Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bottleworks Party Hike

Another Thursday, another urban beer hike.  Man it feels good to be back on my feet after a couple of weeks on the couch.

This hike was inspired by the news that one of my favorite spots, Bottleworks, was having a sort of Grand Re-Opening party last week.  They installed four additional taps to their already terrific line-up and have extended their hours.  (Seattle Beer News has the specifics.)

Bottleworks Party Hike 
Brouwer's / Fremont Brewing / Bottleworks / Latona Pub / Pies & Pints

View Bottleworks Party in a larger map

Bottleworks is dog-friendly, a good walk from my house, and very central to a lot of other good beer spots like Brouwer's, Fremont Brewing, Big Time Brewery, and much more.  Indeed, I've been finding myself there quite a bit over the past year.  I've always liked the idea of cracking a bottle and sipping while shopping, but when they put some taps in and brightened up the store last summer, I fell in love all over again.

 A glimpse of Brouwers' typically good offerings
I decided to start at Brouwer's, where I grabbed a late lunch.  (Lamb burger.  Easily the best I've ever had.)  Brouwer's is not dog-friendly and there is nowhere to sit where I could watch him -- except the patio, which was not open yet this day -- so I left Link in the car.  I've hitched him up outside before without a problem, but in my mind, that's generally not a good policy if I can't sit somewhere where I can keep an eye on him.  The first beer of the hike was a stellar altbier from Big Al Brewing and Mike Ritzer, which I was told shined a couple of nights before at Naked City for the Washington Homebrewers Association Pro-Am round-up, or whatever it's called.  (Again, better-written and more concise details from SBN, here.)  I followed that up with a little bit of Lagunitas' Undercover Shutdown.  I probably could have done without that.  It was mighty tasty, but I really must start remembering how to pace myself better.

It was almost 4pm by this point, so it was time to grab the pooch and head for the Urban Beer Garden at Fremont Brewing -- another hub I find myself at more and more.  Dog-friendly, great beer, great location.  I once again ran into the Beer Retard and we chatted a bit while enjoying pints of the Summer Solstice and Interurban IPA and making Link do all kinds of tricks for the free Milkbones they have available.  I followed that up with their cask offering of the day, the Interurban IPA with lemongrass, which I really liked.

Lookin' sharp
From the FBC, we headed north, up the hill through the neighborhood, to Wallingford.  By the time we arrived at Bottleworks, the party was well under way and my bladder was about to burst.  I said hello to a few familiar faces and headed straight to the back to check out the new layout (after the bathroom).  The snappily dressed biertender Ben set me up with a glass of Upright Four.  And another.  And another.  I had heard that the Beer Douche would be in attendance, and sure enough he was there, crowded by throngs of simpletons (as he would say), hoping to catch a small whiff of his godly brilliance.  There was no way to get close enough to steal a photo with him, so I'll have to wait for another opportunity.  Come to think of it, maybe I was getting a little drunk and imagined the whole thing.  Was I really in the same room with him?  Me?  Even though Bottleworks generously provided pizza for the group, it was definitely time to start thinking about food again.  We talked it over a little and decided to continue north to Latona Pub.

Local color
Latona Pub was typically crowded, but the atmosphere still felt warm and easy-going.  The Mrs. was kind enough to get there before us and snag a table, which she guarded valiantly, fielding dirty looks from all directions.  Hopworks IPA was on the big board and that was all we needed to see.  Link took up his usual post just outside the front door, hitched to the bike rack.  He never wants for attention out there.  Just about everyone coming in and out stops to say hello and offer a pat on the head.

The conversation has officially ended
And so ended another hike full of good beer, good exercise, and good conversation...

Actually, we decided that one more would be keen, so we walked about 800 feet to the east and hit Pies & Pints for another pint of... something... and a few games of pool, but who's counting?  I love Pies & Pints.  The have really tasty late night food that has saved my ass more than a few times over the years.  They aren't dog-friendly, but Link was wiped out by this point and was happy to nap in the car that Mandy brought.

All in all, it's only about 4 miles, so this hike could easily be done in an afternoon.  You could also continue down to Big Time Brewery from Pies & pints, too.  That would be crazy fun.

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