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Here for the beer

October 3, 2010
Beer sampler

We managed to polish off a few beer samplers... (Orin O'Neill photos)

The trees in Bellingham are rather confused. It’s October, but it’s warm. And not just warm for October, but warm, period.

But that made Saturday a great day for a ride to Edmonds.

The Low Brow SC’s inaugural Northern Exposure brewery tour came about due to the cancellation of Seattle’s longtime beer ride fixture, Festering Oktoberscoot. The ones I attended always seemed to happen in traditional Seattle fall weather (i.e., cloudy, wet and cold). The mild weather forecast made a ride down from Bellingham almost mandatory.

Filling up Joy's tires

Before leaving, we discovered Joy's tires were a bit under-inflated

SOB members Tom and Joy joined me; Todd wasn’t feeling well, or he would have come along as well. Tom suggested we check the pressures in Joy’s Scarabeo’s tires, and it turned out they really needed some air. (Remember, check this stuff regularly, so you don’t get stuck somewhere!)

Seventy-five cents later, we were off. We took my Seattle to Bellingham route, which can be found on the Road Trip Maps page.

I’ve made this trip a bunch of times, but this was the best one by far. Mild weather, and a GTS with no issues at all! We zipped through the Skagit Valley and found no one from the Scooters of Skagit club waiting for us in Stanwood, so on we went to Edmonds.

Red scooters

It seemed a red scooter was a requirement for this rally...

While there was no requirement to ride a red scooter, most of the bikes in this group were. Our friend Chuck, who has mostly been riding his MP3 (gray) lately, even had his red GTS. And as has been the case in rallies all over the U.S., most of them were modern Vespas. The lone old-skool Vespa was a P125X, newly acquired by Brent, my riding buddy on the trip to Vancouver a few years ago.

Our first stop was Nate MC’s basement.

Nate's brewery

Nate MC has a brewery in his basement

Nate is a very serious home-brewer. He used to keep bags of grain and other ingredients in his living room, but has since moved them. There are still scooters in the living room, however.

From there, we rode to Redmond, via Bothell and Woodinville. Craft alcohol has become the dominant industry in this part of the world; we passed numerous wineries and breweries, housed in small industrial parks that used to be home to electronics firms and small manufacturers. The state of Washington has recently given its okay for small distilleries with tasting/sales areas, so craft booze would appear to be the Next Big Thing.

We stopped for lunch at Red Hook’s Forecaster pub, which was very crowded. Half the people in the place were dressed in Spandex cycling team unies, not least because Woodinville is a popular destination for cyclists.

Ralph and Safety Ed

Ralph and Safety Ed debate the merits of the various brews

Most craft beers brewed in and around Seattle range from very bitter to excruciatingly bitter. I don’t know if this is due to the proximity of the Yakima Valley, which is the largest producer of hops in the world. But this makes it easy to taste, and not drink. The last place we stopped brews root beer; I drank one of those.

SOB Tom at Red Hook

Tom at Red Hook

Oh, and Tom wanted everyone to know that he didn’t finish his beer at Red Hook. That is an extremely rare occurrence. Consider the media alerted. Favicon

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One Comment
  1. October 3, 2010 3:37 pm

    Bitter beer. It’s like making wine with the greatest amount of alcohol and tannins possible. I wish someone wouldn’t. When I go to parties where I don’t want to drink I have Scotch because I can’t stand the taste of the stuff.

    Congrats on the quick Vespa fix. Much more of that and I’ll have to get another GTS ( and another wife in that case!)…

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