After the triple digit temperatures and anticipation of an early harvest (sparkling grapes have been harvested this last week, so Washington is officially in 2015 harvest) I scheduled myself off this weekend to spend time with my beloved. We took advantage of the modest eighty-degree temperatures for a motorcycle ride from Walla Walla to Joseph, Oregon. It took us through forested mountains, a forest fire, farmlands and small towns to picturesque Lake Wallowa in the Wallowa Mountains and the artistic town of Joseph.
Six years ago we visited the same area during our honeymoon tour and Joseph was a charming art community but not much going on right before the Fourth of July. Today we were pleased to see a bustling, post-Blues Festival town with more shops and eateries, including a brewery and a distillery that weren’t around during our last visit. Bronzes, large and small are the prominent art. Along the street corners, in private yards, and available for commission and sale are beautiful bronze statues.
We spent a bit of time wandering through the Wallowa Lake State Park to stretch our legs and take in the beautiful scenery. It was fun to watch the chipmunks scurrying in the rocks along the lake. On our previous visit there were hardly any people and the local deer were everywhere in the park! We didn’t see any this visit. The smell of barbecue wafting from various camp sites throughout our walk made my stomach growl with anticipation of our own delayed lunch.
It was easy to decide where lunch would be: Mutiny Brewing Co. The thought of a local beer to go with our lunch was too much to pass up. Friendly, with house made food offerings that took into account the gluten-free and vegetarian options and didn’t limit me with my allergies to one menu item! Six beers offered became a flight to accompany our soup and salad lunches. This was probably my favorite meal out in a very long time; the garlic-beer clams (soup) were everything I hoped they would be!
- (S)Wheat – 5.0% ABV this light gold ale came with a slice of orange on the side of the glass. Before adding it we enjoyed the lemony smell and true malty palate, after adding the orange that dominated the taste of the beer (This is the beer in my clam broth!)
- Pitcairn Pale – 5.6% ABV was toasted whole grain bread with a mild pine finish that became more intense as the beer warmed up
- Super Pale – 6.6% ABV has a slightly herbal nose with a nicely complex malt and herbal hop mouth full
- Pi-Dog Porter – 6.0% ABV while cold the nose is barley and cocoa but as it warmed up it became a rich caramel, the palate is nutty and cocoa and very smooth
- Brown – 5.5% ABV a slightly metallic nose (iron?) and finish with a primarily malty palate throughout
- Haze Maze – 6.8% ABV mild citrus nose with a creamy mouthfeel and a balance of malts and hops from start to finish
Have you been to Joseph, Oregon? To the Wallowa Mountains/Lake? If you are in the Boise, Idaho area, have you seen their beers offered yet?