Top 5 WA Breweries.

Discussion in 'US - West' started by BBThunderbolt, Mar 28, 2020.

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  1. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,356) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    I don't know about you, but I've hated just about every milkshake IPA I've ever tasted. Somehow, Tired Hands in SEPA has figured out how to make good ones, and I had one from pFriem that I thought was at least tolerable. The only other exception to the general rule that most milkshake IPA's suck is Skookum. That in itself is cause for distinction in my book.
     
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  2. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Devotee (441) Mar 9, 2008 Washington

    I share that general rule. I wouldn't know a good one now because I won't drink one. So I'll have to trust you on this one.
     
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  3. MaximumYuks

    MaximumYuks Devotee (468) Nov 30, 2013 Oregon

    Fremont
    Holy Mountain
    Cloudburst
    Chuckanut
    Reuben's
     
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  4. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (10,025) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    When you make that trip, make a point to hit Whitewall (Arlington/Marysville) and 5 Rights (Marysville). Both are worth a stop.
     
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  5. kemoarps

    kemoarps Poo-Bah (2,358) Apr 30, 2008 Washington
    Society Trader

    Ya I was really impressed with Whitewall the one time I was up that way (I dropped a buddy of mine off at work one time... he did the brewing course at Skagit and they were his internship).

    It's funny to me, also, that people associate Skookum so heavily with the current en vogue IPAs etc, as I've never had an IPA from them (not sure I"ve actually even encountered one), and only ever tried their stouts/barleywines/old ales. Which were quite good. But it meant they fell under the 'I haven't tried enough from them to rank them' (dis)qualification for the purposes of this here thread.
     
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  6. drinkin-beeers

    drinkin-beeers Disciple (368) Jan 29, 2014 Montana

    Gonna give this a go from an out of staters perspective. Having visited the Seattle close to 20 times in the last couple years.

    Urban Family
    Fremont
    Georgetown
    Stoup
    Reubens

    it’s hard to choose 5.
     
  7. LiquidAmber

    LiquidAmber Poo-Bah (8,839) Feb 20, 2009 Washington
    Society

    Four of these were no-brainers, but I was stuck on #5. There are a lot of breweries in the the next 10. Anyway, mine are:
    Fremont
    Georgetown
    Reuben's
    Black Raven
    Bale Breaker

    I'm sure Cloudburst and Holy Mountain should be on my list, but Holy Mountain makes more styles I'm not interested in, like sours and tart saisons (really like their barreled stouts on first try, but am unwilling to wait in line so long for them any more), and unfortunately, I have not had enough of anything from Cloudburst. Perhaps the next month of crowlers (if I can find them now that most beer stores are closed) will change my vote.
     
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  8. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Devotee (441) Mar 9, 2008 Washington

    I just realized that I've already been to Whitewall Brewing. It was a quick stop on the way home from a high school baseball game in Mount Vernon. Folks were nice. Can't recall the beer much, though.
     
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  9. WA_Brian

    WA_Brian Initiate (191) Nov 17, 2015 Washington

    I don't drink Holy Mountain much anymore due to a combination of the lines, moving releases to Friday and still having a line, and those potholes trying swallow my car but remembering the beers I've had from them would be hard to keep them off the list. Call of the Void and Vol. 12 for example. Simply wonderful.

    I also almost never drink Chuckanut because I honestly don't see it that often but they have blown me away on multiple occasions with styles of beer that I don't get excited about.

    I do wonder if we instead ranked top 5 based on consumption if our results would change. I know mine would.
     
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  10. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,356) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Several folks have included Black Raven on their list, which I found interesting. If we were compiling a list of favorite Washington breweries 5 years ago, Black Raven would likely have been in my top 5 as well. However...

    The last time I stopped by their tasting room in Redmond (roughly a year ago) I was completely underwhelmed. I think they had no more than 6 or 7 different beers on tap, and outside of the trickster IPA, I wasn't hugely impressed by any of them. Even the trickster (a long time favorite) didn't strike me as anything extraordinary, but it was the best thing on offer the day I stopped by.

    Anyway, I was just wondering if my most recent experience was an anomaly, and that BR really is continuing to make outstanding beer. I go by their new tasting room in Woodinville pretty regularly (as it's just up the street from Januik winery, where the wife and I have a club membership), and I'm always tempted to stop in... increasingly, there are better and better tap rooms in the area, so given my most recent experience at the Richmond facility, I've held off stopping by.
     
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  11. vurt

    vurt Poo-Bah (1,749) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Society

    My original list (in no particular order):
    • Fremont
    • Chuckanut
    • Reubens
    • Wander
    • Georgetown

    My revised list (based on consumption):
    • Fremont
    • Georgetown
    • Reubens
    • Bale Breaker
    • Chuckanut

    (Sorry, Wander. Bale Breaker is easier to find around Portland in cans and on draft.)
     
  12. MaximumYuks

    MaximumYuks Devotee (468) Nov 30, 2013 Oregon

    Do we consider Grains of Wrath a Washington brewery (I mean...they are located in Washington)? I know they tend to get lumped in as a Portland metro brewery. Totally forgot about them. Taking them into consideration, my list is actually:

    Fremont
    Holy Mountain
    Cloudburst
    Chuckanut
    Grains of Wrath

    (removed Reuben's...which was hard, because I really like their beer, but have to give GoW some love)
     
  13. WA_Brian

    WA_Brian Initiate (191) Nov 17, 2015 Washington

    I've been in Redmond longer than Black Raven and I never go if that tells you something. I was always surprised they were so well liked.

    My biggest issue is I dislike all of their pale ales and IPAs and that's a huge portion of their lineup. Updraft, Trickster, Wisdom Seeker, Squaker, Beaktweaker, etc. I find them all way to heavy on the malt and I don't care one bit for the flavor. I always assumed someone with very different taste buds must be drinking it. Add to that I'm not big into lagers and I don't like coffee and I've basically covered their entire tap list on any given day.

    They do make some wonderful beers on occasion. La Mort Bourbon (all La Mort beers, really), Great Grandfather Raven, Splinters. The problem is they are rarely available and tend to have a lot of variation between batches making them pretty hit or miss. Great Grandfather is a miss for me this year and I can't remember time there was a batch of La Mort Bourbon.

    Their sour beers are even more hit of miss. Some times they are complete vinegar bombs and other times delicious. These are even more limited and usually only at festivals on "surprise" carts wheeled around at random times or hidden behind secret phrases.

    The Woodinville taproom is nice though and there is a lot more indoor space in case it rains during the Flock Party.
     
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  14. ewendel

    ewendel Initiate (128) Feb 12, 2008 Washington
    Trader

    If I were to redo my list based on consumption, then Reuben's and Fremont would easily bump Holy Mtn and Chuckanut off of my list. But, an important caveat here is that's purely based off ease of acquisition. Holy Mtn and Chuckanut are the superior breweries. #fightme

    (Side note: My Reuben's consumption will increase even further once cans of Robust Porter are available at muh usual grocery store.)
     
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  15. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,356) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    This is pretty consistent with my experience as well. The first time I visited the Redmond taproom (nearly 10 years ago now I think), there were several La Mort beers on tap and I thought they were terrific. The taplist was much larger and diverse back then, and they had several of their coffee beers on tap (which I also thought were OK). The last time I went... well, you saw my prior post. Based on that experience, I haven't had much of an urge to visit the Woodinville location.

    Anyway, IMHO, there are a lot of really good Washington breweries, and based on my recent experience at the Redmond location, it just seemed odd that anyone would list BR as one of their top 5 favorite breweries. Each to their own of course, but it surprised me.
     
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  16. kemoarps

    kemoarps Poo-Bah (2,358) Apr 30, 2008 Washington
    Society Trader

    As one of the people who included BR on their list, a lot of that inclusion was based on experiences over the last five plus years. I haven't really had much from them recently outside of the occasional Trickster or Grandfather Raven (both of which I still enjoy reasonably well), but remember really liking a variety of styles from them over the years. It's entirely possible (and unfortunate) that the quality has not kept up, or that they have not kept up with the times, but of the Washington breweries that I've had more than one or two styles of, I remember enjoying a wide variety of their options over time, and at the very least have felt that they were very well made. But, again, a lot of that evidence falls further back in the timeline as you note, so who knows.
     
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  17. 66jzmstr

    66jzmstr Aspirant (242) Jul 17, 2005 Washington

    Completely agree. I’m on the Eastside, and as hard as I rooted for Black Raven, I’m genuinely surprised to see them on a few lists here. Seven years ago? I’d put them in my top five. Now, not even top ten.
     
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  18. t4h2c0

    t4h2c0 Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2007 Washington

    Skookum
    Holy Mountain
    Reubens
    Fremont
    Floodland
     
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  19. Robomunky

    Robomunky Aspirant (200) May 14, 2015 Washington
    Trader

    Fremont
    Reuben's
    Skookum
    Structures
    Wander

    Excellence across a wide variety of styles is what sets these apart from some of my other favorites. Wander bumped Holy Mountain entirely due to accessibility. Even before I left Seattle, I gave up going to HM due to ass pain.
     
  20. PNW

    PNW Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2019 Washington

    When does the voting happen?
     
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  21. Mister_Faucher

    Mister_Faucher Initiate (0) Dec 3, 2014 Washington

    Fremont
    Georgetown
    Wander
    Matchless
    Bale Breaker

    *Honorable mentions to Reubens, Skookum, Trapdoor, Fortside, Everybody's, Three Magnets and Loowit.
     
    #61 Mister_Faucher, Apr 3, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
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  22. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (10,025) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    I'll set it up either later today or tomorrow.
     
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  23. ewendel

    ewendel Initiate (128) Feb 12, 2008 Washington
    Trader

    From absolute joke to the top-5... :thinking_face:
     
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  24. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,356) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    I don't like sours; I didn't really care for the Floodland sours I tried at Saraveza a year or so ago; and even wish I belonged to their beer club. If nothing else, just to trade or give as gifts.

    And personally, I don't mind at all making a donation to PP every now and again.
     
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  25. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (10,025) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Nominations ended here.

    We had 28 folks nominate 28 different breweries.

    Fremont (no surprise) was the leader with 29 noms.

    I'll do some tabulating, and be back with the voting thread in a while.

    The following nominees only had 1 or 2 noms: Garden Path, Urban Family, Machine House, Mirage, Aslan, Trap Door, 54-40, hellbent, Matchless, Logsdon, E9, 3Mags, Everybody's, Structures, Grains of Wrath, Black Raven.

    That there is pretty solid list in its own right.
     
    #65 BBThunderbolt, Apr 4, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
  26. VashonGuy

    VashonGuy Meyvn (1,309) Mar 7, 2013 Washington
    Trader

    Well, I'm curious. How did 28 people manage to nominate Fremont 29 times?

    Huh? Chicago vote counting?
     
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  27. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (10,025) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Probably fat fingers when I typed. It was 28/28.
     
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  28. DefenCorps

    DefenCorps Poo-Bah (6,366) Jan 18, 2007 Oregon
    Society Trader

    I'm not going to argue with or defend, agree or disagree with his position on PP, but I think there's a distinction between appreciating, respecting and patronizing an artist/business. There are musicians whose works I enjoy, but because of their extra curricular activities/ political views, I refuse to purchase/ otherwise support. Certain themes might not be funny, but if you keep it out of your music, I might listen to it, I might even respect you as an artist but I won't pay or otherwise support you. There are an entirely different category of artists for whom such offensive themes are part and parcel of their ethos, and those I will neither listen to nor support. I'm guessing Floodland falls in the first camp for him, where he enjoys Adam's creations but can't bring himself to support him.
     
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  29. ewendel

    ewendel Initiate (128) Feb 12, 2008 Washington
    Trader

    Fwiw, I did not nominate Fremont. Perhaps 27 out of 28?
     
  30. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (10,025) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    There was translation issues between my scribbled notes, and my fat fingered typing.

    Plus, at least 1 nomination post was from a contributor who doesn't have their own account.

    Wutevz. 1+/- for or against Fremont, made no difference in the totals.
     
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  31. Reidrover

    Reidrover Poo-Bah (4,834) Jan 14, 2003 Oregon
    Society

    Dont have much input here other than to say Fremont and Holy Mountain are top tier nationally for me.
    Having said that , Oregon is a weird place for "outsider" beers..i see so much Reubens and especially Matchless sitting on the shelves forever until they are discounted.
     
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  32. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (10,025) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    You are most certainly welcome to vote in the voting thread. Wut else ya got going on?
     
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  33. Reidrover

    Reidrover Poo-Bah (4,834) Jan 14, 2003 Oregon
    Society

    Nuttin much just got back from Plaid Pantry..was essential i won $500 on a scratch off!! Yeah!
     
  34. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (10,025) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    So, that means ya got that Benji I loaned you that time, right?
     
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  35. cherche

    cherche Meyvn (1,186) Mar 27, 2013 Washington
    Trader

    Fremont
    Holy Mountain
    Bale Breaker
    Georgetown
    Reubens
     
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  36. honkduh

    honkduh Aspirant (233) Jun 2, 2011 Oregon

    Reuben's
    Fremont
    Trap Door
    Matchless
    Skookum
     
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  37. cherche

    cherche Meyvn (1,186) Mar 27, 2013 Washington
    Trader

    Now I’m thinking I need to sub in Skookum for Reubens...maybe not. Maybe I sub them in for...hmmm...shit.
     
  38. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (10,025) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    I'll dig up the voting thread, so you can see the results.
     
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  39. heyhiggi

    heyhiggi Initiate (90) Sep 6, 2014 Oregon
    Trader

    I’m passing through Leavenworth in the next week. Any suggestions on brewers in the area? Particularly those with decent food.
     
  40. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (3,088) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Society

    I’d check out Icicle Brewing. The last time I was there we had just finished hiking the Enchantments (checking my notes, almost exactly 8 years ago), which was probably the main reason that pint of Bootjack was about the best beer I’ve ever tasted. But I think it’s still a solid West Coast IPA. I don’t know about their food offerings.
     
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