after4ever (220) Brier, Washington | February 17, 2013
80 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 10/10 SELECTION 11/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 9/10 OVERALL 15/20
All you need to have a great place is amazing beers. Thatís all Reubenís really offers, and they make it great. They generally have an even dozen beers on, with many of them prominently featuring rye in the malt bill. Rye IPA, Rye this, Rye that. Rye is delicious, so this is definitely a huge point in their favor.
Theyíre right behind the huge Add Bardahl Oil sign that youíve driven by a million times. They have a little industrial space with a roll-up garage door; the people door is around the side. You walk in to a convincing tasting room with benches, tables, highboys, and a genuine restroom. Thereís a bar at the back with hundreds of sparkling clean glasses, and thereís more seating upstairs.
You order your beers, or tasters, and they hand íem over. They arrange the tasters on pre-marked serving sheets so you can look back at the board and check the beers by number and remember what youíre trying.
The beers are already fantastic, after just a few months in operation, and have been since they opened. The brewer pulls the taps for you, and cheerfully announces that heís averaging fewer than one day off a month, generally pulling 14-hour shifts. Theyíre making new stuff all the time, sometimes on the pilot system, and theyíre always keeping the big tanks full. All that work shows in what they deliver--lots of different good beers, and plenty of kegs of many of them.
Theyíre entering every festival they can get an application for, and they really keep an eye on which beers make people jump up and down. Itís always the brewers who are already really good who want all this feedback. (Brewers who complain that people donít "get" their beers are too often making beers that just arenít that great, anyway--these guys are the exact opposite on both counts).
There are coasters, stickers, t-shirts, and the like available here. But other than that, and the beer, thereís not much else going on. Those benches and tables get shoved back into storage most of the week, so the man can brew. Everything here is powered by elbow grease and sheer force of will, and the payoff is already evident. Itíll be a blast watching these guys grow.