posted by Colin Lenfesty
Over the past few years, the Kitsap Peninsula has steadily grown into one of our great beery destinations. With a short drive from Seattle, ferry ride, or a combination of both, you can knock out some serious stool time at some great places around the West Puget Sound. 7 seas in Gig Harbor, Der Blokken in Bremerton, Silver City and Hales Pub in Silverdale, and Valholl in Poulsbo. If you still can’t get enough, a little farther north will bring you to Hood Canal Brewing, Pt. Townsend brewing and Peaks Brewing in Port Angeles . In the very near future though, you may want to allow yourself a little extra time in Poulsbo to hang out with the newest guys on the West Sound scene. Sound Brewery is getting ready to fire up their kettle.
This last Sunday, just a stones throw away from Liberty Bay, I had a chance to swing by and share a few beers with two members of the team from Sound Brewery and check out the space and equipment they will soon be brewing in. Brad Ginn, an accomplished homebrewer (Brad won a Gold medal at the NHC for his Triple and headed up The West Sound Brewers for some time) is now turned Sound’s brewer. Mark Hood, is also an accomplished homebrewer who will be heading up the management team. Their transition from leasing the space, city permits and licensing, and getting set up seems to have gone without a hitch, and they’re on the fast track to getting beer in your glass. The other three members of Sound Brewing are: Alan Moum, known around the Puget Sound for his expertise of all things beer, John Cockburn who brings accounting and management expertise to Sound, and Steve Mattson is an engineer and homebrewer who will be taking care of distribution efforts outside of the Puget Sound.
Our philosophy is that it doesn’t always take a complex grain bill, a crazy hop schedule, or a special ingredient to make an excellent beer: it takes quality ingredients, close attention to the process and all the variables, and respect for the finished beer. We want to bend, but not break, stylistic guidelines, so that our beers are recognizable as the styles we are trying to reproduce, but with our own interpretation.—Brad Ginn
Mark found a 7bbl copper clad Specific Mechanical system in its entirety at a BJ’s Brewery in Woodland Hills California and knew this was the system they had been looking for. He immediately flew down to California and secured it, and in short time were on the fast track to breaking it down for it’s journey to Poulsbo. With 7, 14 and 21 bbl fermenters and 2 14bbl horizontal lagering tanks, they will be able to keep the product flowing around the Puget Sound and also in their 24 seat tap room. A small bottling line is also being installed, and they expect packaging will start immediately.
I was able to try two of the flagship styles that Brad was dialing in on his home system. A Belgian style Pale Ale and and a Belgian style IPA that was as fine as any example I’ve had. The Pale ale was easy drinking and sessionable with subtle Belgian esters and a good malt background. I could definitley knock a few of those back. The fruity, citrusy American hops played extremely well with the Chimay yeast used to ferment the Belgian style IPA and made it very drinkable and balanced. A Double IPA, Belgian Double IPA, and Tripel will also be included in the starting lineup and are currently being dialed in. Down the road they will be utilizing the horizontal tanks for traditional German lagers, and also introduce some sessionable English ales. Mark and Brad stressed only using the best traditional malt and hops for all of their beers, and the quality ingredients and attention to detail could definitely be tasted in the two examples I had.
As soon as they get the green light, they hope to be brewing by December, with an opening after the first of the year.The website is under construction, but for now, check out their Facebook page for updates and action shots and video of them putting the finishing touches on the Brewhouse. Sound Brewery is located at 650 NW Boleva Lane, Poulsbo, Washington.
It’s fairly easy to sum up my visit there that afternoon: These are some guys that are truly passionate about beer and going to any length to insure a quality product. With a learning the rules before you break them attitude of styles covering the world over, and using an open minded approach to creatively give it their own twist, we should expect some really cool stuff coming our way.