Some say that it is the journey, not the destination that is the most important part of the trip. As a lover or road trips I am a believer of this theory. Although the destination often gives me the achievement of reaching my goals for either the day, the purpose of the trip or checking off a bucket list item, it is often the path that gets me there that is the most enjoyable.
During my mid-summer trip to Western Washington my path had me making a brief stop at the summit of Snoqualmie pass at DruBru Brewery. At the time of my visit the brewery was just about 6 months old. Although the brewery was still in it’s infant stages a warm and inviting tasting room paired up with flavorful beers could convince you else wise. The brewery at the time of my visit was self-distributing to 75 bars. According to their website, as of April 2015, they are now distributing to 80 bars, mostly located in western and central Washington.
The tasting room was a decent size with pub-height tables scattered about, but I always gravitate to where I belong, at the bar. The bartender offered up the beer list as well as size offerings of 5 oz, 13 oz or 20 oz. As someone who likes to taste test my way around breweries I always enjoy the smaller size glasses. They allow you to taste more without fully committing to a 16 oz beer, or looking like a lush. It is really the latter that I am trying to avoid. Another benefit of this brewery is their low alcohol contents. Now typically you will not hear me boasting about low alcohol contents, but in this case I thought it was a cool idea. The bartender said they keep the contents low because the brewery is located on a mountain and people are out on an adventure. “You can have a few beers without getting messed up”. Most of their beers average around a 4 to 5% alcohol by volume (ABV) with two at 6%.
My first beer was the Hop Session IPA. This beer has a 4.7% ABV and a 56 International Bittering Unit (IBU). The beer has a pretty amber color that compliments nicely the crisp and citrus flavors.
My next beer tasting was the Pass Life Pale Ale. This beer has a 6.6% ABV and a 70 IBU. A piney flavor that combines itself with malty undertones along with caramel notes are found throughout this beer. I liked this beer, although it was my least favorite out of the bunch that I had tried. In all fairness I should have started with the pale ale and then moved to the IPAs. Strong hop flavors will blast out your palette, making it hard to taste subtle flavors.
My final beer was the nondescriptly named IPA. The beer has a 6.4% ABV and a 68 IBU. Although this beer does have a decent IBU I felt that it did not pack in the hop punch I had expected. The beer does have a nice finish as well as a favorable amber color. Again pine notes are used in addition to citrus flavors.
One item you must try while visiting DruBru is their water. Yes, you read what I said, water. The water is carbonated well water, giving the water a sweet flavor. It is comparable to the carbonated waters you can buy in the grocery store, but DruBru’s water comes from a well source whereas the carbonated water that you buy in the store, who knows where it comes from? For all you know they could be using the Los Angeles River, pumping some air into it and placing it in a fancy bottle. Think about it.
I wrapped up my visit to DruBru and could not pass up the chance to take some beer with me. I was headed to a friend’s house for the night and what better way to thank her for letting me stay at her house than arriving with beer? I purchased a 32 oz growler of the Hop Session IPA. The 32 oz growler, or mini growler, was the biggest growler that they offered, which is half the size of your typical growler. It was disappointing that they did not offer a 64 oz growler but the price could not be beat. $4 USD for the growler and $7 USD for the fill. I almost pulled someone aside and asked why their pricing was so low, but instead graciously took my beer.
DruBru brewery is located at 10 Pass Life Way #3 open Monday through Sunday with various hours. In true taproom fashion a small snack menu is offered however no full menu. There is a restaurant located next door as well as most of the food restaurants on the mountain will delivery to the brewery.