There was a good turnout at Thunder Canyon Brewery last week as a number of Northwest-area residents and business representatives joined staff of The Explorer Newspaper for the monthly Sippin’ Social, which takes place at various locations on the third Thursday of each month. 

Like the very welcome company, Thunder Canyon Brewery was equally pleasant, as has always been the case in my experiences. A friendly hostess helped gather the group together, and management ensured we had enough table and chair space on the outdoor patio, where discussions ranged from story pitches, to current happenings in the northwest, to things as basic as the fall weather. 

Our timely server allowed for an uninterrupted conversation flow, checking in periodically as glasses neared empty or dishes needed bussing. 

Complementing the spirited conversations was the first round of local brews, myself and my coworker Randy Metcalf each trying the Oktoberfest, one of dozens of local beers on tap.

Described by Thunder Canyon Brewery as a “medium bodied lager with a toasted malty flavor,” this crisp, light, clean beer had a hint of mild hop bitterness and as recommended by our server, was one of the most enjoyable beers I’ve had at Thunder Canyon. The spotless glass left a nice foam lacing that savored and added flavor with each drink.

Before our second round, we ordered some appetizers – the Southwestern Hummus ($4.85), and the Super Sampler ($16). The hummus is garlic-infused and served with broccoli, cucumber, carrots, celery, kalamata olives and house-baked pita points. The pita was perfectly baked, producing a soft, doughy texture, and the hummus blended well with the touch of garlic to make a tasty starter.

The Super Sampler was even more enjoyable, offering an abundance of snack options, including wings, nachos, mozzarella sticks, fried mushrooms, and a brewhouse pretzel. The plate is enough to feed at least two, and each item was as fresh and delicious as the next.

To close out the night, I ordered a Dark Lightning Milk Stout ($3.25). This heavy, dark beer was filling, but equally enjoyable with a hint of chocolate malt flavoring beneath a thick head. 

Randy enjoyed the Windstorm Wheat ($3.25), a good, solid wheat brew that was not too cloudy, and with the right amount of filtration. A squeeze of lemon brightens up the beer and produces a pleasant aroma. 

The overall experience was one of the best we have had in our several months of participating in Sippin’ Social. The weather was perfect for outdoor seating, the turnout was impressive, the food was delicious, and the conversations flowed as easy as the great local beers brewed on location at Thunder Canyon Brewery.

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