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Day Trip: North Kitsap County to Port Townsend

January 22, 2010

It’s been a while since we had made a trip out of Seattle, so we decided to head over to the Kitsap Peninsula to find some good beer with good friends. Lush C planned this excursion with her co-workers and Good Beer Trip readers JP and Nardo. This would be their first, and hopefully not last Good Beer Trip.

The cars view on the ferry.

Lush C and I started the day early and met up with JP downtown at 10am. We combined into one vehicle and then drove to the waterfront to catch the 10:35 ferry to Bainbridge Island. Once we made the crossing, we drove the short distance off the island to meet up with Nardo and his wife Woody in Suquamish. They live in a beautiful house, 70 something (steep) steps from the Puget Sound. They have amazing water, mountain, and island views.

We found Silver

Silver City Brewing

After a quick tour of the house all five of us jumped into Nardo’s car and headed to our first destination the Silver City Brewery in Silverdale. This Brewery, Pub and Restaurant has to be one of the most popular places in the area. Located in the corner of the parking lot of the Kitsap Mall, it is in a great location to attract the masses. Nardo and Woody love it, and only wish they build one in Poulsbo, closer to their home. They mentioned that it gets really busy so they don’t visit as often as they once did. This was Lush C and my second visit and it was as busy as I remembered it. Luckily, we got there right before the Noon rush and were able to get a table for our band of merry drinkers.

The interior has a Northwest urban industrial feel with the main room having sky high ceilings, large exposed wood beams and large windows with views of the brewery. There is a large bar with a little bit of seating, a large open area, second story loft and a lower ceiling, cozy side room, where were seated. If you are in the area or want a quick trip out of the Seattle area, this is a great place to go.

The menu is Pub-Fare with a great selection of burgers, sandwiches, salads, steaks, a little seafood and what I’m told amazing Pizza. The entire table went for the Burgers, either the special Wasabi or the Big Daddy. Oh man, was my burger delicious.  It was big and juicy, on a fresh baked bun with thick slabs of savory bacon. Incredible. Being hungry, I also ate a quarter of Lush C’s Wasabi burger. It may have even been better than mine with its Wasabi sauce and pieces of pickled ginger. Needless to say, everyone at the table was satisfied.

View of the brewery

If the burger wasn’t enough, they also make excellent beer. Nardo went with the Indianola Pale Ale with which he says he is very familiar with. He likes it for its nice malt and hop flavor that “tastes like beer, with out a large alcohol flavor”. Liking the darker beers, JP went with the Panther Lake Porter, and I didn’t hear any complaints, followed by a Clear Creek Pale Ale. Lush C went with the Ridgetop Red Amber Ale, which she says at first didn’t go well with cough drops but ended up being excellent for washing out the flavor of Cherry Ludens. I took a taste and thought it was sweet, with a light hop flavor and a hint of alcohol. I went with the Clear Creek Pale Ale which was clear and golden, with a nice mild flavor of sweet malt and hops. I followed this up with a Fat Woody, yes I said Fat Woody. Of course this brought out the chuckles. This beer starts out as their award winning Fat Scotch Ale that is then aged in oak barrels for 6 months. Wow! It was brown amber in color and had a sweet vanilla aroma. You take your sip, and it is full bodied with a sweet malt flavor with hints of peat. It finishes with the sweet vanilla and woody flavor from the oak. It was very well balanced, not to sweet and not too alcoholic despite its high ABV.

JP, Nardo, and the beer

Nuts!

CB’s Nuts

I could have stayed at Silver City all day, but then it wouldn’t have been much of a trip. Next we drove back to drop Woody at home, as she was not going to partake in the rest of the adventure, and to pick up a second vehicle since JP was going to depart from the group in Port Townsend. After this we made a non-beer stop at CB’s Nuts, a micro roaster of fine nuts. There, we were greeted with a flight of nuts for our tasting (FREE). Very good and tasty they were. I didn’t know there were three kinds of Peanuts, and different roasts.  Yes, the nut jokes were getting a bit stale by the time we left.

Hood Canal Brewing (#203)

A hop, skip and a jump from CB’s Nuts, in a small industrial building complex was our second brewery for the day, Hood Canal Brewing. Lush C and I have been drinking their Amber for years at Beveridge Place Pub, and have always enjoyed it. Because of this, we were excited to visit their taproom to try their other Beers. Hood Canal is primarily a production brewery with a taproom that is open 7 days a week. They have about 5 tables lined up, leading to a small bar with about 4 stools. You are right in the brewery, with only a short quarter wall between you and the equipment. For food, they provide pretzels and sell surprise, CB’s Nuts. Got to love the local flavor! We ended up getting two of their 8 Beer samplers, one for Lush C and JP and the other for Nardo and I. (Now, we do not encourage drinking and driving. Both Lush C and I did most of the tasting here. JP and Nardo both did a great job of simply tasting the beers and not over drinking) I started taking note while sipping on my share but soon realized I wasn’t really at a point where I could describe, let alone write about what I was drinking. Darn, that Fat Woody caught up to me. By far the crowd favorite was the Agate Pass Amber, followed by the Bywater Bay ESB and the Dosewalips Special Ale. I’ll need to make another visit someday to give the Big Beef Stout and SouthPoint Porter another try.

The brewery.

It was about 3:30 by now, and it was time to drive the 31 miles over the bridge and through the valley to Port Townsend. For those that don’t know, Port Townsend is a small historic Victorian town on the Northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula. It is full of little boutiques, antique shops, Victorian homes, cafes, restaurants, and bakeries. It is also home two breweries: Port Townsend and Water Street. On arrival, we first dropped off one vehicle next to the Port Townsend Brewery and then headed through town, and did a quick driving tour through the neighborhoods above town. We then went back downtown to walk around. Nardo really wanted to show us one of his favorite places to eat and drink in town, Siren’s a Pub of Distinction,, so we ventured in. To get there, you enter an old waterfront building, and immediately climb the long stairway to the third floor. You then wind around the building until you see the entrance to the pub. What a great spot! It had a very cool and relaxing vibe. They have an outdoor deck, that hovers right above the water, that I was told is an exceptional place to hang out. We only planned to take a peak, but it was so cool I had to stay for a beer. We grabbed a table in the back near the pool table, and where JP could watch the remainder of a playoff game. Nardo and I bellied up to the bar to order our brews. For Lush C and Nardo it was time for a Mirror Pond Pale Ale, and for me, I went local, with a Port Townsend IPA. A little H2O was in the cards for JP. We enjoyed our pints, Nardo beat me at a game of Pool, and then moseyed on out.

Port Townsend Brewing Company (#204)

By this point it was getting pretty late in the day. Since Monday was a work day (for me), and we still had about two hours of traveling in front of us, I had to make the call and skip a visit to the Water Street Brewery. Don’t worry, we’ll make it back soon.  We made the quick trip back tot the Port Townsend Brewery, which is on the outskirts of town, right by the marina. What a charming place. From the outside it just looks like an old industrial building, with a row of windows on one end. When you peer through the ship portal window on the door, you get your first inclination that you are in for something special. Inside, I got the feeling that I was in the belly of an old wood ship, with  lots of exposed timber and plaster walls. It was dimly lit, although there are plenty of windows to let in the light during the day. You only find bar height stools in the place, but don’t worry there are plenty of them. The Bar is nicely tiled to accentuate the taps of their fine brew. By this point our drivers were done drinking for the day, and we really only had time for one more. Lush C and I being the troopers that we are, made the final stop worth it. She ordered a Peeping Peater Scottish Ale while I chose the Winter Rye Ale. I didn’t even attempt to take notes at this point, but we both really enjoyed these fine samplings. We need to make an overnight trip to this little town soon so I can try more of the offerings.

It was time for JP to depart. She had reservations to take the ferry from Port Townsend to Whidbey Island to meet up with her Beau at his families’ house. Nardo drove Lush C and I back to Bainbridge Island so we could catch the Ferry back to Seattle. At 9pm we arrived home, nearly 12 hours after leaving. Though it was long, it was a great day and a Good Beer Trip! We got to meet the lovely Woody, and spend more time sharing our, OK my, passion of going to breweries to find good beer with our friends and Lush C’s co-workers Nardo and Plank. Hopefully they too were equally as satisfied.

Cheers!

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FTC Information:  All Beer and food on this trip was purchased by GoodBeerTrips or guests of GoodBeerTrips. Nuts, we did get a few free sample nuts at CB’s Nuts.

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