The Citizen’s Guide to Seattle Beer: Suds of Spring and Summer

Six local picks for the coming seasons.

By Jessica Voelker April 22, 2011 Published in the May 2011 issue of Seattle Met

RICH COFFEY, chef at Madison Park Cafe (, has two passions: food and beer. He’s a certified Cicerone—like a certified sommelier, only with beer—who regularly sounds off on the sudsy stuff on These are his six local picks for the upcoming seasons.

1. Boundary Bay Brewery Inside Passage Ale
Coffey washes down blue cheese burgers with this Bellingham brewery’s intense Northwest India pale ale that’s strong and hoppy, yet well—balanced.

2. Epic Ales, Solar Trans Amplifier
“Epic thinks outside the box and comes up with unique twists on established styles,” says Coffey. “This one takes the concept of a Belgian wit beer, but uses rice rather than wheat, and ginger and chamomile rather than the usual coriander and orange peel. A nice summer beer.” Pick some up inside the SoDo tasting room, open Fridays from 3:30 to 8pm and Saturdays from noon to 4pm.

3. Georgetown Brewing, Manny’s Pale Ale
Manny’s, says Coffey, is “about as fine a pale ale as you could ask for—get a keg for your outdoor summer bash.”

4. Pike Brewing, Pike Naughty 
Nellie Golden 
Artisan Ale
Coffey recommends this “mild, easy-drinking golden ale” to “folks that find Northwest IPAs too aggressive.” Make Naughty Nellie your date to a party, suggests Coffey. The beer’s cheeky name is a handy icebreaker.

5. Schooner Exact Brewing, Three-Grid Ipa
A growler of this SoDo brewery’s well-balanced flagship beer will go fast at a backyard barbecue. “It’s not bashing you over the head with hops, but has enough hops flavor to satisfy,” according to Coffey.

6. Silver City 
Ziggy Zoggy 
Summer Lager
Coffey says he’ll vouch for the quality of any beer from Silverdale’s Silver City Brewery, including the new Ziggy Zoggy lager, a German-style sipper custom-made for outdoor imbibing.

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