The “Brewery Experience,” the way we interact with each other and drink beer at our favorite local spots, has changed a lot over the past year. It’s been a while since I waited in a long beer line, kids running around, people yelling and spewing particles all over the place like it’s 2019.
I’ve also been lucky to get some more behind-the-scenes type looks at breweries, from quick little tours to chats with brewers about their styles, goals, and beer.
Sometimes, dear reader, we encounter those serendipitous moments. Sometimes, we check out a brewery for the first time and get a quick lil tour, all in one spur-of-the-moment visit.
Here’s a peek at Outlander Brewery and Pub, located in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.
Outlander: The Spot
A few years back a friend told me about a brewery tucked inside an old, unassuming house in the Fremont neighborhood. And for a few years I kept saying, “hey I should go there.” So, years and a pandemic later I finally visited.
Outlander Brewery and Pub’s location is perhaps as much a benefit as it is a drawback. Its old wooden house facade makes it nearly unnoticeable to people passing by who have busy agendas (people don’t typically wander around popular streets during a pandemic for no reason, folks).
But the low-key nature of Outlander’s spot is what makes the experience special. No busy rooms, no super long lines, no kids running around. It’s the type of place that got me interested in craft breweries in the first place so many years ago.
Of course, being in a pandemic, it’s worth noting that Outlander does have a large outdoor space tucked behind the building, though some indoor seating is available.
What I found most interesting about Outlander’s location was the home’s old basement, now retrofitted into the brew floor. The small space limits Outlander’s production, but I think we can all agree that there’s a charm to small-scale operations.
Outlander: The Brewery
Outlander’s taplist consists of exactly what you’d expect from a smaller brewery: several classic styles, some spin beers with odd infusions, and a few brews that come completely out of left field.
Being my first time at the spot, I was told to order the Honey Basil Ale – no real explanation needed on that. The beer was fine, though it left me wishing I could taste the basil a little more.
Next, choosing to dive head-first into the small craft brewery experience, I ordered the peanut butter stout. Normally I avoid peanut butter stouts because I don’t like hangovers, but I figured “when in Outlander, do as the outlanders do.”
Now for a word of caution: if you want to try different beers at a brewery or get a better idea of the brewery’s range, either order small pours or convince your drinking mate(s) to order something different. Like potluckers all bringing chips and dip to the party, my group failed to bring any diversity to the table. However, I can say that we all enjoyed the basil ale.
Look, I could get all preachy and tell you to support your local brewers (which of course you should). I could also mention in minute detail the steps Outlander, breweries, and I have taken to stay safe during a pandemic. I could even go out of my way to tell you that no, I didn’t drive home after drinking beer and was, instead, driven by my partner.
If you take anything away from this article, take this: after nearly a year of doing pretty much the same thing every day, it’s good to try new things. It’s good to check out a new place, even if that place is in your backyard.
I put off visiting Outlander for way too long, and I don’t really even know why. But I’m glad I finally went.