Brewin' in the Burbs

There's good news brewing from the North End and the Eastside, and I'm not just talking about Rogue Issaquah Brewhouse brewer Arlen Harris's birthday last week, although the bourbon-barrel imperial stout he concocted brought much happiness and joy to the taste buds of those fortunate enough to get some. Farther east, in sleepy little Snoqualmie, Snoqualmie Falls Brewing opened its new on-premises taproom last month, featuring a full and fresh lineup of draft ales ably brewed by Rande Reed, Janelle Pritchard, and Greyson Eudy. There's also a fine pub menu of beer-friendly eats, including sandwiches toasted, baked, and fresh-made, as well as salads, soups, and a tasty meat and cheese platter. Get there while the Spring Fever Belgian-style ale is on, especially if you like coriander aroma blended with fruit notes, or choose from Snoqualmie Falls' reliable range of ales on tap, including an IPA that smacks you upside the taste buds with 75 IBUs (international bitterness units) of hoppy bitterness. Not at all bad for a craft brewery that will celebrate nine years in business this December. More good news comes from Diamond Knot Brewing and Alehouse. The little brewery and pub in Mukilteo, run by Bob Maphet and Brian Sollenberger with brewer Pat Ringe and alehouse manager Andy Eason, has been producing a full-flavored range of ales from a tiny seven-barrel brewery in a back room of the alehouse, and feeling the pressure from customers demanding more. Over the years, the backroom brewery has increased production to 1,200 barrels a year. Last year, the self-described "Knotheads" leased space in Harbour Pointe Industrial Park and installed a brewhouse and more fermenting capacity, which will allow Diamond Knot to increase production in coming years. DK's beer range runs from the light, quenching Golden Ale to the sturdy, malty Brown Ale, right on up to the 75 IBU, 7.5 percent Industrial IPA. The alehouse also offers a "cook-it-yourself" experience, employing state-of-the-art Stonegrill searing plates for main-course preparation at the table. Wait, there's more: Brewer-owner Shawn Loring's Lazy Boy Brewing is up and running in Everett, although they do not have a public taproom. The brewery started business in southeast King County at Druids Glen Golf Course, first as Maple Valley Brewing and then as Druids Brewing. In late 2005, Loring dismantled the brewery and spent the first few months of 2006 getting set up in a new space. A well-attended debut on May 1 at Fiddlers Inn in Wedgwood featured Lazy Boy's IPA, porter, and hefeweizen. The IPA is, as expected, a hop bomb for bitterness fans, and the porter is roasty and robust. The hefeweizen comes as a pleasant surprise: Loring ferments it with Bavarian yeast, yielding a pale-yellow, malty beer laden with banana esters and subtle spice aromas.

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