Two rutted tire tracks wend a narrow, twisting path up a hill, and just when you’re convinced you took a wrong turn somewhere and are officially trespassing, this makeshift road deposits you at Red Rooster farm, home to one of several breweries that make a trip to Poulsbo worth the ferry fare. In this secret hamlet, farmer and brewmaster Dave Lambert replaces aromatic hops with smoked pumpkin, kale, rhubarb, and even stinging nettles. His creations, most of which are stunningly good, are poured beneath an old, peaked farmhouse roof that long ago shed its walls, and beneath strings of white lights, and a few space heaters when necessary. Some people even bring their own hammocks to string up between the support beams. Nearby chickens peck, pigs snuffle, and a dude in a Utilikilt works a field from atop a tractor. Visiting on a sunny afternoon is like stepping into a country music video—and a memorable only-in-Washington beer moment.
932 NW Slippery Pig Way, Poulsbo, 360-394-1686; slipperypigbrewing.com
650 NW Bovela Ln, Poulsbo, 360-930-8696; soundbrewery.com
Valhöll Brewing Company
The taproom has a vibe like a biker bar, but with more toddlers and Belgian-style brews. Valhöll’s beers are the brawny companions to the Ultimate Fighting Championship matches frequently aired on the taproom television; a visit here could yield a black Belgian wit dark as motor oil, a banana-fragrant tripel, or Stouty Stouterson, an imperial oatmeal stout made with sweet potatoes, raisins, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Brewers Jordan Rodgers and Jeff Holcomb make “well-rounded and, in many cases rather extreme, beer,” and succeed masterfully.
20186 Front St NE, Ste B, Poulsbo 360-550-5825; valhollbrewing.com