We love to work with all kinds of local fruit to create inspired products, whether it’s beer, cider, wine, or mead. While we don’t limit ourselves in our production calendar to any regular lines or flagship beers, there are often two tracks we consider, and series that follow suit: our Fruitful Barrel series, where fruit is meant to be front and center; and our Subtle Blend series, which focuses on a higher level of delicacy, nuance, and yes, subtlety. We always strive for balance in our beers, working through the brewing, blending, and aging process carefully to create a truly curated and well-thought-out end product that reflects its ingredients faithfully. The Subtle Blend series is where we get to expand on those goals further, reaching for the perfect balance between base malt, hop notes, aging flavors, yeast complexity, and of course, fruitiness. Sometimes a small amount of a certain flavor is the right amount, but it’s often a big challenge to hit that exact level.
American palates have historically been primed for extremes when it comes to beer (and many other products), with a long tradition of hyperbolic-style marketing and sometimes over-the-top product development. We’ve all been told we should want the most IBUs, the highest alcohol stouts, the fruitiest and haziest IPAs, and the most enamel-dissolving sours. Of course, these directives change with time, and personal tastes vary greatly. Happily, there’s probably a beer out there for every preference and demand. But we resist the extremes. It’s part of our identity. So while we don’t typically make beer that will shock you, we think of our products as a different sort of challenge: a challenge for us to create perfectly balanced beers that truly represent the flavors of the Skagit Valley that will encourage drinkers to really sit and think through the experience that the beer brings them: evolution in the glass and evolution in the palate. Not all challenges need to be extreme.