. Even on tap it was largely an easy drinking beer without any serious amount of flavor. I was glad that the malts didn’t overpower the hops too much but it was largely a bit weak for my tastes.
The session ale was a slightly weaker version of the typical session IPA. It had some nice light citrus hop flavors but again was not particularly strong tasting. The audible ale pretty much tasted like a typical northwestern pale ale with cascade hops and not a lot of flavor.
The porter on nitro was nice and smooth but again pretty lacking in flavor. I didn’t get much of the coffee and chocolate it was described as having. The IPA was nice, sporting good citrus and pine flavors. It was clearly a fresh batch and had a nice sweet finish. Still I couldn’t help compare it to the Bellevue Brewing IPA I had the day before.
The double IPA was on the sweeter side, far too sweet for me. I didn’t particularly care for it because it did not seem to feature the hops very prominently and wasn’t particularly bitter. Redhook was an interesting place to stop and visit if you are going with friends out to Woodenville Wineries but none of the beers were particularly impressive.
I visited Seattle recently and recently with the hope of visiting some local breweries. Sadly, I only ended up visiting four. Still, I will provide my thoughts here on Bellevue Brewing, Redhook, Triple Horn, and Fremont Brewing.
Bellevue Brewing was the first place I visited near Seattle and some of the beers were quite impressive. I tasted the pale ale, ESB, scotch ale, oatmeal stout, IPA, Triple Wheat Ale, and Malt Liquor.
The pale ale was slightly sweet with a nice citrus back to go along with the typical pine hop flavors. The beer was nicely balanced so that the malts did not dominate like they do in some pale ales. The ESB was a bit too light on the flavor for my tastes. It didn’t have any interesting flavors that I noticed.
The scotch ale was interesting because the first thing I tasted was a sort of sweet grape juice flavor. I didn’t really detect much of the caramel and toffee flavors the brewery described it as having. The oatmeal stout was quite nice on the lighter end of the stout spectrum. It was good and creamy and sported some light caramel flavors.
The IPA was bursting with flavors. I found out that this beer is brewed fresh every six days, which explains why it had that fresh taste. The IPA was on the lighter side and bursting with citrus and floral flavors. It reminded me of the San Diego style of IPA I had previously missed while visiting Seattle.
The triple wheat IPA was a powerful brew and had plenty of intense flavors from similar hops as the IPA. I also got a nice tropical fruit flavor from it. The use of wheat malts kept it from being overly malty like many triple IPAs tend to get. The malt liquor was very strange because despite its 8% alcohol it was very light in bitterness and had almost no body to it. Perhaps some people will enjoy having a strong beer that has very little taste but it seemed like a total waste to me.
Overall Bellevue Brewing was a fun place to visit and had some fantastic IPAs. When I found out that my sister had not yet visited there despite living in Seattle for quite some time now we stopped in for a pint a few days later. They had added a rye version of the IPA by then and it impressed me so much that I had a pint of that rather than the regular IPA.