Smooth Sailing at this Sound Side Brew Co.
Port Townsend Brewing Company is a great local spot to visit when you’re on the Olympic Peninsula. The tasting room and brew facility is located right in the shipyard off the main highway leading south out of town. It’s very easy to find and more importantly, well worth a stop.
While the local vibe and laid back ambiance makes Port Townsend Brewing Company a pleasant place to have a beer, it’s the liquid in the glass that really delivers. We stepped right up for a taster tray of all 12 house beers on tap. With a lineup of 12 brews, we tasted a full array of colors and styles.
Bobby’s Brew Review:
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty with my reviews of the brews at Port Townsend Brewing Company.
(My scoring scale follows Untapped’s Scoring Scale of 1- 5, 5 being the best)
Chet’s Golden Ale
This ale drinks like a Pilsner. So crisp on the tongue, light in color and body, yet it still delivers some nice fruity/floral notes. However, for me, while a solid session ale, it does not stand out. Bobby’s Brew Review Score: 3.0
The darker the beer the closer it is to my heart. The Reel Amber is a complex amber with its Yakima hops on full display. I find it hoppier than traditional ambers while maintaining some malty amber respectability. The combo plays extremely smoothly on the tongue. I really like this beer. Bobby’s Brew Review Score: 3.5
S.H.I.P Single Hop Pale
I don’t tend to be a fan of any beer with “pale” in the name. Sorry, that’s just me. However, I can respect a nice juicy, well crafted brew when I come across one. I quite liked this beer. Each batch of this beer is brewed with a single hop variety which varies from batch to batch. This particular batch was brewed with a northwest “Citra” hop giving it a nice summery citrusy flavor. Bobby’s Brew Review Score: 3.0
Bitter End IPA
Being one of PTBC’s original recipes, there’s no question why it’s stuck around. It’s a great beer they’ve been brewing for 20 YEARS and is the top selling ale in Port Townsend. We found “Bitter” a bit of a misnomer, because this easy drinker goes has minimal bitter aftertaste. Very drinkable with it’s 5.6% ABV. Bobby’s Brew Review Score: 3.5
Hop Diggidy IPA
This is for you Northwesties! This is PTBC’s take on the IPA’s beer drinkers know and love here in the Northwest. It’s packed with hoppy flavor, but it goes down smooth. I’m really impressed by the balance of this Northwest Style IPA. Bobby’s Brew Review Score: 3.5
Peeping Peater Scotch
If this beer was a lady, I’d invite her back for a 3-way! In fact Kari did bring a 22 oz back to our campsite with us. Really delivering a lot of that malty caramel flavor dark beer lovers crave, the addition of the peat cuts the sweetness with some woody notes. I’d love to drink this rich and complex brew while waiting for a storm to pass. Nice ABV at 6.6%. Bobby’s Brew Review Score: 4.5
This one’s for the sailors fresh off the schooners. It’s big and rich in chocolate with a beautiful dark body. The addition of caramel malts mellows it slightly and the hop bitterness brings it in for a super smooth landing. Bobby’s Brew Review Score: 4.0
As much as I like dark beers, I haven’t been into stouts recently. Hence, the middle of the road score. Maybe it’s the summer weather, but I didn’t love this one. This stout is on par with stouts from the area, but not the best beer at PTBC. What I did like was the 7% ABV. I’d like to try this one again when temperatures begin to drop. Bobby’s Brew Review Score: 3.0
Lost Sailor Brown Ale
Simply the best beer in the lineup for me. Complex, boozy, smooth and very well executed. Aged with bourbon soaked wood chips, the bourbon packs a punch. The brewer did a fantastic job of mellowing out and balancing the ingredients in this one. Well done. Bobby’s Brew Review Score: 4.5
Yoda Green Tea Gold
This may have been a victim of the deep 12 taster…because I just couldn’t come around on this one. I wanted to like this as I am a fan of fun beer creations like this. It just fell a bit short for me on the palette. It ended up light and the flavor combos seemed to blend together rather than amplify each other and end up…blah. I’d love to take another run at this one earlier in the flight as I think this might be a great day drinker. Bobby’s Brew Review Score: 2.5
My notes say simply this: “Exceptionally Smooth/Full Flavor”. It’s a very solid IPA & 7% ABV. I’d drink this one again. Bobby’s Brew Review Score: 3.5
Old Man Barely Wine
Plus points for the 10.5% ABV. I will say it was interesting, but not in a way that I enjoyed. In my experience, the sweetness of barley wine comes out as the liquid warms up…this was way sweet while still chilled. Too much of the Brandy, Rum, Raisin notes for my tastes. Bobby’s Brew Review Score: 2.5
Overall Review of Port Townsend Brewing Company:
Kudos to PTBC for offering a tap lineup with a little something for everyone. Across the board, all the beers are smooth, balanced, and I’d have a hard time finding anything bad to say about any of their house beers.
Drinking here had the feel of drinking with the locals…well, because it’s filled with locals. As a result, there’s a great friendly and laid back vibe in the tap room and spilling out onto their great outdoor seating area. The back patio area looks like it probably rocks pretty hard on the weekends where they host musical events regularly throughout the summer. Be sure to check out https://www.porttownsendbrewing.com/ for all the details. For those of you traveling with a non beer-drinker, have no fear, they do have wine and cider available too. In addition, there’s a nice line of merch and they offer take away 22oz bottles of their ales. There’s no true food service on site, just bar snacks like peanuts.
In conclusion, a really fun tasting experience awaits you at Port Townsend Brewing Company. Next time you’re in Port Townsend, be sure to stop by. I know we’ll definitely be dropping in for more pints…or even another tasty tester!!!
Check out the Bobby’s Brew Review episode about Port Townsend Brewing Company for some more insight.