There’s something to be said for exploring an area haphazardly, discovering things by accident as you go along. This is how I discovered Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company…
Over the July 4th weekend 2008, while The Spouse & The Daughter were with me for their 2nd look-see trip before completing our move, we took a drive up into the Cascades to hike the trails leading up to Snoqualmie Pass.
Snow had fallen only a couple weeks earlier so it was a chance for The Daughter – Florida girl as she still was – to experience the white stuff.
Anyway, along the way we stopped in North Bend, the last town of any consequence before the mountains, and we ate at the North Bend Bar & Grill. This is a fine eatery to which we have returned several times. And on that first visit, in addition to offering good food, they recommmended a great local beer on tap – Snoqualmie Wildcat IPA.
Each time we have returned to North Bend I have had more Snoqualmie beer – last time it was Copperhead Pale Ale – and it has been consistently good. I learned that the Snoqualmie brewery is only 3 miles from North Bend, and that they have a kid-friendly taproom serving food as well as all of their beers – including some taproom-only brews. So, as my Pursuit for Puget’s Perfect Pint became increasingly systematic, Snoqualmie was added to my brewpub bucket list.
We finally made it out there this past July 4th weekend, almost 2 years to the day since I first tasted Snoqualmie beer. The taproom beer didn’t disappoint but unfortunately the restaurant was nothing to write home about: a tiny space offering only the most basic pub fare; perhaps the most disappointing we’ve come across. I would not make another trip out to the Snoqualmie Brewery & Taproom just to drink their beer; I’d rather go back to North Bend where there’s decent food to go with it. Also, I can buy Snoqualmie beer in my local grocery store. Ah well, at least we went out there and can now check them off the bucket list.
Snoqualmie is roughly 30 miles from downtown Seattle, North Bend around 35. It is possible to get there by bus – hourly service runs from downtown Seattle (Sound Transit #554) to Issaquah Transit Center, transfer onto Metro #209 which continues on to Fall City, Snoqualmie, and terminates at the North Bend Factory Stores. This is a long meandering route but beautiful when the weather’s nice. Allow 90 minutes each way.