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Selection: 4.5 | Service: 4 | Atmosphere: 4 | Food: 4.25Curmudgeon's (170) Overall Score: 83.3
Dusty Trails...sounds like a professional wrestler, doesn't it? But he happens to be an architect by trade, a lover of beer by design & that love has provided Puget Sound with two fine brewpubs...Engine House #9 in Tacoma & the Powerhouse in Puyallup.
Pronounced Pew-AL-up, it is a fairly typical bedroom community southeast of Seattle off the Interstate 405 and produces some excellent brews that bring back the customers who give the highest marks.
Built in 1907, the place supplied power for the southern leg of those wonderful, commuter-friendly, inexpensive, put-out-of-business-by-huge-conglomerates trolleys that so many American cities relied on for half of the twentieth century. Of course, after the highway system took control, the building fell into oblivion until Dusty bought it in 1994 & turned it into the family pub it is today.
Filled with old electric meters, blueprints, switches - even a neon Mr. Redi-Watt character watches over the mash tuns & fermenters. For those of you not old enough to remember, Mr. Redi-Watt was the symbol of electric companies with red lighting bolts for arms & legs & a light-blub yellow nose...as recognizable in his time as Mickey Mouse.
The usual pub fare exists alongside a Cuban sandwich, crab cakes, black bean salad w/corn dressing & a crab & artichoke dip. Both Meat-eaters & vegetarians will be happy here.
And then there's the beer: IPA, Pale Ale, Hefe sure but also a golden, clean, crisp Rauch with a smokey taste & hearty feel, a 50-shilling & a Scottish Ale, both smokier than any I've tasted but not offensive...very smooooooooth and therefore, dangerous! And to me, their winner, their 4-alarm Stout with its creamy, caramel head, chocolate & coffee front, middle & back. Proof positive that beer can be for breakfast!
My only complaint was / is that their growlers are clear bottles so should you take one home, don't linger. After 8 days, out Scottish had lost its head, taste and turned syrupy...but then we all know that draught is best.
The restaurant is not large so the noise level can rise to just below the level of pain, especially if children are allowed to be unruly like the screamer that occupied the booth next to the bar on our visit. Still, the service is excellent, the bartenders friendly and ready to converse, the food - beer - and prices reasonable. Puyallup is growing & judging by our forays there, townsfolk (Puyallupians? Puyallupee-ites?) have found the Powerhouse.
reviewed on: 2007-11-26 17:21:46