Saturday, May 21, 2016

Holy Mountain Brewing Company

So many taprooms and beers, so little time and stomach space. We've been so busy that we haven't had much time to hang out for beer. Ballard Beer Company is always awesome, and has become the default chill-out joint. Also, we've burnt so many calories that we loathe to put it back so quickly. However, we made time to visit the still-newish Holy Mountain Brewing Company.

A year on, the brewery still lives up to its hype of wanting to brew what it wants in order to meet bottomlines but without having to suffer the huge pressure of being answerable to investors. The three partners started the brewery by themselves and borrowed monies. No other investors. The brewery chooses to experiment with different hops and flavors, including white wine saisons.

That includes making some unbusinesslike decisions, like refusing to brew a flagship IPA, a standard Seattle beer that pays the bills for many breweries. 
Holy Mountain believes IPAs are overdone. Instead, the brewers make lagers, a time-consuming and difficult beer to perfect because it’s so hard to mask any defects occurring during brewing. 
[link to article in The Seattle Times]

Grinned at the names of the beers. Very metal. Dawnbringer, Empirium, Heartwork, Tower of Babel, Somnium, Sundrown, Shadowlifter, etc. Ordered a tasting flight of six beers. The Tower of Babel is a dark farmhouse ale aged on cherries. Kinda a Belgian strong ale. The man loved it; I didn't like it at all because I couldn't appreciate the sour endnote. Didn't know what to make of Sundown, which is a white wine barrel blended saison. I'm generally not hot about sherry cask things, wine or whatever oloroso stuff for whisky. Except for port. I'm partial towards port-matured single malts. Same goes for beer. That white wine blended saison is strange.

I totally enjoyed the Kiln & Cone as a familiar American pale ale, and Shadowlifter as an oatmeal coffee milk stout. The second time we visited, I simply ordered pints of these two beers which I like. Although at most breweries, I'm adventurous enough to try most beers, but I keep coming back to my palate preferences of a pale/golden ale or a chocolate/coffee/oatmeal stout.

From left: Tower of Babel dark farmhouse ale,
Heartwork blonde ale aged in oak tanks with Brett,
Sundown white wine barrel blended saison, Somnium barrel fermented hoppy saison,
Shadowlifter coffee milk stout, and Kiln & Cone house pale ale.

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