Defacto - No-Li Brewhouse

9.8 - Outstanding

While I’ve enjoyed No-Li’s brews many times before, I hadn’t noticed this one at all until fellow reviewer Derek Mesford showed up at my door with a bottle. I’ve only had one barrel-aged imperial IPA before, and that was Founders Brewing’s incredible Doom, so this beer has some stiff competition to live up to.

Damon Scott, Brewery Operations Manager for No-Li, describes Defacto as “essentially a blend of Dry Fly Wheat Whiskey and Triticale Whiskey barrel-aged Wrecking Ball Imperial Stout and Jet Star Imperial IPA.” That statement contains quite a few words that make my mouth water, so let’s get into the review!

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Quilter’s Irish Death - Iron Horse Brewing

7 - Very Good

Eastern Washington is known for being the largest source of hops in the area, but today we’re looking at a beer that is less likely to rely on a strong hop presence than something you’d expect from the area – Quilter’s Irish Death, a dark American Strong Ale from Iron Horse Brewing.

I went to school in Ellensburg and have fond memories of Iron Horse; it’s a fun local brewery, and has some great offerings. I’m looking forward to getting this borderline-stout into a glass and trying it out, so let’s get to it!

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BeakTweaker Citrus IPA - Black Raven Brewing

8.4 - Excellent

Built on a firm base of barley and rye malts, the BeakTweaker features bold citrus flavors and aromatics. A firm bitterness combines with citrus hop characteristics accented by the addition of black lemon, orange peel and lemon peel. – Black Raven Brewing

I had this beer during last year’s release, and remember really enjoying it. I’m a big fan of citrus IPAs in general, and can’t wait to try it again. Let’s get into a glass of the 2015 release!

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Sky Hag IPA - Airways Brewing

7.6 - Excellent

As most of my drinking buddies will tell you, I’m a big fan of Airways.

I used to work (and currently live) in the Tukwila area, and Airways is a small brewery just a few minutes south of me that you wouldn’t really know about unless someone gave you a heads up. The building is small and unassuming, right in the middle of a business park; you wouldn’t even know they existed if it weren’t for the mass of cars in the parking lot you’ll always see during business hours.

If we ever grab a beer together, remind me to tell you my story about meeting the brewer at Airways and discovering our past connections long after we originally lost touch. For now, let’s get into a review of their flagship beer, the Sky Hag IPA.

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Second Sight - Black Raven Brewing

9 - Outstanding

It’s no secret that Black Raven is one of my favorite breweries in the Seattle area.

Located in Redmond, the tap room offers a friendly, clean, and warm environment with great nearby food you’re welcome to bring inside and some damn good beer on tap.

It’s my weekend coffee shop any time I get the opportunity to head that direction, and a great place to sit with my laptop for a while coding, writing, or just relaxing.

Second Sight is a beer of theirs I haven’t had before; while I don’t have much experience with scotch ales, I have faith in Black Raven and can’t wait to give this one a try.

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High Five Hefe - Iron Horse Brewing

8.2 - Excellent

I’ll always have a soft spot for Ellensburg. It’s where I went to school and spent some of the best years of my life, and the atmosphere is such a perfect example of Eastern Washington. The college is smack-dab in the middle, taking up a large portion of the city, but step outside of it to a quaint downtown area with lots of farmland, rodeos, and an easy-going vibe.

It’s only fitting that a beer coming out of Ellensburg is something I’d drink to cool down during a long, hot day, so I’m really looking forward to digging into Iron Horse’s hefeweizen, High Five Hef.

Their description of this beer is “Wheat, honey and ginger. A hefe with flavor before the fruit. No lemon required. In fact, please spare our beer from the embarrassment.” Sounds like my kind of beer, so let’s dig into it!

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