Happy Hour: Who would guess — craft beer tasting in a convenience-store setting
Super Deli Mart in White Center is the place to taste hard-to-come-by craft beers.
Seattle Times staff reporter
HAPPY HOUR |
Best kept secret for hard-to-find beers — corner store, near White Center, around 35th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Barton Street. That's what I heard. I heard you can down a pint on the spot, any day, all day long, in between the aisles of Rock Star energy drinks and bags of Frito Lay.
I had to see it to believe it.
Sure enough, there they were on a recent Tuesday, home brewers and beer fanatics, downing $3 ales while standing near customers lining up for Camel cigarettes and lottery tickets. They were talking cask ales and Chinook hops. Mariners spring training. That show "Portlandia."
The Super Deli Mart is not your usual convenience store.
The highlights this month: A sample tray from the esteemed Russian River Brewery Co. was featured three weeks ago, including the most sought-after beer in America, Pliny the Younger. This week, some Dogfish Head kegs go on tap.
That's some serious beer cred. Owner Min Chung's vision of a convenience store is a bit different, a bit European.
He's a Korean immigrant who wanted to run a convenience store. He also wanted to serve craft beer. In chasing his American dream, no one told him he couldn't do both under one roof. About a year ago, he got the Washington State Liquor Board's approval to serve patrons craft beer inside the store.
This took some getting used to. I grabbed a seat by the window, between the ATM sign and the Washington's Lottery logo, with a pint of Damnation Golden Ale from Russian River Brewery. Guy next to me was scratching his lotto ticket with a quarter. That beer, though, was excellent — fruity with some sweet malts. Went down easy. And only $3 a pint. You won't find a better deal during happy hour at any bar.
On other weeks, they geek it all out at Super Deli Mart, featuring a brewery of the week and bringing in the head brewer to sign bottles for beer fans.
Some perspective is in order, though: You'll find more patrons buying chips and lottery tickets than ordering craft beer. It's still a convenience store, after all.
The beer geeks usually come when there's a sexy lineup on tap, like this week, with five Dogfish Head kegs, and owner Chung promises two other unusual craft beers.
Super Deli Mart, 9051 35th Ave. S.W. (206-937-1442). All pints $3. Growlers refill $10.
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or email@example.com
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