Cult favorite Floodland Brewing makes some of the most sought-after beers in Seattle. The catch is that it doesn’t have a taproom; you have to get on its waitlist to buy a bottle. Want to know what the fuss is about? This Saturday, June 8, is a rare chance for the public to sample what beer connoisseurs swear are some of the best sour beers in the state.
Last year, the hush-hush tasting sold out in three hours. This time, the gang is bringing about three times more beers — including 10 kegs of Floodland and plenty of magnums as backup. Floodland also partnered with Machine House Brewery to make a special English-style, four-grain pale ale that will also be available that night. Masonry owner Matt Storm said he will ration out the allocation to last at least until 8 p.m. for late arrivals.
Many pucker sours are poorly crafted, out-of-balance fruit bombs that are hard to sip. Floodland’s beers are more nuanced, complex but easy-drinking, and the fruit flavors are better integrated.
If you never had a good sour, or never even had a sour, Floodland’s is a good benchmark. Pro tip: Beer nerds will likely line up before noon. If you don’t want to deal with the madness, come after 3 p.m. Note that this event is only at the Fremont location and not at the Masonry’s bar in Lower Queen Anne. 730 N. 34th St.; 206-557-4907, themasonryseattle.com
In other beer news, Cloudburst Brewing, which makes some of the best IPAs in Seattle, announced this week it will expand to the Ballard brewery district, just off the main drag near the corner of Northwest Market Street and Shilshole Avenue Northwest. The taproom with beer garden is expected to open by the end of the year. Cloudburst owner and brewer Steve Luke is one of the rising stars in the industry. (Also opening in Ballard are two high-profile projects: Fair Isle Brewing, by late summer, and Urban Family Brewing Co., by late fall or early winter.)
Speaking of taprooms, here are two more openings worth noting:
The nanobrewery, which had been selling sour beers out of its 750-square-foot warehouse space in Ballard, now has a 12-tap tasting room in Magnolia. It’s also moving the brewing operations to Magnolia. The brewery gained a lot of cred in the beer community when acclaimed craft-beer bars such as The Dray, Chuck’s Hop Shop and Über Tavern, along with Zeeks Pizza, started featuring its sours. Owners Frank Swiderski, Rob Nelson and Jon Cargille have hired brewer Sean Lindorfer from Urban Family Brewing to build up its sour-and-saison portfolio. (I highly recommend its Inflection Bourbon Cherry Sour.) For hop heads, a hazy and a rye IPA are your options. The 49-seat tasting room is now open every day. 2715 W. Fort St., Seattle, dirtycouchbrewing.com
Three pals who have been brewing out of a Shoreline garage the past three years created enough buzz that 13 bars have picked up their beers. Now they feel confident enough to open a taproom and brewery in Mountlake Terrace on the ground floor of the Arbor Village apartment building, about two blocks from the planned light-rail station. Owners Mark Dunford, Michael Ernst and Jerret Botch run the 76-seat taproom with plans to add a 53-outdoor seating area this summer. They currently have five beers on tap including a pale ale and an IPA and they are frantically brewing 10 more beers to fill out their lineup. 23601 56th Ave. W., Mountlake Terrace; phone pending, hemlockstate.com