Let me start off by saying there are a lot of things to like about Counterbalance Brewing Company in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood.
There’s a fun crowd. The music selection is good. And it’s not too far to another bar after you leave.
The beer is not a major selling point for me here, with the notable exception of the Kushetka Russian Imperial Stout, which is a lovely variant of the style and should not be missed by dark beer lovers.
However the place is decidedly middling (or worse) on most of it’s other beers.
I visited in mid-July, 2017, and despite the multiple fans, was melting in the hot taproom. Despite this, I was ready to give the place a good shot, as I haven’t been in almost a year. The bartender was friendly, knowledgeable and had a good crew of regulars coming by.
I started with a seasonal beer, the Bohemian pilsner, a 5.2%, 37 IBU golden brew which seems to struggle with its own American identity.
Yes, that’s probably a super snobby, bitchy thing to say, but it was simultaneously too sweet and too bitter for the style, which I didn’t know was possible.
It finishes cloying and dry and was not what I was expecting from the style, even Americanized.
I had a pint of the Pogo Duck IPA, which Untappd users can’t seem to decide is indeed an IPA or an India Session Ale. Regardless, it is a forgettable entry. Not quite sessionable at 5% ABV and not flavorful enough for an IPA despite a 60 IBU count promises at least somewhat of a bitter smack, it’s almost a palate cleanser.
It’s not a BAD beer by any stretch, but I think you are better off trying the Counterbalance IPA, Abigail blonde or even the DIIPA Tabletop Supernova.
Or head up the street to Georgetown.
If this is on your list as the last brewery in Seattle you haven’t visited, sure, come on by and try a sample or two.
But don’t make it a priority.