Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fish sighted in Everett

Olympia's Fish Brewing Co. has a newish pub in Everett, across the street from the Comcast Arena with its ship masts making a landmark.
The pub opened about a year ago; there are plans to install brewing equipment here in the future. The bit of unique the Fish folk have come up with here is an international collection of empty 55-lb. malted barley bags hanging from the ceilings. Domestic malts are usually shipped by truck to brewers of all sizes, but the European malts cross the pond in these white canvas bags.  Fish uses them mostly in its Leavenworth series of German beers.
  Stopping by for just a short schooner, I passed on the Leavenworths and tried one of their seasonal brews in the Reel Ale series: the Monkfish Belgian Style Tripel Ale. I put in a link so others can see the label and admire what a singularly ugly fish this monkfish is.  The ale, though, is splendid--I would like to try it alongside Pike's Monk's Uncle Tripel, a personal favorite in that sweet&tart style.
(Visited 12/222/12)

The RAM moves north, to Marysville

    The RAM chain of breweries, with several locations in Pierce County and several others in W. Washington, and a handful in other states, has opened a new location in Marysville. The new spot looks like all the others I have seen, in a mall,  large restaurant area with huge screens for the sports bar trade, the same beers brewed in all locations.  The most distinctive feature in the new spot would be the Tulalip Casino across the asphalt.
The casino may be the first attempt at a new architectural style, "Las Vegas-Northwest,"  we can hope it doesn't start a trend.
I tried their Buttface Amber, a decent ale, and a bit of the 71 Pale (1971 being the year the firm opened its first restaurant.  Craft brewing would come along some years later.)
(Visited 12/1\5/12)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Skookum relocates within Arlington

    The bucolic setting of the Skookum Brewery in Arlington, log buildings behind horse pastures, posted here in August 2010, will now be just a memory for beer tourists. That location is still the home of Ron Walcher and Jackie Jenkins, and still the site where they brew.  But the tasting room has been moved several miles southeast, to a metal building by the Arlington Airport.
   Ron and Jackie had neighbors who never warmed to the idea of a brewpub at the end of their lane, to the extent of trying to get local government to shut them down.  This was another case of a home brewing operation going commercial out of a garage (or barn, in Ron's case) and eventually having to move to more commercial space. 
    For now, the handsome brewing apparatus is still back at the home place, but the pub is a spacious and friendly area with plenty of seating.  I confess, I always visited the old spot on sunny days and wondered how the clientele was faring on our more-than-occasional rainy times.  Now the tasting room is weather-proof.
The warehouse space is so roomy, in fact, that they have lined out a shuffleboard court in the back and you can sip to the sound of pucks sliding down the concrete.
    The beers were the popular favorites Ron has been making for several years now: His dark, bourbony Murder of Crows was my first choice, while D.B. enjoyed his Amber's Hot Friend. I had a sip of the Woody's Oak before carpet bombing my taste buds with the Crows:  it wasn't quite the tangy resin taste I remmbered from the last time.
(Visited 11/24/12)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Big E: big plans in Lynnwood

I stopped by Big E Ales, hard by I-5 where Mountlake Terrace fades into Lynnwood, a few miles north of Seattle.  The operation sits at the end of a little commercial strip, shared with a variety of small businesses. 
I got to chat a bit with founder Rick Ellersick, who took out a brewery license for his garage homebrewing setup fifteen years ago (1997), when it was not a common happening the way it is today.  Rick is proud that his kids are involved in the business, too, with one son doing most of the day to day brewing and others marketing, cooking, serving, etc.  The WA Beer Commission has posted Kendall Jones' piece on Big E in its brewery profiles series and a lot of the story can be found there.
The news, in late November, is that Big E is ready to join the canning ranks.  They have 40,000 empty 16-oz cans and a portable can filler that can be wheeled onto the brewery floor.  All they need is beer enough and time.  The 15-barrel brewing system and 30-barrel fermenters have been running full tilt just to keep up with demand in the pub and in the retail draft accounts. 
Big E makes ten regular beers and one seasonal: this season it has been Oompah, an Octoberfest special Rick was very proud of. "We used lager yeast and lagered it for two and a half months," he said. "Supposed to come out 8.5% abv; this year it ran a little over nine."  It was the popular favorite in voting at the Anacortes Beer Festival this fall.  He gave me a taste and the malty richness had that tongue-coating quality you have to love.
(Visited 11/20/12)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nodding Head in Philly's downtown

    The day after the wedding I ventured into Philadelphia to check a previously unvisited brewpub in the downtown area: the Nodding Head.  This is a second-story job--literally.  Another restaurant is on the ground floor of this old building on Sansom St. and the brewery is up the stairs.
     The interior is done in dark wood booths and bar with the brewing apparatus in the back. The name either derives from or has inspired an impressive bobblehead collection, on display.
   The taphandles have the bobblehead look as well.
   Nodding Head was pouring a modest assortment this evening: the Grog in the foreground is a brown ale, the 700 level is a blonde ale, and the IPA was called Wet Chinook, which I ordered for the Washingtonian name.  It's styled a Double IPA at 8.5% but that seemed to refer to the dry hopping after the first batch of chinook hops went in the boil.  It had nice body but not the suck-a-lemon bitter that we occastionally run across here in the NW.  Then with mussels for dinner I had their Ich Bin Ein Berlinerer Weisse: they call this a sour wheat beer, not a hefeweizen.  It was tart but not quite like a sour ale.  Nice.
    My server said this brewpub has been going thirteen years, making it one of the older brewing pubs in the city.  A quiet, relaxing spot.  About three blocks on down 16th St., I finished the evening libations at the legendary Monk's Cafe.  West Belgium, they could call it for the lovers of all things flemish and fermented.  I had a Cazeau Tournay Black Stout--who knew the Belgians went in for such English things as a stout with coffee and chocolate tastes?  Not me until then.
(Visited 10/7/12)

Victory Brewing, Downington, PA: wedding brew

    About forty miles NW of Philadelphia, out the Main Line, the town of Downington has a good-sized (68,000 bbl last year) plant called Victory Brewing Co.  As the website says, Victory is in the process of opening a second brewery about thirty miles away, with plans to hit that 100,000 barrel mark.
   The younger daughter was married last weekend in an outdoor site a few miles from Downington. Dad offered to provide the beer for the wedding feast and Victory's pilsner seemed like a natural.  So the groom's father and I went and fetched the better part of one of those barrels (5/6, to be exact) from the brewery to the wedding. 
   My one picture of the front of the retail side didn't turn out, but I did get the T-shirt and a sticker.
  And the wedding was a beautiful and memorable affair. Just look at the radiant bride!
(Brewery visited 10/5/12; wedding 10/6)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Steam Plant Grill & Spokane festival

   New brewery stop last weekend: the Steam Plant Grill in downtown Spokane.  You can't miss it before sundown as the twin smokestacks tower over the neighborhood.  The stacks sent coal smoke out towards Idaho for seventy-some years as steam from the plant heated all the downtown buildings throughout the winter.  Closed in the mid-80s, renovated as a restaurant, brewery with pub, meeting space area on the lower levels.  I add it to the most memorable building adaptations that honor the former use while making good ales.  Others on that list: the firehouse in Tacoma (Engine House 9), the post office in Pullman (Paradise Creek), and the electrical substation in Puyallup (Powerhouse).
    Here, a huge boiler dominates the center of the building from the second floor up to the fourth or fifth.
Dials and gauges have been left on the walls and iron catwalks and stairs connect the levels.  A lot of the brewing had been done in Coeur d'Alene, but that site is not operating at this time, so all the house ales on the Steam Plant menu have been brewed here.
I had a glass of their fine Highland Scottish Ale with a nicely seasoned Kurabota pork chop.  D.B. had a small glass of wine with a hot seafood salad.  We were well beered up from the Spokane Octoberfest a few blocks away, in Riverfront Park.
     The festival, held under state Beer Commission sponsorship, was a great time.  A fair number of the nanobrewers, folks we might never see over on the wet side, attended: Twelve String Brewing and Iron Goat from Spokane, Golden Hills Brewing from Airway Heights, Riverport from Clarkston, the aforementioned Paradise Creek from Pullman.  Northern Lights, as it was known last May when I stopped there, is now No-Li Brewing.  Another name change forced by threats of trademark litigation.  One of the No-Li guys told me they had been doing business as Northern Lights some time before the east coast plaintiff did, but the latter was willing to spend more money on lawyers, money the Spokane guys would rather put in malt and hops.  So it goes.
    A big tent covered a good local band cranking out danceable tunes and long tables where the beer fans could sit a bit and talk the brews.  We met some folks who had bicycled nine miles along the river to get here; they had hopes of a motorized ride back.

Visted 9/21/12)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Walking (Man) in the Gorge

   The Columbia River Gorge is one of those spectacular landscapes that a string of dams, grain barges, railroads, and I-84 can't put a serious dent in.  Stevenson, WA is right in the heart of the gorge; about fifty miles from Portland.  That's the only downside for its excellent Walking Man Brewery: the big Portland brewers keep picking off its talented brewers. (A stand-along website isn't coming up, but google will bring up rave reviews on a number of review sites.)
    They make the beer in the basement of a house (not sure what is going on upstairs):
   They have garnered a good deal of rep with their Homo Erectus Imperial IPA (9% abv).  As I was driving the twisty WA 14 on to Hood River, I passed on that and tried a pint of Fresh Hop Strider Pale (5.5% with a lot of hops for a pale).  On a mild Friday afternoon, about an hour before sunset, this was a primo experience.  The gleaming copper apparatus signals that purity is prized here:
(Visited 9/15/12)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dick's Deli in Centralia

   Sitting on the Thurston-Mason County line, several miles north of Centralia, one finds Dick's Sausage Shop and Deli:
What we know as Dick's Brewing Co. began here, when the late Dick Young  opened his sausage business around 1982.  He started making beer toward the end of that decade, in the same building until steady increases in beer sales eventually led to moving the brewery several miles away.  I posted my visit to the new brewing site in March 2011 but had not been back to the deli/cafe for a while. 
   The dining experience is pleasant in a country sort of way, with red and white tablecloths and knotty pine booths.  The patio outside is shaded by a big hop vine, nearly ready for the harvest now:
   Sausage goes with beer naturally, whereas pairing the charcuterie with wine just doesn't resonate the same.  A good variety of sausages in the deli case probably offers a tasty nibble for any of a dozen beer styles.
(Revisited 9/15/12)

Friday, September 14, 2012

E-Bay's newest: Lake City

   Elliott Bay Brewing, the folks who began in West Seattle and added a nice location in Burien, have been up and running in the northeast Seattle neighborhood of Lake City since last spring.  We stopped off there recently, on the way to a new book event in the area.  The back door, seen from the parking lot, looks inviting.
Prudent drinkers that we are, with a hundred miles of I-5 to drive that evening,  D.B. and I limited ourselves to splitting a taster tray to wash down pretty good burgers.  I particularly liked their Alembic Pale, a moderately hoppy (49 IBUs) pale with 5.25% abv.
Our server explained that all Elliott Bay brews are made with organic ingredients, but not all the barley and hop farmers take the time to get certified by the state as organic growers.  Those folks do go over a farmer's books and records with a fine-tooth comb, so it's understandable that there is a lot of de facto organic stuff out there that doesn't wear the label.
(Visited 9/10/12)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Old Schoolhouse: Winthrop, Warshington

  Stopped off in Winthrop recently to enjoy a tasty pint in the Old Schoolhouse Brewery's pub deck overlooking the Methow River
Travel companion D.B. is enjoying some of their GABF gold medal IPA in the foreground. Old Schoolhouse added more fermenters last year to essentially double their output and extend their bottled beer territory.  The brew kettle and mash tun are still visible upstairs.
   Out in front, along one of Winthrop's faux-western plank sidewalks, Old Schoolhouse provides cutout photo ops.  Note the spelling of Warshington--this is how dry-side folks are alleged to pronounce our state. 

D.B., who took this shot of me, was born and raised on the dry side and says this is hogwash. Not hogwarsh. 
(Visited 8/22/12)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Everett festival tidbits

    Downtown Everett saw its first-ever craft beer festival August 18, and it looked to be a great success.  The Beer Commission paid some staff to check IDs, take money, etc., and also signed up volunteers, folks like me who will work for beer.  I spent about four hours sticking wristbands on people coming in, and counting out extra tasting tokens.  It was fun, chatting with folks about the tee shirts they chose to wear (generally brewpub tees, of course).
    My shift ended, I collected my "pay" (seven wooden tokens and a tasting glass) and made the rounds for another hour-plus.  Woodinville, down the road, home of Redhook and umpty-ump wineries, has spawned three new nano-breweries that set up here.  Brickyard Brewing, Dirty Bucket Brewing, and Twelve Bar Brews.  At the last-named, I had to ask the ignoramus question: "what does your name mean? Is that how many retail accounts you have?"  No, the brewer answered patiently, it's a pun on 12-bar blues, a musical term any blues fan would know.
    I was happy to see Gallagher's from Edmonds there and pouring their fine Belgian trippel, The Monk.  I've always dreamed of brewing my own batch of ale that would taste sort of like Pike's Monks Uncle, and this may be my chance someday.
    Fremont Brewing was there, and showing off their three ales in 12-oz. cans.  I posted about them almost two years ago, going on about their plans to start canning beer. Since then, a number of Wash. brewers have come out with cans: Seven Seas, Two Beers, Hilliards, etc.  The folks at Fremont had run into obstacles of one sort or another, but finally got the cans out about a month ago.
(Visited 8/18/12)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Twisp River Pub w/ cool jazz

    Where the Twisp River flows down from the mountains to meet the Methow (note to out of state readers, that's pronounced as two words, as in "she once sang at the Met.  How she made it there I can't imagine"), the Methow Valley Brewing Co. has a very pleasant location.  Their totemic creature is the crow, and a chainsaw carved rendition guards the front entrance.
   The pub has built a deck in back, extending over the river, and offers outdoor dining and live music several nights a week.  Wednesdays is jazz night and last Wednesday we caught the Nancy Zahn band; the lady doing vocals and four guys backing her up on guitar, keyboard, drums, and string bass.

   I enjoyed a Vienna Lager while we waited for a table, and then paired the Pilnser with a Salad Nicoise (with the little French gizmo under the c) with seared tuna on top.  Fine fare on a fine evening.
(Visted 8/22/12)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Updates: Elk Head, Airways

   Since I checked out Elk Head Brewery in Buckley and Airways Brewing in Kent last year, each place has acquired a new look.  The patrons of Elk Head have room to spread out in the same business park location as the licensed premises have expanded to warehouse space next door.  This allows Al the bartender to run wild with his growler collection.
    Al says he has 281 growlers up on display and maybe another 50-60 waiting to go up.  This calls to mind Bill Voight's impressive collection at Birdsview Brewery up in Concrete.  Birdsview lists 294 growlers on their website, each from a different brewery with a few duplicates from retail sides (for example, Anacortes Brewing and their Rockfish Grill).  Al doesn't have a published list but relies on memory to avoid picking up duplicates.  A few exceptions for artistic design in the growler medium get a special display area.
   Who thinks the question of which collection has the most craft brewers represented calls out for some objective research?  We will not say sober analysis lest that stretch a point.  But as each of these fine collections inches toward 300 breweries, half of each from Washington and Oregon, the race seems to have an allure for the beer tourist.
   There was time to taste a bit.  Rich is making Elk Dandee, among his dozen or so brews.  This is an exotic, with dandelion greens, ginger root, and lemongrass tossed in the boil.  Not soon forgotten!
(Revisited 8/03/12)
   On the way back from Tacoma the next day, I veered over to Airways Brewing in Kent to check out the bistro they opened recently in the downtown section.  Brewing continues in the business park on the north side, complete with brewer-owner Alex Dittmar's zany collection of commercial air travel accoutrements (see my Jan. 2011 post).  The bistro, in a set of offices that once housed accountants, does not lend itself to such--dare I say--flights of fancy?
On the other hand, the bistro offers food cooked in a real kitchen, as opposed to the bag of pretzels a sky hag stewardess may dole out at the brewery.  Nine panini and twelve pizze grace a nice pub fare menu.  I chose the sausage panini with a First Class IPA.
Of the twelve taps working, six were Airways brews and six were others, including some new nanobrewers striving for reputation.  It's a gracious move by Airways to give these guys some exposure.  Oh, everything tasted great.  This is a good stop.
(Visited 8/04/12)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pacifc Coast Brewing, Oakland--there is a there there

     Oakland, Calif. is the place Gertrude Stein was talking about when she said "there is no there, there."  She grew up there in the 1880s and 1890s and whether the knock was justified then, it sure isn't today.  Jack London Square is a nice touristy spot on the waterfront, and a few blocks in the warehouse district starts, a lot of it former warehouses that have become trendy lofts. 
     Pacific Coast Brewing is in this district, on the ground floor of the Nicholl Block, a building with an 1876 date and a nice gilded age look.
    The naming trend here goes with whales: they make Gray Whale Pale, Killer Whale Stout, Blue Whale IPA, etc.  I tried the stout, rich and malty with a head that stayed up like a well-poured Guiness. It paired well with the meatloaf. The patio area in the back is leafy and pleasant on a sunny day.
   The bar and side cooler inside are said to be from a saloon known as J.P. Cox', which opened in 1874; the plaque notes extensive restoration work to have it looking as it does today.
(Visited 7/30.12)

Friday, August 10, 2012

21st Amendment: after the ball game

    The 21st Amendment to the consitution is the one that repealed the 18th Amendment--Prohibition--thus ending the Great Experiment in 1933.  Another part of the amendment gives the states a lot of latitude to regulate the alcohol business as they see fit, explaining why laws about the sale of beer vary so much more than laws on the sale of pop or coffee.  Hence the name of the 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco.  The brewhouse and restaurant are on 2nd St., between the downtown section and AT&T Park, where the Giants play baseball.
   As I walked down 2nd toward this spot, a lot of glum fans were walking up, having seen the home team swept by their hated rivals, the L.A. Dodgers.  The media have built up the Yankees-Red Sox as the great baseball conflict (Mordor vs, the Shire this year), but in the 60s, in my college days around here, Giants-Dodgers was The Rivalry.  Koufax or Marichal.  The two Willies, Mays and McCovey.
   On to the beer!  21st Amendment ales have entered a lot of markets with their 12-oz cans.  All the canned beers they sell under their name are brewed under contract at Cold Spring Brewing in Minnesota.  Contract brewing has been a perjorative in some purist circles, but as Maureen Ogle points out in Ambitious Brew, her history of brewing in America, many successful craft brewers used contract arrangements to become successful, like Koch's Samuel Adams.  My server told me the Cold Spring folks also fill 21st Amendment's barrel and half barrel kegs for the draft trade.  The brewing equipment on the premises in San Francisco is in use, but only for mega-kegs (400 gallons or so) used right there on the premises.

  The restaurant was crowded on a sunny Sunday afternoon after a ball game; on days like that you can bet the bartender is happy the kegs won't run out anytime soon.
(Visited 7/20/12)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Berkeley's Triple Rock: Deja vu in a U-district

    Strolling along Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley, just a couple blocks down from the Cal campus, appears the Triple Rock Brewery.  It is the fifth brewpub (preparing and serving food along with brewing) to open in the U.S., and the oldest one still owned by the same people and brewing on the same equipment.  The website lists its predecessors, starting with Bert Grant's Yakima site in 1982.  A sign hangs out over the sidewalk, with neon characters for the nighttime.

I had seen a brewpub sign like that somewhere else, but where?  I went in, ordered one of the three pale ales on tap that day, and mused aloud how familiar this pub--which I had never seen before--appeared. 

A regular customer on the next barstool, hearing I was from Washington and familiar with the Seattle scene, cleared things up.  The same folks who own Triple Rock own Big Time Brewery, in the heart of the UW campus in Seattle.

Here is Big Time's sign at 4133 University Way N.E.:

The interior at Triple Rock is also very much like what you seen in Big Time, dark woods, booths and a long bar.  This is Berkeley; I don't have an interior short of the Seattle pub
            (Visited 7/29/12)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Magnolia: on the Haight

   If they could make a year a National Park, a zeitgeist preserved as it were, the corner of Haight and Asbury in San Francisco would be its 1967 headquarters.  OK, no more puns, but just a block away, at the corner of Haight and Masonic, the Magnolia Brewing Co. is serving up groovy beer. 
That's Paul and Linda (last seen on this blog in Raleigh), who flew all the way out from San Francisco to join some old friends for a great weekend, and the three of us launched it with brunch at Magnolia.  I had to try the Kolsch-and-scrapple combo mentioned in the Great American Ale Trail, and was pleased to see them serving Kolsch in the proper glasses.
   The board listed a nice choice of styles, and the menu had some off-the-beaten path items.  We tried  beer ice cream, a scoop of vanilla-ish sweetness floating in a cup of stout. The Humphrey Slocombe Ice Cream folks really make this with some malts from the brewery here.
Visited 7/27/12)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Anchor: Pilgrimage in S.F.

    Spent last weekend in the San Francisco Bay area, hanging out with old friends and fitting a few brewpub stops in the edges of the weekend.  Anchor Brewing was a must-see; Liberty Ale was my first taste of craft beer, back in 1984, and I still remember the amazement on my taste buds. 
   Anchor puts a "founded 1896" statement on their labels, and a company with the Anchor Steam label registered and all has been around since then. It limped through the Prohibition years and came back in 1933, but 30-plus years later it was on life support.  That's when appliance heir and recent Stanford grad (! Beat Cal!) Fritz Maytag bought it, in 1965, and started bringing it up to speed.
   Maytag began with an intense focus on sanitary brewing and to this day the crew all wear white coveralls.  The big (125-barrel system) mash tun (front left), lauter tun (rear) , and brew kettle (front ruight) are the first bits of apparatus seen on the tour.
The unneeded barley filtered out in the lauter tun goes to a local dairy farm, in major quantities.
Several levels below the kettle action, rows of fermenting tanks line up like soldiers to age the dozen or so ales and lagers Anchor is preparing to bottle and send--so they say--to all fifty states.

The tour continues through the bottling line and ends at the tasting room/gift shop which also has some noteworthy art on the walls.  I was impressed by some shots of Janis Joplin and the band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, when they visited the brewery in 1967 and hoisted some pints for the camera. 
When you look at the founding years of some of our most venerable craft brewers now, 1983, 1984, 1986, you have to be awed by what Maytag kept alive years before that. I sure was.
(Visited 7/27/12)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Updates: Foggy Noggin, Bellingham festival

   After lunch at Mill Creek on July 14, I headed down to road about seven miles to Foggy Noggin in Bothell, to see that business was booming at this nanobrewery in a garage. I would guess I saw fifteen cars parked on the street out front and as many as the long driveway could hold, another dozen.  Upwards of fifty beer lovers were sitting or standing around, working on pints or sampler flights.  Jim has added a Rufus IPA to his lineup, a growler's worth of which I took home.  As I noted on an earlier post, his first ales were all named for some aspect of PAC-10 football.  If Rufus fits in this naming pattern, the allusion escapes me.
   A worthy innovation I saw here: a cold case of pre-filled growlers, like Kulshan does here in Bellingham.  Given that FN is only open Saturday afternoons, and the line in front of the taps was pretty long, anything that speeds the process is good.
   Query:  How many places in the northern hemisphere are chilly enough to warrant wearing a parka in the 22nd of July:  Chukchi, Alaska...Reykjavic...the outer Hebrides...and sometimes Bellingham. Such was the case last Sunday when the Brewers by the Bay festival, put on by the local Rotary, opened across the street from Boundary Bay.  Eighteen brewers from Washington set up, and eleven from up and down the coast (and Big Sky from Missoula). If the gray, almost-rainy day broke 60 F on the thermometer, it would have surprised me. 
The turnout was not quite what it was for the April Brewsday festival here, but it was still good.  Old Schoolhouse came over from Winthrop with a keg each of their Imperial Stour and Imperial IPA. Gettig a 5-0z glass of either of those, for a $1 sampling token, works out to 20 cents an ounce, a good  deal less that the price of a bottle on the shelf. Dick's Brewing came up from Centralia with some Scottish Ale, the latest in their Dedication series (dedicated to their late founder Dick Young) and it was excellent, too.

Mill Creek: northernmost point of empire

   Several years ago, I heard that the McMenamins were planning to rehab some worthy old school building in Bothell, north of Seattle, and I got to wondering if their pub listed in nearby Mill Creek was this project.  Not!  The McM's spot in Mill Creek is in a very humdrum building, facing a Safeway and other mall denizens.
I stopped inside to check my memory.  Over a gardenburger and an Infra-black IPA, I learned from my server that the Mc's are enmeshed in the complications of rehabbing an old building in Bothell, have been for several years now.  This little pub will remain the northernmost outpost of the Mc's Portland-based empire. 
   The brew uses their IPA formula for a base and then adds malts from their Terminator Stout.  Pretty good.
(Visited 7/14/12