Friday, March 14, 2014


What does a guy do when he has an evening to act like a bachelor poet? After reading at an open mic, he heads off to the Puyallup River Brewing Alehouse for a Chicago-style hot dog and a flight of Puyallup River Brewing ales.


Carbonado Rye, a Rye Ale by Puyallup River Brewing.

5 ounce taster glass on tap.

5.6% alcohol by volume.

The body is the clearest of clear yellow, with a thin skin of white pattern on its top.

The nose is a combination of cereal box cardboard (think Lucky Charms), a hint of white wine, and the clean of the air after spring rain.

The tongue is clean, buttery, rye malt.

This is a subtle beer, but one that rewards the drinker willing to simply enjoy it. This is excellent and goes down buttery and smooth.


Green Cream, a Cream Ale by Puyallup River Brewing.

5 ounce taster glass on tap.

6.7% alcohol by volume.

The body is a bright and clear neon emerald green, with a bright white rim of head.

I don't catch much on the nose, but the tongue is cream of wheat and rice. It has a good mouthfeel. Imagine a cream soda with little carbonation and only the faintest hint of vanilla, light oatmeal, and rice notes. That is a fair description of this St. Patrick's Day special brew.


Old Pioneer Winter Ale, a Winter Ale by Puyallup River Brewing.

5 ounce taster glass on tap.

6.0% alcohol by volume.

The body is a deep-brownish red (garnet), with a rim of white.

The nose is Seabreeze, cloves, and tobacco leaf. (I noted that "the nose is very intriguing" and was anticipating getting to taste it.)

The tongue is tobacco leaf, cloves, Ricola cough drops, Magic Marker, vanilla, lavender, and black licorice.

It is unlike any other winter ale I've ever had. It's a bit like Puyallup River Brewing's Black Pumpkin Saison, only in a different style of beer—a cousin, or sorts. It is rich, dense, and chewy. This is easily my new favorite winter warmer.


When I told the owner/brewer that Old Pioneer Winter reminded me of his Black Pumpkin Saison because of the Magic Marker I tasted, he said, "Yuck!" I informed him that it was a good flavor, like sniffing markers in school as a kid. He said, "Exactly. Yuck!" Oh well. I guess it's a flavor I'll have to enjoy and savor alone.


Carbon Glacier Black IPA, a Black IPA by Puyallup River Brewing.

5 ounce taster glass on tap.

6.7% alcohol by volume.

The body is black with a rim of tan head.

The nose is blood orange, soy sauce, vine, and sweet and sour sauce.

The tongue is bitter espresso, dark chocolate, pine needles, and grapefruit, with hints of soy sauce and permanent marker. The sauce notes of the nose (sweet-and-sour and soy) play well with the bitter flavors. The finish is long, with the grapefruit, dark chocolate, and espresso flavors mellowing and lingering for quite some time.

This is a great black IPA.


The owner/brewer and I had engage in some banter at the bar. He saw my notebook as he was making my hot dog and asked, "You're not one of those beer bloggers are you?" I told him that I was.

"The brewer was just here and you missed him."

"That's too bad, because I love his beers and now you'll have to tell him. You'll have to tell him not to worry about what I'll write."

He checked in a few times as I tasted and wrote notes.

At one point, one of the other bartenders approached me and placed a small two ounce taster glass in front of me. "This is from the owner. It's the St. Paddy's Day Dry Stout we just tapped." I expressed my gratitude.


St. Paddy's Day Dry Stout, a Dry Stout by Puyallup River Brewing.

2 ounce taster glass on tap.

6.4% alcohol by volume.

The body is ruby red.

The nose is espresso.

The tongue is espresso and dark, bitter baking chocolate and whipped cream, although there is very little sweetness to it. This is dry and excellent.


The owner/brewer stopped by to tell me that this stout is only brewed once per year for the St. Patrick's Day weekend. I am glad that the timing of my bachelor poet night out and St. Patrick's Day weekend coincided. I may have to be a bit more deliberate next year and not leave stopping by the Puyallup River Alehouse to chance.

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