Double Bluff Brewing, Langley
Available: On tap at the brewery.
My thoughts: To celebrate the end of October and his brewery’s second anniversary, Double Bluff head brewer and owner Daniel Thomis brewed up five German-style beers.
Along with regulars like a kolsch and altbier, Thomis brewed an Oktoberfest ale, hefeweizen and a Berliner weisse for the festivities. I took the ferry over to Whidbey Island earlier this week and tried all five. They’re all true to style except the Berliner weisse. Made with lactic acid, the Berliner weisse isn’t as tart as most I’ve had. Not to say it’s not worth a try, just that the sourness is muted. Thomis mixes is with a raspberry extract to give it a little fruity touch.
Of the five beers I tried, I enjoyed the flavor and depth of the Oktoberfest most. To be fair, it had been on tap for a few weeks so it had settled in a bit, while the altbier and hefeweizen were still conditioning. Without the ability to lager it, Thomis brewed the Oktoberfest as an ale. It’s the third year in a row he’s made the beer, and it’s a nicely balanced German-style ale that is very drinkable.
While I was visiting, a gentleman walked in with a growler and asked for it to be filled with the Oktoberfest. He said he hadn’t had as good an Oktoberfest since the days of the Gordon Biersch Festbier, so I asked him what he liked about the beer.
“It’s good,” he said, dryly.
I can drink to that. As for the altbier, I’ve had it before, and it’s a glorious dark amber beer with a good balance of malt and hop character. The kolsch also is very good. Straw-like in color, it’s refreshing while also having a full mouthfeel and flavor. The hefeweizen is a true German-style hefeweizen, right down to the funky aroma. The flavor is more banana and clove, with a very light hop finish.
Celebrating its second anniversary, the brewery’s party this Friday and Saturday will feature traditional German food, including hot pretzels and a German-style food truck, plus live music courtesy a number of local bands. The weather should be great and the brewery has a comfy patio where you can enjoy a few pints.
Thomis said the brewery had a successful summer and has that classic problem small breweries often run into: increasing business and not enough beer. Thomis said so far he’s been able to keep up with demand, but doesn’t see much room for growth on his current 1.3-barrel system. He said he’s thought about leasing space down the street to house a larger production brewer but doesn’t have the capital to do it right now.
If he keeps making the quality of beer I tasted the other day, though, he may have to increase production sooner rather than later.
More new releases
Gypsywolf IPA, Dreadnought Brewing: This IPA was brewed with Citra and Mosaic hops all added late in the boil. Available on tap at the brewery.
Bock Naked and Stairway to Hef’n, Lake Stevens Brewing: Bock Naked is a caramel-colored weizenbock, a lager with notes of toffee, malt and bread. Stairway to Hef’n is a traditional German hefeweizen made with half wheat and pilsner malts. Available on tap at the brewery.
Righteous Indulgence Dusseldorf Altbier, 5 Rights Brewing: Brewed to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Reformation Day, this altbier is malt-forward as well as assertively hoppy. Available on tap at the brewery, Brat From Deutschland and The Hop and Hound.
Black Clouds, Skookum Brewing: An IPA brewed with lactose and finished on a mountain of blackberries and whole vanilla beans. Available on tap at the brewery.
Vienna Lager, Foggy Noggin Brewing: Made with all malted barley and hops give this beer a gentle creaminess and dry finish. Available on tap at the brewery.