Chuckanut Brewery Continues to Impress

January 25th, 2009 · 4 Comments · Washington Breweries

Since Will & Mari Kemper of Chuckanut Brewery started sending their beers to the Seattle market down from Bellingham a few months ago, I think I’ve probably had the pleasure of trying about five or six of them now. While I’ve enjoyed every one of them, I was pretty floored with how good their Rauch Bier was after tasting it at Beveridge Place Pub this weekend. It was a beautiful marriage of slightly sweet caramel malt with a good dose of smoke character. The beer was clean as can be and, unlike most smoked beers, I could have had a few. The smoke wasn’t too heavy, and it was one of the most enjoyable beers I’ve had in some time. At just 5.5% ABV, it was very much on the lighter side. In addition to Beveridge Place Pub (who had this on tap as of Friday, at least) Naked City’s tap list shows that this is on tap right now.

If you haven’t tried any of the Chuckanut beers yet, you are missing out. I don’t think we’ll see any 100 IBU Imperial IPAs or 13% ABV Imperial Stouts from them, but so far their lagers and clean ales are as good as I’ve had in Washington. Get out there and try some. Here is a little bit about the Kemper’s from their webpage:

Will Kemper has worked as brewmaster for such breweries as Thomas Kemper, Aviator Ales (Seattle), Norwester Brewing (Portland, OR), Orange County Brewery (CA), Mile High Brewing (Denver), Dock Street Brewing (Philadelphia), Capital City Brewing (Washington DC), Lowell Brewing Company (Lowell, MA), Red Bell Brewing (Philadelphia), as well as several others. For most of these breweries he engineered and supervised construction, startup, and created recipes , then trained the brewer to take over production after a predetermined time.
Will is a Diploma member of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling based in London, England as well as an active member of the MBAA (Master Brewers Association of the Americas). He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering, is an alumnus of the Siebel Institute of Technology in Brewing Microscopy and Microbiology, and completed the first Masterbrewers Program from the University of California at Davis. He taught brewery engineering for the American Brewers Guild in Davis, California for several years in the 1990s and his video lectures are still used by the Guild for their professional training courses.

The Kempers’ moved to Mexico in the late 1990’s to start the first two Sierra Madre Brewpubs in Monterrey, Mexico. In 2001, Mari and Will left for Istanbul, Turkey to start Turkey’s first brewpub, “Taps”. The Kempers were then asked to return to Istanbul several years later to build the first small craft brewery in Turkey. While overseas they traveled extensively throughout England, Belgium, and Germany visiting breweries and attending several brewing trade shows and conferences gaining new information for their repertoire of food and beer that they now share with their Northwest Washington community.

Our Passions:

Offer outstanding consistent, quality driven beers and beverages.
Prepare the best familiar and creative locally and globally influenced Fresh American cuisine.
Maintain an environment for our guests and employees that is inspiring, friendly, and lively.

I’m looking forward to visiting the brewery one of these days, and I hope to see more of Chuckanut down this way very soon.

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Colin L.

    Stylistically, these beers are spot on. I’ve liked every single beer I’ve tried from these guys. They are extremely well made and always taste very fresh. I don’t usually buy kegs anymore, but I would love to have some of their Dortmunder Export or Pils on tap. I see a road trip to Bellingham to pick one up soon…

  • Kevin Davey

    I’ve tried their Rauch, Dort, Vienna, Marzen and Pils. I couldn’t agree more with you on the Rauch other than it’s funny that we feel that 5.5% is low. Anything above 5 is high for most places other than the Puget Sound. Chuckanut makes the most outstanding US pils I’ve ever had.

  • Stuff in our Red Hot World… « Beer and Hot Dogs

    […] we’ll be first in town to bring in Chuckanut Brewing from Bellingham, WA, and their amazing Rauchbier. Chuckanut is the new project of Will & Mari Kemper, from Thomas Kemper Brewing, the first […]

  • Doug Engler

    Congrats to Will and Mari, and to Josh and Annie on bringing home FOUR medals, and the award for small brewpub of the year from the 2009 Great American Beer festival in Denver!!! Keep on making the best lagers in the country!

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