Well it just goes to show…sometimes being clueless pays off. My membership to Washington Beer Lovers (WABL) had expired so I had planned on attending this month’s WABL event at Rock Bottom Brewery because I was anxious to renew it. The September WABL event took place in Bellevue without me and I am sure it was fabulous. Being clueless, I headed downtown however, attended the even more fabulous fund raising event at the downtown Seattle Rock Bottom Brewery location for KEXP 90.3 FM radio. It had all the makings of a great time….interesting people, great music, good eats and killer brew.
According to Josh Dalton, the master brewer at Rock Bottom Brewery, they try to sponsor a cask release on either the first or second Thursday of every month. For two dollars a glass we were able to imbibe both the Bavarian Oktoberfest Lager and their Belgian Witt.
The Oktoberfest Lager was a beautiful dark amber brew with a lovely honey scent. It was a hearty, well balanced beer with a slight sweetness. I noticed the flavor on the tip of the tongue initially and it had a very subtle finish.
On trying the Witt, after the Lager, I initially thought I liked the Oktoberfest more. As I slurped on the Belgian Witt, my palette adapted and I realized I really enjoyed the Witt. It was also a full bodied beer but less so that the Oktoberfest. The flavor contained a wonderful spiciness that my partner and I tried to figure out…was it nutmeg?…was it frankincense? … was it myrrh? The nice woman pouring said it tasted like cloves to her. But the answer came from one of Rock Bottom’s primo patrons, Phil Rose, who was told the ingredients were coriander and orange peel. Ah yes. Answer so obvious once one is given it. I loved the beer and my non-drinking, designated driver even drank half my glass when offered a sip. In his words, “Why does Budweiser continue to make the beer they do when they can make this?” Perhaps coriander is considered an illicit drug in the Midwest. Who knows?
On top of the wonder of the inexpensive, tasty beer was the availability of bratwurst, salmon burgers and large chocolate chip cookies. Rock Bottom Brewery donated all the proceeds of their beer and food sales to one of Seattle’s most innovative music stations KEXP. The staff of KEXP were perfect hosts and made everyone feel extremely welcome. I got to speak to Tom Mara, the Executive Director of the station and his lovely wife about their music library and the nuances of the music business. Wonderful people.
And finally I got to meet Josh Dalton the master brewer. He is extremely personable and very knowledgeable about beer. Josh told me that the Witt was actually inspired by a home brewing contest held at their brewery. We talked about his favorite brews and his special releases. I am really excited about trying his Triple Belgian in November and his Saison next Spring. According to Phil Gage, his favorite brew pub in all of Seattle is Rock Bottom due to Josh’s seasonal releases.
It was a great event and I cannot believe it was not better attended. I will look forward to upcoming activities that this brewery offers. Also of note, it is free to join their mug club and keep abreast of the releases.