NW Peaks Brewery

Stuart Stout

The objective from camp in waning light.

The name. The mountain. Mt Stuart is a massive mountain easily seen from the storied Enchantments, and from I90 ~13 miles SW from Leavenworth.  It’s the second tallest non-volcanic peak in WA and can be identified from nearly any high summit.  The mountain offers many types of climbs from a couple of approaches.  For example, the Cascadian couloir is a long, technically easy ascent on (blah) scree.

The West ridge is a (easy) technical route that is a lesson in high alpine route finding. And the N ridge is a great sustained mid class 5 multi-pitch rock climb.  All of these start in beautiful Headlight basin – worth the day trip in itself on a great trail.

We climbed Mt Stuart via the W ridge.  Fortunately we turned around on the first attempt as we would have run out of daylight and would have had to overnight high up on the mountain in rain with no gear.  Our return was more successful, but still made for a long day with the extra route finding high on the mountain.  Our decent down the scree-filled cascadian couloir made us glad we had done the more interesting W ridge.

The Beer. Since Mt Stuart is one of the most noticeable, bold, non-volcanic peaks in WA we tried to make the beer bearing its name similar.  We based this beer on last year’s recipe but reduced the munich malt and changed hop varietals (but the hops have the same characteristics).  This resulted in a slightly smoother, lower-bodied beer while retaining the dark roastiness making Stuart Stout a rich, full bodied, deeply roasty interpretation of the style.  A fine beer to drink anytime, but best enjoyed in front of a fire on a cold rainy winter evening.

Malts: 2 row, roast, chocolate, crystal 40, wheat, and a smattering of oats.  Hops: Apollo, Goldings. ABV: ~4.75%