The Navy Son, who is currently based at USNAS Whidbey Island, Washington, spent some R&R time in Seattle this past weekend and while there he dropped in to Hellbent Brewing. This post reflects his report back to Fueled by Beer Central…
Last October Mr Fueled by Beer wrote about the seemingly unrelated demise of Rock Bottom Bellevue and the opening of Hellbent (read it). Seemingly unrelated until you factor in the former brewermaster at Rock Bottom and now co-founding brewer of Hellbent Brewing, Brian Young. Brian created Rock Bottom’s Hop Bomb IPA which won silver in the American Strong Pale Ale category at the 2006 and 2010 World Beer Cups. It also won in the same category at the Great American Beer Festival: gold in 2008; silver in 2007.
Hop Bomb, the beer that introduced Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer to Northwest IPAs back in 2008, has been so successful that something with the name Hop Bomb is still being pumped out at a number of RB locations around the country. And, judging by the hop profile, ABV percentage and IBU count of Hellbent’s IPA; the original Hop Bomb – or something very like it – is still among Brian’s own core lineup.
Hellbent has a setup that folks familiar with the taprooms at Big Al Brewing or Bainbridge Island Brewing will feel at home in. At Hellbent, in addition to the regular ground level brewery/taproom, the building has an upstairs mezzanine area with comfy sofas and chairs perfect for lounging around. There is space for playing board games, a pool table and sports screens ideal for watching the big game. The taproom’s 20 taps pour a mix of Hellbent beers, some guest beers and some ciders. And don’t ever discount the possibility that Brian might produce a cask-conditioned ale from time to time; he used to at Rock Bottom and was a regular participant in Seattle’s annual Caskfest. Food at Hellbent is provided by a regular schedule of food trucks in the parking lot – check Website/Facebook/Twitter for details.
During The Navy Son’s visit 9 Hellbent brews were on tap (see photo gallery below) plus 5 guest beers:
- Blueberry Sour Sour Ale (5.2% ABV, 20 IBU), Backwoods Brewing Company, Carson, WA.
- Copper Mountain Maibock (7.2% ABV), Silver City Brewery, Bremerton, WA
- Irish Dry Stout (4.15% ABV, 35 IBU), Kulshan Brewing Company, Bellingham, WA.
- Landwink IPA (6.6% ABV, 58 IBU), Triplehorn Brewing, Woodinville, WA.
- Counterbalance IPA (6.1% ABV, 72 IBU), Counterbalance Brewing Company, Seattle, WA.
He enjoyed a Hellbent tasting flight consisting of Goldfinch Golden ale, Jasmine Wheat Ale, Funky Red Patina Red Ale and Moon Tower Stout. In his own words: “very good stuff” – he plans to return to sample more at the earliest opportunity.
To get to Hellbent via transit from downtown Seattle take the Sound Transit 522 express bus, or from other originating points use the trip planner. Keep in mind Hellbent is located just two blocks north of Elliott Bay Brewery & Pub (read about it) – be sure to leave time for a visit.