Cruising along Washington's Interstate 5 on your way to or from Bellingham, it's easy to forget about municipalities like Mount Vernon, Snohomish, or Burlington. In fact, if you didn't already know it, you've passed Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen's "South Nut" brewery and taproom. Located at 11937 Higgins Airport Way in Burlington, WA; the South Nut is the quieter, smaller, less complicated taproom to Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen's other location in Bellingham. Maybe that's why we have overlooked some of the unique styles coming from there.
Grodziskie or grow-JEES-kee-uh. A style derived in Poland making use of smoked malts. Known as "Polish Champagne", this lager low in alcohol but high in carbonation. Overall, this beer is refreshingly light in body while inspiring thoughts of oak-smoked wood and light bitterness. Overall, the brewers think you'll agree this beer has an apple or pear-like character and moderate bitterness.
The beer was originally produced by brewers in the town of Grodzisk Wielkopolski in the 14th or 15th century. Strict regulations regarding the quality of the beer were established by the local brewers' guild, and helped it develop a good reputation in the surrounding cities and neighboring countries. At the peak of its fame, it was exported to 37 countries and was regarded as an exceptionally good beer. The brewing industry in the town flourished. After the Second World War, beer production was nationalized, and the beer entered a period of decline under the Communist government of Poland. By 1993, the last brewery that was producing the style was shut down. After a period of years when the style was not available from any commercial brewers, several breweries began producing seasonal or year-round recreations of the historic style, spurred by interest in the style from the homebrewing community around the world.
Currently, on draft at Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen South Nut, you can enjoy this rarely available style of beer, from the comfort of their taproom at 11937 Higgins Airport Way in Burlington, WA 98233. For more information on this and other beers at Chuckanut's South Nut or their other location, visit http://chuckanutbreweryandkitchen.com.
Mari and Will started one of the first craft breweries in the Northwest “Thomas Kemper Brewery” back in 1984 (watch this 1986 news cast of the tapping of Thomas Kemper in Seattle. After leaving Kemper they moved to the East Coast where Will became a consultant in craft brewing and breweries and worked with Wheeping Radish in Durham, NC, set up the first Dock Street Brewpub in Philly, set up the original Capital City Brewery in DC, and Lowell Brewing in Lowell, MA. Then they moved back to the NW where Will worked with Beers Across America, a group of craft breweries including Aviator Brewing in Woodinville, Norwester Brewing in Portland, Orange County Brewing in CA, Mile High Brewery in Denver, and a few more. When that ended he developed the first two brewpubs in Monterrey, Mexico (Sierra Madre Brewing Co)! At the same time he taught brewing engineering for the American Brewers Guild in Davis, CA. Upon returning to the USA he began to consult with a group from Istanbul, Turkey and he and Mari went to Istanbul to put in the first craft brewpub in Turkey in 2002. They returned to American and he continued to consult with them when the two of them were asked to return to Istanbul to make the first craft brewery. They lived three years in Turkey for the project and when they finally returned to their home in Bellingham, WA they decided to start Chuckanut Brewery. And so the story of Chuckanut begins in 2008!