Warmer weather and venues more open than they’ve been in 1½ years due to COVID-19 make for the perfect time to taste what’s new in brews around North Kitsap.
North Kitsap is home to several breweries, and all have been busy with new spring and summer creations as well as bringing back some old favorites.
“We’ve got some returning favorites,” said Dave Lambert, owner of Poulsbo’s Slippery Pig.
“On tap, we have our Poulsbo AF Amber Ale, which is the Western Red Amber Ale infused with cedar tips, which gives it a very outdoorsy aroma,” he said.
Other favorites are the Mojito Wit and Blood Orange Wit. The Slippery Pig is known for its experimental brews; in coming weeks one of the must-try brews is Dandelion Bitter. Bitter beers are an English-style Pale ale that has a somewhat bitter taste, not unlike a Sour beer.
“We get some of the bitterings from the dandelion greens rather than from hops,” Lambert said.
Just up the street is Western Red Brewing, which has three summer specials for beer-lovers to enjoy in its outdoor covered seating area. Returning to the tap is the Tin-Hat Strawberry Blonde Ale, a light and refreshing ale with strawberry undertones, but not too bitter.
“This Strawberry Blonde is the perfect harmony of smooth malt and strawberry flavor — brewed with a perfect blend of pale malts, and Amarillo and Tahoma hops. All of which complement the subtle strawberry flavor to create a fruit ale that doesn’t forget its beer,” WRB owner Marianna Smyth said.
Next up is the Hoot Owlin American Wheat Hefeweizen that Smyth describes as a beer that will “leave you dreaming of sunshine and backyard shenanigans.”
Finally, WRB is offering a taste of Mexico with its Cerveza Amber. A Mexican-style lager with a crisp malty taste that is sure to have you wanting chips and salsa on the beach.
When you head out to Kingston there’s Hood Canal Brewery where both in the bottle and on tap the summer seasonal special is the Bywater Bay ESB (Extra Special Bitter).
“A marriage between pale ale and IPA, this brew is inspired by the ales of London. Toasted grain goes well with its light hop finish,” Hood Canal brewer Don Wyatt said.
If you are headed across the water to the big city and have some time to kill, Bainbridge Brewing has four new season options on tap. Try the Bainbridge “Bainier” lager, Bainbridge Belgian Style Blonde Ale, Prague Rock Czech-Style Dark Lager, and Mosquito Fleet Hazy IPA.
The Bainbridge lager gets its nickname “Bainier” for being a more flavorful take on the Pacific Northwest classic Rainier beer. “What if we made Rainier, but with really good ingredients,” co-owner Chuck Everett said about the process behind the beer.
The Bainbridge Blonde is the Alehouse’s most awarded beer, with a flavor that includes hints of pear, banana, clove, and other spices to give it an almost tropical taste for a Belgian-style beer.
Prague Rock is a dark lager with notes of dates, toffee, and milk chocolate that make for a sweet and filling beer. Finally Mosquito Fleet is everything you could want in a summer hazy IPA, made with two styles of hops that give it a floral smell to go with summer breeze.