Local beers

 Here are a few local beers we've enjoyed along the way, in order of appearance. 

Victory is our all-time favorite!
We lived in Downingtown PA for 30 years

A very flavorful citrusy piney IPA
Founders in Grand Rapids Michigan

 A decent pale ale, not too hoppy - but their IPA is better
Goose Island in Chicago

Really enjoyed this malty brown ale called Lost Trout
Third Street Brewhouse in Cold Spring Minnesota

In Medora ND at Boots Bar we tried the IPA from
Beaver Creek Brewery out of Wibaux MT
Wouldn't recommend it, not well-balanced 

A decent brown ale we tried in Wall SD
Gotta like the name... Moose Drool
Big Sky Brewery from Missoula MT

A couple of beers from Crow Peak in Deadwood SD
The 11th hour IPA was excellent, an American Pale Ale.
The cream ale didn't impress
Montana. Who knew it was such a good place for craft beers? It seems like everywhere we go there are some good ones to try. Many are offered in cans because bottles are prohibited when camping and fishing. Here are a few we've enjoyed so far:

Pako's IPA from Snake River Brewing
Jackson Hole WY
Pretty good but not hoppy enough for Denise
This one is more like it - very hoppy and flowery
Notice Denise is not letting go of the Double Haul IPA
Kettlehouse Brewery, Missoula MT

Grab a can and get outside
Another from Kettlehouse, Cold Smoke Scotch Ale
I tried this one on draft
Excellent, dark, smooth, coffee/toffee
Lower in alcohol than a typical scotch ale at 6.5%
Bent Nail IPA from Red Lodge Ales
This one comes in bottles - medium hops, good balance
Red Lodge MT

When in Missoula Montana we visited Kettlehouse. This is turning out to be one of my favorites west of Victory, especially the Cold Smoke (see above). Unfortunately, they are small and don't distribute very widely but if you are in the Northwest look for it.

The Pacific NorthwestWe've reached the mecca of microbreweries - lots of work to do! 

Anacortes Brewery, decent IPA
A couple of brews from a local pizza joint.
The Goosetown brown was pretty malty and toasty.
Lucille IPA was flowery and hoppy with nice balance.
Red Hook in Woodinville WA was a big disappointment. For some reason, they ran out of almost all of their beers and what we had wasn't good. I think their size has gone to their head. 

We visited some friends in Washington State and went to a pub in Kingston on the Olympic Peninsula. Had a great IPA at the Main Street Ale House called Whoop Ass.

WhoopPass from Silver City Brewery
A very nice Double IPA - really enjoyed it on draft
We also visited a tiny brewery with a tasting room in nearby Poulsbo and tried their IPA - not too bad but not that memorable. 

"Brew Bitch" IPA from Valholl Brewery
The brewer happened to be there and posed for our picture (note his likeness on the bottle) 
We also tried Port Townsend Scotch Ale at a local pub, which was very good but not as good as Kettlehouse ColdSmoke.  And at a Thai place we tried this Fish Tale Organic Amber.

Fish Tale from Olympia WA is very popular.
This Amber lacked flavor, but I've been drinking lots of IPAs and my palate seems to need hops

We tried 3 beers at Deschutes Brewery in Bend Oregon. The fresh-hopped beers were very popular this time of year. Hops are harvested from the fields not far away and rushed into the beer kettle in large quantities. We tried Chasin Freshies (on the left), a very light-colored beer with lots of aroma, little body, good hops but no hop after-taste. Denise thought it wasn't hoppy enough and lacked body. I tried the Fresh Hop Cinder Cone (on the right) which was malty and pretty hoppy - I liked the balance. We also tried Fresh Hop Crystal Ale which was not that special. 

Chasin Freshies and Fresh Hop Cinder Cone
We liked the beers at Goodlife even better, and we tried most of this list. Denise, our resident hop-head, was a big fan of the Descender IPA (typical Northwest IPA with tons of flavor and higher alcohol). I liked the Mountain Rescue and really liked the 150 hippies which was citrusy and aromatic.

Beer list at Goodlife Brewing

Cascade Lakes IRA is an India Red Ale, which is a cross between IPA and red ale. Nice body, hops and malt.  

Cascade Lakes IRA (India Red Ale)
From Ninkasi in Eugene Oregon comes a typical strong hoppy Northwestern-style IPA called Total Domination. Highly recommended if you like hops without much malt.

Our favorite in Bend OR was 10 Barrel.
Oregon Brown is a brown ale with lots of hops (Brown IPA?)  
The beer list at 10 Barrel. 
We visited Newport Oregon, the home of Rogue Brewery. We made friends with the manager there who had heard of Victory, and we gave him a bottle of Yakima Glory that we had in our frig from PA. He said he would put the empty bottle behind the bar after he drank it. 

Rogue was a cool place - 36 taps, good food, funky vibe. We took the brewery tour one day and had several of their beers.

Rogue Brewery in Newport OR
So many beers, so little time
7 Hops was our favorite - one of their "Farms" series.
They grow the barley and hops on their own farm. 

We've entered California. I have to say I'm sad to leave Oregon from a beer ponit of view. Our first attempt was not good.

Eel River Brewing from Fortuna CA. Tried the IPA, double IPA and Amber. All pretty bad. The IPA had no hops. The amber tasted like bad Killians.

Lagunitas in Petaluma CA - now we're talking good beer! 

The daily beer list at Lagunitas. Tried about 6 of these including several samples from a friendly barmaid.
Fresh hopped Sebastopol Wet IPA was good. The Maximus was fantastic. Also liked the Hop Stoopid.

This one was unique and really good. Light body, brown caramel color, a bit sweet, hoppy, tons of alcohol. A failed attempt at barley wine which is so popular that they keep making it. You need to try this one, a new style that Lagunitas like to call... Irresponsible. 
Of all the Lagunitas beers, we enjoyed the "regular" IPA the most. I have enjoyed their bottled version a lot, but the draft at the brewery was much different and even better. The bar was great - live music, tons of locals, friendly laid-back atmosphere. 


  1. Dear Bob & Denise: great blog and even better looking beer and whiskey on one of your pages!

  2. Hi Bob & Denise, just looking through the blog. Looks like you are having a fantastic time. I’m really jealous. The trip of a lifetime, luck you. Angela W (UK)