By Sean White
Yesterday I made my third trip to Bottles, a new bottle shop at 5015 NE Fremont. Well, to call it a “trip” would be a bit of a stretch since it is less than 3 blocks from Alameda, where I am a brewer. Sitting down to enjoy a bottle of North Coast Pranqster, I talked with owners Brant Kunze and Shawn Meyer about their new bar, which has been open since August 7th.
Brant Kunze is in charge of the beer selection, and has stocked the beer cases with a selection of 250+ craft bottles and cans, largely from the Northwest, but also from other areas of the USA, and imports. Bottle prices are very reasonable (I couldn’t help but be enticed by a 750 ml bottle of De Ranke XX Bitter for $12.50), with a $1 corking fee for drinking on premise. They also have eight draft lines, with the price of a normal pint being $4. Brant is a big fan of IPAs , so expect to see some of your favorite hoppy beers. I had my first can of Oskar Blues Gubna here, and I have to say it rocked my world, my only small quip being a substantial alcohol nose once it warmed up. The selection also includes a smattering of many styles including weizens, stouts, sour and barrel aged beers, and even some gluten free beers and ciders. I tried my first sorghum beer, at the recommendation of a friend. Brewed at the DeProef Brewery, Green’s Endeavour gluten-free dubbel was a pretty drinkable product considering that it had no barley. It had a fairly sweet dubbel-ish nose, as well as an unnoffensive cidery note, a cola-like sweet maltiness, and a somewhat gruit-like herbal bitterness. While it is not a beer that I would probably ever choose over one made with barley, it was definitely well brewed. If I ever, DOG forbid, develop a gluten allergy, I would not feel too short-changed by having to drink this.
Shawn Meyer is in charge of the food, which is all “family-recipe” Southern barbeque. I’m not an expert on barbeque or its regional variations, but I did get some ribs that were very tasty and paired well with a Stone Ruination IPA. The Barbeque starts at 5 pm and lasts “til it runs out”, which is usually around 8 pm. Other menu selections include pulled pork sliders, chicken wings, and Carolina caviar. Next time I’m hoping the pulled pork won’t be sold out when I get there.
Bottles sports a spacious outdoor area with shade and picnic tables, as well as a pinball room. All the furnishings were made from reclaimed materials, including the bar top. Brant and Shawn are excited to be a part of the neighborhood, and they feel the area is ripe for development. I certainly wish them well and I will be stopping in for fairly regular visits, since they will be conveniently located halfway between my work and the house I am about to move into. You couldn’t have planned that better, guys!