Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chuckanut Brewery

Chuckanut Brewery marks the return of a Kemper making brew to the state of Washington. Will Kemper has returned, not to Poulsbo, the original home of the Thomas Kemper brewery, but to Bellingham. During Will’s time away he has traveled throughout Europe, and been a brewing consultant across the US. Now, his 10-barrel house is thriving, and giving northern Washington some very tasty beer.
Currently they do not bottle but do have growlers for sale, and of course fill whatever you bring. During my time up in Mt. Vernon I drove the 20 or so miles north and had a good time.
My visit was on a Tuesday night, which meant I was treated to the special of $1.50 Kolsch’s. The beer was very light, crisp, and when served in the 250ml glasses resembling test tubes, looked almost like a urine sample. That is the appearance anyway, the taste was nice, mellow, and delivered a sweet finish. At only 5%, you could easily put a few of these away.
The second beer up was a style I had never heard up before, it was a Marzen. But, from what I can understand, it is really another name for an Oktoberfest. They describe it as a mahogany lager, which makes sense once you drink it. It has a very toasty taste, grassy and bitter are other notes I wrote down. It is also pretty malty, but after saying all of that, it was also light, and easy to drink. A very good beer, and one of the best Oktoberfests I have had.
Chuckanut brews 18 different styles, from Dortmunder to Vienna. They use very selective choices in their malts and hops, including organic hops from New Zealand, and organic malts from Canada.
The food seems to get as much attention as the beer. I didn’t have much, but what I did have, the roasted yam fries, were awesome. During the summer I am sure the place really rocks with their awesome waterfront patio.
Definitely worth a stop, and it’s proximity to Boundary Bay make for a interesting night.

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