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Gold Crush

Golden Session Ale

refreshing
light
honey

Drink this golden brew with lunch after working in the yard, and keep your senses while you keep drinking.

Story Behind the Name
Its bright golden color and low ABV mean you can crush a few in an afternoon. We like it "more than a friend".
Occasion
Afternoon beer, while doing yard work (or not), all-day and night.
Official Style
Golden Session Ale
If you like...
Macro Beer, lower alcohol levels
IBUs
19
Malts
Maris Otter Pale
Hops
Challenger, East Kent Goldings
Yeast
English Ale
Color
Gold
Aromas & Flavors
Light, refreshing, a bit grainy, crackers, honey, dry finish, biscuity, oyster crackers
Key Comparisons
Less caramelly/malt character than Automatic
Other Notes
Single malt, lighter carbonated (because light flavor is enhanced with light carbonation)
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Check

Republic Pilsner

crisp
clean
cereal

This is a very simple beer, made with just one malt and one hop, and stored near freezing for four weeks.

The beer is 100% pilsner malt and single-hopped with 100% Czechoslovakian Saaz (pronounced “Sotz”, rhymes with “hops”, depending on who you ask) hops. The pilsner malt gives it a grainy cereal flavor and the Saaz hops add a spiciness on the back end.

As craft beer drinkers grow to appreciate some of the more traditional lagers and the beautiful simplicity and technical acumen they require, styles like this become more popular. We are particularly proud that that this beer took home Bronze at the 2017 Washington Beer Awards.

Story Behind the Name
It’s a Czech style Pilsner.
Occasion
Hot Day or after work or all day beer; easy drinking
Official Style
Czech Pilsner
If you like...
Pilsners, Macro Beer
IBUs
30
Malts
Bohemian Floor-Malted Pilsner
Hops
Saaz
Yeast
German Bock
Color
Yellow-Gold
Aromas & Flavors
Light, crisp, clean, classic hop flavor
Key Comparisons
Other Notes
This beer is about as traditional as they come. Its subtle flavors are the product of a minimalist recipe(just one malt and one hop) and the relatively mineral free waters of its birthplace in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia(circa 1842). When most people think "beer", this iconic Pilsner flavor is likely what comes to mind.
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Automatic

Light British Ale

easy-drinking
English
classic

This balanced, easy-drinker has a surprising amount of flavor for its low alcohol content. You’ll automatically want another.

Story Behind the Name
With Automatic, we pay homage to our brewery's Capitol Hill location, a monument of Seattle's historic auto row. Plus, this light-bodied, satisfyingly refreshing ale is such an easy drinker, reaching for one quickly becomes Automatic.
Occasion
Any time, any day, a perfect introduction for new beer drinkers
Official Style
Ordinary Bitter
Why We Don't Call It That
In the 1800s, when English brewers first coined the name, "Ordinary Bitter", no one had ever tasted the intense bite of a hop-heavy IPA. But in today's beer world, where the bar for bitterness is constantly being raised, last century's bitter beers, are this century's mildest offerings. Needless to say, this style name is in desperate need of an update. Plus, to most people, "ordinary bitter" sounds at best, boring, and at worst, unpleasant.
If you like...
Macro Beer, light, refreshing, easy-drinker, English beers, English tea, light amber ales
IBUs
21
Malts
Maris Otter Pale, Crystal
Hops
Magnum, East Kent Goldings, Challenger
Yeast
English Ale
Color
Copper
Aromas & Flavors
A tad bready, malty, slightly bitter, graham cracker, herbal
Key Comparisons
A lighter version of One
Other Notes
This beer combines just 2 malts and 3 hops to create a surprisingly complex beer. This is the little sibling to Optimism One. It’s a balanced, all-day ale, with a low ABV of 3.7% and classic English malt character.
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Partly Sunny

Classic Wheat Lager

banana
wheat-y
touch of lemon

Typical of hefeweizens, this beer is hazy and typical of optimism, we view the overcast as partly sunny.

5.1%

Story Behind the Name
Seattle weather rewards the optimist. In a city famous for skies as cloudy as a good wheat beer, the ability to see the sun among the clouds is essential to a happy, healthy life.
Occasion
Year round beer, to add sunshine to fall/winter grayness
Official Style
Hefeweizen
Why We Don't Call It That
We believe in simplicity and clarity when it comes to our beer names. "Hefeweizen" is as tricky to pronounce as it is to spell, and, unless you speak German, it doesn't really get the point across either.
If you like...
Wheat beers, banana, shandy
IBUs
10
Malts
Pale Wheat, Pilsner, Vienna
Hops
Hallertau Mittelfrüh
Yeast
Hefeweizen
Color
Yellow and intentionally cloudy
Aromas & Flavors
Citrusy, lemon, clove, banana
Key Comparisons
Less bitter than Zest or B.E. Juicy, yet more citrusy and fruity than our other lagers

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Wit Beyond Measure

Spiced Wheat Beer

wheat
coriander
magical

We spiced this European wheat with Indian coriander and dried orange peel, creating a smooth, delicate potion.

5.0%

Story Behind the Name
"Wit beyond measure, is man's greatest treasure" is the motto of Ravenclaw house from the Harry Potter series. This beer is a "wit" so we like the witty play on the name, as well as the truth in the title.
Occasion
Summer
Official Style
This is not techically a Belgian Wit because it does not use a Belgian yeast, but German Wit beers do not typically have the added coriander or orange peel that are characteristic of the Belgian wit. See how style names can be so constrictive...
Why We Don't Call It That
Well, we can't really call it a Belgian or a German wit, so it is easier to talk about what it really is: a Spiced Wheat Beer. Plus, if you don't know what a "Wit" beer is, it just sounds like we are calling it "funny."
If you like...
Wheat beers, Wits
IBUs
Malts
Hops
Yeast
Hefeweizen
Color
Yellow and intentionally cloudy
Aromas & Flavors
citrus zest
coriander
banana
Key Comparisons
A spicier version of Partly Sunny
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Daredevil

Hoppy Red Ale

malty
hoppy
complex

Brave a hoppy backbone with a balance of sweet maltiness and chocolate finish. A brilliant color for a daring beer. 5.3%

Story Behind the Name
Daredevils take risks to accomplish great feats, and so do optimists. The deep red color of this beer evokes the crimson costume of its namesake comicbook hero. Plus, you can't spell Daredevil without R-E-D.
Occasion
When you're ready to take on the world
Official Style
Red Ale
Why We Don't Call It That
Lots of beers are red in color, but their flavors are what really distinguish one from the next, so we include discriptions of both in our name.
If you like...
Malty IPAs or Hoppy Ambers
IBUs
Malts
Hops
Yeast
Color
Red
Aromas & Flavors
Key Comparisons
Other Notes
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B.E. Juicy

Hazy Hoppy NE Ale

grapefruit
mango
bursting

Notoriously hazy, this New England style IPA has explosive fruit flavor without the bitterness. If you don't know, now you know. 7.7%

Story Behind the Name
We first released our hazy N.E. style IPA under the name, "B.I.G. Juicy", as a nod to the Notorious B.I.G.'s optimistic hit "Juicy." We love Biggie's focus on hard work and artistic integrity. We found out later that our friends and neighbors at No-Li Brewing1 make a beer called Big Juicy, so we renamed our beer to avoid confusion, but kept the abbreviation motif, because we just like it. What does it stand for? Beer is Excellent.
Occasion
All day everyday for everyone that loves beer and for all those that don't know they do yet. This beer appeals to everyone and has been our best seller since it joined the menu.
Official Style
New England-style IPA
Why We Don't Call It That
The New England style is relatively new and not well known outside of beer geek circles -- do you know the difference between West Coast and Pacific Northwest Style IPAS? More importantly, this beer is beloved all over the world, and can't be limited to one region.
If you like...
IPAs or even if you don't like IPAs
IBUs
Malts
Hops
Yeast
Color
Aromas & Flavors
Key Comparisons
Other Notes
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Rhymes with Orange

Juicy NE Ale

mandarin
hazy
sugarcane

Unmistakably orange in flavor and color,this new NE IPA is like no other. 5.6%

Story Behind the Name
Naming beers is a lot like finding words to rhyme with orange. This one just came to us, and we liked the poetry of it.
Occasion
At home in the sun,
Official Style
New England-style IPA
Why We Don't Call It That
The New England style is relatively new and not well known outside of beer geek circles -- do you know the difference between West Coast and Pacific Northwest Style IPAS? More importantly, this beer is beloved all over the world, and can't be limited to just one region.
If you like...
IPAs or don't like IPAs
IBUs
Malts
Hops
Yeast
Color
Red-Orange
Aromas & Flavors
Key Comparisons
Other Notes
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Unicorn

Single Hop Easy Ale

tropical fruit
hoppy
magical

This juicy-IPA is magical—its packed with tropical fruit flavors, yet its lower ABV allows you to enjoy a few. It’s awesome, just like unicorns. 5.1%

Story Behind the Name
This name was originally used for a Kolsch, created for Gay's mom, and named by her daughter, Havana, but it wasn't a favorite. When we set out to brew a single-hop sessionable beer, we decided it was time to resurrect the name. This beer is as elusive as its namesake, changing with each consecutive brew, as we try out new hops (Galaxy, Simcoe, Nelson-Sauvin).
Occasion
Every day, but especially when you need a little magic in your day.
Official Style
Session IPA
Why We Don't Call It That
Most people don't know what a session beer is, i.e. a beer you drink several of in one sitting. Besides, Unicorns are just as magical on their own as in a herd.
If you like...
IPAs or don't like IPAs
IBUs
22
Malts
Rahr 2-row, Briess
Hops
Nelson-Sauvin
Yeast
California Ale
Color
Straw
Aromas & Flavors
Pineapple, tropical fruit, juicy
Key Comparisons
Ligher lower alcohol and sweeter than Zest
Other Notes
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Zest

Citrus Hoppy Ale

orange
grapefruit
sweet grass

This one is full of citrus flavors. This beer was made for my wife (the other founder of Optimism) who loves it. 6.1%

Story Behind the Name
Conceived by a close family friend of the owners, the name Zest marries the citrus characteristics of the beer with an optimist's lust for life.
Occasion
All day all year beer
Official Style
IPA
Why We Don't Call It That
Zest defies the common perception of IPAs as overly bitter and reserved for beer geeks only. In reality, its mild bitterness and fruit-forward character appeals to seasoned beer drinkers and new beer drinkers alike.
If you like...
IPAs or citrus, especially grapefruit
IBUs
Malts
Hops
Yeast
Color
Light Amber
Aromas & Flavors
Key Comparisons
Other Notes
IPAs have become such a wide-ranging style and new hop varieties have such diverse flavors and aromas that it’s hard to make just one variation. Our second IPA, Zest is packed full of citrus and tropical fruit aroma and flavor.
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Pride

Farmhouse Saison

fruity
fizzy
a bit tart

Brewed with pride for Pride, a light and fruity saison is perfect for celebrating equality and our Capitol Hill neighborhood. 5.6%

Story Behind the Name
We always knew we would make a beer with the word "pride" in the name, as is the tradition in Europe with London Pride. In our first year, we decided to make a beer for Gay Pride because Optimism is located in the traditionally gay neighborhood of Seattle.
Occasion
Year round beer.
Official Style
Saison
Why We Don't Call It That
For stylists, it's a Saison. Saisons, French for "season" and pronounced "say•zon", were light beers brewed by farmhands during the winter when they weren't working in the field for themselves to drink during the hot farming season. Those beers were much lower in alcohol than today's saisons and they were fermented with less rigorous sanitation standards than today's beers so wild yeast from the farmhouse got into the beer giving it an unusual aromatic quality that is still a requirement of the style.
If you like...
wine, this beer is notoriously good at converting people who think they hate beer to loving it
IBUs
35
Malts
Pilsner, Torrefied Wheat, 2-row, Munich, CaraFoam
Hops
Hallertau Mittelfruh, Saaz
Yeast
Saison
Color
Yellow-orange
Aromas & Flavors
Slightly fruity, herbal, spiced, light citrus, tangy, earthy
Key Comparisons
Other Notes
A blend of three German lightly-kilned malts, American barley malt and English wheat malt, combined with European noble hops and an aromatic, spicy yeast strain gives this easy-drinking ale a wonderful scent, that is equal parts fruity, earthy, and tart. We originally brewed this beer for Seattle Pride Month to benefit a local LGBTQ non-profit organization. We still do that but it was so popular we decided to make it year-round.
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BierBier

Cozy Belgian Ale

caramelized sugar
dried plums
clove

A beer that is a tad sweet with dried dark fruit flavors, like drinking a beer Old Fashioned. A Belgian-style beer that is double the fun. 7.3%

Story Behind the Name
Officially this is a Belgian Dubbel, so we named it the Flemish word for beer, and named it twice. (Actually our brilliant friend Steve named this one too.) We love the double entendre, and it just so happens our original wifi password was "beerbeer" and so the coincidence makes us smile.
Occasion
Evening beer, especially good on cloudy rainy days
Official Style
Belgian Dubbel
Why We Don't Call It That
The pronunciation is tricky, and can make people feel stupid when they are ordering and unsure how to pronounce the word. We don't have a Belgian Pale (the single) on the menu so saying it is a double of anything doesn't really help describe it.
If you like...
Belgian beers, Old Fashioneds, sweet bourbon drinks, drinks other than beer, hard candy
IBUs
Malts
Hops
Yeast
Color
Aromas & Flavors
Key Comparisons
Other Notes
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Try

Belgian Champagne Beer

nectar
champagne
spices

If a beer & champagne had a baby… it’s a bit sweet and strong. Perfect for celebrations. 8.6%

Story Behind the Name
It is a Belgian Trippel, so we use the word "Try" to evoke what optimists do in the face of failure and the tri-/triple part of the style.
Occasion
Year round strong light beer; especially good for celebrations. We pour this beer into champagne flutes every New Year's Eve and for wedding receptions.
Official Style
Belgian Trippel
Why We Don't Call It That
If you like...
Sweeter beers, champagne, white wine, mead, sweet ciders
IBUs
29
Malts
Pilsner, Chateau Pale Ale, Chateau Monasttique
Hops
Magnum, Saaz
Yeast
Belgian Pale Ale
Color
Burnt Caramel
Aromas & Flavors
Balance of spicy and fruity, a bit grainy, malty, fizzy, banana, fruity esters, honey
Key Comparisons
More fruity and sweet than Dubbel Dutch, higher alcohol/more body
Other Notes
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Shift

After Work Beer

vanilla bean
coffee
light for a dark beer

Created as a beer for the working class, you deserve one after a day of hard work. 5.0%

Story Behind the Name
The beer style Porter was originally made for the porters that loaded and unloaded the ships at the dock. In other words, they were made for the hard laborers. Like most other jobs, we have "shifts" in the brewing industry, but we also have "shift beers," the one you are given at the end of your shift. Our name tries to highlight the history behind the style, the unique terminology of our industry, as well as touching upon the additional meaning of "shifting" your perspective to change things.
Occasion
After work, but really anytime
Official Style
Porter
Why We Don't Call It That
If you like...
dark beers, coffee, malty beers
IBUs
42
Malts
Maris Otter Pale, Munich, Crystal, Roasted Barley & Black
Hops
Hops Northern Brewer
Yeast
English Ale
Color
Almost black
Aromas & Flavors
Roasty, honey, creamy coffee drink
Key Comparisons
It’s lighter and drier than Black
Other Notes
Deschutes Black Butte Porter was Gay's gateway beer to craft, and we wanted to make one in this style.
Too many people think that dark beers are heavy bodied or high in alcohol when they are not. We try to use our description of the beer to get people interested in taking a risk on a dark beer.
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Wee Mighty

Malty Scotch Ale

caramel
roasty
dried fruit

This big ale is malty and rich, sweet yet strong...it makes it mighty easy to have another. 6.6%

Story Behind the Name
The style is Wee Heavy. The kind of “wee” in scottish that means “a little bit”, so a bit heavy. We also like that the Wee invokes power of teamwork of “we”.
Occasion
Evening or rainy day
Official Style
Wee Heavy or Strong Scotch Ale
Why We Don't Call It That
For stylists, this is a Strong Scotch Ale, also known as a "Wee Heavy". By today's standards, a ~6% beer is not very strong, so we feel the old style name could be misleading. We don't call it "heavy" because it's not, but it is mighty.
If you like...
Stouts or Porters
IBUs
Malts
Maris Otter Pale, Munich, Crystal Dark
Hops
East Kent Goldings
Yeast
California Ale
Color
Black
Aromas & Flavors
Key Comparisons
A step up from Black but not as bold and …Before the Dawn
Other Notes
It looks a bit, some might say wee, heavy but this rich and malty ale has light body and finishes with a chocolatey dry roasty flavor.
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Bourbon Barrel-Aged ...Before the Dawn

Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout

bourbon
dark chocolate
well-kept secrets

We took our big complex imperial stout and gave it a soak in bourbon and rye whiskey barrels from Buffalo Trace, then created a just right blend. The wee hours are richer than ever. 9.4%

Story Behind the Name
It is always darkest before the dawn.
Occasion
Late night sipper. Your last beer before bed.
Official Style
Barrel-Aged Beer
Why We Don't Call It That
If you like...
Stouts, bourbon, rye, dark liquor, chocolate cake, espresso
IBUs
96
Malts
Maris Otter, Crystal, Munic, Roast, Special B
Hops
Northern Brewer
Yeast
English Ale
Color
Black
Aromas & Flavors
Raisins, dried plums, intense coffee
Key Comparisons
It’s higher in alcohol, bigger and more full bodied than Black; makes all of the chocolate and vanilla present in ...Before the Dawn even more prominent
Other Notes
Made without coffee or chocolate, this big, rich and complex beer that you can still have several of. The kind to be enjoyed in the wee hours, when it’s always darkest, but gets you thinking about what’s ahead. This big, rich and complex beer tastes of espresso, dried figs, and dark chocolate. The kind to be enjoyed in the wee hours, when it’s always darkest, but gets you thinking about what’s ahead.
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Clear

Super Hydrator

carbonated
hydrating
gluten-free

Our housemade sparkling water is fizzy and flavorless. 0%

Story Behind the Name
We named this one after its color.

Remember when clear was “the future of beverages”? In the 1980s, beer had Zima and soft drinks had Pepsi Clear. We think they were ahead of their time and we’ve brought it back. We recommend one between each beer.

Occasion
Official Style
Why We Don't Call It That
If you like...
Water, La Croix, Talking Rain, Bubly
IBUs
0
Malts
Hops
Yeast
Color
Well, you know.
Aromas & Flavors
Key Comparisons
Other Notes
This started with two hydrogen molecules joined by one oxygen molecule. Then we added three times as many groups of one carbon molecule and a pair of oxygen molecules. H2O + 3(CO2) = C3H2O7