Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

Peaks and Pints: Trap Door Juiced Up and Moulton Falls Trail

Ron Swarner

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Peaks and Pints: Trap Door Juiced Up and Moulton Falls Trail

Trap Door Brewing Juiced Up was nominated as a fourth seed in the Southern Washington Region of the Peaks & Pints Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs, which will begin April 2, 2021. The tournament bracket will be released soon. Since we’re not touring breweries to preview the tournament this year, we enjoyed the Peaks and Pints: Trap Door Juiced Up and Moulton Falls Trail pairing.

Hops: Trap Door Juiced Up

Trap Door’s Juiced Up hazy double IPA is double dry hopped with Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe, and Strata, the last hop being a multi-layered, one-stop-shop hop crafted by Oregon State University. Strata offers flavors of pineapple, as well as grapefruit, passionfruit and pine on the tongue. Drinking Juiced Up is like drinking pineapple juice straight from the can.

Let’s Break It Down: 8.3% ABV • Bryan Shull, who left a 25-year career in renewable energy engineering to start a brewery with his two sons, Zakary and Zane Singleton, opened the 15-barrel Trap Door Brewing in the Uptown neighborhood of Vancouver October 2015 because he loves beer and the community of people that make up the brewing industry. • In October 2020, Kyle Larsen replaced Zane as head brewer. No doubt Larsen can continue the Trap Door medal-winning ways as he has a long pedigree, beginning in 2007 brewing at Full Sail, followed by head brewer status at Double Mountain, then head brewer at Siren Brewing in Reading, England.

Hike: Moulton Falls Trail

For a nice riverside ramble, head up to the Moulton Falls Trail, northeast of Battle Ground, Washington. The converted rails to trails grade runs adjacent to the rushing waters of the East Fork Lewis River, under a lush forest canopy. The flat topography coupled with a soft, crushed gravel surface make for a very pleasant outing in the woods. The trail is wide, well maintained, and fairly level. It parallels the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad and follows the North Fork of the Lewis River about 75 feet above the river for an almost constant view of the river through the Alder, Cedar and Douglas fir trees.

Let’s Break It Down: 4-mile roundtrip, high point 570 feet, elevation gain 90 feet, rated easy, Southwest Washington

Haps: Post-hike Celebration

Back at the trailhead, we divvied up the Juiced Up and discussed the tire spikes. Both the tiny parking lot and the overflow parking lot near the junction of Lucia Falls Road with Sunset Falls Road has tire spikes to discourage driving in through the exit driveway. It seems extreme. We also agree folks should a photo of the map at the trailhead as there are multiple paths in this area. We were amazed this area of Clark County receives more than 70 inches of precipitation each year and the understory of plants reflects this near rainforest climate. The trail climbs up to a wood arch bridge over the river, passing Moulton Falls. The bridge was built in 1976 and is 56 feet above the emerald-colored river. We learned Trap Door owner Bryan Shull’s grandfather and father worked at and retired from Great Western Malting Company located at the Port of Vancouver USA, which makes Trap Door Brewing a fourth-generation Vancouver beer family-owned business.

Highway: Getting There

Take exit 11 off I-5 and follow WA-502 East to Battle Ground. Turn left at the intersection with WA-503 North and head north for 5,5 miles to Northwest Rock Creek Road. Turn right and drive east. The Moulton Falls Regional Park is on the right about 8 miles from WA-503. Go past the small parking lot and continue to the large parking lot which is just before the intersection with NE Sunset Falls Road.

Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs

OK, Covid, we’ll just take the Peaks & Pints Tournament of Beer into the woods. …

The public nominated 64 Northwest double IPAs for the Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs in February. Beginning April 2, through online voting on this website, Washington and Oregon double IPA drinkers will pick daily winners until the best double IPA in the Northwest is crowned April 24.

Our pre-Tournament hype will be different this year. No brewery research tour. No candid photos of bartenders pouring double IPAs for review. No hotel parties.

Instead, Peaks & Pints will preview the Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs by taking the 64 nominated double IPAs on hikes relatively close to where they were brewed. After all, a post-hike double IPA can quench your thirst and begin to rehydrate you, lubricate your senses and, like the act of hiking, help maintain sanity, balance and perspective. Oh, believe us when we say the hike is still paramount to the experience. If it wasn’t, we’d skip the hike and just head to the taproom. Rather, Peaks & Pints is a big believer in hanging at the trailhead with our fellow hikers, divvying up a beer and discussing the hike, or whatever subjects, as we store away our gear.