Sunday, July 2, 2017

River Time passes muster in Darrington

The small, extremely scenic town of Darringon, Washington won't draw many tourists on their way to somewhere else. State Route 530, rebuilt after the tragic landslide in 2014, may lop a few miles off a journey coming up from Seattle to the North Cascades National Park, but that's just a summer route.  The first effort to brew beer in the old city hall, by the Whiskey Ridge Brewing Co., couldn't sell enough the rest of the year to justify staying open, and they eventually moved to Arlington.
But brewing has returned to Darringon, as the River Time Brewing Co..
A couple of guys down in the Seattle area, Lon and Troy, loved hanging out on the nearby Sauk River, and got to know Neil, a guide who has built his home on said river.  Lon and Troy came up with the idea of starting a little brewery here with Neil to handle the brewing.  And when he is doing that, Kristin is behind the bar pulling pints.
The backers found  a nice 3-barrel system, so River Time misses out on the nano category.  They have a 7-barrel fermenter for the times Neil feels like double-batching.

The most popular style here, as it is most places,. is the IPA, so that is likely to go in the bigger fermenter (there is a 3-barrel tank for that function, too).   I chose a Scotch Ale for my pint, 6% abv and malty all the way, a rich mouthfeel.
Summer having shown up nicely, it was not a day for stouts or porters, but Neil gave me a little sample of each. His stout, in the drier Irish style, had a spicier aroma but the porter won the battle of the taste buds. Neil gave some of the credit for the porter's flavor to Liberty hops, which he described as way underrated.

 Did I start out saying Darrington was kind of scenic, even by Washington standards?  Look out the front door of the pub and you see Whitehorse Mountain, the most jagged of several peaks that surround the town.

(Visited 06/22/17)

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