See Also: Brewing in Seattle: Redhood, Pike, and a>"/>
As Kurt Stream notes in his fun and informative "Brewing in Seattle," the once-independent burg was incorporated in 1904 by the Seattle Brewing and Malting Co. as a ploy to protect the company from the state's prohibition laws (much like countless Washington towns did in later years to avoid state land planning regs). It even elected the brewery's superintendent as its first mayor.
Today, Georgetown Brewery is clearly the bearer of the malt-and-barley torch for the ramshackle-cum-chic neighborhood. That said, I was pleased to find that Full Throttle Bottles, a beer store that sits in the shadow of Seattle Brewing and Malting Co.'s brew house of yore, plays a strong supporting role in proving Georgetown still cares mightily about beer.
As I left the surprisingly large and tightly packed shop, it occurred to me that Full Throttle's motto could be, "If you've never heard of it, you'll find it at Full Throttle Bottle."
Of course, to an extent, any bottle shop worth its caps will present you with unfamiliar labels. But I was impressed by Full Throttle's particular care for local brewers, carrying large catalogs of tiny and obscure breweries scattered about the Northwest. They were stocked to the brim with labels like Justice Brewing (Everett), Kassik's (Kenai, Alaska) and Spokane's NoLi brewery beers - a renamed and refinanced iteration of Northern Lights Brewery that's been the pleasure of any number of Gonzaga undergrads.
A little research at home justified my suspicions that there were uncommon brews and as well as my excitement at finding them in Georgetown, as all three breweries had only started selling bottles in Western Washington stores within the past year.
The shop also tries hard to make you a repeat customer. Along with a sorta-generous stamp card that rewards you with a discount after spending $100, the shop also has a program that, if you provide your name, will track what beers you have purchased over time. When dealing with this wide a selection, I could see that coming in handy.
Knowing all I need to know about NoLi (give it a shot if you have the opportunity, and raise a glass to Washington's second city), I went home with a Justice and Kassik's.
Justice calls itself a nanobrewery, and its website backs up that moniker. Under the "find us" tab, you'll see a Google map image of a residential neighborhood in Everett - above-ground pools and all - that directs you to a back alley for a growler fill (appointment only).
I tried their (or his) White and Nerdy, a "Belgian style white" with orange peel and citra hop.
The orange peel and citra hops are far less pronounced than I expected, though anyone who's had a Blue Moon understands that that's not necessarily a bad thing. It had a clean taste and smooth mouthfeel, and was a nice, if not completely memorable, thing to sip on.
Meanwhile, The Kassik's Morning Wood IPA ("never waste a morning wood") had me wondering whether they get IPA up there in Alaska, or whether the brewers went off an old recipe and kind of had to guess. The beer was fantastic, a syrupy sweet drink that poured a dark amber and balanced nicely. But it didn't fit my understanding of an IPA at all, with a fairly low hop profile and the aforementioned sweetness. Call it a winter IPA - or an English style IPA, as they do - and enjoy.
Upon my purchase, I didn't put my name into Full Throttle's system; I had a critic's wariness of giving over my identification (then went ahead and payed with a credit card, go figure). But I'll nonetheless make myself a repeat customer at Full Throttle. There some other Justice beers I want to try.