Tag Archives: SEATTLE WA

ELYSIAN BREWING COMPANY

ELYSIAN BREWING COMPANYSEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Opened in 1997 and one-half mile up the hill from Six Arms on Pike Street, renowned ELYSIAN BREWING COMPANY (with two more Seattle locations known as Tangle Town and Elysian Fields) truly sets the bar for all Northwest brewpubs.

Visited December ’09, Elysian’s gray-maroon building, a former warehouse, sits on the corner of 13th Avenue and features wraparound windows, old concrete floors, exposed ducts, high ceilings, and rear brew tanks. High profile pub not only has great beers served from left side bar, but also a solid menu of soup-salad-sandwiches, Shepherd’s Pie, and pork chile verde.

I had sweet and sour pork soup with astringent grassy-hopped wood-lacquered maize-dried phenol-spiced yellow-fruited Zephyrus Pilsner and perfumed citric-splashed floral-spiced honey-grazed dry-bodied The Wise Extra Special Bitter. Fell in love with pumpkin-spiced crystal-malted cologne-wafted Night Owl Pumpkin Ale, with its busy molasses-malted cinnamon-powdered chamomile-backed ginger-coriander-nutmeg spicing.

Those were fine starters bettered by The Trip IV Juniper Ale, a primitive rye-dried Finnish sahti made in conjunction with New Belgium Brewery. Its honey-roasted apple-pear tang saddled watermelon-mango-papaya-pineapple tropicalia and teensy eucalyptus daub.

But the fun didn’t stop there this early autumn afternoon. Dry hop-roasted, black coffee-soured, chocolate-cocoa-molasses-sweetened Dragon’s Tooth Stout outdid stylistically similar coffee bean-roasted, fig-soured, hazelnut-seared, barley-flaked Daedalus Irish Stout.

Uncanny stylistic departure, Avatar Jasmine IPA placed jasmine-lilac floridity above white-green grape, sweet nectar, lemongrass, and pumpernickel. BiFrost Winter Ale doused buttery candi-sugared cinnamon apple spice across honeyed pecan, lemon custard, and vanilla illusions.

www.elysianbrewing.com

SIX ARMS (MC MENAMIN’S)

SIX ARMS (MC MENAMINS)SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Up the road and over the hill two miles East of Puget Sound’s Pike Street Market lies corner bar, SIX ARMS, one of sixty-plus Mc Menamin’s affiliates in Seattle-Portland vicinity, visited December ’09. Inside beige brick building with carpeted floors, maroon walls, high ceilings, small loft, and wooden pews was right side bar with brassy stainless steel counters.

Salad, sandwiches, and burgers go well with light fare such as Cascade-hopped, dry-spiced, yellow-fruit-soured, caramelized crystal-malted Hammerhead Pale Ale and orange-yellow-fruited, grassy-hopped, pale-malted Wheat Ale (add raspberry syrup and it becomes Ruby Ale).

Hop-roasted, tea-soured, black cherry-dried Porter, with wavered cocoa-chalked molasses-sapped stove-burnt coffee finish, made fine post-lunch digestif.

Standard-bearer Terminator Stout offered barley-flaked coffee-soured nut-charred chocolate-roasted cocoa-dried pleasantry, but wintry dunkelweizen seasonal Kris Kringle X-Mas Ale barely registered with its obscure fig-date wince.

Better were woody citric-hopped dry-spiced alcohol-burnt India Pale Ale and lemony orange-fruited resin-hopped Pale Ale/ ESB mixer, I’m So Bitter.

www.mcmenamins.com

BIG TIME BREWERY / Uber Tavern

BIG TIME BREWERYSEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Along Puget Sound lies Seattle, a rainy northwest maritime port affectionately nicknamed ‘Emerald City.’ After superb dinner and Alaskan Pale Ale at world famous Space Needle’s revolving restaurant, toured dank underground Pioneer Village, busy waterfront Pike Place Market, and Pyramid Brewery, as well as Red Hook’s Trolleyman, Duwamps, and Big Time brewpubs wife wife, March ‘03.

Bought several Big Sky, Elysian, Full Sail, Pike, and Pyramid brews at different grocery stores. Seattle’s interesting Von’s Grand City Café featured hundreds of brewers’ keg taps along the wall. At 14,000 feet elevation lies stunning stone-capped Mount Rainier, where I drank wheat-y Elysian Bete Blanche. Afterwards, I visited state capitol Olympia’s loud, busy O’Blarney’s Irish Pub to sip excellent Hale’s Dublin Style Stout on tap. At gorgeous Mount Olympus, I tried spice-hopped Fish Tale Wild Salmon Pale Ale and Elysian’s tar-thick Perseus Porter. All reviews are in Beer Index.

Made journey to Northwest corridor once again, December ’09, visiting Seattle’s sundry brewpubs for a few rainy days. The Emerald City’s first brewpub, BIG TIME BREWERY, located at the University of Washington’s downtown village, retained a rustic saloon appeal. Inside a yellow brick building with red-green sign, its old wood bar had large wood mural. Beer trays, memorabilia, and a large antique beer can collection lined wood-paneled walls.

Indie rockers Animal Collective and TV On The Radio played in the background and the Boise State-Nevada football game was shown on the front bar and backroom televisions while I ordered half-pint selections. Replete with moderate-bodied libations that never hit quaffers over the head, Big Time’s year-round offerings proved to be efficiently sufficient. A few college students grabbed pitchers of local favorite, Prime Time Pale Ale, a buttery corn-sugared crystal-malted grapefruit-embittered session beer with twiggy hop dryness and melon-pineapple-tangerine conflux.

Hopheads rejoice! Four worthy India Pale Ales will whet hearty Big Time appetites. The mildest, Bhagwan’s Best IPA, had leafy hop-spiced apple-orange-peach-grapefruit tang and floral-herbal nuances. Creamier crystal-malted Perspective IPA brought dry wood tone to sullen yellow-orange fruits. Even creamier, Scarlet Fire IPA, received tingly alcohol-burnt spicing to override yellow-orange fruiting and creamed corn dalliance.

Best bet: Jeezum Crow Brown IPA, a dry-hopped honey-malted full body with ripe apple-peach-tangerine tang.

Offbeat winter seasonals included spice-hopped nut-shaded fig-date-soured coffee-iced Yulefest X-Mas Ale and its nuttier cask-conditioned version, which draped mild tea-like sedation atop peanut-oiled Brazil nut, hazelnut, dried fig, praline, and pumpernickel.

Mild red-yellow-fruited brown-sugared wheat-honeyed phenol-hopped Atlas Amber and unassuming tangerine-rotted lemondrop-soured grassy-hopped Barking Dog Scottish Ale didn’t match better offerings such as mild black chocolate-y hazelnut-centered fig-prune-soured stove-burnt coffee-finishing Coal Creek Porter and candi-sugared cotton-candied banana-bruised peppery-hopped pastry-like Malaprop 8 Belgian Abbey Ale.

Ancient beer cans along wraparound wall shelving included defunct lesser-known macrobrews such as ABC Beer, Barbarossa Bock, Budweiser Malt Liquor, Drewry’s, Drummond Bros., Engel Wolf Lager, Falls City, Fort Pitt, Golden Crown, Golden Grain, Iroquois, K & B Pilsner, Lucky Lite, Mizzou Beer, Old Dutch, Pfeiffer, Pickett’s, Prinz Brau, Regal Bavarian, Rhinelander Lager, Seven Springs Mountain, Simba Lager, Tudor, and Wisconsin Club.

www.bigtimebrewery.com

UBER TAVERNFive miles north of midtown Seattle on Route 99, outstanding pint-size bar, Uber Tavern, offered huge microbrew bottle selection and fabulous tap beers. A diminutive hole-in-the-wall with eight-seat front patio garden, cozy L-shaped left bar and open stone-flamed fire pit, Uber’s varied Belgian ale and mead choices had my head spinning. West Coast brewer’s ad stickers and banners lined the low ceiling and walls. Wish I had a few hours to spend at this true godsend for brew hounds. Sucked down middling Chuckanut Pils and bought bottled versions of two award winning brews: Stone Kona Coffee Macadamia Coconut Porter and awesome Russian River Pliny The Elder (a renowned IPA many beer snobs drool over) while watching Family Guy and listening to Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street, December ’09.

www.uberbier.com

PIKE PUB & BREWERY

40330006SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

A red neon sign led me into meritorious PIKE PUB & BREWERY pre-lunchtime, December ’09. Located inside the Puget Sound-sited Pike Place Market on the ground floor below 1st Avenue and within close proximity to the famed fish market, this large open space had a sportsbar atmosphere.

U-shaped bar, polished wood furnishings, black-and-white tiled dining section, and silvery brass brew tanks rising above open-air midsection to second story welcomed patrons. A highly recommended beer museum left of the bar in a separate room gave a sense of brewing history with pictures, diagrams, and writings.

I met a playful Norwegian couple who had facial caricatures drawn to describe the feeling of each Seattle-based beer tried during vacation. I joined in with my own amateurish doodlings while tasting several selections I’d never bought bottled. Mild orange-grapefruit-spiced peppery-hopped Pike Naughty Nellie Golden Ale and white-peppered banana-bruised Pike Weisse merely sufficed.

Better were funky yeast-addled banana-clove-centered black-peppered alcohol-burnt Pike Monk’s Uncle Belgian Tripel, dry banana-fig-date-soured pecan-candied grassy-hopped Pike Tandem Double Ale, and creamy chocolate-fronted black cherry-pureed hop-roasted espresso-finishing dry-body Pike XXXXX Stout. Cask-conditioned Pike Pale Ale matched sugared fig-date frontage to lemon seed run-up and bark-dried rye nuttiness. Lacking wintry wanderlust, Pike Auld Acquaintance Holiday Ale placed crystal malts atop coriander-allspice in a rather nebulous non-seasonal manner.

Anyone visiting Seattle’s downtown must make time for this gloriously ambitious watering hole.

www.pikebrewing.com

ELLIOTT BAY BREWERY

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

In the post-Industrial downtown section of West Seattle, ELLIOTT BAY BREWERY hosts varied clientele at its charmingly elegant upscale space, visited December ‘09. Two park benches at the entrance welcome patrons to glass door of beige building (featuring brewers’ signifying seaworthy murel). Bar at left (with two TV’s) opposes wood-furnished dining area of narrow brick-walled interior. Abstract paintings adorn the walls and beer banners hang from the ceiling where exposed pipes suspend. The small loft area in the rear brings expanse.

World War II Blues played in the background while I sampled eight diversified offerings. Soft lemon-bruised grapefruit-tart coriander-spiced woody-hopped wheat-blanched Luna Weizen and hop-spiced mineral-grained pine-nutty red-fruited caramel-malted Alembic Pale Ale suited moderate-bodied tastes. Peanut-shelled rye-soured fig-sugared cherrywood-smoked West Side Brown Ale also stayed light-bodied.

Heartier thirsts will lean towards grapefruit peel-embittered, orange rind-soured, wheat-biscuit-y, grassy-hopped, alcohol-sharp, iodine-nicked Elliott Bay IPA and floral pine-sapped grapefruit-embittered Hoppus Collasum Double IPA, a terrific bold elixir countered firmly by honeyed peach-pear-nectar juicing and creamy cocoa malts. No Ale Winter Seasonal brings cocoa-molasses sweetness to malt-roasted dark-spiced cherry-bruised prune-soured finish.

On the dark side, Band-Aid-wafted salami-beefed beechwood-smoked grain-roasted prune-dried Noir Von Boorian Belgian Black Ale boasted mild eccentricities and cherry-pureed vanilla-chalked chocolate-smoked oats-flaked No Doubt Stout reveled in mocha malt smoothness.

www.elliottbaybrewing.com