3 Impressions of the Beardslee Public House
The Bothell brewery and pub does not disappoint
By Seattle Mag March 31, 2016
It’s a shame it’s taken me so long to visit Beardslee Public house, which opened in Bothell last August. (It’s not as if Bothell’s that far from Seattle proper!) But sometimes it’s good to let a place simmer a bit, especially in this case, as now both the Public House and its sibling, the Wildwood Spirits distillery, are open, so it’s easy and fun to visit both. Here are three impressions from my visit.
The Drinks: As you might expect from a restaurant/bar with a 10-barrel brewery on site, there’s a swell list of beers–around 15–with some that are standards and some rotating seasonals. You can sample and sip the beer in a variety of sizes, but I suggest going for the Brewer’s Choice Taster, which gives you a selection of six, all of which come out on a handily-numbered little tray. Be sure one of the six is the Timber Beast Triple IPA, an Imperial IPA style, which has an amazing hop-ness, from the aroma on through, and a hint of tasty bitterness. Even with all the beer-y goodness, don’t skip over the house cocktail menu. It’s not huge–just eight–but has a nice variety of classically minded mixes. Go for those that feature spirits made at Wildwood, which is just below (and which is also a John Howie spot, in conjunction with head distiller Erik Liedholm). The Aviation, with Wildwood’s award-winning and wonderful Kur gin, maraschino liqueur, and crème di violette is divine, light and flavorful.
The Food: Much like with the beers made at the on-house brewery, and the spirits made at Wildwood, the food here is prepared with care, using a lot of local ingredients. Plus, everything is made from scratch from the ketchup to the sausage to all the various nibbles in between. You’ll discover a good pub selection, with starters, soups, salads, burgers, pizza, sausages and more. Even if you’re just coming in for a drink, find room for the pretzel (made in house of course), which is crafted using spent grain from the brewing process. It has a lovely chew and rich grainy flavor, and is accompanied by a few dipping choices–the smoked gouda sauce that might have you licking the ramekin. If you ask, you can get that sauce on top of your fresh-cut fries when you order one of the sausages (four to choose from, including bratwurst and spicy Italian), or one of the burgers–the housemade veggie burger is surprisingly good if you have any non-meat eaters in the party.
The Space: It’s a large place, seating about 400 if you count outside seating (and it’s the time of year when you should start), but doesn’t feel intimidating, due to it being broken up well. Also, it wasn’t as loud as some large places–they recently installed sound-dampening panels, which I’m guessing helps with this. The overall feel is Northwest industrial, with big wooden beams and metal touches, a concrete floor, and barrel-stave-esque legs on the barstools. I suggest sitting at the long curving bar so you can be close to the action and closer to folks like friendly bartender Paul Dickhoff (who made the mean Aviation mentioned above). Beardslee is a right fit for all size groups, from families to friends to stopping in solo. Be sure not to miss touring the distillery downstairs and the brewery if possible, too. It’s amazing to see where and how your drink ingredients are made.
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