Yesterday evening, I attended a preview event for Seattle’s newest brewery, Best Of Hands Barrelhouse. I first told you about Best Of Hands back at the end of January, when they announced their opening date of Friday, March 8th. Since then I’ve been eagerly anticipating the opening, and with good reason. These guys really know what they’re doing, and the beers I enjoyed yesterday proved it beyond any doubt.
If you visit The Beer Junction in West Seattle with any regularity, you may recognize two of Best Of Hands’ founders: Gregory Marlor, and Nicholas Marianetti (both are level II Certified Cicerones®). They both worked at The Beer Junction before leaving recently to launch Best Of Hands with their partner, Chris Richardson. The Beer Junction was also the first place to tap Best Of Hands’ Phantom Boots IPA last month.
Located at the corner of 35th Avenue SW and SW Webster Street in West Seattle, Best Of Hands Barrelhouse is in the space previously occupied by John’s Corner Deli & Grocery (7500 35th Ave SW). They’ve done some impressive remodeling and created a very inviting taproom that’s more spacious than you might expect. Also, in case you were wondering, the cow that always sat atop the building will be back by their opening date. As you can see above, they’ve even incorporated the cow into some of their marketing materials.
Seattle has no shortage of craft breweries, that’s for sure. There aren’t many in West Seattle though, so Best Of Hands is a welcome addition to the neighborhood – at least for most people. When news first broke of what was going into the space, not everyone was happy about it. In fact, one particularly vocal critic unwittingly gave Best Of Hands the name for one of their first beers. It’s a mouthful, and it’s hilarious. When you visit, be sure to order ‘Another Douchey Bearded Overpriced Crappy Beer Served at a Hipster Hangout’ (ADBOCBSHH). It’s a ‘West Coast NEIPA’ that’s heavy on the Azacca hops with a hazy look but more of a West Coast bitter finish.
Let’s face it, you can’t really have a successful brewery in Seattle without offering a few good IPAs, but that’s not the primary style Best Of Hands Barrelhouse is focusing on. They plan to specialize in mixed-fermentation barrel aged sours and European inspired farmhouse ales. I was excited when I first heard this news, since there aren’t that many breweries in Seattle that focus primarily on those styles. It’s always nice to have more choices.
After arriving and taking another look around (I’d visited once before, about two months ago while they were still under construction), I took at seat at the bar and started looking over the selections while chatting a bit with Gregory. I could they’d been busy since my last visit and had an impressive eleven beers on tap to choose from. After soliciting Gregory for some suggestions, I decided to start off with the Thunderfunk! Wine Barrel Aged Brett Saison. Wow! Aged in Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, Thunderfunk! is slightly tart with a touch of brett funk and a clean, dry finish. It’s a truly outstanding Saison and was probably my favorite beer of the evening.
I took my time working my way through a few more selections including their Framwow! Whiskey Barrel Aged Framboise (which was also quite impressive), Terrorhawk American Pale Ale (featuring Eureka, Simcoe and Cashmere hops), Dew Of The Sea (pleasingly herbal with the addition of Rosemary and a touch of orange zest), and of course I had to have a ADBOCBSHH.
As I tried each new beer I couldn’t help but think to myself how refreshing it was to be visiting a brand new brewery whose beers are already seriously on point right off he bat. I’ve visited some new breweries where the beers were good, but could definitely use some work. Every beer I had at Best Of Hands Barrelhouse was excellent. In time, I could easily see Best Of Hands’ beers rivaling the quality of those you’d find at places like Holy Mountain or de Garde.
I only managed to try five of the eleven beers they had on tap during my visit yesterday (plus I had Phantom Boots American IPA last month at The Beer Junction), so I’m eager to try the rest. I’ll definitely be back at Best Of Hands Barrelhouse during their grand opening weekend, March 8th thru 10th. If you’re able to make it, I highly recommend it. If you get hungry during your visit, they’ll have food trucks on hand including Falafel Salam on the 8th, Buddha Bruddha on the 9th and Plum Bistro on the 10th.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.