Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beer Travels: Seattle Part 1

One of the best things about out of town weddings, is turning the trip into more than just a one-stop hop across the country.  Earlier this month my cousin Erin was getting married in Seattle (congrats!) so what a great opportunity for Jay (of the popular and I to get out there a few days early and take in some of Seattle's great beer scene.  I had been to Seattle last October for the LSU - Washington game, but there were a few new places to see, and some new places we weren't able to make it to.  In fact, the title image on this blog is from a place called the Taphouse Grill in downtown Seattle.  It's a fantastic upscale beer bar with an enormous draft selection, but it wasn't on the agenda for this trip.  Hey, check it out, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams on the flight in!

Just like the last time, no trip would be complete without a baseball game... so I caught the Yankees / Mariners game the Thursday night I arrived... unfortunately Jay wasn't able to get on the flights he wanted to it was just me for this one.  One good thing about Safeco field, is that you can get a few of the Pyramid brews on tap!  Sure, you're going to pay ballpark prices, but at least it's ballpark prices for a local brew instead of a Budweiser, right?  More to come on Pyramid later in part 2...

Friday left Jay and I with a full afternoon of beer drinking to do before the pre-wedding BBQ at our Aunt & Uncle's house in North Seattle... and our original intention was to go visit Salumi, a fantastic artisan meat lunch spot that Eusebio and I had checked out on the previous year's trip.  Unfortuantely they were closed for the week, so we decided to go see what was up at the Pike Place Public Market.

Okay, so the market itself is a bit of a tourist trap, unless you're looking for some fresh fish or veggies, which wasn't the case for us.  Fortunately, right around the corner was the Pike Brewing Company, an appealing brewpub (in this case) located in the lower level of one of the shopping buildings around the market.  We both figured the best bet would be to start with the 6-beer sampler, which included the Naughty Nellie golden ale, Pale amber ale, IPA, Kilt Lifter scotch ale, Tandem double ale, and XXXXX extra stout.  In my opinion it was a nice variety of above-average beers.  None of them blew me away, but I'd have had no problems drinking my way through pints instead of samplers either!  I especially like the Kilt Lifter scotch ale and the XXXXX extra stout, and the Tandem double ale had a very nice Belgian feel to it.

After the sampler was done with, and we had a nice appetizer plate that Jay will describe in detail over at Bite and Booze, I finished off the trip to the Pike Brewing Company with a Monk's Uncle tripel ale, which is one of my favorite beer styles.  The menu declared "Find a better tipple of tripel and we'll all be a Monk's Uncle." and I can't say it quite compared with the best that Belgium has to offer, but for a local American version, it was pretty outstanding.  A great blend of malt and spice with characteristic fruit and floral flavors.  Definitely another I'd try again and a great way to finish off the stop at the Pike.

From there we headed south across downtown to the Pyramid Brewery with a belly full of beer and a thirst for more... but that will have to wait for part 2...

The Pike Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

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