The ideal place to sample the best of Northwest handcrafted ale is a well run brewpub, which will stimulate the human spirit with warmth, the scent of malt, pleasant conversation, and hearty food.
Helping to combat the chilly, damp climate of the region, brewpubs have become great places of refuge where you can shake off the tears of a hostile world, order a pint of cask beer, then savor a complex beer that will caress every one of your senses.
Microbreweries (companies that produce less than 20,000 kegs a year) can be found everywhere from Minneapolis to Maui, although it all began in the Pacific Northwest. On any evening, many dozen locally brewed beers and ales are available for your enjoyment in Portland and Seattle.
Most East Coast microbreweries produce German style lagers, which is the most famous style of brewing for American palates. The microbreweries of the Northwest go all out for wildly adventurous bitters, stouts, and porters.
With all of these amazing beers to choose from, you may be wondering where to begin. When you look for a microbrew, you should always be thinking about variety. At any time in both Seattle and Portland, you can find several dozen fresh, locally made brew on tap. They all range in strength from the standard 3 1/2% to a very potent 8 1/2%.
As for the flavor, you’ll have to taste it for yourself. There’s the rich sweetness of malt, balanced well with good bitter hops. Then, there’s also the mocha java overtones of roasted barley, used with stouts and porters, and the spicy kick of malted wheat.
There are also the sweet ales and tart ales, mild ales, and ales that are so charged with flavor that they linger on the tongue. No matter which type of microbrew you choose, your sure to get a flavor that will make you come back for more.