Poulsbo’s summer beer scene

Take a look at what Sound Brewery and Western Red Brewing are serving up this summer

As it seems the heat often associated with summer has finally arrived, Sound Brewery and Western Red Brewing have some refreshing brews on hand to beat the heat.

Denver and Marianna Smyth opened Western Red Brewing in Poulsbo, just two years ago in 2017. The taproom, located on Jensen Way is a family and dog friendly space that not only offers an eclectic selection of brews, but games, drinks and snacks for the kiddos.

Like other breweries in Poulsbo, Western Red Brewing (WRB) has a particular theme which is evident in the taproom’s architecture. The Smyths come from the rustic heritage of the logging and sawmill industries of the Pacific Northwest. In addition to head brewer and owner, Denver Smyth is also the vice president of Smyth Lumber Mill.

This summer WRB offers three new brews: Copper IPA, Amarillo Session and Strawberry Blonde. Two more brews, a lager and a Pilsner will be on tap in August as well.

The Copper IPA (India Pale Ale) is a 6 percent ABV (alcohol by volume) brew with a toasty malt flavor and made with four different types of hops, Palisade, Bravo, Idaho 7 and Ekunanot. The Copper IPA is a must-have for any IPA enthusiast.

The Amarillo Session IPA, as the name suggests is made from Amarillo hops. This 3.6 percent ABV brew has hints of grapefruit in it to give it a refreshing taste fit for summer.

The main difference between an IPA and a Session IPA is that sessions, like in the Amarillo session, tend to have lower ABV.

For those that like something on the much lighter and sweeter end, WRB’s newest seasonal brew is the Strawberry Blonde. A 4.5 percent brew with a smooth malty and strawberry flavor made from Amarillo and Tahoma hops.

You may have noticed that none of these beers have a crafty name, like some of the other brews on tap at WRB, such as the Springboard Kölsch, Main Line Red and Powder Wedge Porter.

“Before we get to the naming stage, we test out our beers to the public to see if its liked enough to earn a name,” Smyth said.

“For us if a beer gets to the naming stage, we usually draw from our background in the logging and sawmill industries for a name,” Smyth said.

If people really want to get into the nitty-gritty and history of craft brewing in Poulsbo, and greater Kitsap County, they should head over to Sound Brewery on Viking Avenue and chat with founder and head brewer Mark Hood.

Sound Brewery has three new beers, Dilemma Zone, Beercation, and Tres Desperados.

Dilemma Zone is an extra dry Brut at 8.5 percent ABV.

Bruts are a Belgian style beer that has the look and consistency of champagne, high carbonation.

“The way these beers are brewed converts all the sugars and carbs giving it a higher alcohol content and a drier taste,” said Hood.

It is a very light and crisp beer that has a hint of a banana flavor as well.

The name comes from a civil engineering term. The Dilemma Zone is when the distance to a stop light is too short to stop safely at the light when it goes from yellow to red.

Beercation, a play on words for summer vacation, is a dry hopped Mexican lager.

At 5.2 percent ABV it is described by Hood as the perfect beer for hot summer days.

Beercation was made exclusively for Tracyton Public House in Bremerton. Made from Motueka Hops from New Zealand and a hint of lime.

A second Mexican lager is on tap as well called Tres Desperados. At 4.9 percent ABV this lager is another light beer with a hint of life for a refreshing way to cool down from a hot summer day.

Every single one of Sound Brewery’s beers has a name, a process which can take awhile because Hood and his team have to make sure any new names haven’t already been used.

“These days there are so many beers being produced that you have to make them a bit esoteric so they stand out,” Hood said of the naming process.

In recent years Sound Brewery has had to issue two cease and desist orders to breweries that were using names that they had already copyrighted. Specifically for its 8.5 percent ABV “Dubbel Entendre.”

Sound Brewing also recently canned its KanaCitra Pale Ale which is set to be shipped and available in stores as far as Japan and New Zealand.

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