Cult and acclaimed brews may be easier to find at some Eastside bars. The Lodge Sports Grille in Kirkland has 56 brews on tap.
If you want to chase down a cult or an acclaimed brew, it’s better to cross the bridge to the Eastside. Beers that tap out within days at Seattle watering holes often can be found at bars in Bellevue to Issaquah.
The Lodge Sports Grille in Kirkland, for instance, boasts 56 craft beers on tap — including a staple from the stellar Stone Brewing, Dogfish Head Brewery and Firestone Walker Brewing. You’ll want to be around Wednesday, Oct. 10, when The Lodge taps Dogfish Head 120, one of the essential IPAs every hophead should try.
There’s a Blanche de Bruxelles, with hints of ripped banana, a refreshing change from the usual Hoegaarden and Blue Moon that taverns put on tap.
The owners behind The Lodge in Kirkland know their beers, having run the popular Lodge in Mukilteo for almost three years. The Lodge is outfitted to look like its namesake, with barrels, wood motif and taxidermy.
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Happy-hour food is safe and simple, with standbys that come in multiple variations. Wings come in seven different flavors from ginger soy to Jamaican Jerks; chips made in-house can be seasoned with everything from curry to salt and vinegar. (In both cases, go the traditional route. Buffalo wings and plain chips were the best options.)
Its beer list, with up to a dozen IPAs on tap, is one of the best on the Eastside. There’s a social contract that when you boast this many beers you also have bartenders who know what they are hawking. The Lodge must have missed that memo.
Some bartenders had boned up on their tasting notes, but in too many instances, some staffers either seemed indifferent or looked as overwhelmed as some patrons staring at the 56 beers on tap.
The Lodge Sports Grille, 107 Lake St., Kirkland, offers happy hour daily 3-6 p.m. and again 9 p.m. to closing on Sunday-Thursday and 10 p.m. to closing Friday and Saturday, with $1 off on selected draft and cocktails, $4 well cocktails, $5 wine, and food from $3.95-$9.95 (425-202-7663; Web page pending, though there is a Facebook page).
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle.