after4ever (322) Mukilteo, Washington | March 7, 2016
- AMBIANCE 3/5
- SERVICE 9/10
- SELECTION 7/15
- FOOD 6/10
- VALUE 6/10
- OVERALL 10/20
Silverdale, from what I can see, only has a few key places to go out on a Saturday night. I hope that doesn’t sound like a stuck-up Seattle guy thing to say, but it does seem kinda small. CBC, though, ho lee crap, they appear to have cornered the market as the place to be on goin’-out night. It’s a big, bustling operation, much more like a sports bar than a fledgling brewery. I’m giving it 3.5 stars, rounded down because it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. If you’re local, though, or passing through and really hungry (or thirsty), you can probably call this a 4-star joint.
It’s an older building…I think? If so, it has been restored and cleaned up well. There’s a nice little vestibule of glass doors on the sidewalk, then you huddle in to a host station inside, with big dining rooms and a bar space filling the room. It’s packed, and bustling, and there’s a waiting list, and it’s full of chatter, but not overly noisy.
There are flat screens for almost every table in the bar (you have to see how many TVs they can screw into one ceiling, seriously), nice tables and chairs, nice bar, nice divider walls, solid stage in the back corner, big gleaming stainless tanks in the brewhouse in back—they spent a fortune building out this joint. It feels nicely informal and welcoming, but they dumped a bundle into getting this going, and it has borne fruit.
The menu seems to focus on familiar favorite bar food items, lots of batter, lots of deep frying, heaps of nachos, and so on. The menus are all laminated cards—they’re restaurant vets, and they don’t waste time with house-printed stuff. They give everything a chipper name and a colorful logo, and print up cards for it. It felt more like a Red Robin than a northwest brewery, at least in terms of the menus and beer lists and table tents and all that.
The staff are SO nice and energetic and they are right on point throughout the meal. They never miss a visit, and they ask all the right questions. They’re clearly also being hired because they’re the best-looking kids in town, which of course helps business too. But they’re here to work, and the mission of the joint is to make sure that every customer has a good experience with food and drink—not to just look pretty and be chatty. They’re succeeding.
The bar has all the basics, from hard licks down through wine and on to the house beer list. They have a flagship lineup of anglo ales—a pale, a brown, a blond, etc. Nothing very bitter, no spicy yeast esters anywhere, nothing too adventurous or off-putting. In fact, about 4 of the beers tasted almost the same, with a little bit of lightly toasted caramel flavor and very gentle herbal counterpoint from the hops. No resiny bitterness ANYWHERE. They had a rye IPA seasonal pouring, which sounded a bit more aggressive, but I didn’t get around to trying it. ALL the beers here are immaculately clean, but they’re aimed at the neighborhood folk, not the beer geek. The idea here seems to be that if 25 families come in after a youth soccer tournament, at least 21 of the dads can order a beer and knock it back without having to wince at anything too harshly flavorful or surprising. I totally respect this approach, though I do my beer shopping in a totally different aisle. I really love how clean all the beers are, and you can tell after trying them once that they will be really consistent time after time—no fiddling around with recipes or processes once they go into production.