Mac and Jack is one of my favorite breweries but they also drive me crazy!
Crazy because they are a draft only brewery. So what does that mean? No bottles, no cans, only pints. Although I love a pint of beer, not being able to pick up a six pack is inconvenient on a good day. Especially when you live about 6 hours away from the brewery. Sure they distribute their kegs to Washington, Oregon and Idaho and I frequent the places I know have it on tap… but really come on Mac and Jack. Don’t you know how much I would like to enjoy your beer in the comfort of my home?
While at the brewery I asked the question “why no bottles?”. The response was not shocking and understandable. “Mac and Jack are happy with the size the brewery is”. And with that I will drop the idea of writing a letter a day asking, if not begging, for Mac and Jack to start bottling. Although I secretly hope one day they change their minds!
When I arrived to Mac and Jack I was late for the brewery tour I had planned on taking. The tasting room attendant said “it’s just another hour and a half until the next tour”. On a day I did not have to drive 6 hours to get home an hour and a half at the Mac and Jack brewery tasting room would have sounded great. But I needed to be responsible and asked if I could join the current tour late. The attendant pointed me in the direction of the tour and I joined my fellow Mac and Jack beer lovers. Luckily I was up to speed on the brewing process, so joining late was no big deal. Imagine my embarrassment having just come from RedHook Brewing and not know how beer was made.
While the tour guide was telling us the ins and outs of Mac and Jack beer I learned something that I actually find quite embarrassing for myself. Mac and Jack African Amber, the beer I drink most often of theirs is dry hopped. Although it is not surprising that it is, but how it is was. Inside each keg is a bag of hops added and left in for the duration of the keg. It was suddenly clear to me why the African Amber is so tasty, because this girl loves some dry hopping!
We toured the rest of the facility, checking out the fermenting tanks and the kegging area. The tour wrapped up quickly after we toured the kegging area, where we all returned to the tasting room.
Since I was at the brewery and I rarely see anything but the African Amber and the Blackcat Porter on tap I thought I would give their other beers I had never seen before a try. My first taste was the Ibis IPA. This is another dry hopped beer with fruit notes of pineapple. It was pretty good but I much preferred my next taste The Two Tun IPA. Not only does this beer have a bad ass name, it also has a bad ass flavor. This beer is true to it’s IPA roots and is flavorful in floral notes.
My last taste was the African Amber Spiced Ale. This was a seasonal beer that is a variation on my favorite Mac & Jack beer, the African Amber. This beer had a nice spicy flavor that balanced well with the malty flavors that we find traditionally in the African Amber.
After I finished up my tastes I picked up a growler and had it filled with the African Amber. It would be the only way I could enjoy African Amber in the comfort of my home… once I got home of course!
The Mac & Jack Brewery is located at 17825 Northeast 65th Street Redmond Washington. Tours are offered Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm and 3pm.