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.


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