Pullman Washington, home to Washington State University and Cougar fans that bleed crimson, as well as a terrific brewery: Paradise Creek Brewery. When you drive into or out of Pullman you are below the ridges of the Palouse Hills, with primarily steeply rolling wheat fields and mostly blue sky for views. In the Spring, those wheat fields are emerald-green and gorgeous, less so other seasons. Living on the Eastside of Washington State for the last several years where the majority of the people I know are multigenerational Cougars and I hadn’t even been through the town until this trip my curiosity made me pay closer attention; it is about the same size as Walla Walla, settled about the same time as well. We didn’t see much of it as we wanted lunch and knew where we were heading.
My experience has been university towns tend to have some pretty good breweries these days ( my blog: Portneuf Valley in Pocatello) and expectations were high. WSU is originally a land-grant College so the primary focus is Ag related. The WSU ‘Cougar Gold’ cheddar cheese that is so popular is used in a mac-n-cheese at the brewery; that was my choice for lunch while my hubby had chili and slaw. The flights of six allowed us to cover all twelve brews on tap between two flights. Since it took us so long to get here we determined it was a good thing to determine what this brewery did well since it will probably be a while until we are able to get back through again.
It was a quiet, mid-afternoon on a beautiful Saturday, just as I like it to be so I can indulge my taste buds and slowly savor the beverage at hand while comparing tasting notes with my favorite tasting partner. The beers arrived first, so we settled in and determined the best tasting order. I got to people watch while we did this, it was interesting and fun. In fact, I got so sidetracked that at one point I misread what a beer was supposed to be and we both thought we were very disappointed in the Scottish Stovepipe when it was actually supposed to be an IPA; thank heavens! He still trusts me to put things in order and keep things straight, so apparently I don’t mess up too often.
From the first sip of Kugar Kölsch through the last sip of the Huckleberry Pucker and everything in between we could recognize beer styles and ‘get’ what the Brewer was after. When our food arrived and we began pairing beers with food our different meals lent themselves to different beers and we made short order of most of them.
To sum things up:
- We both favored the Daily Dubbel (seasonal) with tart fruit with sweet caramel and baking spice, 8.6% ABV 18 IBU – you need to be careful with this one as the flavors mask the alcohol
- My second favorite was the Kugar Kölsch (could be convinced to grab the growler and take a motorcycle ride up to have some this summer), a session style lager, 4.8% ABV 23 IBU
- Over the Hop IPA has a mild nose of juniper and citrus with a nice blend of toasty malts with citrus on the finish, 6.6% ABV 65 IBU
During the course of our lunch the place doubled the number of people inside; evening would be a hopping time at Paradise Creek Brewery. No longer hungry we were ready to resume our travels…