Taproom Experience: Ghostfish Brewing Company
Ghostfish Brewing Taproom Experience
Today’s the day! The day that Best Gluten Free Beers finally made it to Ghostfish Brewing’s taproom in Seattle Washington. I’ve been waiting a long time to get the full Ghostfish experience, and so far, it’s living up to the hype.
Ghostfish has a beautifully open layout, with high ceilings and a modern twist on the buildings pre-existing industrial architecture. The interior was designed by one of the owners, Randy Schroeder. Think exposed beams, oversized wood picnic tables, wood paneled ceiling, dark wood, stainless steel, mix of high and low tables, lots of natural light, a chalkboard tap menu, and a gorgeous full slab granite bar.
The tap house is also completely open to the brewery. It’s so exposed that you can literally take a seat at a table and watch their production team brew their latest beer. This also means you get to hear them brew the beer, which you’ll notice in the background of Ghostfish’s full feature brew tour. (Coming soon!)
There is outdoor seating available along 1st Avenue, but I chose to sit inside the taproom. The floor-to-ceiling windows have sunshine flooding the brewery and I can’t help but imagine how nice that must be during the dreary Seattle months of nothing but rain. I take a seat at the beautiful oversized granite bar and am served a tasting flight for every beer on tap. Every tap is claimed by a Ghostfish creation, with the exception of a cider and Kombucha tap which houses guests.
Here’s another thing worth pointing out about this brewery. Unlike (most) restaurants, the Ghostfish Brewing taproom is incredibly dog friendly. If you pay them a visit, you may even catch a sighting of Kai, the brewery’s house golden retriever. Kai wasn’t around when I was there, but I did notice several patrons eat dinner in the taproom with their dogs asleep at their feet. They do have reasonable guidelines about behavior and leashes, but as long as your dogs can handle being in a bustling brewery, there’s no need to leave your fur-children at home. Neela looks forward to joining me for a Ghostfish visit one day! She needs to meet her doppelgänger Kai…
The Pub Menu
Ghostfish N’ Chips
Ghostfish Brewing’s menu is based around classic pub food with a gluten free spin! I decided to order one of the taproom staples “Ghostfish & Chips”. (When in Seattle!) The 100% gluten free fish and chips plate includes Grapefruit IPA tempura battered fresh fish, shoestring potatoes and grapefruit remoulade. This is a classic coastal dish that I haven’t indulged in since before going gluten free.
It smells amazing. Just like I remember fish and chips back in the day. I love visiting dedicated gluten free taprooms because I get the pleasure of indulging in comfort food that is rarely adapted for the gluten free community.
I’m going to cut through the chase so I can eat this deliciousness faster. The fried fish is fantastic. It tastes even better than it smells. The batter is light, flaky, and crispy. The fresh fish melts in your mouth. It pairs wonderfully with the Grapefruit IPA, among others. The grapefruit remoulade is flavor-packed and a perfect compliment.
The fries however, were just alright. I think I would be more excited about some thick cut potato fries with a bit more texture. The shoestrings were just…not exciting. Not very flavorful or crisp, even fresh out of the kitchen. But honestly…I can have fries anywhere…this experience is all about the tempura battered fish for me. I highly recommend treating yourself to this coastal favorite when you get the opportunity.
Alright, let’s taste these beers!
Gluten Free Beers On Tap
(on tap in July)
Bartender’s Favorite Flagship:
“Meteor Shower because it’s versatile, and pairs well with everything!” – Sabrina
Dry Hopped Sour Ale
5.5% ABV – 8 IBU
This ale smells dry (can dry be a smell?!), hoppy, and fairly tart. It has a very pale yellow color, almost with a greenish tint. The taste if crisp, fruity and sour on the front, and super dry to finish. Its dry finish is so pronounced, it almost makes your tongue grip the roof of your mouth, but it also retains it’s sweetness through the end. I’m a big fan of this one. It’s quite complex and takes you through quite the taste journey as it moves through your palate. This ale was brewed exclusively for the Oregon Brewers Festival in Portland this July, and is only available in the taproom.
Co-Conspirator Apricot Sour Ale
5.4% ABV – 5 IBU
This brew is a collaboration with Revelation Brewing in Delaware. Revelation came out to Ghostfish to do an exchange of knowledge. Ghostfish taught them how to brew gluten free, Revelation taught Ghostfish how to master the sour. The aroma is fruity and tart and has a cloudy pale yellow color. This ale is pleasantly balanced and very forward with the apricot. It’s a pleasant level of sour. Not overwhelming, but sour enough to linger awhile after your sip. The ale is very crisp and would be absolutely lovely for a hot summer day. It’s light(er) in ABV as well which makes it an ideal choice for warmer weather.
Meteor Shower Blonde Ale
4.5% – 15 IBU
A lightly hopped easy-drinking ale, with a honey-like malt sweetness and flavors of melon from German Perle hops. I have already reviewed this beer in detail on the blog, so I encourage you to check out the full review here.
Shrouded Summit Belgian White Ale
4% ABV – 20 IBU
Light and crisp, with orange, coriander, and a fruity Belgian aroma. This beer has also been reviewed on the blog before. Read the review full here.
Wild Bill’s Non-Barley Wine
9% ABV – 70 IBU
This ale represents the first ever collaboration between two dedicated gluten free breweries: Ghostfish and Holidaily Brewing (out of Colorado). This is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a Holidaily beer in person. They aren’t distributed where I live in Oregon, so I’m happy to give this experiment a try. Barley wines (or NON barley wines, in this case) are not my favorite generally. They are very heavy and sweet to me. They have that whiskey-like bite that some people love. This beer lives up to the classic barley-wine character, and I recommend it for any that appreciate it. Personally, I’m going to move on down my tasting row.
5.5% ABV – 85 IBU
Bitter, bright, and dry with ginger and citrus aromatics. This particular beer has been a HUGE hit at Ghostfish. It was intended to be a one-off brew that quickly became their best-seller. The public demanded it, so Ghostfish put it in their flagship fleet. You can read the full Best Gluten Free Beer review here.
English Brown Ale
This ale is a fairly clear medium shade of brown. It has a nice long-lasting head. It’s one of the only ones with tiny bubbles still clinging to the rim, long after pour. It smells like a classic brown…full, rich and sweet. It’s chocolatey and full of caramel notes. It has a substantial body and a bit of a kick to it at the end. It tastes like liquid desert. MmMmm…
Vanishing Point Pale Ale
5.3% – 40 IBU
This is one of Ghostfish’s flagships, a classic PNW pale ale that packs a punch flavor-wise. This ale truly embodies the northwest style with pine notes coming from the Cascade, Chinook, and Palisade hops. This brew also boasts some apricot characteristics and a bit of a malty toffee taste. I won’t go into too much detail since I’ve reviewed this beer before, but if you’d like to read more about it, check out my earlier review of the Vanishing Point.
Covfefe Imperial White IPA
8% – 85 IBU
The aromatics of this ale have me extremely excited to taste. It smells sharp, yeasty, and extremely hoppy. The hops sort of punch you in the nose…in a good way! It has a very cloudy, but vibrant yellow color. It’s taste was surprisingly floral to me. I expected lots of fruit–but at first I tasted a lot of flower. The flavor of this imperial is so complex, it’s hard for me to figure out what’s going on! Overtime I sip it, I detect a different flavor, even ones I can’t quite put my finger on. The second and third and fourth sips revealed much more fruitiness for me. It’s a teeny bit spicy, very tropical, and boasts a medium body. This beer can hold its own for sure.
Peak Buster Double IPA
9.5% ABV – 100+ IBU
A very hearty IPA with lots of flavor. But here’s the thing, despite the heavy alcohol and enormous hop bill, the taste is still extremely drinkable and its VERY easy to forget its a 9.5% beer. I can personally attest to this. A few weeks ago, I decided to pop open a 22 of Peak Buster as my after work wind-down beverage. I’m going to be honest…I grabbed it because I was craving an IPA and completely forgot that it was a double. Twenty ounces later and I was feeling it–to say the least. I found myself with a healthy buzz. (Ok…it was more than a buzz). Don’t forget to look like I did! And also…read the full review here, as this is obviously not my first rodeo with the Peak Buster Double IPA. ;)
5.7% – 30 IBU
I have been dying to try this stout for a LONG time. I believe Ghostfish is the only brewery to brew an all grain stout–completely gluten free. It has a dark opaque brownish-black color. It smells of coffee and and chocolate and snuggles. :) The taste is a bit more mild than I expected. Not quite as bitter as other stouts I’ve taken to in the past. It’s very pleasant and smooth. IBUs are low(er), so I would guess that it appeals to a wide audience. It’s ABV is moderate, so not too heavy to throw one back in the summer. I don’t mind the body, but would love a little more of that espresso-like bitterness.
Kick Step India Pale Ale
5.5% ABV – 60 IBU
This is an exciting new offering by Ghostfish Brewing Company. It’s another collaboration, this time with Washington state’s 111 year old Mountaineers Organization. A portion of the proceeds are donated to The Mountaineers, and they selected Ghostfish Brewing out of the many breweries who applied to collaborate with them. They were highly involved in the planning stages of this new flagship offering, and Ghostfish seems very proud to be embracing this partnership. Honestly, what’s more PNW than teaming up with a mountaneering non-profit to make beer? Haha! Their tagline for this collaboration, “A liquid embodiment of our shared values”, is absolutely perfect.
This is a more traditional northwest IPA, and is perfect for those who don’t dig the grapefruit IPA offering—or for those who prefer an all-grain IPA. (The Grapefruit IPA utilizes sorghum, but you can’t tell by the taste.) This ale is brewed from white millet, red millet, pale rice malt and biscuit rice malt. They use Comet hops (one of the longest cultivated hop varieties in the USA), as well as Columbus, Simcoe and Denali hops. This variety imparts flavors of citrus, pine, and tropical fruits. An IPA for everybody. It has a slightly cloudy golden orange color and a wonderfully bitter and flavorful taste. A definite crowd pleaser. In fact, I have a more detailed review of this ale coming soon… :)
Stand by for a teaser video of the full Ghostfish Brewing tour, recorded by yours truly. The full feature will include a tour of the facilities, interviews with the owners and brewmaster, AND a full behind-the-scenes look at the Ghostfish brewing process, led by their brewmaster, Jason Yerger.
I released the first brew tour teaser video last week. First up was Moonshrimp Brewing. Check it out if you haven’t already!
Until next week!