Monday, June 27, 2011

A Trip To Silver City Brewing

This past weekend we had a bit of nice weather, so I decided to jump on my motorcycle and take a trip to a brewery I hadn't had the opportunity to visit yet.  That brewery was Silver City Brewery & Restaurant in Silverdale, WA.  I could have taken the Bremerton ferry from Seattle to get to Silverdale but, since I live a bit farther South and it was a nice day for a ride, I decided to take the waterfront route along Dash Point to Tacoma and then on through Gig Harbor, Oak Harbor and Bremerton on Highway 16 and Highway 3. 

I arrived at the brewery, surrounded by fast food joints (Mickey D's, Jack in the Box, Skippers, etc.) and set adjacent to a mall with places like Kohl's and Macy's Furniture Gallery.  It was an oasis for those seeking a real brewpub (as opposed to the pale imitation that is Red Robin, just a few doors down - does that place EVER clean their tap lines?)

I took a seat at the bar and ordered an Indianola IPA.  The first sip had a bit of a 'yeasty/homebrewey' kind of taste, but it soon passed and presented a fairly well balanced IPA.  A bit on the sweet side and a bit light on the hop bite for my tastes, but as my regular readers know, I'm a serious hop-head.  It had a sweet caramel malt and floral hop aromas (subdued).  I was preparing to order some food, but learned that Silver City's happy hour is 7 days a week.  I was a bit after 2:00 and their happy hour started at 3:00, so I decided to nurse in Indianola a bit, and wait until happy hour to order food. 

The Taps At Sliver City Brewery & Restaurant

When happy hour arrived, I stepped things up on the beer side, ordering a Whoop Pass Double IPA.  This 9% deep copper colored IPA is the stronger and hoppier counterpart to Indianola.  It had a nice grapefruit/orange citrus aroma with just a bit of caramel and brown sugar type sweetness in the background.  Assertively hoppy, this is my type of beer; grapefruity and piney with just enough malt backbone to support the assertive hoppiness. 

I paired my Whoop Pass with a bowl of Silver City's Gumbo and a pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw.  Though not traditional Southern style, the gumbo was pretty good, with andouille, chicken, red peppers, onions and served over rice.  And their 'small' happy hour bowl wasn't exactly tiny (though for $5.99, it shouldn't be.  I'm used to lower prices for happy hour soup servings - but smaller portions too). 

The pulled pork sandwich with slaw was also good ($5.99 also).  Not too heavy on the BBQ sauce, which I like, but it may have almost been too light on the sauce. My first few bites were a bit on the dry side.  I find that getting the BBQ sauce to pork ratio correct for a pulled pork sandwich can be a challenge.  There are varying opinions on how much sauce is enough - how much is too much, etc.  I think the best solution would be if more restaurants started going ligher on the BBQ sauce, but including an extra side of it for those who want more.  The bun was firm but not hard and the slaw had the right amount of dressing; not too much or too little. 

Wanting to finish with something a bit lighter, I switched to Silver City's Hefewizer for my last beer.  I was preparing to use lemon in my Hefewizen, as I often do with American-style Hefe's, but I was pleased to discover that Silver City's Hefewizen, which I had never had before, was a German Style Hefe.  I don't use lemon on German style Hefewizens, so I put the lemon wedge aside and enjoyed.  They did a decent job with this one.  I've had better Hefes, but the traditional clove and banana notes were there, along with a nice wheat malt character with a medium body.  Very refreshing. 

We haven't had a whole lot of great weather so far this summer, but I hope I'll have more opportunities to visit other breweries in the state this year, so I can share my impressions with you.  I'll have to start figuring out which brewery I'll visit next.

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.

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