Sometimes I forget how spoiled I am to live in Portland. We’ve got not one, not two, but three pretty fantastic beer stores in city limits, and even the grocery stores get special releases from breweries like Full Sail, Deschutes and even smaller local brewers like Laurelwood and New Old Lompoc. Great beer is everywhere, on premises and off.
I remember how spoiled I am when I leave Portland. Although I recently found a good place in my hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, most places I travel to have a real dearth of quality beer stores that treat beer properly and carry a significant number of bottles.
I recently found a gem of a beer store in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood: Bottleworks, a beer store that launched Brouwer’s Cafe, another Seattle favorite. They don’t have near the selection of Belmont Station, jammed as they are in a narrow storefront lined with coolers. But what they lack in space, they make up for in creativity.
Bottleworks had several custom six-packs on offer, one of which was the Thomas Hardy vertical shown above. You have to love the hand-written custom wrapper on the six-pack holder, but more than that, you have to admire the passion and care that stockpiles enough Thomas Hardy to offer six years’ worth at the pretty reasonable price of $49.99. They also had a 6-year vertical of Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot available.
The vintage offerings weren’t limited to verticals, either. In fact, they had several atypical vintage beers available, ones that I have never seen or heard of being aged before: Urthel’s Hop-It, and Saison Dupont, to name a few. I thought it was especially cool that they hand-wrote the dates on the bottles since both those examples don’t include the date in any easily-discernible fashion.
Once again, this was a bit of a dangerous find, but a fun one. I ended up carrying a case of beer about four blocks, which tired me out, but has proven to be a worthwhile pursuit. As a matter of fact, I’m sipping on a 2003 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot as I write this … and a 2009 awaits. If you’re curious, you can follow my progress on our newish twitter feed …