There’s a bit of a contradiction when it comes to Floodland Brewing. Nearly every single person in the Pacific Northwest beer scene knows about this brewery in Fremont, but hardly anyone actually knows their beer. It’s hard to find Floodland on tap or for sale in bottles. Unless you’re one of the few hundred people in their bottle club, you can forget about getting to know what this brewery is making.
That is, until this Saturday.
Floodland Brewing is doing their second annual tap takeover at the Masonry in Fremont, tapping 10 different kegs of their beer and promising a plentiful amount of bottle pours. No bottle club required. As long as you can get yourself to Fremont and afford a beer at the Masonry (beware: this is one of the best beers in the city and the prices reflect that), you can get a taste of the mixed-culture beers Floodland has been awing people with.
Adam Paysse, they guy behind Floodland and one of the former co-owners and brewers at Holy Mountain, wouldn’t tell me exactly which beers he will be bringing to the Masonry but promised there would be an ample amount of his beer. That’s all I really need to know to go to this event.
Paysse is quick to downplay what he does—the name of this event is "Goth Tiki Night" and he told me the Tiki drinks are likely to outshine his beer—but the beer Paysse creates is sought after for a reason. His beers are deeply nuanced and reflective. He makes what many people call “sour beer” but his bottles are rarely very acidic, instead hitting deeper more nuanced notes. Here’s how I described the first three beers he released when he opened his brewery last year:
Field Blend Cherry tasted like a slice of cherry pie covered in cinnamon and transformed into something refreshing and effervescent.
Protection Spells was even lighter, with such a delicate interplay of flavors that it seemed like a work of art inside a beer; it had the scent and flavor of a sliced lemon sitting in a dish of rose water. Creating a beer with rose water as its most dominant flavor is the most metal thing I can think of.
Drive Out the Spirits was a blueberry beer that reminded me more of dark fruit and sweet balsamic vinegar than blueberries, with a creamy and smooth body.
It’s hard not to get effusive, not to become breathless when describing Paysse’s beers, which I think kind of annoys him. Paysse has a bit of an Anthony Bourdain-esque approach to appreciating beer. He said he thought of the Goth Tiki Drink night theme with Masonry’s owner, Matt Storm, as a way to downplay the image of this highly sought after brewery.
“The idea came into being when discussing how serious the image of the brewery is, but that we don't actually take ourselves seriously,” Paysse said in an e-mail. “The goal of goth tiki was to have a party that was also a way to poke fun at ourselves. Fruit beers and tiki drinks seemed like an obvious pairing, and then the self-deprecating joke became ‘goth tiki night.’”
Sometimes I feel bad writing about Floodland, since most people can’t actually easily try these beers. That’s why I’m so excited to see this event. If you’ve ever wanted to try Floodland, here’s your best chance.