Biting at the lure of winning $5, $15 or $300 in Rock Bottom rewards, I ventured out to the busy metropolis of Bellevue, WA to see what I’d won. To my delight, they are brewing at full production and offered up a sampler of six exceptional brews made on-site by Brewmaster Sara Luchi.
When I worked in Bellevue, I was a regular at the then, exciting, new Rock Bottom Brewery near Bellevue Square. But that was a few years back, now, and other than the occasional release party, my beer travels have taken me to many other places instead. I enjoyed many of the beers created by former brewmaster Brian Young.
Sara took the reins nearly two years ago. I am pleased to report that she is making some equally delightful brews, which this day included a Kölsch, a Wit, an IPA, a summer honey, a red and the current dark beer, a CDA. All were good, and spot on for style. The IPA was on the moderately hopped edge but still with that Northwest bite.
Also, I had always liked the food there, especially the Hickory Smoked Burger, which is no longer on the menu, but found the Tillamook Bacon Burger to be an acceptable replacement.
I am not a huge fan of of corporate-driven production breweries, but I understand their need to present a consistent experience with their brand. I imagine if Two Beers or Schooner EXACT grew to the point of wanting to open similar locations in Portland, or San Francisco, that they would want the beers made there to taste exactly like they do at their Seattle location.
But, then, that’s I why I love the nano sized breweries. Every batch is a new experience, and sometimes bittersweet, you don’t always find the beer you liked so much last time still in production. Also, that is why I keep going to beer festivals. Some brewers get it. Others don’t. Some see it as a place to market their standard beer lineups. Some see it as a place to showcase their creativity and make outstanding small batch creations you may never see again outside of that particular festival.
I digress. Umm, it was a great dining experience and the food was good. Since I am a Mug Club member (now Rock Rewards) I probably should set my nano-love aside and go back more often.