October Mission: Beer – Part Deux

by Megs Thompson

Icicle Brewing; Leavenworth

Located on Front St. in the heart of downtown Leavenworth, Icicle Brewing is a must see (and taste!) when visiting Washington’s own little Bavarian village. It’s a fantastic destination for a day trip, a weekend getaway, or a full-fledged Oktoberfest experience.

On this, my inaugural visit, I arrived just before the doors opened at 11am, and joined a pleasant gent, who I soon learned was a regular, basking in the early autumn sun outside of what can only be described as a true beer garden. Complete with large, family style picnic table eating areas, umbrellas, and well-placed heating units, it’s no stretch to see why Icicle Brewing is one of the most popular stops in town!

DSCN0529Opened by the Brulotte family in 2011, Icicle Brewing is actually the family’s second stellar addition to the city. Having originally relocated to Washington from California in 2001, Oliver & Pamela Brulotte (& kids) built and opened München Haus Bavarian Grill & Beer Garden (www.munchenhaus.com) on Front Street, just a few blocks west from where the brewery stands today.

I was treated to a great behind the scenes tour with Tap House Master, Gretchen (who admitted sheepishly that, while interviewing for the job, she answered the question of her favorite beer with “PBR, or Blue Moon” – she’s still a bit surprised that she got the job). I was able to check out the 25-barrel brewing system firsthand, as well as drooling over the crazy rainbow of beer being pulled directly from the large vats within the cellar, up through the ceiling, behind the bar and into the glasses of waiting guests – completely skipping the keg for the majority of their most popular brews. It should be noted, however, that kegs and growlers are available to go. You’re welcome.

I also learned all sorts of nifty tidbits that really do make Icicle Brewing stand apart! Did you know that instead of serving their beer ice-cold, they opt to serve it at the same temperature as is done in Cologne & Düsseldorf, Germany? Thanks to their perfectionist brew-master Dean Priebe, who brewed his first concoction in his dorm at UW, and had one of his recipes take top prize in a contest held by Seattle’s Pike Brewing, this prize winning brew went on to become the Porter that’s served at Icicle Brewing today.

As is becoming my habit, I went ahead and ordered a flight, thinking it would be the best way to sample a few of the breweries most popular pints. I only had a few of their prize-winners though – they’ve brought home 54 medals for winning brews since opening in 2011. Imagine my surprise and excitement when delivered to my table was not the standard flight of 4, but 9 different samples, including one very special, brand-new brew that’s yet to be released to the public! It’s a delicious, coffee-based amber that’s created in partnership with J-5 Coffee Roasters, also in Leavenworth – think iced coffee with an added kick.

My personal favorites were the Khaos Kölsch – a German style ale, light, crisp & slightly fruity with a subdued malt flavor, the Colchuck Raspberry Wheat – tinted pink & smelling like summer, with a tart berry flavor, and most notably, Dark Persuasion German Chocolate Cake Ale – Holy Yum! Dubbed as “50 shades of risqué”, this chocolate cake in a glass has a hint of coconut and the smoothness of liquid silk. Absolutely divine!

While Icicle Brewing is definitely succeeding at serving up some seriously delicious brews, they aren’t stopping there. With live music, movie, and game nights throughout the week, and a family-friendly environment, they really have created the perfect beer garden experience.

The Tasting Room opens Monday-Wednesday at noon, & Thursday-Sunday at 11am, with all ages welcome until 10pm, with tours being given Saturdays & Sundays, at 11am & 1pm. For a full calendar of upcoming events, as well as locations where Icicle brews are available around the area, check out their website at www.iciclebrewing.com.

Stay tuned next week for another Washington Brewery Adventure!