A First Visit to Lake Chelan Brewery

Manson, WA is best recognized as the home of the Wapato Point resort. The town has a lot to offer but many visitors sequester themselves at the resort and don’t explore the town, which is within easy walking distance. If you’re coming to Lake Chelan, you now have more reason to experience this charming little burg. Yesterday we visited Lake Chelan Brewery in downtown Manson, a relatively new brewery on the shores of one of the most beautiful lakes in North America.

Lake Chelan Brewery is a nanobrewery, yielding just about one barrel (31 gallons) per batch. Some nanobreweries taste like it. This one doesn’t. The beers are sparkling, bright, clear-flavored and perfectly carbonated. When I cannot decide between the Amber and the Blonde, you know a brewery is doing something right. The Imperial Irish Stout was a standout, as was the seasonal IPA, which was dry-hopped with copious quantities of Cascade hops and is a wonderful, unfiltered hop bomb of a beer.

Lee and Ray Medina started brewing for the public in July 2012. They now find themselves happily engaged in a constant battle to meet the growing demand for their beer. The brothers hope the brewery will help get the charming little town of Manson more recognition. It should. The trick is informing people that there is a brewery in town. The rest will take care of itself.

I should mention that they spin vinyl at Lake Chelan Brewery. Not exclusively, but they have a large collection of albums, mostly classic rock from the 70s as far as I could tell. The “regulars” have donated many of the records.

The brewery’s tasting room is actually an extension of the deli next door: the Village Market Deli, which the Medina family also owns. You’ll hardly notice the relationship until you look at the lunch or dinner menu. The best way to describe the food? Upscale delicatessen meets pub grub, meets Mexican favorites. In other words, the menu is large and diverse.

They already plan to increase capacity at the brewery. Lee told us that the immediate plan is to up-size to a two-barrel system. At this point, they can’t imagine making enough beer to ever distribute outside of their own four walls, but they definitely want to keep growing the brewery and the business.

If you are in Chelan, it’s worth the short drive (about 8 miles) up the lake to Manson to visit Lake Chelan Brewery. If you’re staying at Wapato Point, you have absolutely no excuse.

Find them on Facebook.
Visit the website.

Lake Chelan Brewing Co.
50 Wapato Way,
Manson, WA 98831
(509) 687-4444

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