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Weekend: Best in Seasonal Brews

In Seattle NorthCountry, fall and winter bring shorter days, limited sunlight, and more time indoors.

It’s a great season to seek out something local to sip. Here are four places where you can be sure your beverage has been crafted with care, where local folks behind the scenes pour themselves into the process. Cheers!

Bluewater Organic Distillery | Everett

At Bluewater, local means local. Owner John Lundin has thoughtfully designed his whole operation—from distilling and bottling to lounge and restaurant—to center sustainability. Natural and organic ingredients from local suppliers only. No shortcuts. And as part of 1% For The Planet, 1% of gross bottle sales are donated to environmental conservation.

It’s best to start with the complimentary spirit tasting. Vodka, gin, and aquavit are always poured; liqueur and infusions change seasonally. When you’re ready to settle in with a cocktail, try the Harvest Mule. It’s just been added to the menu and incorporates the organic elderflower cardamom liqueur. And, because the folks at Bluewater love to encourage everyone to use fresh, seasonal ingredients in their cocktails at home, they’ve shared the recipe with us.

Harvest Mule
Bluewater Organic Vodka + Elderflower Cardamom Liqueur, pear, lemon, ginger beer
1.5oz Bluewater Organic Vodka
1oz pear puree
3/4oz Bluewater Organic Elderflower Cardamom Liqueur
3/4oz lemon
4oz ginger beer
Combine ingredients in a pint mason jar. Garnish with lemon wheel.

Bluewater Organic Distilling
1205 Craftsman Way Ste. 109
Everett WA
425-404-1408

Spada Farmhouse Brewery | Snohomish

Sour beer has become more and more popular, and Spada Farmhouse Brewery is pouring some of the best in Seattle NorthCountry, along with other farm-style ales. Sour beer can be compared to wine in the way it’s prepared and how it balances sweetness with acidity. Spada’s are barrel-aged at the brewery located on the family farm just outside of town.

The tasting room has nine taps; small-batch sours are always on offer but thirsty patrons can also enjoy other varieties, usually including an IPA, porter, or saison, and often a guest cider. The Bear, a Belgian dark, was a standout from a recent visit. At cozy Spada, with big wooden tables and a friendly, make-yourself-at-home vibe, you can bring in your own food or order pizza from Piccola Pizza next door.

Spada Farmhouse Brewery Tasting Room
106 Union Ave
Snohomish, WA 98290
425-330-6938


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Skip Rock Distillers | Snohomish

They’re pretty humble around Skip Rock; they didn’t bring it up, but they’ve recently won some very brag-worthy awards. The coffee liqueur was awarded SIP Northwest Magazine’s Double Gold Medal. At the World Liqueur Awards, the nocino walnut liqueur won a Gold Medal while the Raspberry Liqueur was pronounced the World's Best Fruit Liqueur. World’s. Best.

In other words, check this place out.

Skip Rock is firmly rooted in the PNW: founders Ryan and Julie Hembree are Snohomish locals, and ingredients are locally-sourced, as much as possible, for these small-batch spirits. It’s a diverse lineup, with two kinds of potato vodka, three award-winning rums, several whiskeys, and several fruit liqueurs.

Enjoy four ½ oz. tastes for $5. The spiced apple liqueur is served heated this time of year. And the nocino? “People say it tastes like Christmas,” says distiller Brian Roys.

Skip Rock Distillers
104 Ave C
Snohomish, WA 98290
360-862-0272

Twin Rivers Brewing Company | Monroe

When Adam Hoffman purchased the space that would become Adam’s Bistro, a small brewery was already next door. He kept the name, but made it his own with some changes to recipes and operations, and increased production significantly.

Taps rotate every three months or so, including one or two seasonal brews.

Flights of four 5 oz.tastes are $7. And because the brewery is co-located with the restaurant, you can enjoy these brews with anything from the menu. Choices will satisfy most, with everything from Pacific cod and chips to Maple Leaf Farms duck breast with farro and green lentils. You can’t go wrong with a Dry Hop IPA and a Bistro Burger. Add the salt and vinegar fries if you’re going all in.

Adam’s Northwest Bistro and Brewery
104 N. Lewis Street
Monroe WA 98272
360-794-4056

Erika Olson