Best Washington Beers

Elaine Sutton
• Tuesday, 10 November, 2020
• 7 min read

Based on a traditional English style, a style of ale that has been commonly brewed in Britain for more than 100 years, pale ale describes a broad spectrum of beers that can be sweet or dry, bitter or floral, or any combination of those characteristics. Pale ales range from 5.0 to 6.0 percent alcohol content and are usually dark gold or copper colored.

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(Source: www.onlyinyourstate.com)


Expect to find : Many’s Pale Ale, Georgetown Brewing Crisp, clean and smooth, with a hint of citrus and a snappy hop finish Modern IPA is strong (6.5 to 7.5 percent alcohol content) and very aggressively hopped, but otherwise has nothing to do with the legend.

The alcohol content is typically between 5.5 and 6 percent, putting it on par with many beers sporting a much lighter appearance. The use of darker grains, such as roasted barley and chocolate malt, lend porter its intimidating hue.

Expect to find : Profanity Hill Porter, Schooner Exact Brewing Flavors of chocolate and walnuts, along with subtle fruity notes and a hint of cherry This traditional German-style beer is typically lighter bodied, 4.5 to 5.5 percent alcohol, appears cloudy and features refreshing citrus notes that many people enhance with a lemon wedge.

Expect to find : African Amber, Mac & Jack’s Brewing Floral, happy taste is followed by a malty middle. Most winter beers are spiced with ginger, clove, nutmeg or cinnamon; they are rich in flavor and high in alcohol (6.0–9.0 percent).

Belgian-style beers, which, by definition, imitate a broad array of traditional styles brewed in Belgium, have become increasingly popular around Seattle in recent years as our collective beer palate has grown more sophisticated and learned to enjoy more intense flavor profiles. There is no single descriptor to define Belgian-style beers except to say that they provide brewers with a lot of room for creativity.

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Double Engender Abbey-style Ale, Sound Brewing Chocolate malt and dark toffee with a hint of banana and stone fruit Who cares what a certain lifestyle site that rhymes with “worst” says, Washington is clearly the best beer state in America.

IPA, 6.3% This medium-bodied delight is a Northwest interpretation of the classic English style, served up by one of Seattle’s most prolific/creative breweries, so if you’re looking for a solid example of what is rapidly becoming the country’s most popular kind of craft beer, this one’s for you. This beer spends about 24 hours in contact with a premium Ethiopian Harry roast, giving it that delectable coffee taste and aroma. Courtesy of Stoup Brewing.

American-style strong pale ale, 5.9% The folks over at Stoup Brewing like to call this one “sunshine in a glass,” and they couldn’t be more right. This blonde ale has long notes of raspberry without all the sweetness, most of which ferments out of the final product.

American pale ale, 5.2% This Jewish brewery has quickly become a cult favorite (they have trouble keeping up with demand) thanks in no small part to this beautifully crafted and aromatic pale ale, every batch of which is made with a selection of hops, and may require a pilgrimage to their Interlay brewery if you want to find it. American IPA, 7.2% Big and bold with plenty of piney and floral Pacific Northwest notes, this beer is the signature brew of Old Schoolhouse Brewery located in Winthrop, which is a tiny community... um, somewhere in Washington, presumably.

American blonde ale, 4% This light beer is perfect for lounging on a patio while enjoying the beautiful and sunny summer weather. Subtle malt sweetness and mild happy flavors finish off this satisfying beverage.

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(Source: seattlebeernews.com)

Sour ale, 4.2% This traditional German beer is made with unique ingredients like coriander and sea salt that give it a strangely satisfying, and savory finish, but that kind of creativity is hardly a surprise coming from the guys who gave us Gastropod. Golden IPA, 6.3% We couldn’t compile the best local beers without including this ode to the Seattle landmark that EVERYONE knows.

European pale lager, 5% Known as “liquid bread” in Germany because it is often served at breakfast, this style of beer is renowned for its easy-drinking and malty character. Oatmeal stout, 11% Aged in 15-year-old single-use Kentucky bourbon barrels, this chocolate beer from Seattle’s best brewery is extremely limited but oh-so-tasty if you can get your hands on a bottle.

The Rather Guide To The Local Users after4ever8025 REGIONAL EVENTS Get out and experience craft beer at area festivals, tastings and gatherings.

I reported this a couple of weeks ago (read it), with the assurance that this does not mean that the sky is falling. At that time, I promised to share more insight after I’d looked at the complete production numbers for 2017.

Also, I promised to share information about which breweries are Washington’s largest producers. Top producers, in terms of production volume.

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(Source: drinks.seriouseats.com)

In 2016, Washington breweries produced 43,000 fewer barrels of beer. This doesn’t include the small amount of beer brewed at the new Red hook Brew lab in Seattle, which opened last August and produced 348 barrels in 2017.

If you remove Red hook Brewery from the Washington beer equation, Washington produced more beer in 2017 than it did the previous year. I know that many of you removed Red hook from the Washington beer equation years ago because of its involvement with Anheuser-Busch, so you are not exactly in mourning.

As it had planned to do for years, Red hook moved all of its production to the big CBA facility in Portland; it had nothing to do with a bubble bursting or the industry collapsing. Again, I know that many of you removed Elysian Brewing from the Washington beer equation when Anheuser-Busch acquired the long-beloved hometown brewery in 2015.

So, in 2017 Washington produced 43,000 fewer barrels of beer overall, but Red hook and Elysian combined to account for an 86,000 barrel reduction on their own. The only other notable brewery in the state that realized a significant reduction was Mac and Jack’s Brewery, which was down from 43,000 barrels in 2016 to 38,000 barrels in 2017.

I don’t have an explanation for the reduction, except that maybe it had something to do with the fact that the brewery recently changed the style of keg in which it provides the beer. That’s only true if you remove Red hook from the equation, which kind of makes sense since we know for a fact that their production will drop so vastly with the closure of the brewery in Joinville.

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(Source: www.travelandleisure.com)

Here are the top 25 Washington breweries, by production volume: I want to reiterate that Red hook is not included in the above lists by design.

Fremont Brewing was another big mover in 2017, with an increase of nearly 13,000 barrels over the previous year. While it currently reigns as the state’s largest independent brewery, Georgetown Brewing is still quite small in terms of the national picture.

For comparison’s sake, in 2016 Sierra Nevada Brewing produced 1.1 million barrels, more than twice as much as the entire state of Washington. Those include Craft Brew Alliance (725k), Descartes (350k), Full Sail (115k), Rogue (105k), and Ninjas (99k).

That is, about 80 percent of the breweries in Washington produce less than 1,000 barrels per year. By darn-near anybody’s standards, 80 percent of the breweries in Washington are very small.

Only a couple states have more breweries than we do: California and Colorado. A lot of people are speculating about the future of the beer business.

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(Source: pinkpoopystuff.blogspot.com)

Some things are blatantly obvious, like the fact that there is more competition these days. Nudging your way into the local bar’s tap rotation is also more difficult.

There are more nebulous forces at work as well, like the consolidation of beer distributors. Here in the Pacific Northwest, Odom Corporation and Click Distributing, each a major player in the craft beer distributing business, are now one company.

One thing is for sure, Washington’s seven percent decrease in production can be explained logically, without histrionics and fatalist predictions, and should not be taken as a sign that the end is near.

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