Thursday, July 19, 2007

Seattle Pub Crawl

Today was our last day of vacation - well, technically I'm on 'vacation' tomorrow but will be on airplanes most of the day.

We checked out of the hotel and put everything in the rental car, then walked down to Pike Place Market. After looking around for a bit, we were seated on the second floor of Lowell's for breakfast. Pretty good breakfast grub; not as good as The Oak Table in Sequim, but the view of Puget Sound made up for it.

After breakfast, we walked around a bit; Mom did some shopping. A lot of the stores on the lower levels weren't open yet. After a brief tour, we decided to split up for the day and meet back at the hotel at 7pm. I walked around some more, picked up another memory card for my digital camera, and a souvenir t-shirt for my nephew (he's obsessed with the Space Needle right now, so what better place to buy a shirt!).

Right at 11am, I was waiting outside the door of Pike Pub & Brewery. I had tried a few of these long ago, well before I joined RateBeer, and was anxious to get some notes. I wasn't disappointed. I took a nice long break and enjoyed the following samples: Naughty Nellie's Ale, Pale Ale, Weisse, Bitter (FSB), IPA, Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale, Monk's Uncle Tripel, XXXXX Stout, and Tandem Double Ale. I also bought a bottle of 2006 Old Bawdy Barley Wine to bring back.

After that session, it was time for a bit of a stroll. I went downstairs to Western Avenue and found Market Cellar Winery, which back in 1995 was called Liberty Malt Supply. It was here that I bought my first homebrewing book, a second edition Papazian "Joy of Homebrewing". There are still beer supplies now, but the wine stuff seemed more prevalent. I picked up three beer books (two on half-price) from the Classic Beer Style Series: Porter, German Wheat Beer, and Belgian Ales.

From this area, I walked for a nice long distance up to Elysian Brewing Company. By the time I got here, I was hungry for lunch. I had a small beer sampler before getting my steak & frites with bleu cheese. Unfortunately, I couldn't handle another big session of sampling after Pike, so I stuck with the basics. Plus, you can't just choose any old beer for your sampler at Elysian. They do it for you, no matter what you ask for. They were also out of two beers I was hoping to try while there. The bartender was also my server, and I wasn't too impressed with him or his attitude. Regardless, the food was pretty good and the beers weren't bad. I tried Hydra Hefeweizen, The Wise ESB, The Immortal IPA, Perseus Porter, Prometheus Stolen Fire IPA, and Dragonstooth Stout. I also bought a bottle of Avatar Jasmine IPA to bring back with me.

Time for more walking! I headed back toward the water for the long jaunt to Pioneer Square, the older district of Seattle. I had forgotten just how hilly some parts of the city can be .. really gave the calves a workout. After walking to and around Pioneer Square, I settled on another beer break at The Collins Pub, where I chose a bottle of 2006 Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws. Yum.

After that, I started heading back toward the area of the hotel - taking my time and checking out the city and the people. I was cornered for a bit by an ambitious college girl named Jasmin who was stumping for Greenpeace. Tried to get me to sign up and rally against global warming, etc. But as I was in no hurry and a bit buzzed, I explained to her about the local problems of abandoned mine drainage which isn't as much of a problem in Seattle. That threw her for a loop and I bid adieu as her eyes started glazing over.

I decided to grab a light sandwich before meeting the parents, and ended up at theTwo Bells Tavern. I enjoyed a Mac and Jack's African Amber Ale with my burger and chicken & lime soup.

Shortly thereafter, I met my parents and we headed out to the airport hotel. After dropping off the rental car, I enjoyed a few more West Coast beers in my room (had no more room in the suitcase), namely Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Widmer Bros. Broken Halo IPA.

After this, it was time for bed because I had a 4am wakeup call in order to make my 6am flight to Salt Lake.

All in all - a damn fine trip.

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