There are too many numbers in that title. It upsets me, on a mathematical and grammatical level. Anyway, welcome back to Kitchen Catastrophes Adventures in Alcohol, I’m your tour guide du jour, Jon O’Guin. Last week, we got halfway through a review of the assembled beers of CASH Brewing, a brewing company that started in my home town before moving to the big city of Silverdale.
Western Washington pretty much always has more trees per city than you expect.
Fun historical fact: Silverdale was originally going to be named Goldendale, but then they discovered there was already a city named Goldendale in Washington, so they just downgraded metals. That’s the kind of direct thinking common to the early American settler: “Well, if we can’t be gold, Silver will do.” A people with a strong sense of how to properly manage expectations.
Now, those with a census-based mind may be aiming to give me an earful about me using the word “city” earlier, so let me cut them off beforehand: First off, being a pedant about Municipal Ordinances and Classifications is quite possibly the worst kind of pedant. So, bear that burden on your soul. However, yes, you are correct: Silverdale is not a city. It’s an unincorporated community. This is important from a municipal standpoint because it means it pays its taxes straight to the county. Silverdale has actually had quite a few votes on whether to become a city over the years, and it’s narrowly continued to be unincorporated every time, once being decided by a single vote.
It’s also not a particularly big “city”, objectively, being comparable to population to such Washington monoliths as Ellensburg, Camas, or Moses Lake. However, I always thought of it as being a “big city” as a child because of a bit of a zoning trick: Silverdale is a retail KING. The area, situated between two US Naval bases and several small towns, Silverdale set itself up as the shopping district of the county several decades ago, sporting a respectably sized mall, a heavy number of outlet stores and restaurants, and generally everything a child associates with ‘civilization’. So it became fastened in my mind as “a place to go”, despite being only mildly larger than my own home town.
But you presumably didn’t come here for a digital tour of Washington shopping centers! You came here to read about BEER. So, let’s stop wasting word count and GET ON WITH IT.
Reset The Table
So, we’ve pushed through the seasonal sampler. Overall: nothing that really upset our sensibilities, though the number of IPAs was a bit of a drag The second Sampler was of course their standard beers. Now, full disclosure that I may have skipped last post: Beers were not the only thing I was drinking. IN my defense, remember, my father had gone from “feeling a little under the weather” to “hospitalized” in the last day. We’d spent the day basically waiting on getting him into tests to find out what was going on, and that gave a lot of “sinking in” time, to note how this was going to interact with the six different things I was already doing. So, yeah, I was also drinking a gin cocktail, with muddled cucumber and lemonade, because I like cucumbers and lemonade.
Seen here through worryingly blurry eyes.
We’d also eaten an entire appetizer sampler, because, if it’s not clear, we were self-medicating our anxiety with food and drink. Not irresponsibly, of course: since my mother was driving, she was only having an ounce or so of each taster, leaving me to drink the rest. So by the end of the hour long sample, she’d in essence had maybe one whole pint of beer, while I’d had at least 2 and a cocktail. For our notes, recall that “N” is Nancy, my mother, and J is Me.
7% ABV 85 IBU
N: *Immediately flinches from the sip. A long pause follows* You get the hops, that’s for sure. High Citrus notes…It’s an IPA, that’s for DAMN sure
J: Honestly, I think it’s less confrontational than the double, though I guess that makes sense. Sure, there’s those same resinous notes, but they’re not too bad, by my measure. Then again, I’m drinking more, so maybe I’m just noticing less.
Night Game IBA
6.3% ABV 72 IBU
(An IBA is an “imperial Brown Ale”, where, if you were unaware, “Imperial” tends to mean the beer has a higher hop count, higher alcohol, and higher gravity than a standard beer of its class.)
N: I like this IBA. This doesn’t taste like it’s 72 IBU. There’s some bitterness, sure, but it’s…mellowed out, I guess, by maltiness. Thumbs Up.
J: I don’t know what Maltiness is, but I’ll agree, this doesn’t taste as bitter as the Tangerine, which was a 72. I will say that I love a good brown ale, and this is definitely in the right neighborhood.
5% ABV 48 IBU
N: I liked the IBA more. This guy tastes a little more bitter to me. (Holds thumb 45 degrees upward)
J: How committal. There’s a…I guess metallic characteristic to this. Not overly offensive, but like…a tinny sense of the same flavors as the IBA. Like, how old radios sound more coppery than modern ones.
N: “Sound Coppery?” How much have you had?
J: Like, high notes can be ‘brassy’ right? Well this is softer, more…rounded? Look, clearly I’m bad at explaining this. Let’s move on.
Home Run Red
5.3% ABV 17 IBU
N: It’s a good red. A toasty, roasty flavor. Hints of caramel. Thumbs up.
J: You don’t have to say Thumbs Up when you hold up a thumb. It’s understood. Now, maybe it’s that talk of tin and copper last beer, but this guy to me has a weird aftertaste. He’s fine until the end, where suddenly it’s like I’m sucking on pennies. Just, ALL copper. But my third sip didn’t have the aftertaste, and that time, I liked it. Maybe something was wrong with the pipe. Or maybe I bit myself? I don’t know.
Pot Bunker Pale Ale
5.3% ABV 30 IBU
N: It is what it says it is. A drinkable beer. Like, “family barbecue grilling beer”.
J: I feel like I said that earlier, and you’re stealing it. But yeah, there’s some citrus here, and I agree. A good summer beer. It’s gotta…lackadaisical vibe.
J: This is why they pay me the big bucks.
N: Are you going to finish your burger?
J: Probably not.
N: Do we want to take it home?
J: (stares morosely at his burger) Probably not.
Scarves Up Hefeweizen
5.4% ABV 11 IBU
N: It’s a hefe. I don’t like hefes. Good aroma. It tasted better cold, and, you know, 16 oz of beer ago.
J: It’s got that hefe thing I hit in Oktoberfest, where it tastes a little like overripe bananas. That kind of sickly-sweet, banana bread…wait, banana bread! THAT’s what the manhattan reminded me of!
N: Ohh, yeah, I see that. So when I was saying “bananas”-
J: And I was saying Cinnamon.
N: we were both aiming for flavors we knew from banana bread. Okay.
J: Yeah! …But, yeah, as far as Hefes go, I think I’ve had better, but I honestly couldn’t tell you exactly what this is doing wrong.
(Jon slams the hefe, pushes his burger away)
J: Final Thoughts? (He quickly drinks the last of his cocktail before they leave.)
N: I think…this was way too much beer. We definitely needed a friend or two. You?
J: (quietly hiccups) I think I inhaled a cucumber seed.
NEXT TIME: JON CONTINUES TO CONSUME CUCUMBERS, AND TALKS ABOUT ANOTHER FOOD NETWORK SHOW.