Boulder Garden Brown – Orlison Brewing Co.


Brewer’s notes:

Grab a glass and pour a pint of this full bodied yet smooth American-Style brown ale.  Boulder Garden provides a pleasant blend of caramel and chocolate notes with just enough hop bitterness to balance the maltiness.

Brown beers have their place in any brewers line-up. However with most Browns you don’t get much complexity behind them typically and it takes a lot to get a Brown to stand out from the crowd. I’ll let you know right up front, this Boulder Garden Brown does not stand out from the crowd. Orlison Brewing Co. has made a pretty generic beer with their Boulder Garden Brown, however, that does not make this a bad beer by any means.

Orlison, in fact, will quickly remind you on their site that this beer won the 2017 Washington Brewers Association gold medal! I’m sure that it deserved it too, The Boulder Garden Brown while being quite simple with not much complexity is smooth with a nice malt to it. The Caramel and Chocolate notes are not very strong at all and are easy to miss if you’re not looking for them.

It’s really hard to find the words to write about this brew so I’m keeping it short. It would go great with lighter meals because of the malt it does carry some weight to it. I would not suggest this to new beer drinkers as there is a slight bitterness to it and coupled with the malty nature it may be a turn off for those unsure of their pallet yet.

Head on over to visit Orlison on Facebook and Instagram and show them some love, they have some wonderful brews, more of which we will focus on at a later time. They have a wonderful experimental line of even smaller batch brews that are always interesting.

Trying something different with this article, instead of an Untappd screenshot here is the direct link to this brew on Untappd:

Espresso Milk Stout – Whistle Punk Brewing Co.


Brewer’s notes:

Imperial milk stout aged on Anvil Coffee, small batch bourbon, and vanilla beans. Big coffee aroma and a sweet finish, with notes of vanilla and oak.

Let me ask you right up front, have you ever had a good espresso? I’m not talking Starbucks or Dutch Bros, I’m talking about a good even roasted espresso made diligently by a barista who really cares. You’ll find yourself reminiscent of this when you get a good whiff of the espresso flavor as you bring your glass up for a drink. Whistle Punk‘s Espresso Milk Stout really stands out in their brew line-up as one of their few dark beers but truly demonstrates their abilities as a brewery as it’s nothing like anything else on the tap list.

The choice from Whistle Punk to make this a milk stout instead of just a plain stout is really important, primarily because the lactose base makes this drink one of the smoothest espresso stouts I’ve had the pleasure to drink. With an ABV of 7.1%, this brew rolls in slightly higher than the Indaba Espresso Stout we previously talked about and makes this a beer best enjoyed later in the evening. The final thing I wanted to touch on is food. I found myself wanting a large stack of pancakes, bacon, eggs, and some warm biscuits for dinner to go along with this exceptional brew.

Closing everything out, next time you’re visiting Whistle Punk and you have a craving for coffee and dark beer please do yourself a favor and pick yourself up a pint of the Espresso Milk Stout.

Below you will find the screenshot of this brew’s untappd profile if you want to see other’s ratings!

Brick and Steel IPA – Iron Goat Brewing 

Brewer’s notes:

Bright and aromatic, this Northwest-style IPA is packed full of citrusy Mosaic hops.

First and foremost let me just get my bias out of the way upfront, I’ve never been a big fan of IPA’s. Through my beer journey, my taste buds have grown and beers that I have previously hated have come to grow on me but even through all that, there is still a part of me that struggles every time I get an IPA. Why even buy an IPA then? The reality is that I really do love the art that is brewing and want to eventually grow to appreciate all types of beer regardless of my bias. With the Brick and Steel IPA by Iron Goat, I’ve found a genre of IPA that I really enjoy.

The Brick and Steel IPA is Iron Goats first canned beer, released on May 20th 2017 at their 5th-anniversary event. Looking at the print on the can you’ll find the tagline, “Celebrating 5 years in the ‘Kane!” a clever play on their hometown Spokane pronounced (Spo-Can). At the time of writing this article, you can only purchase this beer from Iron Goat’s tap room and only in a 6 pack to go, unfortunately not offered on tap. If you do find yourself in the tap room and want something similar then a safe bet is to go with the regular Mosaic IPA which shares a lot of the same flavor profile. [UPDATE] It looks like two days before this article went live Iron Goat announced on their Facebook that you can now get this on tap!

Now, on to the beer itself. For an IPA it was surprisingly light with only mildly bitter hoppy notes. I’ve noticed that more and more I find myself enjoying brews using mosaic hops and this is no different. The mosaic hops though definitely leave a citrus taste to follow that is quite enjoyable. I really enjoy this beer and easily drank my way through the 6 pack I purchased.


Below you will find the screenshot of this brew’s untappd profile if you want to see other’s ratings!

MxPx Secret Weapon – Silver City Brewery

Brewer’s notes:

Celebrating 25 years of Bremerton-brewed punk rawk, Secret Weapon commemorates the anniversary milestone of renowned punk band MXPX. A “left-coast common” beer that incorporates a lager yeast with seven different malts and a clean hop kick, Secret Weapon is a refreshing blast of flavor that will keep you rocking all night… at the show.

“You are your own secret weapon, It’s all up to you to come out swingin’. It’s all up to you”. Some, if familiar to the punk rock music scene, may know these lyrics from legendary ‘Left Coast Punk’ band MxPx. No stranger to innovation as the band had broken through several barriers and stereotypes by bringing their ever evolving music to as many people possible over the last 25 years have teamed up with their hometown’s Silver City Brewery in Bremerton, Washington to celebrate with a custom beer inspired by the band.

Now I must admit, at first I really just wanted to try the beer because MxPx was such a huge part of my life as an adolescent so when I heard they had created a beer for their 25th anniversary, I knew I needed to try it.

The “Secret Weapon Beer” is a California Common, or in this case ‘Left Coast Common’, is a smooth 5.7% ABV beer that is sure to keep you wanting more. To be completely honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what a California Common was so with a little help from my Google search bar I’ve come with this brief description from BeerAdvocate.

“The California Common is a unique 100% American style lager. It’s usually brewed with a special strain of lager yeast that works better at warmer temperatures. This method dates back to the late 1800’s in California when refrigeration was a great luxury. The brewers back then had to improvise to cool the beer down, so shallow fermenters were used. So in a way, the lager yeast was trained to ferment quicker at warmer temperatures. Today’s examples are light amber to tawny in color, medium bodied with a malty character. Mildly fruity with an assertive hop bitterness.”

While even though I was only trying the beer because of the nostalgia factor linking myself to the band, I was pleasantly surprised to find the beer itself was really quite tasty. This is the first beer I’ve tried from Silver City Brewery but it definitely will not be the last. So get online and find your nearest retailer or hit up your favorite bar and ask them to get it on tap, because this is the perfect beer for summer. Punk rock music blasting and a Secret Weapon Beer in hand.


[Guest Writer] Zack Jeffrey

Zack, avid beer lover, and talented musician plays bass in multiple bands Ghost Heart and The Hallows. Zack will be a guest writer off and on with Hop Central helping grow our ever expanding portfolio of beer reviews and offering his unique insight to each article. Make sure to check out Zack with his bands and follow them everywhere they may be on social media.



Bohemian Pilsner – Whistle Punk Brewing Co.

Brewer’s notes:

Unfiltered Bohemian style Pilsner hopped with Mt. Hood and lagered for 2 months.

When I think of a beer to enjoy on a warm summer day I want something light that doesn’t get in the way of enjoying nature. Whistle Punk has the perfect beer for these kinds of days, the Bohemian Pilsner. After a long day of work in the hot grueling sun, skin red as a cherry tomato, the last thing you want is a heavy beer weighing you down. The Bohemian Pilsner also acts as a great pallet cleaner following a heavier brew such as Whistle Punk’s Espresso Milk Stout – Click to see the article on that brew. The Bohemian Pilsner goes down smooth with no bite or bitter aftertastes making for a great beer you can’t have just one of.

To conclude, The Bohemian Pilsner is a wonderfully light drink that I think anyone can enjoy. It doesn’t lean heavy on hops, and it’s not a drink that will weigh you down all day. This brew is a perfect one-two punch that is a great way to introduce someone who doesn’t drink beer much to this wonderful world of brews!

Below you will find the screenshot of this brew’s untappd profile if you want to see other’s ratings!


Indaba Espresso Stout – Black Label Brewing


Brewer’s notes:

Using local coffee company Indaba’s Bowl & Pitcher dark roast blend. It was a dark roast flavor on an oatmeal base. Creamy head with a sweet espresso nose.

You can’t get any more local than Black Label‘s Indaba Espresso Stout. Blending local coffee company Indaba’s fresh roasted coffee and Black Label’s stupendous stout recipe is a match made in heaven for your taste buds! This beer isn’t for everyone though – if you’re not a fan of coffee you may want to shy away from this brew because, if it isn’t obvious yet, there’s a strong in-your-face coffee flavor that you cannot miss!  I’ll be honest, the few times I’ve tried it the oatmeal base doesn’t come through as much as I was expecting. This brew would go great with your dessert, but don’t rush through your drink because you will want to enjoy every single note of coffee. Take your time with this one, kick back on the patio at Black Label or enjoy in the comfort of your own home… just make sure to set aside some time because one is enough when it comes to the Indaba Espresso Stout.

Wrapping everything up, Black Label and Indaba partnered together to make a knockout coffee stout. If you’re in the area – Spokane, Washington – Then make sure you start your morning with some Indaba Coffee at one of their multiple locations and end your day with this wonderful brew at Black Label’s tasting room downtown!

Below you will find the screenshot of this brew’s untappd profile if you want to see other’s ratings!