A Beverage World Beyond Wine

They don’t call this wine country for nothing. With over 120 Woodinville wineries and tasting rooms, locals and visitors can go tasting here almost every weekend of the year and never run out of new labels to enjoy. But while all that sniffing and sipping has been going on, something else has happened here that’s making it a much richer country. Over the last decade or two, craft brewers, distillers and cideries have been setting up shop, brewing up batches, and creating a completely different world of flavors and vibes.

As anyone with a thirst to quench knows, a local beverage renaissance is sweeping the entire country. But it’s been going on here in Washington State since the ’70s and ’80s, and for good reason: The warm climate and abundant water on the east side of the Cascades produce some of the finest grapes, apples, hops and grain in the world. So it was only natural that a full menu of artisan beverages made from them would take root and blossom here. Visitors to Woodinville Wine Country are the lucky beneficiaries of that flavorful abundance.

But when you talk about “tasting” in Woodinville these days, you’d be remiss if you didn’t consider tipping back a local ale, spirit or cider. With at least five craft breweries, six distilleries and two cideries, this isn’t just wine country anymore. In any other community, this growing group of artisans would be a beverage country all its own, but sprinkled among a galaxy of wineries, it can sometimes get lost among all those reds and whites. “I don’t think we’re overlooked as much as we are outnumbered,” says Steve Acord, owner and head brewer of Dirty Bucket Brewing. “Woodinville has definitely made a name for itself with the wine industry, but it’s quickly gaining recognition from the alcohol industry as a whole.”

In the spirit world, that recognition rivals just about anything the winemakers have on the shelf. For Woodinville Whiskey Company, it’s come in the form of “Whiskey of the Year” honors at the American Distilling Institute Craft Spirits Judging Competition for their 2015-release Straight Bourbon Whiskey. A year later, their Straight Rye Whiskey was awarded the coveted Double Gold Medal, an honor bestowed on just ten of the 802 spirits judged. Perhaps an even greater and more humbling homage is the lineup of fans that camps out for days in front of the distillery in order to be the first to receive the latest limited-edition release.

Besides the alternative universe of award-winning flavors, Woodinville distilleries and breweries often offer more of a production floorshow than wineries can. “Coming to a distillery is a bit like experiencing the crush season every day,” observes Mark Nesheim, owner and distiller at J.P. Trodden Distillery. “Unlike the wineries, who have a real season of winemaking to observe, distilleries, breweries and cideries are producing product right in front of you almost every day of the year. It’s a different experience because often you can see the whole process. At our distillery, the still and all the fermenting equipment are right in the tasting room.”

Having a front-row seat for the production action is also a big part of a visit to most craft brewers, with mills, tuns, kettles and tanks making themselves right at home in the tasting room, or within view of it. But that’s where the similarities with a distillery—or any other beverage producer—end. Independent brewers are just a different beverage-making animal, with a more maverick, freewheeling attitude and atmosphere that make them and their creations a breed apart in wine country. “Craft beer is constantly changing and new recipes for different styles come out all the time, says Mark Ihrig of Sumerian Brewing. “It’s also a quicker process than wine or whiskey, so you can push the limits a little more with beer than with other beverages.”

Make no mistake, Woodinville craft brewers are dead serious about their suds; it’s just that they’re equally as serious about their fun. You’ll often find tap rooms filled with families, dogs, sports fans, big screens, and plenty of boisterous banter, because what would a great beer experience be without them? Food—from soft pretzels to tacos to pizza—is another delicious distinction from most wineries that brewers simply won’t live without, whether it comes from a rotating selection of food trucks (Triplehorn Brewing) or a wood-fired oven (20 Corners Brewing).

With so many outstanding Woodinville vintners, wine A Beverage World Beyond Wineis likely to be the big draw here for a long time to come. But keep your eye and your attitude open, and you’ll find plenty of delicious planets revolving around that sun. And as our beverage community grows, look for craft brewers, distillers and cideries to carve out a larger place at the tasting table. The flavors, colors and character they bring to wine enthusiasts and those who prefer a hoppy ale, rye whiskey or hard cider make wine country a richer experience for everyone. No matter what you’re thirsty for, you’ll find not just one, but a posse of Woodinville artisans making some of the best stuff you’ve ever tasted.

[photo cred: Duval Images]

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Explore the Craft Beverages of Seattle’s Eastside

Are you thirsty and looking to experience some of the Northwest’s best breweries, distilleries and wineries?

Woodinville, Bellevue, and Kirkland offer the complete experience for those looking to taste craft beverages, and unique offerings at a selection of breweries, lounges and tasting rooms. Cheers!

Bask in the Beauty of the Northwest on Bramble Bump (featured in photo above)
JM Cellars
Address: 14404 137th Place NE, Woodinville

Enjoy limited-release wines from this small, family-owned winery located on Woodinville’s beautiful seven-acre wooded hillside known as Bramble Bump. Using grapes sourced from the best vineyards in Washington, JM Cellars is known for its Bordeaux-style red blends.

Hot tip! Make some time to cozy up by the outdoor fire pit with a glass of wine, or test your skills on the bocce ball court. Plus JM Cellars is dog friendly!

Taste a True American-Made Original from Grain to Glass 
J.P. Trodden Distillery
Address: 18646 142nd Ave NE, Woodinville

J.P. Trodden is a small, family-owned-and-operated distillery in the heart of Woodinville Wine Country. It creates small-batch bourbon whiskey using corn and winter wheat sourced form a family farm just a few hours away, in Quincy, WA. The result is a bold, rich taste with a long finish of caramel, oak, anise and stone fruit.

Hot tip! Call to schedule a private tasting (or drop-in on the weekends), and don’t leave before purchasing a bottle of the 100% pure Vermont maple syrup aged 60 days in used bourbon barrels.

Not Your Grandmother’s Cider
Locust Cider
Address: 19151 144th Avenue NE, Unit B/C, WoodinvilleExplore the Craft Beverages of Seattle’s Eastside

Locust Cider puts an innovative spin on classic cider-making methods to bring out the best in Washington- and Oregon-grown apples. From classic dry cider to unique, limited-edition flavors like Thai ginger or chili pineapple, Locust is a great location for everyone, whether cider novice or aficionado. Stop by on a Sunday to pair your cider with offerings from a rotating lineup of food trucks.

Hot tip! With more than a dozen ciders on the menu, bring a friend so you can each order a flight and try almost every flavor!

Indulge in a Boozy Milkshake
The Hollywood Tavern
Address: 14508 Woodinville-Redmond Road NE, WoodinvilleExplore the Craft Beverages of Seattle’s Eastside

The Hollywood Tavern is a historic wine-country tavern and restaurant featuring inventive craft cocktails, expressive tavern fare and a fun, informal atmosphere. Relax around the fire pit, belly up to the bar or grab a table to enjoy a wide selection of seasonal cocktails, beer and wine. For a unique, sweet adult beverage, try the signature boozy milk shakes made with Woodinville Whiskey.

Hot tip! Order the Nutty Cow: a delicious blend of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, nutella and locally made whiskey from the next-door neighbor.

Grab a Beer after Exploring the Cross Kirkland Corridor Trail
Chainline Brewery
Address: 503 6th Street S., Kirkland

Chainline Brewing Company was founded in 2014 with the singular goal of creating the highest-quality ales and lagers for the discerning craft beer drinker. Located in Kirkland, WA, it was the first brewery to open along the newly minted Cross Kirkland Corridor Trail. Brewing on an 11 Hectoliter copper brewhouse from the Czech Republic allows it to create unique recipes and utilize processes and equipment not often seen on this side of the Atlantic.

Hot tip! Taste the Locust Original Dry Cider made with local apples and featuring citrus and pineapple notes.

Sip Craft Cocktails Inspired by Hemingway
Bottle and Bull
Address: 105 Lake Street S., Kirkland

Experience the travels of Ernest Hemingway through your palette, eating and drinking your way through the cities that Hemingway loved to frequent—Havana, Paris, Florence and Pamplona, to name a few—all in the heart of Kirkland!

Hot tip! Come and enjoy Cascadia G&T made with gin, Alpine liqueur, and JG’s kina syrup and topped off with soda. The beautiful garnishes of seasonal flowers and citrus peels take it over the top!

Go Grand Cru with an Award-Winning Washington Syrah
Maison DeLille Wine Lounge
Address: 15 Lake Street S., Kirkland

DeLille Cellars interprets the classic French styles of Bordeaux, the Rhône Valley and Provence. The winery focuses on the Red Mountain AVA and grape sourcing from Washington’s leading Grand Cru vineyards including Ciel du Cheval, Grand Ciel, Upchurch, Red Willow, Sagemoor, Klipsun, Boushey and Harrison Hill. Sip some of the most celebrated Washington wines at Maison DeLille in the heart of Kirkland. The 95-point Syrah or the Roussane are must-tries, along with anything on the small bites menu. Any three pours are $20. Add $5 if you go for a grand cru selection.

Hot tip! Enjoy $4 off any glass of vintage wine at DeLille’s happy hour, Monday–Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. and weekends from 12 to 6 p.m.

Grab a Pint of Small-Batch Craft Beer
Bellevue Brewing Company
Address: 1820 130th Avenue NE, Bellevue

With their privileged access to superior brewing ingredients and abundant natural resources, Bellevue Brewing Company’s beers are conceived and crafted with respect for the land and natural resources, and in harmony with the adventurous lifestyles enjoyed here in the Pacific Northwest. The small-batch beers use nothing but premium ingredients and a combination of traditional and innovative brewing techniques.

Hot tip! Enjoy the $7 stone-fired pizzas or $3 street tacos during happy hour – one of the best deals in town.

Shop your Way through Old Bellevue
Swiftwater Cellars
Address: 10360 Main Street, Bellevue

The concept of Swiftwater Cellars was born while Don and Lori Watts traveled through Italy and France. Their vision was to create the Northwest’s premier destination winery. Entrepreneur farmers, they founded the winery in 2007 on the very site of the historic Roslyn No. 9 coal mine, which operated from 1930 to 1963 and now lies in the heart of Central Washington’s Suncadia Resort. The wines found at the Old Bellevue tasting room and restaurant are sourced from vineyards throughout Washington State.

Hot tip! Check out the patio right on Main Street in Old Bellevue during the warm weather months; it’s a great place to enjoy a glass of Swiftwater Cellar’s Zephry Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, or its popular grilled cheese sandwich with apricot jam—YUM!

A Swanky Nightcap Featuring Local Spirits
Civility & Unrest
Address: 10455 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue

The drinks at Civility & Unrest, located in the W Bellevue hotel, are created from a large selection of locally made spirits and curated to form interesting departures from the cocktail culture of days past. Drinks are paired with Northwest-inspired small plates at this swank lounge with a modern speakeasy ambiance.

Hot tip! Arrive right at 4pm for happy hour and to secure a coveted seat in this cozy bar.

For more information about breweries, distilleries and wineries visit:

Bellevue – http://www.visitbellevuewashington.com/things-to-do/wine-beer-spirits/
Kirkland – http://www.explorekirkland.com/Do/Tours_Wine_Tasting.htm
Woodinville – https://woodinvillewinecountry.com

 

 

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Beer of the Week: Woodinville’s Sumerian Brewing’s Scotch Ale

Herald Net
January 5, 2018

This Scotch ale may have a mundane name, but the taste isn’t.

Scotch Ale

Sumerian Brewing, Woodinville

Style: Scotch ale
Stats: 7.0 percent ABV, 25 IBU
Available: On tap at the brewery and Special Brews, Harry’s on Tye and Route 2 Taproom

My thoughts: Don’t let the mundane name fool you, this Scotch ale from Sumerian is a tasty beer that is a nice addition to the up-and-coming brewery’s lineup.

Since opening in 2013, owners Mark and Holly Ihrig have quickly turned their brewery into one of the area’s fastest growing and most recognizable. Much of that has to do with a strong marketing game, creative business sense and, of course, a good product>>>Read the entire article on The Herald Net

 

 

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Eat, Drink and Be Scary in Woodinville Wine Country

Halloween fun is bubbling and brewing this week in Woodinville. You’ll be dying to sample some of our spooktacular events! You can dare to drink and dance at a few costume parties, take in a scream-worthy screening of a classic horror-comedy zombie movie or gather up your costumed cuties for some early “Trunk or Treating”. However you choose to get your ghost on, Woodinville Wine Country will give you plenty of chills and thrills for fright night!

Wednesday – October 25  8:30 – 11pm

Beardslee Public House

Pictures & Pints at Beardslee: Wednesday night is movie night at BPH and we’re showing “Shaun of the Dead”. Enjoy your favorite movies with your favorite pints and a special cocktail inspired by each movie. Seating at 8:30p, Movie starts at 9:00 and admission is free (guests 17+)  www.beardsleeph.com

Thursday – October 26  5:30 – 8pm

Eye of the Needle Winery

Laurel Stromme-Dede, our own professional florist, will walk you through an original pumpkin arrangement for your table! Tickets available online.  www.eyeoftheneedlewinery.com/event/vinos-vines

Friday – October 27  7:00 – 10pm

Callan Cellars  & Damsel Cellars

It’s a harvest ball – Halloween style. Join us for an evening of wine, food, music and spooktacular fun. Dust off your best costume to compete in the contest or come as yourself and judge your friends. Costumes encouraged! Ticket price includes dinner, 2 glasses of wine. Additional wine for purchase.  www.belleandbottle.com/featured-events

Friday October 27  – Sunday Oct. 29  12:00 – 7pm

Market Vineyards

Stop in anytime this weekend and we’ll pair some favorite Halloween candies with a full line-up of our wines, including the newest release of Liquidity, the only white wine we make!  www.marketvineyards.com/Calender

Saturday – October 28  6:00 – 9pm

Eye of the Needle Winery

Come dressed in your best costume & dance the ghouls away. Enjoy candy and dancing music with wine available to purchase by the glass or by the bottle. Costumes not required, but prizes awarded to best costumes, masks and longest dancer of the night! (Event for 21 years and older ONLY.)  www.eyeoftheneedlewinery.com/event/halloween-weekend-event-watch-details/

Sunday – October 29  5:00 – 7pm

Matthews Winery

A favorite event returns- Trunk or Treat! Kids are invited to parade from car trunk to car trunk, donning their favorite costume. Enjoy a glass of wine with other parents in preparation for the sugar high that will be exploding in your home later this evening.  www.matthewswinery.com/events

Tuesday – October 31 11:00am – 6:00pm

Airfield Estates

Drop by our Tasting Rooms on Halloween!  Enjoy some chocolates with your tasting and at checkout, you just might receive some added wine discounts or perks!  www.airfieldwines.com/events/index.php?id=46

 

 

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