With so much beer to choose from in Seattle proper, it can sometimes be difficult to drag us city-folk out into the suburbs and surrounding cities. I don’t mean weekend trips to overnight destinations, which many of us frequently take advantage of. I mean a day trip somewhere just outside of the city. This past weekend, a few of us decided to do just that and took the trip up to nearby Everett to see what good beer we could find. Visit Flickr to see my photo set.
Just about a 20 mile drive north of Seattle, we rolled into the Lazy Boy Brewing parking lot in an industrial complex sitting back away from the main street. The brewery is tucked back into a corner, and you’d never know it was there if you were just driving down the street. Up until recently, the retail presence at Lazy Boy was limited to samples and growler fills. But, they have now built out a small bar with a few tables, and you’re welcome to come on in for a pint or a sampler tray. The new tasting room is situated right in the middle of the brewery, and you’d have a great view of the action on a brew day. I was happy to find a selection of ten beers, including a little bit of leftover Nacho Pils that they were pouring at the Washington Brewers Festival. Of Lazy Boy’s lineup, my favorites are the roasty Porter and the refreshing Bavarian-style Hefeweizen (Jeanne’s favorite; a keg will be pouring at our wedding next month!). You should also grab some of their Imperial Red while you can, as it is soon being removed from their lineup. Thanks to Tim for showing us around and quenching our thirst!
Our next stop was a few miles north closer to the central business district of Everett. We were randomly searching for somewhere to grab some food and after driving by a place called Alligator Soul advertising southern food, we were inclined to turn the car around and check it out. What a lucky move that turned out to be. We stumbled upon what seems like a gem of a place offering solid food complimented by a very nice lineup of beers. About 18 taps poured mostly local and regional offerings, with highlights such as Alaskan Smoked Porter and Deschutes Hop in the Dark. The bartender seemed very knowledgeable about the beers he was pouring and was as nice as can be. The food wasn’t too shabby, either. It was happy hour, and I opted for the $5 cup of “Young Chicken Gumbo”, which came with 2 sizable, tender breaded chicken pieces swimming in a cup of gumbo. The gumbo was fantastic and paired perfectly with my smoked porter. The restaurant itself was huge, and they had a stage setup just off of the bar area for bands. This seems like the type of place I’d happily hit up after work for pints and happy hour, and then stick around for a little music.
Our third and final stop of the day was at Balefire, a wine and beer bar located in the core of downtown Everett. I’d met the owner, Jon Tobey (who also used to write for the NW Brewing News), almost a year ago and have been meaning to visit ever since. The relaxed café/bar atmosphere was perfect to go along with our Saturday afternoon pints. They had about 12 nicely chosen beers on tap, and a selection of bottles to round things out. For those that appreciate wine, Balefire puts equal emphasis on the drink and there were a few selections I would have been happy to try on another day. They have a light selection of food from Kafe Neo (Greek & Mediterranean), Zoe’s Meats, and Tallant House Desserts to keep you going while you sip. I enjoyed the visit, as well as what tasted like a very fresh pint of Laughing Dog Dogzilla Black IPA. Balefire is definitely worth a stop if in the area.
While we didn’t have time to visit on this trip, Scuttlebutt Brewing is a well-known brewery in Everett that I’ve visited in the past. They have a solid selection of beers (IPA and barelywine are my favs), and if you’ve never been I’d highly suggest adding them to your itinerary. Their recent Mateo Loco Imperial Red Ale is one of my beer highlights of the year, so far. Diamond Knot Brewing is also a short drive from Everett near the Mukilteo ferry and is a must-hit for those that haven’t been there. They offer a great lineup of beer all around, and good food is available, including their unique “Stonegrill” sandwiches and entrees. The Diamond Knot IPA and Industrial IPA are two local favorites.