The Wine Cabinet — Slippery Pig Brewery

Slippery Pig BreweryThe grand opening of The Slippery Pig Brewery in Poulsbo in June saw a huge amount of excited craft-brew lovers pack the brewery rooms. These were people who enjoy the craft-beer trade and knew that Slippery Pig beers were some of the best in the area.

When the doors on both sides of the brewery opened, men in Scottish kilts welcomed such long lines of eager customers that it took a while for them to get served at the bar. Owner Dave Lambert and his men have been wearing the kilts for as long as the Slippery Pig Brewery has been in business on his Red Rooster Farm on Finn Hill Road, and now in downtown Poulsbo.

Since 2001, before starting the Slippery Pig Brewery, Lambert was (and still is) the owner of the Red Rooster Farm, which is where he grows most of the ingredients for his beers. He was also a salesman, selling fertilizer and propane.

Slippery Pig Brewery - Owner and head brewmaster Dave Lambert
Owner and head brewmaster Dave Lambert

Lambert’s path to the brewery started as a home brewer for 10 years on the Red Rooster Farm. He said that he started a brewery because he really likes beer.

“The people are great, it’s a lot of hard work and lots of paperwork, but it’s a lot of fun,” he said.

Many who tasted his beers at the farm were very complimentary. At first he wondered if his friends just liked free beer, but they emphatically told him they really liked what he was brewing, so he got a license and started the Slippery Pig Brewery at the Red Rooster Farm in 2011. The popularity of his beers continued to grow, so he started looking for a place in downtown Poulsbo to expand the business.

He scouted all around the Poulsbo area, was offered the current location at 18801 Front Street NE, and accepted it. He said that it’s a great location, with other small breweries and restaurants nearby.

No food will be sold at the Slippery Pig because there are great restaurants in the local area, and customers can get takeout from them and bring to the brewery to enjoy with Slippery Pig beer, he said. (Lambert especially enjoys fish and chips with his beer.)

All the things needed for a brewery that the other locations did not have, like water and natural gas, were in at the Poulsbo location. The building’s interior needed some major remodeling, so his many good friends helped with that.

Slippery Pig BreweryLambert explained how the name “Slippery Pig Brewery” was selected. He said, “Years ago we were crossing the Hood Canal Bridge and saw the sign ‘Slippery when wet.’ The sign had a car on it, so I thought it would be funny with a pig instead of the car. Years later when we started the brewery, I decided to stick with the name Slippery Pig Brewery and the picture of the pig.”

Slippery Pig Beers

Lambert produces seasonal beers from farm-grown ingredients. For example, he considers his flagship product a Rhubarb IPA specialty beer (slight rhubarb aroma and flavor; high hops with almost no flavor from the hops. 9 – 9.5 percent alcohol by volume; $5 for a 12-ounce glass, $12/growler.

Stinging Nettle Mild: Big, malty, biscuit flavor, earthy aroma and flavors from the stinging nettles. 6.5 percent percent alcohol by volume; $5/pint, $12/growler, $6/squealer.

Dandelion Bitter: Similar to Stinging Nettle Mild, with dandelions instead of hops. 6.5 percent percent alcohol by volume; $5/pint, $12/growler.

Hogsbreath Wheat Lime: Lots of residual sweetness, subtle lemon flavor. A big seller. 10 – 10.5 percent percent alcohol by volume; $5/12-ounce glass, $8/squealer, $12/growler.

Slippery Pig Brewery

18801 Front Street NE, Poulsbo
Owners: Dave and Shawna Lambert
Head brewmaster: Dave Lambert

Brewery/Tasting Room:
Open Wed.-Sun., noon to 8 p.m.
Closed Mon. and Tue.

He also makes Kiwi Blond, Western Red Cedar, Imperial Honey Wheat, Lemon Verbeena Pale Ale (a lemony flavor) and a number of others from products that he grows on the farm.

In 2013 he produced 70 barrels. This year he plans to produce three times that amount. Customers can purchase a growler bottle (64 ounces) for $22 to $27, and refill it for $12 to $17 depending on the beer. Or they can purchase a “squealer” bottle (32 ounces) for $11 to $13 and refill it for $6 to $8. The beer is also sold for $5 per pint.

The term growler likely dates back to the late 19th century when fresh beer was carried from the local pub to one’s home by means of a small, galvanized pail. It is claimed the sound that the carbon dioxide made when it escaped from the lid as the beer sloshed around sounded like a growl. (Squealer is a term Lambert made up and is one-half the size of a growler.)

Future Plans

Lambert is planning live music and special events such as Oktoberfest and Great Poulsbo Beer Run. He explained that the Great Poulsbo Beer Run is an event where customers start at the first brewery and have a beer, then run between the other craft breweries in Poulsbo for a beer and run back to the first brewery for a beer. The participating breweries are Jeff Holcomb’s Valholl Brewing and Brad Ginn’s Sound Brewery.



Site for wineries on Bainbridge Island:

Bainbridge Island Vineyards and Winery
8989 Day Road E., Bainbridge Island
Tastings Friday–Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check website for current schedule.

Eagle Harbor Wine Co. & Tasting Room
278 Winslow Way E., Bainbridge Island
Call 206-227-4310 for wine tastings

Eleven Winery
12976 Roe Road, Bainbridge Island
Winslow Tasting Room: 287 Winslow Way E., Bainbridge Island
Poulsbo Tasting Room: 18827 Front Street, Poulsbo
Tasting Room Hours: Thursday–Friday 1 to 7 p.m., Saturday noon to 7 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
Open 7 days a week, call for hours

Fletcher Bay Winery
Battle Point Drive NE., Bainbridge Island
Visit website for tasting schedule

Mosquito Fleet Winery
NE 21 Old Belfair Hwy., Belfair

Olalla Valley Vineyard & Winery
13176 Ollala Valley Road, Olalla
Open Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tastings and regular events

Perennial Vintners
8840 Lovgren Road E., Bainbridge Island
Tastings by appointment only, second and last Saturday of the month, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Check schedule for public events.

Rolling Bay Winery
Open by appointment only
Email for details,

Trillium Creek Winery
17812 18th Street, Key Peninsula at Lakebay
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday–Sunday
Low-sulfite wines available

Wine Shops

Blend Wine Shop
8914 Key Peninsula Hwy N, Lakebay
Wine & beer tastings: Fridays, 4 p.m. to closing

Cameo Boutique & Wine Shop
6871 E State Route 106, Union
Open every day 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Free tastings Saturday/Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

d’Vine Wines and d’Lectables
25960 Central Avenue S. NE, Kingston (At Cleo’s Landing) Wednesday — Sunday
Tastings Saturday and Sunday

Harbor Square Wine Shop & Tasting Room
756 Winslow Way E., Bainbridge Island
206-780-1626, call ahead for information

High Spirits/ChocMo
19880 7th Avenue, Poulsbo
Monday–Thursday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday–Saturday 10 a.m. to midnight

Old Town Bistro Martini and Wine Bar
3388 NW Byron, Silverdale

Olympic Wine Shop
19740 7th Avenue NE, Ste. G, Poulsbo
Tuesday–Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday noon to 4 p.m., monthly wine tastings

Sogno di Vino
18830 Front Street, Poulsbo

That’s-A-Some Wine Shop
18881 Front Street, Poulsbo
Daily 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday until 9 p.m.

The Wine Studio
3123 56th Street NW, Gig Harbor
Tuesday–Saturday, regular tastings and events

The Keeping Room
Gig Harbor Wine & Gift Shop
7811 Pioneer Way, Gig Harbor
Tuesday–Sunday, wine tastings every day from noon to close

Top of the Cork Wine Shop
18351 E. State Route 3 Allyn, next door to George Kenny’s Chainsaw School
Wednesday–Monday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tastings all day Friday–Sunday
360-275-5657 •