In my blog post “Beyond Lynnwood Part 1…” I transitioned Lynnwood’s transit center (and nearby Big E Ales brewpub) from a standalone Fueled by Beer destination to a hub for visiting additional breweries; specifically Mukilteo’s Diamond Knot Brewing Co. In “Beyond Lynnwood Part 2…” I travel once again to Mukilteo, but this time I ride the ferry across to Whidbey Island, continuing to the picturesque Village of Langley, and Olde World Ales & Lagers…
I’d like to preface this post by suggesting that the village of Langley, with its quaint shops, galleries, and restaurants, perched high on a bluff overlooking the Sound offers much more than simply a beer tasting destination. It has all the ingredients to provide a fun day out for the whole family.
This is especially so in summer, as evidenced by the crowds of visitors who descend on the village every weekend. The fact that Langley has a great little brewery is icing on the cake for us beer geeks.
It’s worth mentioning too that most visitors to Langley arrive by car – many after being stuck for up to two hours in Mukilteo in the line of backed up cars – that’s how long the wait times can be for the ferry during peak summer periods.
For us transit tourists; we just get off the bus and walk on to the ferry. 🙂
In a nutshell, this trip is built around existing Saturday transit schedules leaving from Bellevue or Seattle. The trip can also be made on a Thursday or a Friday with similar times. Either way, check Sound Transit’s regional trip planner – it can figure your trip as far as Clinton. The leg of the journey between Clinton and Langley is provided by Island Transit: complete details are provided at the end of this post.
As always, I advocate using Orca to pay fares and make transfers – it will cost significantly more to use cash. For the ferry, payment is due only from Mukilteo to Clinton. Once on Whidbey Island, all Island Transit buses are fare-free.
OK, so our first stop will be Lynnwood, for an early lunch and beer tasting at Big E Ales. Next we head to Langley for mid-afternoon beer tasting at Olde World Ales, with time for a snack at one of Langley’s fine eateries if needed. And finally, we wind up in Mukilteo for a leisurely evening dinner, with beer tasting at Diamond Knot. After dinner we return to Bellevue or Seattle via Lynnwood.
So how was Langley and Olde World Ales?
Well, our first order of business, after getting off the bus in Langley, was food. For this we found our way to the Braeburn Restaurant where we enjoyed some excellent nosh.
Thus fortified we explored historic Langley for a while – but soon the call of the beer beckoned.
Leaving The Spouse and The Daughter to continue wandering around shops, etc., The Navy Son and your’s truly headed off to Olde World Ales, where we were greeted by owner and brewmaster Mike McMahon (nice background story).
On the day of our visit Mike was pouring his Three Bag Bitter, his Tree Blind Stout, and his Amber IPA; all very good.
Mike spoke a little about his background, including his early experiences at Maritime Pacific. Anyone who follows this blog will know the high regard I have for Ballard’s finest, and I would venture to say that Mike is producing brews of similarly high quality.
Keep in mind that other notable M-P alums include, for instance, the founders of Elliott Bay Brewing; the guys I had such a hard time relegating into second place behind Elysian when I announced the winner of Puget’s Perfect Pint.
Anyway, we spent an enjoyable couple hours at Olde World Ales – The Spouse and The Daughter soon joined us – as did some locals. Mike has a nice self-built operation underway in Langley, one I sincerely hope can thrive and grow.
UPDATE OCTOBER 2011: Olde World Ales & Lagers has closed and Mike McMahan has moved to Bend, Oregon.
With Whidbey Island’s only other brewery (Flyers) 35 miles away in Oak Harbor, and Diamond Knot, the nearest mainland brewery, across the water in Mukilteo, I hope the South Whidbey community recognizes the importance of supporting Olde World Ales – Mike’s efforts add great value to Langley as a place to visit. 🙂