Easy Monkey Taphouse

Author: kwillis

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Happy Hour: A Great Perk at Your Favorite Restaurants and Bars

Restaurants will offer a variety of sweet deals to get you in the door for their happy hour. It’s almost like getting the employee discount – if only for a limited number of hours per day and only on specific days. If you want to take advantage of some great deals on appetizers and drinks, happy hour is the way to go.

What is “Happy Hour?”

What is a “happy hour” anyway? Well, it’s a set period when certain food and drink are deeply discounted so that customers are more likely to buy them. Many bars and restaurants use that time to promote their on-tap brews and appetizers. The thought behind it is that you’ll consider the discount in perspective and consider buying more because even if you don’t or can’t finish all of the food, you’re still coming out ahead financially since the items are so much cheaper than normal. Because you get a chance to get more of the things that you love, and because food and drink tend to make people happy – BAM! – Happy hour.

History of Happy Hour

You may be asking yourself, “Where did the idea for happy hours come from?” There is evidence that happy hours originated in the early 1900s and is linked to Navy slang. Throughout the First World War, sailors were allowed a period of time off the ship known as “Happy Hour.” However, some experts claim the term happy hour existed before the Navy coined the term. Shakespeare uses the phrase in King Henry V to describe pleasant times.

A Ban on Happiness

Sadly, this “happy hour” happiness isn’t afforded to everyone, though. Citing safety reasons, Massachusetts, Indiana, Utah, and North Carolina all have banned happy hours, as has all military base bars, and Pennsylvania has limited the time happy hours are allowed – it was limited to just two hours until 2011 when it was extended to four hours. Fortunately, here in the United States, bans and limits tend to be more of the exception than the rule – in the U.K., there are even more restrictions if you can imagine that!

Looking for the Best Happy Hour Near You?

If you want to find the restaurant that has your favorite food and drinks on special during happy hour, there’s an app for that – try doing a little bit of research on Yelp! You can also check out our weekly happy hour specials here.

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Beer & Diversity

It’s Saturday night, and you’re looking for some fun and excitement. Or maybe some nice, relaxing conversation. Picture the scene: You’re sitting at Easy Monkey’s bar, looking at the wide array of interesting beers, ciders, and wines they have to offer, wondering what to order, when you see some potential new friends walk in, each as uniquely different from each other as they are from you. But, as they say, “variety is the spice of life,” so you decide to introduce yourself.

The first person, a guy in his mid-30s, strikes you as someone who may have been the high school quarterback, the most popular guy in school. He seems to be a nice kind of a dude, with hints of sweet, bitter, and a bit of a kick to his personality. He orders a lager – the Pilchuck Pilsner, actually – and you’re hit with a hint of that order being absolutely perfect for him. It’s crisp, refreshing, smooth, and, coincidentally enough, the most popular type of beer in the world.

Next, a bold, dark-headed bombshell walks up to the bar in her four-inch stilettos and bodycon mini dress to order the Sozo Contribute Cabernet. Honestly, she looks a bit familiar, so you ask her if she’s from here, and she says she was born and raised in Yakima, so it’s pretty close, but then she spent some years traveling around Europe, and even lived in France for a couple of years, so she’s been a bit of everywhere. Maybe you went to school together. The bartender then tells you both that the glass of wine she just ordered has a similar history: The grapes were grown in the Yakima and Columbia Valleys and the Wahluke slope; the wine was aged in French and American oak barrels and then blended with Merlot and Malbec before it was bottled.

Shaking off the feeling that this is all an elaborate set up to illustrate that people choose their alcohols like they choose their pets (i.e., they choose something that looks or feels like themselves, to match their own personalities), you meet another guy who reminds you a bit of that English guy who has written and starred in all those dark and dry comedies over the past decade. He’s dark, dry, witty – and maybe that’s why you aren’t the least surprised when he orders the Salish Sea Brewing Company’s Prior Porter, with its multifaceted, deep, rich brown colors and garnet highlights. When he finishes, he says, “I just come in every once in a while to save the world from beer overpopulation. It’s a real concern, a true threat.”

The fourth and final person approaches, and as she does, she confirms what you’ve known all along, that we really are what we eat (and drink): She says, “I’m like this wheat beer – light, easygoing, soft of character, a little mysterious, with sometimes a bit of a kick.” With that, you realize that all of these drinks, and all of these people, represent such a wide array of the things the world has to offer, and when it comes down to it, you don’t need to pick just one – you’re free to sample all of the diverse and interesting things in the world, people and alcohol are just two of those things. Why not come to Easy Monkey to try something new? Expand your horizons, make new friends, experience new things. We look forward to seeing you.

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Weird Holidays Are Everywhere – But Here’s One We Can Take Seriously

Can we all just agree that there are some pretty out-there so-called “holidays”? (For example, February 15th is National Hippo Day, November 13th is National Chicken Nuggets Day, and March 11th is National Napping Day!) Depending how you look at it, summertime is either one big long holiday (with the kids out of school) or is seriously lacking in significant holidays that are so plentiful during the spring, autumn, and winter months (think Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day, to name just a few).

Maybe we could also all agree that there’s a saint for just about everything (Did you know, for example, that there is a patron saint of lost things, and a patron saint of patience? There’s also one of kidneys, another for yoga, and yet another just for food!) With those things said, those facts now acknowledged, you may be interested to know about a little-known day known as St. Arnold’s Day, which just happens to be coming up on July 18th.

Saints Arnold, Patron Saints of Brewers

Arnold of Metz was born around 580 A.D., became a French bishop in 612, and died in 640. Legend has it that his parishioners had to trek a long way one hot summer day in order to collect his remains and bring them back to where he was supposed to be buried in Metz. They were running low on supplies (otherwise known as beer) and prayed to Arnold to provide them what they needed (again, beer) and Arnold miraculously provided his followers enough beer to last them on their way back to Metz. It’s like the loaves and the fishes, but with beer! Have a drink in honor of St. Arnold of Metz! This St. Arnold is the one St. Arnold’s Day was intended to honor, but oddly enough, there’s more than one St. Arnold – and more than one St. Arnold who was a patron saint of beer and brewers!

Arnold (or Arnoul) of Soissons (a patron saint of brewers and hop pickers) lived about a hundred years after Arnold of Metz, described above. In 1080, Arnold of Soissons became a bishop of an abbey in Belgium, where he encouraged the peasants to drink the beer he brewed for its health benefits; as it turned out, in the process of brewing beer, the water became more pure, which halted or slowed the spread of sometimes lethal diseases, so it was literally a life-saving beverage (but today’s beers also have health benefits, including lowering bad cholesterol and increasing bone density)!

Drink to St. Arnold!

So, during these hot summer months (which, by the way, is the time of year when the most beer is consumed), think about Saint Arnold of Metz or Saint Arnold of Soissons when you’re drinking your beer. Drink to your health, remembering that sometimes, beer really is better for you than plain old boring, disease-ridden water. Drink to the saints who brewed their own beers, and promoted the consumption of the adult beverage we all love so much. Here’s to beer, brewers, and hop-pickers!

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Seattle Cider Company

Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increase in the number and varieties of drinks that have been transformed from kids’ drinks (juices and sodas, for example) into more mature (and alcoholic) beverages. Because sometimes what sounds the best isn’t beer or wine, Easy Monkey also offers hard cider from Seattle Cider Company.

What Makes Seattle Cider Unique?

As many people know, a wide variety of apples are grown in Washington state, and they’re shipped across the country and even around the world. Our apples are some of the best in the world! Even if you like apples, you may find some hard ciders too sweet, but that’s not the case with Seattle Cider Company’s ciders; they bring out and emphasize the natural taste of apples, so the ciders aren’t overly sweet.

Seattle Cider Company Varieties

Currently on tap, we have their Semi-Sweet and Dry ciders, both at 6.5 percent ABV; however, Seattle Cider Company also makes a Tangerine Turmeric and a Basil Mint Hard Cider, and both of those come in at 6.9 percent ABV, and are produced year-round; they also offer some seasonal and limited edition varieties, including but not limited to the following:

  • Pumpkin Spice is semi-sweet with autumn season spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon with just a touch of pumpkin; this variety is available August through November.
  • The addition of toasted oak chips make this maple syrup-sweetened Oaked Maple cider perfect for those cold winter evenings.
  • Gin Botanical is available from February through May; this aromatic and refreshing semi-dry cider features aromas and flavors of cucumber, verbena, orange rind, lemon, and juniper. It would pair well with fruit or anything herbed.
  • Speaking of pairings, if you’re a fan of goat cheese, nuts, and charcuterie boards, Berry Rosé is the ticket. Available June through August, this cider starts out a little tart and finishes a little sweet.
  • Jalapeno, poblano, and habanero peppers give the Three Pepper cider a unique spice with a slightly sweet finish.
  • If you’re looking for a cider that will go well with Thanksgiving dinner, pick up some Cranberry cider; it’s dry, a little tart, and is made with local organic cranberries.
  • As its name suggests, the Olympic Honey cider is made with honey; what you may not realize is that the honey is produced in the apiary on the top of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle.

What’s in Seattle Ciders?

You won’t find any high fructose corn syrup in these delicious hard ciders – there’s a short list of ingredients – just a variety of Washington-grown apples, pure cane sugar (and sometimes maple syrup), white wine yeast, and (depending on the variety of cider) some spices.

More About Seattle Cider Company

You can find out a lot about this company on their website (https://www.seattlecidercompany.com/), including the myriad varieties of ciders they make, the kinds of apples (and pears!) they use, the steps they take in order to make their wonderfully delicious products, and you’ll be able to see a picture of the whole Seattle Cider team! Want to know why they do what they do? On the website, you’ll find a list of some tasty sounding recipes, news links, and job postings. Plus, learn more about their driving forces – their mission, vision, and values – and how they dedicate themselves to supporting their local businesses and community, just like we do at Easy Monkey!

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Thirst Quenching Beers for Hot Summer Days

Petula Clark had it right when she sang about forgetting all your troubles and cares when you go downtown; in fact, she could’ve been singing about Easy Monkey! When you’re here, you’ll find plenty of beers, ciders, and snacks perfect for hot summer days (or afternoons, evenings, or nights). You might ask what beers are usually preferred during the summer months; the answer to that is (usually) wheat or hoppy beers with accents of a variety of fruit, mostly citrus fruits. IPAs are popular in the summer, because they are well-hopped and some contain fruit and citrus flavors. Wheat beers like hefeweizens and wit beers are also popular during the warm summer months. Although we offer more than these delightful summer options, if you’re looking for a way to cool down with a traditional summer flavor, you might enjoy these beers:

  • Golden ales like Dirty Bucket Brewing Company’s “Dirty Blonde” (4.7% ABV) go hand in hand with summer. It’s light and refreshing, with a smooth oat finish.
  • Another light, refreshing beer – this one more traditional than the last, and with a sweet aroma – is Two Beers’ “Pilchuk Pilsner” (4.7% ABV).
  • At 5.7% ABV, with oats, malted barley, and three different types of local hops, Hellbent Brewing Company’s “Hop & Oats” is a pale ale with a smooth citrus and floral taste.
  • Speaking of citrus, what’s summer without citrus fruits like oranges, limes, and lemons? Big E Ales’ “Summer Haze” (5% ABV) uses oranges and orange peel in addition to its unique coriander twist.
  • Floral and citrusy – that’s the name of the game when it comes to thirst-quenching summer beers, and Georgetown Brewing Company’s Lucille IPA (7% ABV) is just that – perfect for a hot summer day.

What You Might Not Know About Summer Beers

With IPAs and hoppy beers much more in vogue now than in decades past, you may have seen people putting salt in their beers, but do you know why? Salting your beer is far from a recent discovery. Salt is known for enhancing flavors of meats (for example), but it does the same and more for beers: That hoppiness (and the accompanying bitterness) that features so prominently in IPAs is, in fact, reduced when salt is added.

Here is something else you might not know: IPAs are one of the quintessential “summer” beers, and Seattle has developed a reputation as one of the best places to get an IPA. Maybe that’s because the nearby Yakima Valley grows so much of the world’s – not just the U.S.’s – hops, which are such an important ingredient in IPAs. As a matter of fact, the Yakima Valley grows more than 70% of the world’s hops.

Looking for Something a Little Different?

Think you’ve tried it all? Try some of our other options:

  • At 6.5% ABV, and light, crisp, and fruity, with notes of lemon, orange, apple, and a cinnamon finish, you’ll love Seattle Cider Company’s Semi-Sweet cider. If dry cider is more up your alley, you’ll love Seattle Cider Company’s Dry cider, which is unfiltered, has the same ABV, and features aromas and tastes of lilac, blood orange, green apple, nectarine, peach, and cherry.
  • For $8.50, you won’t find anything more summer-y than our double smoked brat with sides of baked beans and chips or our grilled honey ham (from DD Meats) and two-cheese panini sandwich.
  • On the lighter (and vegetarian) side, $7.50 will get you a plate of our delicious roasted red pepper hummus with veggies and pita bread.

Easy Monkey has everything your summer-loving heart could desire, so what are you waiting for? We can’t wait to see you, whether you’re a first-timer, a regular, or a visitor to the area, check us out; you won’t regret it.