Roslyn is the tiny town just east of Snoqualmie Pass possibly best known as the setting for that quirky show Northern Exposure. Now that tiny Eastern Washington town offers a new reason to take a quick detour from maddening I-90 traffic: a brand new brewery called Wild Earth Brewing.
We stopped yesterday after day-hiking Ingalls Creek off Blewett Pass. Not being in a hurry to get back to Seattle post-hike, we figured we would rather wait out some of the traditional Sunday afternoon traffic in a brewery rather than in a hot car. Good choice.
David Kilgour is the brewery/founder/accountant/tap room manager/barkeep at Wild Earth. With over 10 years pro- and home-brewing experience, he’s racking up solid and unique Belgian-style beers.
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The flagship beers are Tamarack, a Belgian Pale featuring Sorachi Ace hops; and Ponderosa Belgian Red Ale, a rich, malty deep amber beer that was better when warmed slightly before quaffing (and which my hiking and beer-tasting partner Nancy thought would pair marvelously with a thick-cut BBQ pork chop).
Other beers are being billed as “single-batch” – they will vary seasonally and frequently, depending on what Dave has next in his mental brewing lineup. We tasted a Belgian-style IPA and a Belgian-style bitter. We just missed a saison, which Dave said he thought would last until well into July but already sold out.
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Like so many start-up breweries, Wild Earth is brewing on a small system and is constrained by storage space. Dave is currently brewing about every two weeks in his combination brewery/tasting room, using a small brewing system to brew triple batches to fill one tank at a time. The majority of his beer is sold onsite at the taproom, and distribution is extremely limited but includes an occasional keg and bottles at Brix in Ellensburg.
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Located on the main drag in Roslyn, a couple blocks past The Brick, Wild Earth welcomes visitors for a taster flight, pint or growler fill, and also offers several of their beers in 22-ounce bottles to go. The space is intimate, with just three tables and bar seating, plus one outside patio table. But it’s light and bright, with the tasting room open to the brewery and also to main street through a wall of wood-framed windows. Patrons are invited to bring in food from local restaurants including a pizzeria.
We’re looking forward to seeing what Dave has on tap next time we visit. Wild Earth is currently open Thursday through Sunday (check website for current hours), at 200 N. 1st Street, Roslyn, WA.