Sometimes when we visit Seattle we think we are living in a dream; a big beer dream where convenience stores have taps, chapels are pubs and Starbucks has a liquor license. It’s not a dream, it’s just a civilized place to live. Here are some new discoveries on a recent trip.
The candy store for beer is Super Deli Mart in West Seattle. It’s like a 7-Eleven but with kegs stacked up by the door, coolers and shelves stocked with craft beer, boxes of beer stacked up by the check-out and 6 rotating taps behind the counter. There are also some loaves of bread, milk, kleenex and smokes. As you shop you can enjoy a pint of whatever happens to be tapped (recent offerings were Skagit River Brewing Scullers IPA, Fort George Vortex IPA, Boulder Beer Company Mojo IPA, Redhook Brewery No Equal Sounder’s Amber Lager, Great Divide Brewing Colette Farmhouse Ale, and Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA). As we sat drinking our beer and enjoying our hoagies I nervously eyed a four-pack of Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Whole Cone IPA and quickly grabbed it for fear someone else would discover it. They also host special events and recently held a sold-out tasting of Russian River Brewing Co’s line up including Pliny the Younger on tap. We made sure to stock up on provisions which included Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary series Jack and Ken’s Ale Black Barleywine and Brewers Reserve Grand Cru, Boulevard Brewing Double-Wide IPA, Crooked Line Detour Double IPA, Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout and Fremont Organic Hop Lab.
Another great find is the recently opened Pine Box Bar in Capitol Hill. 30 taps have breathed new life into what was formerly a Chapel and most recently a night club. The Pine Box is run by Ian Roberts one of the founders of Seattle Beer Week and former manager of Brouwer’s Cafe. We enjoyed a Fish Tale Brewing Organic IPA cask and a Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Whole Cone Imperial IPA. We chatted with some lovely beer-forward locals, Jason and Leelee, who gave us some tips on other hots spots to check out including “Barbucks” - a Starbucks on East Olive Way in the neighbourhood that serves beer and wine after 4pm. Unbelievable!