Orcas Island has the best hiking of the San Juan Islands. And luckily for us, those hikes are all close to some delicious beer!
With the island being an upside-down U-shape, and many of the restaurants, shops, and more located at the crest, it feels like a central hub for all your needs. Island Hoppin’ is just northwest from the busy sections of Eastsound, nearby Camp Orkila. The parking was a tiny bit confusing in our post-hike addled brains, but we made our way to the ordering window just fine. I perused their board and finding many I was keen on trying, I quickly went about ordering a sampler, which the server warned me about packed quite a punch. I would not have one to yourself if you are driving! Probably this is best shared, as that way both parties can enjoy a little of everything. Starving from our hike, we also got a smoked salmon and cracker platter. There’s guest wines and ciders, and some can to-go options.
I’m guessing this is a COVID thing, but currently there is no indoor seating at the brewery, just outside picnic tables and seating. Luckily, there are tons of heaters around (also, did you know a Sea to Summit Z-seat is a game changer on a cold metal patio chair?) and our beertender quickly got one going for us before pouring our beer.
I always do a sampler all of 1 before staring all of 2. I don’t know why, but that’s just my style. Their sampler was the first seven beers listed on the board, so first up was the Autumn Leaf fall lager. I maintain a stance that not enough people do lagers, and this one was nice and malty. Next was the Old Madrona Imperial Red, which is an amazing name. Looks like previous times I’ve had it I hadn’t liked it, but either my palate had grown or they’ve made some tweaks, as this was tasty! Coffee porters aren’t my favorite style, so I was happy to move on to the Sunrise amber, another malty tasty beer. Then, it was time for hops! First, their Evergreen State of Mind, a nice, cool CDA. Then, their Elwha Rock IPA, which might have been one of the dankest IPAs I’ve had in a long time. Lastly was probably my favorite, the K-Pod Kolsch. Between the beer and the heated table we were at, I was one happy clam.
I’d happily hit the brewery on any return trips to the island, or even better, maybe I’ll plan on returning in November for their Hops on the Rock beer festival! What a great time to see the island and sample some beer, minus the crowds. Regardless, I’ll be back for some of their malty ales–or more K-Pod Kolsch!
In summary (to the best of my knowledge)…
- Full kitchen: Nope, just chips and small snacks for sale.
- All-ages: Yes
- Dog friendly: Yes
- Merch: Apparel, glassware, and some nice ceramic and enamel mugs.
- Coasters: Not sure?
- Outdoor seating: Many picnic tables, chairs, and patio couches, all with roaring heaters or gas fires.