May 6, 2012 at 2:58am
While the Pacific Northwest is known for its overcast and rainy weather, it's also known for having some great microbreweries.
For beer enthusiasts on a budget looking to enjoy a free afternoon, a tour of one of the many local breweries might be just the trick.
Here are a couple tour ideas and places to start.
The Great Pacific Northwest Brewery Tour Company in Seattle offers beer tours in four regions of Seattle (downtown, North-side, South-side or East-side near Lake Washington) depending on the day of the week
The tour consists of transportation to and from the breweries. Upon arriving at the breweries, people will learn the beer making process in detail. Since they are all working breweries, depending on the day, those on the tour they might see the creation process in progress. People can also sample the hops and barley that are vital in the beer making process, see how different grains produce different types of beer, and find out what makes an IPA different from a Porter.
Guests can also taste the beer itself, from Amber Ales and IPAs to Porters and Stouts. Scorecards are also handed out so people can keep track of beer they have sampled. The breweries also sell various T-shirts, hats and growlers filled with beer to go.
The tours cost $59 per person and reservations can be made by calling Ye Olde Curiosity Shop at (206) 682-3232 ext. 1121.
The Red Hook Brewery (14300 NE 145th Street, Woodinville) offers spring and summer tours Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Tours cost $1 per person, run for one hour, and include up to five samples of beer. Guests also receive a souvenir tasting glass, a walk through the brewery, a Redhook history lesson and an explanation of the brewery brews its fine ales.
Minors are welcome to attend. There is a limit of 70 guests per tour, guests must check in at the retail store in the Forecasters Pub to register and pay for a spot on the public tours. Registration is first-come, first-served, and guests must be present to register. No reservations are accepted. Private tours are available on a limited schedule and cost $3 per person (minimum 8 people per tour). To book a private tour, call (425) 483-3232 ext. 1121.
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