Best Bar / Taproom, 2017
The Independent Beer Bar, Everett
On a dark and blustery Thursday night, I ventured out into the streets of Downtown Everett. My destination was one that was a bit unusual for me. Why would a beer bar be unusual place to go? Well, first off, I don’t think I’ve ever gone to an actual bar. A few breweries yes, but a bar, no. Second, I’ve never actually had a beer per se. That statement probably creates a number of other questions. No need to ask, I know what they are, and I will do my best to answer them.
My first experience with beer began at a young age. My grandfather had a habit of letting us grand kids have a sip. It was not a taste I cared for on that occasion, so I never became a fan, or gave it a chance, or maybe both. Fast forward quite a few years (I won’t say how many) and I’ve had a sip here and there, the local drinking scene is part of my job, after all. I’ve sampled beers from Scuttlebutt of Everett and Sound 2 Summit of Snohomish, but have mainly stuck to hard cider, or been the designated driver for a bunch of rowdy meet up participants. Fun times, but no beer, until now that is.
I’ve raised another question, haven’t I? Why now? I have to admit that, on its face, the decision was made simply because I needed a section of the magazine to put this feature in and the Eat + Drink section was quite full. Delving a bit deeper though, subconsciously , the decision was more about trying new things and wanting to discover why craft beer is becoming such a huge trend. Again, it is my job to know, so it would seem the stars finally aligned. I walked into the Independent Beer Bar, sat down, and had myself a beer.
The location, the company, and the beer, couldn’t have been a better choice for the occasion. The bar itself is quite simple, but has a flair of history in the architecture and the woodwork. The lighting is soft, warm, and inviting, More importantly, the corner and large windows offer the perfect opportunity to watch not only people, but the comings and goings of busy downtown streets.
Turning to the people, you will find most sitting off to one side of the bar, close together, instead of spread out. For the most part they are quiet, content to enjoy their beer and cider. Occasionally, a bit of noise will erupt from a group, but not too rowdy. The Independent Beer Bar is not that kind of establishment.
At the other end of the bar you will often find one, or both, of the owners, sitting down to a beer themselves. When they aren’t hard at work running their business of course. If you venture in, I recommend taking the time to join them, discuss their passion for beer, and perhaps get a their recommendation for what you should try.
I found myself attempting the latter but, as is often the case when I am told to do one thing, I do another. Being someone new to beer, and prone to not liking it, their recommendation was to go first from cider to beer. I had been there, done that. Next on the should do’s list was to try a chocolate stouts, hefeweizens, some New England style IPA’s – the sour beers.
Those sour beers have gotten me into trouble before. Thus, I opted for the Passionfruit IPA, a more bitter beer. Somehow I thought I’d have a better chance with something with a bit of a fruity tone to it, that maybe it would mask the taste that made me dislike beer up until this point. It did somewhat and I was happy with my choice, following it up with the White Cherry Cider despite needing to go home (I am a sucker for cherry).
I was happier still to have checked having my first official beer off my to do list before even having to make it a new years resolution for 2018. Instead, that honor will go to exploring more beers and local breweries, things I may not have been able to do if my experience had gone another way.
So, if you love beer, are looking for a bar to hop (that’s the term right?), or live in the neighborhood, do drop by and give the Independent Beer Bar a try. You might just find it to be your new watering hole (another term I hope I am getting right).
You can find out more about The Independent Beer Bar and what is on tap on their website HERE.
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