The Second Flagship February Washington ale…the REAL Dark Horse of Northwest brewing…
Snoqualmie Falls Brewing
“Steam Train” Porter
Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company has been making Steam Train Porter for a LONG time, now. Back when there were VERY few Washington beers in any kind of packaging, there was Steam Train, sitting lonely on store shelves, in a dark, voluptuous Potential that was never explored by MOST NW beer fans. It did not escape the notice of beer experts, though…
“Seriously, this porter rocks; all of its attributes roll and work together to form a nearly perfect brew. Cheers to Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company for putting out such a stellar porter.” – Jason Ahlstrom, founder of BeerAdvocate 4.92 out of 5
Why are they so obscure? As they say in the real estate game, “Location, Location, Location“. Snoqualmie, Washington, is about as big as the parking lot at the Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field. It’s only other claim to fame is the Salish Lodge, an uber-swanky hotel, perched on the lip of the actual Snoqualmie Falls. You would recognize it in a heartbeat. It’s the opening transition shot of David Lynch’s immortal “Twin Peaks”. (see photo above) For my part, I’ve been a fervent fan of this beer ever since it was first poured on tap at the Snoqualmie pub, in 2002. I’ve tasted maybe 400 different craft Porters since then and only two or three even measured up. TWO have MAYBE surpassed it (maybe not!) but not by much. It is gorgeous and dark in the glass and adamantly not sweet, with a reddish head and effusive aromatics and tastes…like every great dark flavor you can imagine: coffee, chocolate, molasses, figs, plums, licorice, tar, spices, some dark fruit in the background, a dash of edgy hops resins, and even a hint of woodsmoke(!). And yet, ask any twenty craft beer fans from Seattle, just 30 miles away, and 75% of them have never heard of it and it is poured FAR too seldom at area pubs and alehouses. Every time I see it on a local Tacoma taplist, I get in the car, drive my lazy ass over there, and put down a pint – sloooowly, letting it warm and open up, relishing every molecule.
This became Snoqualmie Falls Brewing’s flagship beer in the most natural way possible: by simply being among the best of this style ever made in the US.