In one of those happy coincidences, to get to Umtanum Ridge to go scouting for hunting season, I have go through Yakima, which brings me by something like 129 wineries, and 8 or 9 micro-breweries.
Of course it makes sense to stop at a few(don't judge me...if I was really playing the game, I would have made a loop out of it and driven home via Ellensburg so I could visit Iron Horse Brewery).
On the way out, I only stopped at one place...Naches Heights Vineyard.
I only tasted three of their wines(you got three tastes for $4)...a white table blend, and then two red blends. It should be no surprise, that being a 95+ degree day, that the white was far and away my favorite. The reds didn't taste bad, there was just nothing enjoyable about drinking them. The white though(label name Can-Can) was great...sweat enough to go down too easy. It's one of those 'wait a minute, didn't we just open this bottle half-an-hour ago?' wines.
Also, the view down the draw from the winery isn't bad.
The breweries I left until after scouting. Three tasting size samples of wine don't effect me...but I was worried if I started 'tasting' beer, it would quickly move past 'tasting' to drinking, which was not something I wanted to do prior to heading up on unfamiliar roads of unknown quality.
Neither place I stopped at on the way home was a total unknown to me...I had previously tried one or two of their beers, just not everything they had to offer.
Yakima Craft Brewing Co. is a nice place, that is growing. They recently opened a 2nd site, designed to be more of a 'pub', as opposed to just a tasting room. However, I went to the tasting room/brewery, which was pleasantly full. Rather than bog the bartender down asking for a tray of 4oz samples, I went with two half-pints....one of their Heather, and Bad Monk.
The Heather was one I liked better...an ale made with heather tips and honey, it went down good and smooth...I think you could refer to it as a 'session' beer. The Bad Monk was advertised as a 'spicy Belgian style dark ale'...but I thought it was a tad bit hopsy. It could just be that my expectations for it were wrong...I was picturing a darker version of 'Blue Moon'. At 9.5% ABV, it is NOT a session beer.
Snipes Mountain in Sunnyside was a nice surprise. Sunnyside is one of those towns that one doesn't 'go' to. You drive past it, and occasionally stop there for various reasons. Snipes Mountain is now going to be one of those reasons.
The other night, they had 7 beers on tap, and I only tried 3 of them...a porter, one of the three IPA's they had, and then their American Blonde Ale, which went really good with my pizza. It's possible that the food impressed me more than the beer. For the price of what I ordered, I expected a 'flat bread' type pizza, but what I go was something in between a medium and a large, with pepperoni, sausage, garlic and roasted peppers for under $14. A similar pizza in the Tri-Cities would be over $20.
I was pleased, and too hungry to take pictures.
I did take a picture of my complete haul after getting home.
Let's see...two bottle of Can-Can from NHV, the big growler is full of Rookie of the Year Rootbeer, from Yakima Craft Brewing, while one of the smaller ones is full of YCB's Summer Monk, a good Belgian Ale(and much closer to what I thought I would be getting from the Bad Monk. The other small growler is Coyote Moon, and nice, nice Brown Ale from Snipes Mountain...but the box is the 'Good Deal'. YCB is replacing their 22oz bottles with cans, so I was able to get a case of 12 bottles of their Twin Stag Scottish Ale for $36, with is about 50% less than I would pay for them individually in stores.
Always need to stock up when you can.