When in Winthrop…Drink Local!

After hiking Patterson Mountain in unexpectedly warm weather, the boyfriendo and I were super ready for a beer and food. Winthrop might be a small town, but it’s big on great food and drinks!

All bars and breweries should have a cozy fireplace.

The boyfriendo had done extensive research of Winthrop before our trip, and my friend Marissa at Postcards to Seattle had also just written about a weekend in Winthrop–with help from these, we selected Methow Valley Ciderhouse located right outside of town for our apres-hiking meal. Ciders don’t quite have the same reputation as craft beer–I admit, after too many Mike’s Hard Lemonade hangovers in college (ugh), I am pretty particular on my ciders. But craft ciderhouses are doing it well (i.e. not a billion grams of syrupy sugar), so I held hope for Methow Valley–and they delivered! We both got samplers, mine with their flagship Eagle Screechin’ Scumpy being my favorite and the Howling Wolf hopped cider being the boyfriend’s favorite. I admit, not being a huge connoisseur I was worried after a few samples they’d start to run together, but each one was distinct in flavor.

Loved these cute forest critter taphandles!

Methow Valley Ciderhouse was a pleaser for food too. I got the honey beer brat, the boyfriendo got the chorizo. No warmed up store-bought hotdogs here–they were full of flavor and were the perfect meal after a hike in the sun. Both brats were a great compliment to the ciders (mine being marinated in their honey cider). They even have sauerkraut in a crockpot (nothing cold and slimy bleeding over your plate here!) and a selection of different types of mustard for the true sausage snobs.

In summary (to the best of my knowledge)…

  • Full kitchen: Yes
  • All-ages: Yes
  • Dog friendly: Unsure, maybe on the patio?
  • Merch: Yes (glassware, hats, apparel)
  • Coasters: Yes
  • Live music: Possibly?
  • Outdoor seating: Covered patio, complete with a ‘kissing couch!’

After our polar-opposite day two hike in Winthrop (post to come), we were ready to warm up with some piping hot food (and wash that down with a hoppy beer). I had heard of Old Schoolhouse Brewery before, and was thrilled to finally get to check them out. As the name suggests, it’s located in an adorable old schoolhouse building. It appears a lot of other people had the idea to warm up with a beer and lunch, so it was pretty full. We debated sitting outside (which was covered and heated) but went for sitting at the bar to stay a bit warmer (and watch some college football). With the river view I bet seating on the patio is in high demand regardless of weather!

Medals and wood-carved taphandles align the bar.

We ordered before taking in our surroundings. The inside, thankfully, is nothing like a schoolhouse but more a fun brewery, with local art and wacky taphandles. They have chalkboards and paper menus to keep track of their beer selection, which includes quite a few rotating taps as well as their flagships. We were able to get their Fresh Hop IPA as well as try their flagship IPA and pale, all full of hoppy deliciousness. The food hit the spot too–I got a burger, the boyfriend a Reuben with a side of chili instead of fries, to really help us warm up.

In summary (to the best of my knowledge)…

  • Full kitchen: Yes
  • All-ages: Yes–but 21+ at the bartop
  • Dog friendly: Unsure, maybe on the patio?
  • Merch: Yes (glassware, hats, apparel)
  • Coasters: Yes
  • Live music: Yes
  • Outdoor seating: Heated and covered patio with a view of the river!

We didn’t have a bad meal or drink in all of Winthrop, really, which makes me want to sing the praises of this town even more. I encourage you to think about a visit, especially in the off-peak shoulder seasons of spring and fall (especially when Highway 20 is open!). Winthrop’s got it all for anyone remotely outdoorsy–and any fan of craft beer and cider.

4 Replies to “When in Winthrop…Drink Local!”

  1. Highway 20 is such a fickle beast. So hard to predict. And such a small window from when it opens in spring until it’s a madhouse and from the end of summer until it closes in the winter.

    1. Shoulder season in general is so unpredictable. Hence why it is vital to always be prepared for any weather in that area!

  2. Looks like there are a couple good brewery choices in Winthrop. I’m definitely pretty particular about my ciders too. It can’t be too hoppy or too sweet.

    1. They definitely weren’t overly sweet, to me. I’ve had some really gross hopped ciders before, but the one I tried might have made me a believer!

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