Day Trip Discoveries: Go beer tasting at local microbreweries

Adam Frantz of American Brewing Co. in Edmonds.

Microbreweries seem to be popping up everywhere these days, and several intriguing ones have established themselves from Edmonds to Everett in just the past few years. Curious to try unusual beer flavored with peanut butter, coconut or juniper berry? Beers ranging from Bavarian-style Märzen to dark, hoppy Porter? Those made with organic or locally sourced ingredients?

Then explore some of these small working microbreweries, where you can try handcrafted beers ranging from hoppy IPAs to malty ales, plus seasonal and specialty beers. Order a glass or opt for a tasting of several beers to learn what your palate prefers. Many of the beers are available only at that microbrewery’s tap room so you’ll encounter truly distinctive brews.

Some of these microbreweries are tucked away in unusual locations or industrial parks, making finding them part of the discovery. Seek them out, chat with the brewer or bar staff, and learn why beer tasting is becoming as popular as wine tasting. Visit the breweries’ websites for open hours/days.

American Brewing Company opened in early 2011 in Edmonds, blending old world techniques with leading edge technology. Drawing from past world travels, brewer Adam Frantz experiments with exotic ingredients like Mayan cocoa nibs, Nubian mint, and Bolivian coca leaves while pursuing traditional Belgian brewing practices. He creates four mainstay beers — BreakAway IPA, Flying Monkey Pale Ale, American Blonde and Caboose Oatmeal Stout — and four specialty and seasonal beers — American Summer, Courage, Powerplay Imperial IPA and Big Bad Plaid Scotch Ale.

American Brewing Co. also brews kombucha, fermented, lightly effervescent black tea drinks. Its “Bucha,” created by brewer Frank Commanday, is made from natural and organic ingredients and contains live probiotics.

Salish Sea Brewing Company offers 11 brews on tap in Edmonds.

Salish Sea Brewing Company debuted in downtown Edmonds in late 2013, owned and operated by Jeff and Erika Barnett. Jeff began by crafting ales and lagers made from his experience in home brewing and working previously at American Brewing Co. In March 2016, Salish added fresh-made soups and sandwiches so patrons could enjoy a bite with their beer. Having already expanded once, Salish will soon expand again into the former Segway of Edmonds space next door and add a new kitchen offering a larger menu.

Salish features Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe and Amarillo Aromatic hops in some beers, Cascade and Chinook hops in others. Currently 11 brews are on tap: Honey Golden Ale, Pale Ale, Wildfire Red, Drop Anchor IPA, Double IPA, Expansion Amber, Oatmeal Stout, Kodiak Brown Porter and Big Chocolate Love, plus seasonal offerings Blackfish Stout and Blizzzaak Winter ale. Salish also offers rotating guest taps for root beer and craft cider.

Tucked away in a Lynnwood industrial park, Big E Ales has been producing handcrafted ales since 2005.

At Big E Ales in Lynnwood, brewer Rick Ellersick has produced handcrafted ales since 2005. He currently crafts ales, lagers and specialty beers, plus intriguing hard ciders (pomegranate!) and a non-alcoholic root beer. Tucked away in a Lynnwood industrial park, Big E Ales is worth the effort to find. Try the Big E Sampler of six, five-ounce samples of your choice of beer on tap. Or enjoy a glass of Golden Ale, Hoppy Ending Pale Ale, Outcast Amber, Blackberry Ale, Scotch Ale, 12½ Man IPA or 2 Pint IPA. Big E Ales also serves a surprisingly good menu of “pub grub” ranging from appetizers and salads to entrees and daily specials.

Heading north, three microbreweries are clustered together near Everett Mall Way in south Everett. All of them are family and dog friendly.

Everett’s Crucible Brewing is near the Interurban Trail.

Crucible Brewing is the newest, started in late 2015 by two childhood friends with a passion for craft beer. Dick Mergens and Shawn Dowling brew nine beers with intriguing names: Big Booty Blonde, Bulat Brown, Hammer Forged Stout, Putin Out Stout, Twice Tempered IPA, Wootz IPA, Bollocks ESB, Damascus Dubbel and Not the Pink Drink Raspberry Sour. They also make two specialty brews, currently Orange Stout and Metallurgy #3 made with Amarillo & Hull Melon hops. There’s a bicycle rack out front and easy access to the Interurban Trail for hikers and bikers.

Middleton Brewing, founded in 2013 by owner and head brewer Geoff Middleton, features truly unique beers crafted with real ingredients — not extracts. These can include unusual ingredients such as peanut butter, coconut and juniper berry. For example, lemongrass is used in Thai one On Kolsch and jalapeno in Mierda Fuego Pale Ale. Visit Middleton’s website to see the list of the five standard ales and two to four seasonal beers — and the surprising ingredients used in each. Middleton also offers pub food.

Lazy Boy Brewing opened in Everett in 2007.

Lazy Boy Brewing is a larger operation, a 15-barrel brewery offering 10 beers on tap. Brewer and owner Shawn Loring opened it in 2007; he now produces several IPAs, blonde ale, amber ale and Belgian golden ale, porter and Hefeweizen beers. He also crafts seasonal and specialty beers available only at the Taproom.

Of course, there are also the “granddaddies” of Northwest microbrewing, now grown well beyond start-ups into popular success stories. Scuttlebutt Brewing Company in Everett has been family-owned and operated since 1996. Diamond Knot Brewery began in 1994 in Mukilteo and continues to be an independently owned innovator in the Puget Sound’s craft beer industry.

The bar at Diamond Knot’s MLT Brewpub features 16 taps of Diamond Knot craft beers and ales.

Diamond Knot expanded in 2014 by opening Diamond Knot Brewpub @ MLT in the business district of Mountlake Terrace. This is a full-scale production brewery, capable of producing up to 1,500 barrels of beer each year. Its brewpub features an extensive menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including Diamond Knot’s famous “Hot Rock” entrées — which you cook to your liking on a 750-degree stone at the table.


American Brewing Company
180 W. Dayton St. Warehouse 102
Edmonds, WA 98020

Salish Sea Brewing Company
518 Dayton St. #104
Edmonds, WA 98020

Big E Ales
5030 208th Street SW suite A
Lynnwood WA 98036

Crucible Brewing

909 SE Everett Mall Way
Everett, WA 98208

Middleton Brewing
607 SE Everett Mall Way #27-A
Everett, WA 98208

Lazy Boy Brewing Company
715 100th St SE / Suite A-1
Everett, WA 98208

Scuttlebutt Brewing Company
3310 Cedar St.
Everett, WA 98201

Diamond Knot Brewpub @ MLT
5602 232nd St. SW (West Plaza)
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
425-355-4488 x624

Diamond Knot Brewery & Ale House
621 Front St.
Mukilteo, WA 98275

Julie - headshot 2013– By Julie Gangler

Julie Gangler is a freelance writer who has worked as a media relations consultant for the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau. She began her career as a staff writer at Sunset Magazine and later was the Alaska/Northwest correspondent for Travel Agent Magazine.

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