Thursday, May 20, 2010

Peaks Brewpub in Port Angeles

I want to bring your attention today to a place worth visiting: the Peaks Brewpub in Port Angeles. We stopped in the other day while making an Olympic Peninsula pilgrimage, and were so struck that we feel the need to spread the good word.

And that good word is Porter.

Ed and Wanda Smith have been operating the Peaks since 1999 (brewing original drafts since 2005), serving up bottles and chilled glasses alongside a food menu featuring Ed's "killer chili". The quotation marks are meant to assure you that's what Ed likes it to be called, not to question the authenticity of its murderous intent. It's a true killer, really the Patrick Bateman of chilis: it's cold-blooded and without mercy, but has impeccable taste. Now that I've given you that liquid gold metaphor, I challenge you to make the journey and eat a bowl without hearing Sussudio in your head, or attempting to feed kittens to the ATM found near the door.

No, seriously. I dare you.

But we were talking about porter, right?

I'm a fan of dark beers, especially stouts and porters. If there's one drawback to these black brews, it's what I very Rowlingly call Portermouth: the sour, bitter aftertaste that sticks around long after you've set the pint glass down. Beer enthusiasts might imply that portermouth is some bittersweet facet of the charm of a good dark beer - a feature and not a flaw. They've never had Ed's Mt. Pleasant Porter.


Using a secret recipe (some elements of which he shared with me, and which I won't repeat here out of respect for a master craftsman and accomplished chili murderer), Ed has managed to produce a rich, roasty, malty porter with none - read that again, none of the winceworthy portermouth aftertaste that would normally follow a brew this hearty. It starts delicious, and ends just as tasty. It's decadence without consequence, and that affront to conventional wisdom alone makes it worth the drive out along the 101.

If you're reading this blog from the Pacific Northwest, get in your car and go. The scenery is beautiful this time of year, and you can bring home some growlers to prolong the magic. If you're reading from parts further away, your options seem to be hopping on a plane or cradling your head in your hands and lamenting. I know which one I'd select for you.

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