Tuesday 22nd June 2011
I cannot extol the total wonderfulness of this boozer any more than to say that it was, by far, the best bar I went to on this trip. It is opposite the railway station which is also a bus terminal. The address is 211 West Stewart Avenue.
Its primary function is to supply the equipment and know-how for amateur brewers who don't want to go to the trouble of buying all the equipment to brew at home.
However what is so good about this establishment is that they also operate as a normal brewpub. They've been going for just over a year.
When I entered I was lucky to meet owner and founder Steve Samples. Unfortunately he had to leave shortly afterwards but he handed over to his son who showed me around.
Walking in from the street the bar area is on the left with the three brewing stations a bit further up the room on the right. There are rooms at the back for maturation and I saw the hops and yeast store (a second-hand fridge), see photo.
Beers on offer were: Rail Tye Red Rye Ale (6.3%), Brakeman Mack Amber Ale (5.4%), Stoker Brown Ale (6.2%), I Like it on Top IPA (6.7%), Carry On Porter (5.2%) (two versions).
I tried a pint of the Amber Ale and the IPA and liked them both, especially the IPA. I actually tried them all, as I was offered tasters throughout.
The customers were both good company and knowledgeable about the beers. One, Gil Hutsmann, very kindly gave me a bottle of a beer he had brewed at Station U-Brew. It was named Puyallup Monastery Beer (5.0%). It was in the Abbey beer style of Belgium and I liked it very much when I had it a couple of nights later.
I would recommend this pub and would like to return one day. There is a similar operation in Edmonds, 18 miles north of Seattle, called Gallagher's Where-U-Brew. This is where Steve got his inspiration to open Station U-Brew.
The last train of the day was about to leave the station at 18.54 and I arrived back in Tacoma less than twenty minutes later, noticing a good view of Mount Rainier.
Station U-Brew, 211 W Stewart Avenue, Puyallup, WA. 98371. Tel: 253 466 3721
Open: Monday Closed; Tuesday 13.30-21.00; Wednesday 11.00-21.00;
Thursday 11.00-22.00; Friday and Saturday 11.00-23.00; Sunday 13.00-18.00
The brew pub is opposite Puyallup station which is served by Sounder commuter trains running between Lakewood, Tacoma and Seattle. There is only a service on Monday to Friday peak hours in both directions. Express Bus No 400 also runs from Tacoma, again Monday to Friday, but it operates all day up to 20.00.