As members of the RJS Craft Winemaking Academy, Bayleys BrewHaHa's four stores supply all the ingredients and equipment necessary for burgeoning brew masters to craft their own wine, beer, and cider. Today's Groupon crafts 48 bottles of cider or coolers under the tutelage of Bayleys' familial crew, who assign each student a spirit animal to guide them through the process from start to finish. On-site facilities use 100% reverse osmosis filtered water as the base for flavours like apple, pomegranate, and hard cranberry lemonade. After adding and mixing all the appropriate ingredients, the base is bottled, stored, and mellowed with select classics of reggae. When fermentation completes about four weeks later, the ciders and coolers are ready to bottle and are 100% guaranteed.
Dev and Joanne McIntyre first began to experiment with winemaking after moving to the Mt. Lehman area in 1984. They tended to their small backyard vineyard and carefully tracked how different grapes grew and developed in the region's distinctive climate. After sharing these data and collaborating with fellow viticulturalists, Dev and Jo narrowed the list of possibilities down to a few specific varietals, which they felt could ripen evenly along the relatively cool and precipitation-prone coastline.
When they purchased Salt Spring Vineyards in 2008, they set about growing some of these grapes, also opting to fashion pleasantly sweet wines from organic apples and locally grown blackberries. Although their very first experiments occasionally had to be recycled as wine vinegars, grape jellies, or aperitifs for pampered houseplants, they continued to hone their craft with each and every harvest. Currently, the selection boasts a range of styles, including a crisp, dry pinot gris and an unctuous cabernet libre that balances its dark fruit flavours with firm tannins. As a demonstration of their commitment to the environment, Dev and Jo also adhere to sustainable growing practices and avoid using any herbicides or pesticides in their fields.
The Barrel Thief, previously Wine Tea Chocolate, got a new name in recognition of the establishment's revamped menu of wines and fine spirits. Above the main bar, rows and columns of hanging glasses reflect the natural light flooding in through the front windows. They stand at the ready for more than 20 by-the-glass wines and botany-inspired cocktails.
At tables constructed from 100-year-old reclaimed fir, visitors dash whiskeys against the rocks or sip wine from one of hundreds of bottles while enjoying small plates of fresh vegetable lasagna and cured meats. Outside, a helix of lights wraps around the wooden bounds of the patio, a place that allows guests to catch a cool breeze and toast their paninis in the sun's rays.
Northwestern ingredients swim through Acquabar Bistro and Lounge's menu of homestyle American fare and seafood entrees, and fresh fruit and herbs infuse the bar's list of inventive cocktails. On weekdays, Acquabar's adjacent café specializes in casual lunches such as toasty grilled paninis and espresso with coffee beans from Caffe D'arte, and the restaurant's bistro and lounge invites dinner diners to luxuriate amid modern hardwood décor and feast on regional American entrees including Cajun catfish and po boys crafted from local oysters. Owner and experienced restaurateur David Leong, who was once profiled in Seattle Weekly, also attracts late-night revelers with live music, DJs, and sultry mermaid vocalists.
It's not surprising that Tia Lou snagged the award for Best Rooftop at DList Magazine's 2013 Seattle Nightlife Awards. The large outdoor space, complete with its own bar, is washed in pretty blue light, which gives way to the amber beams radiating out of private curtained cabanas. Inside each cabana is cushioned furniture, which surrounds a rattan table filled with bottle service paraphernalia.
This modern vibe also permeates Tia Lou's indoor areas, where tufted leather booths soften an industrial space framed in exposed-brick walls and cement floors. An upper level looks out over the dance floor, where revelers, go-go dancers, and prom queens cursed by a witch's spell groove nonstop under colorful lights to a live DJ set.