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Best Seattle Beers for Summer

This past winter in Seattle was one of the greyest and dreariest on record with just three sunny days between between October and March. What’s a lousy time for weather is great for breaking out your stouts and porters while you stay cozy indoors.

But now, finally, the sun has returned to the Northwest. Seattle summers are stunning – the whole city seems motivated to get outside, grill, and embrace all the Vitamin D we can get. The only thing missing from these scenarios are the perfect beer to match. Thankfully, local breweries have you covered and we’ve got them on tap at Easy Monkey. Here are a few different beers for summer we suggest to break out as we head into the summer and put some “hops” in your step.

Big E Ales’ Summer Haze

As the name implies, Big E Ales’ Summer Haze is the perfect brew for the season. This light, wheat ale is a brisk and refreshing drink. Throw in a orange slice to bring out the citrus flavor, taking it from smooth and invigorating to fun and exciting.

Dirty Bucket’s Dirty Blonde

=We’ve previously heralded blondes as a great way to get new beer drinkers into beer, with their light and not-so-intimidating flavor. But blondes offer even more than just an introduction to other beers. Dirty Bucket’s Dirty Blonde is a summer favorite. The crisp flavor with the handcrafted oat finish just tastes like a day at the lake or kicking back on the back patio.

Two Beers’ Pilchuck Pilsner

The key to a great summer beer is not picking something too heavy. Some beers, like porters, can help warm you up. But when it’s already hot out, you want something that’s going to quench your thirst and not weigh you down. Pilsners are great for this and Two Beers Brewing Company’s Pilchuck Pilsner is no exception. The Pilchuck has a little bit more hops than your typical pilsner, but that’s also part of it’s appeal. It gives you a little kick without losing that sensation that makes you go “ahh!” after the first sip.

Big E Ales’ Blackberry Ale

When you think summer flavors, you’re likely thinking of something fruity or sweet. It’s such a vibrant time of year that you want something to match the mood. The Blackberry Ale by Big E Ales is a fun and festive treat for your tastebuds. It’s a bit darker than most of the other beers you’d typically reach for in the summer, but the berry flavor brings it down to a happy medium. We suggest pairing this one with one of our hummus and veggie plates and a trademark Northwestern sunset.

Is your mouth watering yet? Come down to the Easy Monkey Taphouse and try a pint for yourself! When the heat gets to be too much, swing by on any given Thursday night at 7 for our pub trivia night with Billy Clinton. We’ll keep the air conditioning going and the cold beers coming. See you here soon.

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Guide: Top Breweries in Seattle

With the vast number of breweries that have sprung up in Seattle, it is a daunting task to remember them all. Last year alone, Seattle had nearly sixty breweries inside their city limits. So with so many to choose from… where do you start ?

Here are a few of our favorites and hopefully after you try some of their crafted brews they will become favorites of yours as well.

Georgetown Brewing Company
Georgetown Brewing Company is a great beer company made up of  hard working down to earth team that takes pride in their craft. The establishment is a pretty no frills place, but let’s be honest: they make good beer and that’s why their Manny’s unfiltered Pale Ale is one of the most popular drinks in the state. Come in and have a taste where the drink is made, and maybe buy a growler or two for home. If you want to sit down and be social, we suggest you  just come on by the Easy Monkey and we will be glad to pour you a pint.

Big E Ales
Big E Ales environment is the complete opposite of Georgetown Brewing company. With a unique and welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel at home, Big E Ales have been in production for just over ten years now and has transformed itself from a small brewery to a cozy cedar planked pub with a reuben that is something not to be missed. Located in Lynnwood, the mindset at Big E Ales is that they make more than just beer. They make lasting bonds of friendship for from all walks of life.

Two Beers Brewing Company
Two Beers Brewing might be a newcomer on the block, but they have a unique outlook on the world and the beer business that is hard pressed to be beat. Their philosophy is “life is more honest after two beers”. Two Beers offers up a very diverse selection of crafted drinks, offering several canned selections a shockingly delicious cold brew coffee brown, a bold creation in a town full of some serious coffee lovers. Two Beers Brewing also offers special tap room only selections. Two Beers Brewing’s Tasting room is known as “The Woods”, where you can take in samples of their brew as well as enjoy watching their next batch being made. Best of all while you take in the show you can bring your favorite furry friend along, because Two Beers Brewing company is Dog Friendly.

We’re proud to have selections from each of these breweries on our menu. If you are curious about other great breweries let us know.

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Men Drink Cider, Too!

It’s a well-known fact that bars cater differently to men and women when it comes to drinks and drink selection. Wines, or a colorful cocktail, fruity cider, and lighter brew are often marketed to women, and stiff drinks and darker brews can usually be geared toward the male population. That’s not to say people don’t enjoy what they want, and we knew plenty of people that mix it up and enhoy whatever their heart desires… but it’s easy to get caught up in “the usual” of your typical order, right? Most don’t venture out, unless it’s to jump from their standard IPA to a seasonal draft or new porter on tap at their local watering hole. People like what they know and know what they like, and that’s ok.

Then there’s hard cider. While many men don’t like to drink a hard cider because they think it’s not meant for them (hello, it’s fruity and light? No thanks), it’s a common misconception that we’d like to quickly debunk. We know plenty of men that thoroughly enjoy mixing up their routine with a refreshing, locally-brewed hard cider.

How Ciders Appeal To Men

As we mentioned, it often seems as if anything that has a fruit-forward profile is deemed as a women’s drink and any beer or cocktail that’s hard liquor-based, such as a whiskey, bourbon or scotch, is more for men. However, cider is the perfect beverage for both men and women. It’s refreshing, plain and simple. On a hot summer day, there’s nothing more satisfying than cracking open a cider, so why should it be frowned upon for anyone to indulge? It’s not cloyingly sweet, like one might assume. In fact, many of the cider’s sweetest notes are aromatic – after your sip, you’re not left with a residual sweetness that you feel like you need to wash away. It’s refreshing, and light – and leaves you wanting more.

Types Of Ciders

Guess what? It’s not just apple cider anymore. There are so many different fruit ciders available now. While apple is the most popular (and the range is plentiful – green apple, apple cinnamon), it isn’t uncommon for you to find pear, peach, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, or other fruits mixed together to provide with uniquely refreshing combinations. In terms of the cider as a whole, there is a regular cider that you will see most commonly, and then there are dry ciders – dry ciders are not as sweet. So, if you’d find yourself choosing to enjoy a cider and you cringe at the idea of sipping a sugary-sweet beverage at your favorite local happy hour – just look for a dry cider to test out.

Cocktails With Ciders

If you don’t want to drink a cider straight, and you prefer to mix it with a shot to stiffen it up, one of the most common drinks you will find is a hard cider mixed with either Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire or Fireball to help give you a flavorful cinnamon apple drink that is perfect for the fall and packs an undeniable punch. Additionally, you can try a minty drink that is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day: mix 4 ounces of a hard cider, 1 ounce of vodka and a half ounce of creme de menthe.

While you still might not feel 100% comfortable when it comes to ordering a hard cider over your usual beer or wine when you are out, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be. Try something new, mix it with your favorite liquor, or experiment with dry flavor combos. We have a awesome options available at Easy Monkey Taphouse that would be the perfect start – we’d be happy to introduce you to Seattle Cider’s Semi-Sweet or Dry Cider options. Both are about 6.5% ABV and feature their own unique notes of fruit and spice. Ask us about them, next time you’re in!

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Where In The Northwest is My Beer From?

It’s easy to disassociate yourself from where your beer is coming from. You tell the bartender what you’re in the mood for, they pour your a pint, you drink, and it’s done. But when you start digging deeper into the origins of your beer, you start to find patterns based off the regions. We’re not just talking about foreign beers or even beers from across the country. You can look into our own backyard and find a vast array of quality breweries. Let’s take a look at three regions in Washington and see what beers and breweries you have to choose from.

Tri-Cities

When you think of Tri-Cities and the Yakima Valley, you’re probably thinking about wine and not beer. However, the Tri-Cities area is host to wide array of microbreweries with even more eclectic beers. Bombing Range Brewing company is the go-to place for ales and lagers while also acknowledging the town’s military heritage with their name.

Ice Harbor Brewing Company may look like just a pub from the outside, but inside they’re concocting everything from classic IPAs and stouts to more vibrant drinks like a tangerine-infused hefeweizen. There’s also White Bluffs Brewing, which boasts that they brew their beers “with character” – this is especially true with their collection of farmhouse ales which they use to put their unique spins on classical ales.

Spokane

Spokane continues to boom and with it, so does their brewing community. Black Label Brewing Company is always keeping beer drinkers on their toes. With a rotating tap at their Spokane location, they’re able to experiment with different flavors and concepts with an upscale atmosphere while they serve espresso stouts and honey blondes.

No-Li Brewery also takes an adventurous approach with their “brewing beer with no boundaries” catch phrase. They live up to it, as well. Their Big Juicy IPA lays on the citrus flavors heavy, giving you all the hoppiness of an IPA while quelling the bitterness. Throw in Iron Goat Brewing into the mix, with their Head Butt IPAs and Imperial Impaler IPAs, and you start to see how much of a bold beer town Spokane has become.

Seattle

Which brings us to our hometown of Seattle. Even if we weren’t based out of Shoreline, we’d have an affection for the numerous breweries in the Emerald City. Looking through our current list of beers on tap, you’ll get a little mini-tour of Seattle’s best breweries. Everything like old favorite Georgetown Brewing Company to relative newcomers like Two Beers Brewing Co. and Big E Ales. have a place on our tap. How do you define the Seattle style? It’s hard to point to any one thing other than quality. Seattle beers consistently aim for premiere taste and do a fine job of reaching those goals. It’s hard to go wrong with any of our local breweries.

Feeling thirsty for some Northwest brews? Stop into the Easy Monkey Taphouse today. Grab a pint or fill up a growler and begin your taste journey around Washington.

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Become a Beer Taster

The idea of a wine connoisseur has worked its way into the public conscious, often characterized as snobs who swirl their glasses and spit it out into buckets. Now, we love wine here at Easy Monkey and fully support people expanding their palate and enjoying their drinks fully. But this isn’t an idea that’s exclusive to wine. You probably already know that beers can vary vastly in flavor, but there’s also ways to fully enjoy the nuances of your pint.

If you want to go all the way, you can become a certified cicerone – aka a professional beer tester – but you don’t have to go that far to enjoy your beer. Follow these core ideas and you’ll get a better appreciation for your favorite brew.  

Look Before You Taste

Before you even get to drinking the beer, there are a few steps that will better inform your tastebuds. First, just take a look. Acknowledge the color as it compares to the the type of beer you’re about to enjoy. Does it have the golden tones of a wheat ale? The red glow of an amber? Also, make sure it’s been poured correctly as well. If it’s from a tap, it should be poured at an angle to minimize foam and keep the consistency true to the beer. You’d be wise to smell and give it a swirl, much like you would with a glass of wine. This will give you better insight into the aromas of the beer and thus the taste.

Take Sips, Not Gulps

When you’re truly trying to appreciate a beer, you don’t want to gulp it down. That might work with a cheap can of a macro-brew at a baseball game – that’s just an American tradition – but you’ll most of the subtleties of the beer. Take sips instead. Especially with hoppy beers like an IPA, you’ll find that you notice much more of the aromatic qualities. Craft beers are often designed for this type of experience. Breweries love to throw in notes of chocolate, lavender, and various spices to keep you on your toes.

Don’t Forget to Breathe

Take your time. After you take your initial sip, sit with it. Take a breath and exhale through your mouth. This will help you catch even more of the flavor. Sometimes you’ll get that “after taste” which reveals even more character to the beer than you may have previously noticed. Take some time to think about what you’re experiencing and try to place what you’re tasting. There’s plenty of fancy beer terms out there like “bouquet” and “chalky”, but what really matters is what your takeaway is. Those terms are great for talking with experts, but in general you can use your own words to express yourself.

Ready to start your road to being a better beer taster? We can help you out with our wide selection of locally brewed craft beers. Check out what’s on our rotating taps and decide what you want to try the next time you come in.