Last week I was in Seattle on vacation with my family. I discovered that a vacation spent in a hotel room, out of town, with a 2-year old is no real vacation at all. But we had lots of fun. I racked up 47 new posts on (and, no, I did not consume 47 servings of beer in Seattle – all but six of them were 2 oz. samples), and I have 19 more to go. Those 19 remaining brews are bottles I bought in Seattle and shipped to myself (along with a couple of bottles of wine). They represent some of the most sought after beers that are available in the Seattle area but not available in Georgia.

The day after returning, I took it upon myself to brew some beer. I actually purchased all of the ingredients a week ago, before I left for Seattle, with precisely the intention of brewing it up when I was back in town. This beer should be very appropriate for the state of Georgia: Hump’s Peachy Ale. Currently it is just a Belgian specialty ale. But once it is done with its primary fermentation I will be adding eight pounds of peaches to it!

For those that may be curious, I’ll provide a brief recap of the beer-friendly destinations that I visited while in the Seattle area.

  • Redhook Ale Brewery – Woodinville, WA (sampled 5 brews)
  • Rock Bottom – Bellevue, WA (sampled 8 brews) – This destination was an accident. Our intended destination was not suitable with our son in tow (as it turns out, Brouwer’s Cafe is a bar, not a restaurant). After driving around, searching in vain for something else, we ended up, anti-climactically, at this mediocre, franchise brewpub
  • Pyramid Alehouse – Seattle, WA (sampled 10 brews)
  • Bottleworks Beer Store – Seattle, WA (purchased 10 beers, 4 of which were consumed in Seattle)
  • Elysian Brewing Public House – Seattle, WA (sampled 5 brews)
  • Issaquah Brewhouse – Issaquah, WA (sampled 8 brews)
  • Malt & Vine Beer and Wine Specialty Shop – Redmond, WA (purchased 15 beers, 2 of which were consumed in Seattle)
  • Taphouse Grill – Bellevue, WA (sampled 4 brews)

I’m still not sure what I think about Malt and Vine. The folks working there were super-nice and very knowledgeable. Furthermore, they offered to ship my stuff back home to me in Georgia. I was surprised that they could legally ship to Georgia, but they said after going through lots of paperwork that they are legal to do so (unlike most beer-of-the-month and wine-of-the-month clubs).

You may ask “Why on Earth are you unsure? It sounds great!”

I’m scared of a potential fraud case here. They told me that they would get in touch with me today (being Monday) after I dropped off stuff with them on Friday for them to ship to me here in Georgia. I sent them an e-mail, left them a voicemail, and even spoke with one of them today (the woman I spoke with told me that the guy that works there would call me back). But still nothing. And here it is, 10:30pm (7:30pm Pacific time – and they’re supposedly open until 9pm), and when I call now their phone goes straight to voicemail.

I know I’m probably being paranoid and that everything will work out. But I have close to $200 in fine wine and beer sitting in their store, and they aren’t returning my e-mails or phone calls. That makes me nervous. So when I found out what the deal is, then I’ll be sure that I like the place (or sure that I don’t – but I’m trying to keep my hopes up).

The brews I bought and already sampled while in Seattle were all unique experiences:

  • Dogfish Head 120-Minute Imperial IPA
  • Hair of the Dog Adam
  • Avery “The Beast” Grand Cru Ale
  • Dogfish Head Festina PĂȘche
  • Stone India Pale Ale
  • Stone Ruination IPA

The last one, Stone’s Ruination IPA, was definitely the best of this group. “Wow” is the best word that describes it. That also happens to be the only word to describe Dogfish Head’s completely over-the-top 120-Minute IPA.

The beers that will (hopefully) soon be shipped to me:

  • Avery Fourteen
  • Avery Mephistopheles Stout
  • Avery Samael’s Oak-Aged Ale
  • Deschutes Obsidian Stout
  • Dogfish Head Fort
  • Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine
  • Dogfish Head Raison D’Extra
  • Dogfish Head World Wide Stout
  • Elysian Bifrost Winter Ale
  • Elysian Dragonstooth Stout
  • Full Sail Sun of Spot IPA
  • Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws
  • Hair of the Dog Fred
  • Hair of the Dog Ruth
  • Rogue Old Crustacean – 2002 Vintage
  • Stone Arrogant Bastard
  • Stone Old Guardian
  • Stone Vertical Epic 07/07/07
  • Unibroue Chambly Noir

Other beers they had that looked tempting were Unibroue’s La Terrible and their 16 (sixteenth anniversary brew). But neither of them are over 14% so hopefully they will be available here in Georgia soon.