John Howie Brews A New Venture: Beardslee Public House
I was recently invited to Beardslee Public House in Bothell to come and experience their new food and beer menu. While the actual Public House opened its doors to the public only two months ago, the business itself has been in the planning and building stages since early 2014 – hence the “established 2014” on the Beardslee sign above the entry way. Howie wanted to create a casual environment that focuses on the service and quality of the fare they served and I believe he has succeeded. A majority of every item is made in-house, down to the spent-grain pretzel and hot dog buns, to the various smoked meats they produce in Beardslee’s charcuterie kitchen, and of course their own beer made a floor below where you are imbibing at in the bar. Even the wood tables, the magnificent live-edged coffee table by the fireplace, and the patio firepit are all made from one giant red Sequoia tree that was previously on the same plot of land where Beardslee now resides.
Nestled underneath the main restaurant floor is the 10-barrel brewery, complete with 6 10-barrel fermenters and 2 20-barrel fermenters for double batches. With 12 beers on tap this means each fermenter is constantly in use bubbling away the next fresh batch of Greenleaf IPA or a seasonal like their Patch Cut Pumpkin Ale. Beardslee’s house-made brews are then served directly from the bright tanks after fermentation is completed. Beardslee just started offering brewery tours to the public, every Monday and Wednesday at 5pm and every Saturday at 2pm.
Out of the 12 beers on tap they are looking to keep 6 year-round taps and the remaining 6 will be seasonal rotating taps. The names of the beers are an homage to the logging history of Bothell and include some logging terminology that some may or may not be familiar with (e.g. Beaver Bait means trash logs that were good for beavers but not much else, Widow Maker is a loose, hanging branch that could fall at any moment.)
Bastard Grain Pale Ale – “A crisp easy drinking ale featuring hop varieties from England. Slightly malt forward with moderate bitterness and a floral hop aroma.” I found this to be a well-balanced pale ale with a nudge more of malty sweetness up front. Slightly fruity and floral due to the English hop varietals used.
IBU 40; 5.5% abv
Greenleaf IPA– “Hops, Hops, Hops. Using a technique called hop-bursting, our IPA derives its mellow bitterness and strong hop aroma and flavor from copious amounts of late addition hopping.” A hop-forward IPA, although it was less hoppy than expected after reading their description of it. Less of a hop-bomb, more of a daily drinker.
IBU 60; 6.4% abv
Four Ginger IPA – “Featuring fresh, candied, pickled & Thai ginger. This IPA dances on your taste buds, truely a summer pleaser.” This is their Greenleaf IPA that has been infused with four variations of ginger. It paired very nicely with their Kalbi Meat Candy and would probably do quite well with Thai food.
IBU 60; 6.4% abv
Knotted Porter – “Dark and roasty, our Porter nods its frothy head at the bittersweet chocolate malt that colors this beer. Mild bitterness and low hop aroma allow this malty elixir to shine. A completely satisfying sipper.” Lots of chocolate and some roasted coffee notes coming from this beer.
IBU 35; 5.4% abv
Widow Maker Wit – “Our Belgian style Wit ale is light, crisp and refreshing. Cloudy from unmalted wheat, and flavored with orange peel and coriander, our Wit was designed to define the style.” Slight creaminess coming from the wheat paired up with the citrus notes of orange and slight spiciness of coriander makes for a very light ad refreshing beer with a small carbonic bite.
IBU 28; 7% abv
Beaver Bait Blonde – “An easy drinking ale perfect to quench your thirst and wake up your taste buds for our other offerings.” Very clean, smooth blonde ale.
IBU 35; 5.1% abv
Patch Cut Pumpkin – “A robust slice of pumpkin pie in a glass featuring classic pumpkin pie spices and lots of pumpkin in the mash and the kettle.” Cardamom was the strongest spice out of the mix, very smooth for how high the alcohol content is.
IBUS 24; 7.1% abv
Bad Axe Double IPA – “Two of our favorite hops, Simcoe & Amarillo, make his bright crisp IPA burst with tropical & citrus notes.” The tropical and citrus notes won me over, very well-balanced double IPA that didn’t taste overtly strong.
IBU 70; 7.6% abv
Yellowbelly Wheat – “A palate of clove and banana from authentic Weihenstephan yeast strain, our German-style Hefeweizen lingers with a crisp citrus finish.” The clove and banana characters were quite strong with this one, and after learning it is made with a German Hefeweizen yeast strain that makes more sense.
IBU 18: 5.8% abv
Knuckleboom ESB – “A malt driven beer with hints of caramel & nuttyness that finishes dry & spicy. It’s an easy drinking session ale.” This was the beer I was drinking when the Meat Candy came out and I actually enjoyed them together. The caramel sweetness worked well with the candied exterior of the pork.
IBU 38 5.5% abv
Sidewinder Stout – “A full flavored American Stout that is rich & roasty with plenty of hops to compliment the malt bill.” Another dangerously smooth beer despite its alcohol content. Very roasty and chocolatey with coffee notes sprinkled throughout.
IBU 65; 7.0% abv
Sasquatch CDA – “Hoppy as an IPA, yet black & rich from roasted wheat & rye malt, Sasquatch is a rare but refined beast.” Rye gives it a little spiciness while the wheat smooths it out a bit. Roasty without being overwhelming, good balance with the hop bitterness.
IBU 62; 6.5% abv
Currently Beardslee Public House is not bottling or canning their brews; however, they do offer growler fills (32 or 64 ounce) for those looking to bring their magic home. If beers are not your style, Beardslee also offers eight different wines on draft from regional producers, including a John Howie exclusive Syrah by Mark Waters. For the bubble-lovers, there are a handful of bottled Champagne options as well. They also have a full bar available with some unique cocktails, of which I imagine when Wildwood Spirits opens up downstairs they will have a harmonious relationship together.
Throughout the evening we were given samples of some of the items Beardslee Public House has on their food menu. In their repertoire we sampled:
Stout-infused Deviled Eggs, I did not get to sample these but judging by the almost immediately empty serving plate I will assume they were delicious.
Grilled Kalbi Pork Meat Candy, these are very thinly sliced pork strips that look quite similar to jerky. They have a nice spicy kick to them and a sweet marinade to balance the heat.
Pro tip: Make sure to wet the edge of your napkin prior to diving into some of the Kalbi Pork Meat Candy, the “candy” part of the meat means it is quite sticky and the wet napkin will provide your fingers some clean relief.
Greenleaf IPA-Jalapeno Hummus, smooth creamy hummus that includes some spicy jalapenos and their own Greenleaf IPA. Served with some house-made flatbread.
House Beer Nuts, there are two varieties: Sweet & Salty or Sweet & Spicy. I tried the latter and there was some definite spice in them but I kept going back for more.
Sausages, we got to sample their Hot Links (quite spicy and delicious) and their Garlic, Chicken & Pork.
Hand-tossed Pizzas, we sampled two of the seven options available. Speck & Egg, which consists of speck (an Italian prosciutto), farm-fresh egg in the middle (not fully cooked), arugula, parmigiano reggiano, and extra-virgin olive oil. Charcuterie, which consists of Italian sausage, salami, coppacolla (Italian dried salami), prosciutto, speck, roma tomatoes, roasted peppers, parmigianno, extra-virgin olive oil. The Charcuterie pizza is a meat-lover’s dream. I personally love wood-fired pizzas and the slight charred edges and the crust was fantastic. The pizza oven is visible to the public so if you find yourself walking around Beardslee be sure to check out that beauty in action.
Of the small bites I was treated to my favorite was the Spent-Grain Pretzel dipped in the smoked Gouda cheese sauce. It was decadent, and the smokiness of the sauce plus the slightly roasted spent-grain in the pretzel were absolutely perfect together. To end the evening on a high note we were given samples off their secret menu of their French Fried Russet Potatoes “Sasquatch style” (you can also call it “Bigfoot style”, there was a debate). This elevates any normal fry order to the nth degree. The fries are smothered in Beardslee’s smoked Gouda cheese sauce and then covered in fried sweet onion strings, as a bonus you can even request bacon on it.
Beardslee Public House Cast:
Drew Cluley – Head Brewer
If you’ve ever had a beer by Pike Brewing or Big Time Brewing you will recognize the name of Drew Cluley. Cluley spent close to 10 years at Pike, with 5 of those years being the Head Brewer. He has ample amount of experience in concocting delicious beers and it shows with the current lineup at Beardslee.
Paige Zahnle – Assistant Brewer
If you wanted to pair food with beer you would seek out Paige Zahnle for her advice. As not only a Certified Sommelier but also a Certified Cicerone, Zahnle has an exceptional palate. Zahnle is the Assistant Brewer alongside Cluley and her passion for craft beer is downright contagious. Zahnle has been with the John Howie group previously as their Sommelier at Seastar prior to helping plan Beardslee’s beer program.
Chef John Howie – Owner
Chef John Howie has over 20 years in experience in opening and managing restaurants, not to mention he started a career in the culinary field when he was just 15 years old. Howie has a magnificent eye for curating menus as well as ambiance for the consumer. With his plethora of knowledge he has successfully opened some of the most prestigious restaurants in the area, including John Howie Steak, Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar, and Adriatic Grill. Beardslee Public House is a great addition to Howie’s accomplishments with a more casual environment that is accessible to everyone – from families to the nearby students of UW Bothell and Cascadia College. Cluley said it best, “Our goal was not to be fine dining but to have a fine dining attitude.”
Chef Jed Laprade – Head Chef
With 10 years within the John Howie group under his belt, Chef Jed Laprade is making quite the splash at Beardslee Public House. Laprade graduated from the influential Culinary Arts Program at South Seattle College and while a majority of his culinary experience has been in fine dining he is chomping at the bit to share his vision for scratch dining at Beardslee, and based off of what I experienced thus far Laprade’s vision is scrumptious.
Beardslee Public House is located at 19116 Beardslee Blvd #201, Bothell, WA 98011. They are open seven days a week with a Happy Hour from 3pm-6pm.