Monday, September 7, 2009

Who knew raccoons played darts?

Well, apparently they do, at least at the Raccoon Lodge, home of Cascade Brewing. We went there yesterday, just to try their beer, but, was pleasantly surprised by the fact they have a dart board downstairs.
First off, the dart board is in such a great location. Against the back wall, out of everyone's way, and player's get a perfect view of the brewery through the glass. Hell, you have to walk through the brewery to get to the bathroom. The board appears to be very new, or, maybe it just hasn't seen a lot of action.
What goes best with darts? Well, beer of course. And luckily, Cascade Brewing makes some really good beer. And what goes better with darts and beer? A great bartender, and boy did we have that with Davey. He was super friendly, helpful, and offered us a sample of anything we wanted, and insisted we try the Razberry Wheat. He also let us in on the fact that Saturday and Sunday are all day happy hours.
So, we started with the Razberry Wheat sample, then I had a 12oz pour of the Mouton Rouge, Erin had the Celtic Copper Ale, and then we split a taste of the Mt. Hood Honey Moon Pale, and I ended with a pint of the Blond Bock.
First up, the Razberry Wheat. At 4.5% ABV, and 18IBU, this is a pretty light beer. The raspberry flavors dominate in a way that one may not even think it was a beer. More like a spritzer, and raspberry soda. It was crisp and refreshing, but I personally would find it hard to have a whole pint of it. I would say it was more interesting than good.
Then, I ordered the Mouton Rogue, a "NW style sour red." It was so nice to see a local brewery make a sour of such complexity and interest (though don't get me wrong, I know there are several that do). It reminded me of the Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour. It wasn't quite as puckering as New Belgium's La Folie. I noted a nice cherry nose, a beautiful red color, and a very quick, sour taste. Although the tasting notes mention it is a blend of barrels with up to 16 months of lactic fermentation and aging, I tasted no oak-ness. A bold sour, and at 7.5%, one that will sneak up on you, making it perfect to blame as your wife beats you at darts.
The sample of the Mt. Hood Honey Moon Pale was up next for us, and it was a beer that didn't really impress me all that much. Not that it wasn't good, it wasn't in the league of the sour. Call me crazy, but to me, it tasted like a Kolsch. A style of beer I am not floored by, unless it is the tasty Hale's Kolsch. They bill it as a pale, with 70lbs of honey for every 10 barrels. It's 5%ABV, and 34IBU. I detected no honey notes, but maybe a full pint may have been in order. Sometimes, for me, it is hard to get a full feel of a beer from a sample. I am sure the style Nazis will disagree with me, but I tasted Kolsch. It even reminded me of Double Mountain's Kolsch, the only beer of theirs I am not a fan of. But, I am sure others love it.
My last pint was the Blond Bock. It has a gold color, 6.2% ABV, 40 IBU, and is made with Saaz Hops, which gives it a spicy finish, with a slight peppery mouth-feel. It is light tasting, and a nice malt/hop balance. It's a beer that you could drink, drink, and drink. It was like an excellant session beer. Was it super interesting? No. But it tasted very good, and I could put quite a few away I think. I wonder if they would let me crash on their pool table?
Erin's Celtic Copper Ale had an amazing nose, smokey, maybe even a little leathery. They say it appeals to Amber drinkers, but I think Red drinkers, or even Scotch Ale drinkers would find this beer to their liking. I only got one taste of it, so I can't write much, though I did like it.

So, the pros:
The beer is very good
They also have a full bar
All day happy hour Saturday and Sunday
Honest pints
Awesome staff

The few cons:
Sports bar - it has four flat screens downstairs, all playing something different, I know they are popular, but I have something about TVs in pubs. That's really just a me thing.
Not very veggie friendly
Too far away from me

But wait....
Davey told us about something great, something fantastic, something...dare I say..monumental!! Coming around, or after the new year, they are going to open an east side establishment, close to 8th and Belmont that will be named the Barrel House. So, that will be cool. I hope that location also has a dartboard.
By the way, the do make some beers that they do not serve on tap, and those are available guessed it..Belmont Station.


  1. You know, we've been debating trying that place and I'm glad to hear such good things about it. My dart playing experience is next to nothing, but perhaps that will change. Let us know if you want company next time you go! :)

  2. Next time we come over we'll be sure to call.