Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Thousand Growlers

There probably are a thousand or more bears growling along the Skagit River as it flows out of the North Cascades National Park but the growlers I'm talking about the  hang from the walls of the Birdsview Brewery, near Concrete, WA on state route 20. They aren't up to a thousand yet, but in three years of business they have already passed the 250 mark.
The pub and brewery sit in an octagonal log cabin designed and built by Bill Voigt, the brewer and paterfamilias of this family enterprise. They have grown this unique collection by offering one of their growlers, full, for an empty of any growler they don't have yet. They frequently update the list of their collection  so be advised that you had better bring an empty growler from pretty far away to win the full one.
The Voigts can put some nice beers in your growler or glass. They make eleven brews, which you can find off the last link. The most popular (today the Ditsy Blonde, the IPA and the pilsner) are not sold in growler quantities (new collection exchanges probably excepted). Not sure who the ditsy blonde is--Bill's wife Kris makes the food; her hair is brown and her mind is sharp. P.S. Later, at the Porterhouse Brewfest in Mt. Vernon, I learned from Bill that the Ditsy Blonde was named for Jessie, the daughter who went off to law school at Gonzaga. She has also inspired the Barley Legal this summer, a wheat beer with a whopping ABV.
I tried a few samples drawn by Jason, their son who tends bar. Settled on the ESB for a pint;
I liked it well enough to start one of their growlers with it. Combine the fine brews with the spectacular scenery looking up river into the park and this is one nice outing. (Visited 5/20/10, again 7/28/10)

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