The Mill Creek McMenamins
Last Sunday I was off on the vaguest of plans. I have a few rides I like to do every so often and I was mentally weighing which to do. They were all to the north so I spent the first 8 miles or so trying to decide. As I hit the drop dead point I knew I need to get some food (and more importantly beer) so I choose to head toward Mill Creek where I happened to know there was a McMenamins Brewpub. Now this is an odd thing in my mind as the McMenamins are a fairly classy chain of pubs that specializes in retrofitting classic buildings into brewpubs. Based out of Oregon they have a number of locations in Washington but none so odd as the Mill Creek McMenamins. A couple years back I was riding up the Bothell Everett Highway in a general exploration ride (looking for the furtherest north I could connect to the Interurban Trail) and I saw in a strip mall a sign that said McMenamins. Thinking this couldn’t be the chain of brewpubs I had to pull over and see. To my surprise it was and I happily enjoyed a Hammerhead. Mill Creek is a strip mall based exurb of Seattle and while it has that Kamazotz feel that these places usually do it has all been built up recently and there is decent cycling facilities. Bicycle lanes on many roads and several little trail segments running behind the strip malls and through wetlands. Clearly an affluent area as there are a lot of nicer restaurants, shops and grocery stores. And a McMenamins which following the local look is in a strip mall. Its location is pretty good for the cyclist as it is just past the turnoff you’d take for the easiest route to the Interurban.
McMenamins makes a pretty good beer and I especially recommend the Hammerhead Pale Ale, their Terminator Stout and when something refreshing is needed the Ruby raspberry ale. They have a lot of seasonal and specials on Nitro which can be great on a case by case basis. I had a special Nitro IPA on this trip that was worth the trip. They also have excellent bar food with several things that makes a vegetarian like myself happy. I had a smoked mozzarella and pesto sandwich with tater tots. Good eats and drinks and with the free WiFi I was able to keep myself entertained while I recovered a bit from the hot humid ride. Also of good cheer is the outdoor beer garden where you can pull your bicycle right in so you can keep it unlocked by under watch. So this is a great pub in an unlikely location that is actually pretty useful for the northern rambles.