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Birdsview Brewing – Concrete, WA (#209)

April 25, 2010

With the car packed up we were off on our weekend adventure to Lake Diablo and the North Cascade Institute night with Will and Mari Kemper. Not by chance, our route took us right by the Birdsview Brewing Company near Concrete Washington. We’ve been meaning to make it there for the past couple of years so we made sure to allow time for a quick stop.

Birdsview is the epitome of a family run business. When we were there, Bill Voight was in the brew room brewing up his next batch of beer, Kris Voight was at helm of the kitchen, and their daughter Jessie was our server and bartender. Looking at their website, it seems the entire family helps in the operations of the brewpub. It is even located on the family acreage, with the family house in the distant view.  You have to love that commute.

They are located about 20.5 miles east of I-5on the North Cascade Highway (Hwy 20), just past the Beer Crossing Sign. It is an idyllic location in the upper Skagit Valley with picturesque mountain views. The building itself is pretty darn cool. It is basically a large log octagon (the pub), with a smaller attached log octagon (the brew room). At each corner there are large timber posts from witch timber extend up, all meeting at a high center window. It is finished with both externally and internally with wood cladding. There are plenty of tables and a small bar as well as TV’s to watch the Mariners on. They have a large outdoor beer garden that looks like it would be fun, if it were only sunny.

The menu is simple; sandwiches, burgers and salads, all made right in the small open kitchen. The burger was very good as was the black bean burger.  They each came with a bag of chips and a delicious fresh made shortbread cookie.

We got their beer sampler. As we progressed from lighter to darker, the beers got better and better.  It culminated in the Porter which was by far our favorite. So good we got a growler to go. By the way, they have a great growler exchange program.. If you bring them an empty growler that they do not already have in their extensive collection, they will trade you a full Birdsview growler for it. We just happened to have brought our newly acquired Odin Brewing growler, which they didn’t have, so we made the exchange.  (Got to love FREE Beer)

Beer Sampler:

Witless (Belgian Witbier)– Light refreshing , and a little sour. There are hints of the orange, coriander and Belgian yeast.
Ditsy Blonde – Light, sweet, with a hint of lime at the finish. Very pleasant
Pilsner 152 – Light and malty, and on this occasion a little yeasty.
Hefeweizen – Traditional German Hefeweizen with a sweet banana-like flavor that started of great, but finished slightly off.
Pail – Light and refreshing with a well balanced malty and peppery hop finish. Not too hoppy, but enough to cut the mustard on my Burger.
Amber Lushus (made with maple syrup) – a very light amber that was no light on flavor. It was sweet with just enough hops at the end to make it very drinkable.
IPA – sweet and malty with a nice floral hop finish. Very drinkable and enjoyable. A very traditional IPA, not the uber hopped Northwest IPA’s that we are accustomed to.
Sweet Brown Molly (brewed with Vienna Malt and Molasses) pretty light for a brown yet it was malty sweet with a hint of hops. Nice.
It’s Da PorterAwesome! Dark, roasty, toasty, goodness, with hints of chocolate and toffee.
Lights Out Medium bodied, with a deep malt flavor and a spicy ginger finish. I liked it.

Before taking off, I ventured in the Brew Room, where Bill was brewing up his latest batch of Witless. We chatted for a few minutes about his 7BBl system and how he came into the brewing business. He started out as a home brewer, brewing 5, then 10, then 25 gallon batches of beer. He brewed so much he had to give it away. Finally he turned his passion into a full time job, and now he just can’t getaway.

Anxious to get to our final destination, we left Birdsview, swearing we’d come back soon to enjoy a beer on a sunny day in their beer garden. I will have to agree with their website, it is “The place to visit whether you are on the North Cascades Highway passing through the upper Skagit Valley, or seeking the perfect destination for a fun time out with friends.”

Cheers,

DraughtE

Whirling wort - by DraughtE 2010

The bar - by DraughtE 2010

Growler, Growler -by DraughtE 2010

Dreaming of sunny days - By DraughtE 2010

FTC Info: I traded and empty growler for a full growler, otherwise everything else was paid for by GoodBeerTrips. Come to Seattle, and I’ll buy you a beer.

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