The century-old former house that Outlander Brewery and Pub inhabits in Fremont is charmingly Victorian, as is its decor—though the chairs lack the skirts Victorians dressed their furniture in to prevent ornate-wooden-leg ogling. I'd never understood the urge to ogle a chair until I set foot in Outlander. This may have been partly because of the beer I had, a NW Peaks Redoubt Red, which was dark, crisp, floral, and strong enough to make even a squat ottoman sexy. Other highlights of the decor include an antique church door and an elegant, functional phonograph. The pub's website defines an outlander as "the innovator; he is the one who drives change."
Innovation at Outlander, a one- barrel nanobrewery, is aided by a monthly online poll that determines which beer will be brewed next. In August, voters favored vanilla jasmine porter served with a scoop of ice cream. "We didn't want to call the bar 'Foreigner' because of the band," co-owner Nigel Lassiter told me. "But, of course, now everyone gets us confused with Highlander." Like the painting of a dramatically lit Spanish galleon in Outlander's dining area, the pub's atmosphere brims with potential adventure. I wouldn't be surprised to encounter members of Foreigner or Sean Connery there.
I'd hoped for my adventure to involve Outlander's peanut butter porter or strawberry wheat, but all the house-made beer was consumed within two days of the pub's opening (don't worry, they're brewing more). Their Bier Dip—a cheddar, ranch, cream cheese, and IPA concoction—is delicious, but shouldn't be served with such salty pretzels. Unless they switch to a different carbohydrate for dipping, bring a secret baguette. Their menu features beer-infused sausage and, soon, a pâté. When asked if anything else in the pub is infused with beer, Nigel motioned to his beer-soaked pants. "This has happened three times," he said.