Ultimate 6er | The Six Best Ballard Beers That Are Not IPAs
Ballard, Seattle: home of canal locks, Golden Gardens, farmer’s markets, overpriced housing, beards, sandwich boards, and, oh yeah – a gaggle of breweries. But if you want to brew in Ballard, you gotta be handy with the hops, if you know what I mean. Earn your keep.
Let’s face it, IPAs are not going anywhere. (Including sub-categories of Belgian, black, imperial red, white, rye, double and triple, IPAs accounted for over 30% of my own total beer intake in 2017.)
Still, there are days when a beer lover would like those hops to take a back seat so you can savor those delectable malts. Perhaps you even desire some yeasty diversity. Rest easy, oh craver of complexity, not only have we arranged for you six such beers, we have arranged them for you in a walking tour that takes place in less than one mile.
Night Troll Porter | Hale’s Ales
Hale’s was the first independent brewery to open in Seattle, back in 1983. In 1995 they set up shop in Ballard, with only two other breweries (Redhook and Maritime Pacific) as neighbors. Thus this is your perfect first stop. Roasted dark malts call to mind dark toast and baking cocoa. The smooth, creamy, velvety mouthfeel brought to you by nitro mellows out the bitterness of the roasted malts. The dry finish with highlights of coffee reminds you that this is a robust porter (by flavor profile if not by definition). Toast to Hale’s history, as well as to their future (and to your own, which has five stops remaining, pilgrim).
Saison Six-Six | Populuxe Brewing
You just walked the longest distance of this entire circuit. Congratulations! You deserve a beer. It may as well be something refreshing; you must be parched. The Saison Six-Six is just the beer for the occasion, offering a soft doughy and grainy malts profile underneath delightful yeasty highlights of lemon peel and black pepper. Saison Six-Six is very low on the funk, making it all that more drinkable as you try to beat my high score on the pinball games. (Spoiler alert: unless you are playing with cloven hooves, you will probably beat my high score on the pinball games.)
Peanut Butter Porter | Lucky Envelope Brewing
You may scoff at the inclusion of two porters in this six-pack, but one swig of Lucky Envelope’s Peanut Butter will draw you back to the Halloweens of your childhood, unwrapping those miniature peanut butter cups and sucking them down like it was your job. You did not enjoy peanut butter cups as a child, you say? PorchDrinking.com has a referral list of therapists for cases like yours. Please avail yourself of this valuable resource in order to come to terms with whatever childhood trauma bespoiled your impoverished palate.
Wintertime Ur-Bock | Stoup Brewing
Do not delay in pointing the bow here, young sailor, because there is no telling how much longer this big sweet bock will remain on tap at Stoup. As soon as it passes your lips, you will pick up flavors of caramel, graham crackers and toast. Earthy hops round out the profile. Just enough alcohol warmth heats up your core for this journey’s last steps.
Czech Dark | Obec Brewing
We’re gonna slow things down just a little bit for this next request and dedication, so grab that $1 bag of Tim’s chips and hold it close. (Eat one or two to cleanse your palate, while you are at it.) Obec is the newest brewery to the Ballard scene, and they have been killing it with a foundation built atop Czech styles. Their Czech dark lager is lighter-bodied than other examples of the style, meaning that pint may disappear in front of your eyes before you learn how to properly pronounce “Obec.” (“Oh-betz.” You’re welcome.)
Gose | Reuben’s Brews
This is not Reuben’s most award-winning beer – that honor belongs to their robust porter – but this gose hits all the notes. This tart, salty, lemony wonder is the perfect gateway sour beer for the tart-averse. It is far more refreshing than puckering, and its low ABV means you can order another with no worries. (Yeah, you will probably want to order another.)
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Before you summon that Lyft home (we advocate responsible drinking here at PorchDrinking.com, after all), you may as well sample any other number of offerings on Reuben’s 27 taps. Odds are you will be tasting an award-winning beer, if not one that is critically acclaimed. Drink a toast to remember your successful journey and to forget your hurting feet. (Though if your feet hurt after this short walk, maybe the next stop should be your local gym, you slob.)