(updated January 21, 2012)
I love driving the off-roads of the urban Puget Sound area. Just a few blocks away from busy arterials you can find lush wooded roadways and “I-didn’t-know-that-was-there” lakes normally reserved for drives up to Mt Rainier or carefully plotted scenic drives.
The trip to Foggy Noggin Brewery in unincorporated Snohomish County just north of Bothell to see what Brew Master/Owner Jim Jamison has cooked up is one of those kind of adventures. Although Fn has only been open for a couple years, Jim has been making it and “giving it away” for many years.
Drew Carey fans will relate to Jim, who has launched his new brewery from – of all places – his garage. But this is no Buzz Beer knock-off.
Today five beers were featured during tasting hours (Saturday only, 1-4 pm)
- Bit O Beaver – English Bitter – lightly hopped, pale in color
- Butch’s Brew – Brown Ale – true to style brown ale – mellow and pleasant
- Christmas Duck – Porter – festive porter with a nice blending of chocolate, carmel and coffee-like sensations
- Powder Keg – English coffee stout – very prominent coffee flavor in this one
- Olde Cruz – English Style Ale – brewed with molasses, aged in wine barrels
In fact today was the release party of sorts for the Olde Cruz. Limited release bottles were available. During the time I was there, they seemed to be in great demand.
Foggy Noggin has made appearances at local WABL beer festivals and is featured on a growing number of taps in the area. I had his Scotch Ale (Oski Wow-Wow) at The Beveridge Place Pub a couple weeks back.
All the beers were very nice. No favorites yet, although I did bring home a growler of the Butch’s Brew. It is hard to find a really good brown ale, and Jim has gone the extra mile to roast the hazelnuts himself to give it a unique and appealing taste.
I’ll be doing periodic updates for Foggy Noggin. Their seasonal Kastrated Dawg, an English Strong Ale is now available. The second test batch of Wasky, a Burton Ale, was put up for tasting recently.
It is definitely worth a trip to try these beers. You will wish he was brewing beer in your neighborhood. Again, this is no strip mall/industrial area brewery, so when you go, remember you are in a for-real family neighborhood, and drive accordingly.
For details on how to get there, check out their excellent web site and blog. www.foggynogginbrewing.com
* – Burtonisation is the act of adding sulphate, often in the form of gypsum, to the water used for the brewing of beer, in order to bring out the flavour of the hops. The name comes from the town of Burton upon Trent which had several very successful breweries due to the chemical composition of the local water. Burtonisation is used when a brewer wishes to accent the hops in a pale beer, such as a pale ale.
Photography and content by Bob Shoemaker
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