after4ever (215) Brier, Washington | February 6, 2013
54 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 6/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 12/20
These guys do great things for the beer world without a doubt. They focus on a rock-solid business model: produce flagship beers that anyone can enjoy, and donít spend a lot of time on side projects.
As a result, you get a fairly bare-bones experience here. There are tanks and kettles, and there are faucets and growlers. There are grains, yeasts, and hops somewhere as well, but those are marked employees only. You come in, you get your growler filled to go, maybe you shoot the breeze a little, then you go drink your beer.
This place offers a nice lineup of beers. They actually offer the current sales leader in Western Washington among craft beers, I think--the African Amber. Redhook and Widmer and a few other mid-major craft breweries challenge it pretty well, but the African is a king among kegs of craft beer in this town. You see it at places where itís the only non-industrial beer, that stately lion on the tap handle announcing that thereís at least one thing on tap with a grain bill thatís all barley. You see it at restaurants, sports bars, sometimes even at higher-end places that are crazy for beer.
You occasionally get a stale keg of the African because it can sit so long at places that donít move much craft beer, so it has a bit of a middling reputation with a few people--some people think itís too sweet, because by the time they get to a place with a keg of it, the hops have faded, and the crispness and refreshment have gone. But African is a very drinkable beer, and the Serengeti Wheat is solid as well. They also serve a decent porter and IPA, and they occasionally make an interesting special batch of this or that.
But most of all they serve beers that anyone can enjoy, and more than once their beers have been compared to Kind of Blue by Miles Davis--something both musicians and a large percentage of the public alike can really get into. Very well-crafted, but also very accessible.
curly (114) Redmond, Washington | January 31, 2012
72 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 10/15 FOOD N/A VALUE N/A OVERALL 15/20
Hard to find. They have a little tiny sign on the road, but it took me driving past it 3 times to see it. Once I did find the place, I had some samples. The beer was good, the guy working was nice, but not incredible knowledgeable. They had 6 beers on tap including a Barleywine.
BrewDad (411) Olympia, | October 20, 2010
80 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 13/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 15/20
Mac & Jacks Brewing Company. Production only facility with a small tasting/retail was not sure what I was going to find. Why has no one made fresh brewed cologne sure baffles me? I say this as I just passed a huge vat of malted grains as they vent off steam and wonderful aroma. I was not the only one standing there wafting at the aroma. Once inside the small sampling room you where greeted by a young man asking what would you like to try. Hell I canít hurt the kidís feelings so I tried them all. Yes, I have lived here in the Pac NW for a few years so yes Mac & Jacks African amber is like a staple but when free you taste. They have lots of tee shirts growlers and posters to buy. You can get your growler filled or buy a new one when there.