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Last Weekend's Beer, Today

Eno Sarris, January 25, 2016 -   

I know it looks bad, all lined up like this, but all I did was go to Seattle and then try out each of the best neighborhoods and breweries and make the most of my two days of free time in the city. I had oysters, and local beer, rain, and local beer, and sushi, and local beer, and sun, and local beer, and peroshkies, and local beer, and brunch, and you get the picture. 

It was a little extreme, but I also just wanted to try a little bit at every new spot we went to. There's so much good beer in Seattle. So I tried all of it. 

Thursday
[Nothing]
Treat yourself well before an oncoming storm. 

Friday
Upright 7 Saison
Elgood's Sour Patch #4
Perry Street Kumquat IPA
Maplewood The Charlatan Pale Ale
Maine Peeper Pale Ale
2011 Cascade Sang Noir
Deschutes/Hair of the Dog Conflux Series Number One
2014 Hair of the Dog Adam
Hair of the Dog Matt
Hardywood Christmas Morning

Of course there are beers that aren't on here. I had something after the Elgood's -- I think it was a Holy Mountain saison -- but I didn't keep the best notes the night of the meetup. There was a lof beer and a lot of talking and a lot of merriment. 

The meetup beers didn't wow me, but I might have chosen poorly. The Elgood's was fine and nice sour, good enough, and the Holy Mountain was good but I didn't write the name. 

After the meetup, a few of us ended up in the spot doing a bottle share. So I brought the Christmas Morning, and some beer that ended up going home with people. Matt brought the Maplewood -- an almost Zombie Dust type pale ale -- and the Peeper, which we loved but didn't remember because it didn't punch us in the face. Ryan Pitts brought the heavy metal.

For me, the star of the night was the five-year old dark red wine sour -- the Sang Noir -- that mellowed in such a great way. You still got the barrel, and you still got the sour, but all of it had melted into itself and become more port-like. But still tart. 

We were having the Conflux, which is a blend of something like Hair of The Dog Matt, and Adam, and then some Deschutes The Dissident and The Stoic, and I said that I thought it was really complex without being super thick and strong. But then I had the Hair of The Dog Adam and Matt right after, as part of a sort of challenge, and I realized that I thought most of the complexity came from Hair of The Dog. 

Here are my notes for Hair of The Dog Adam, by which I stand, even now:

5 years old! Tastes like man. Sweaty leather cigar man. the best.

What was most notable, though, about Adam and Matt was that they had the intense smell of a man and the sweat of a man but not the sludgy 15% ABV thickness of an imperial stout. Those beers are not totally my style and yet they are awesome. 

The Hardywod Christmas Morning was a coffee gingerbread milk stout -- just so correct. You didn't taste all the alcohol, but you did love every bit of that incredibly complex sweet goodnight dessert beer. Good night! 

Saturday
Brasserie d'Orval Orval
Lindemans Gueuze Cuvee Renee
2012 Avery Tweak Barrel Aged Imp Stout
Holy Mountain Mosaic Extra Pale Ale
Holy Mountain Nelson Extra Pale Ale
Cloudburst Unreliable Narrator
Cloudburst Watson
Elysian One Hop Wonder
Finnriver Cranberry Rosehip Cider

All you can do is take a brisk walk and get right again. Hopefully *your* shoes won't be devoid of grip and be slippery and wet and dangerous. Got the podcast spot just in time -- that's coming this week -- and drank a nice brett pale (Orval) and a really clean Euro fruitless sour (Cuvee Renee). What a bright and delightful afternoon, plus an 18% BA Imp Stout that had been aged four years and was ridiculously bourbon and leather forward. Tweak, indeed. 

From podcast spot we went to Holy Mountain, which was having some sort of celebration, or it's just popular and crowded. The bar itself was modern and full and bright and a little too white. The two light pales I had -- to reset the afternoon -- were similar in that they were refreshing and bright. The Nelson had more body and was better. The ones I sampled I enjoyed, they've got an idea about beer.

After that we went to Pike's Place Market and right there is Cloudburst, started by former Elysian brewer Steve Luke, and hey there is Steve Luke, pressing the flesh and hoping you like his beer. I really liked the potential for the future -- he's got dank, full mouthfeel beers, and a tweak on that Watson might really be special. It's a perfect location and I'll go back again for even better beers. 

Then, after we had some underground wrestling with Pabst Blue Ribbon, I started my way back to Capitol Hill and had some snacks and beer at Elysian. My beer had plus mouthfeel and some nice aspects to it, but nobody was there and something seemed missing from the brewpub. If Dick Cantwell and Steve Luke leave your company, at least some part of your soul has left the building. 

A cider bar (I think it was called Cider) in Capitol Hill had the most amazing nightcap: a rosehip cranberry saison that made me feel like Sunday morning, but in a good way, and not in a oh crap it's Sunday morning we should go home way. Of course, we did then eventually have the oh crap it's Sunday morning and we should go home feeling.

Sunday
Base Camp Ultra Gnar Gnar IPA
Outlander Holy Basil Pale Ale
Seapine Single Hop Galaxy IPA
Boundary Bay Dry Irish Stout
Deschutes The Abyss (2015)

Was a little bit better to myself Sunday. Went to the gas works park and had some cans as we basked in the sun, in Seattle, on a Sunday, which is amazing. Got to see Seattle from a new angle. A couple sea planes landed on the water while the sun kept us just warm enough. Enjoyed the Super Gnar Gnar more than the scores suggest -- I would rate it above average instead of average, myself. Citrus, I'd say a little piney, felt like wet woods at the side of the water during daytime. 

Went down into Fremont after our time in the park and had some beer at Outlander, a little converted house with some nice beers. My Basil pale ale was a little boring -- not TOO much basil, but not enough other brightness to make the whole taste pop. But the house was kind of awesome and their other beers had something going on.

Later, we ended up at some craft beer bar in Ballard, ordering local beers before mediocre sushi. The Seapine single galaxy stood out -- a nice fresh fruity also west coast IPA. The dry stout was nice and creamy but too thin and The Abyss was so much barrel bourbon and molasses but not a lot of complexity beyond, as crazy as that is to say about a huge beer like this. 

What a weekend. I'd really recommend going to Cloudburst in Pike Place and Holy Mountain if you go drink in Seattle. Two great breweries with enough different ideas that you'll be happy with your second beer if you don't love your first.

And so much love to all the friends -- old and new -- that I hung out this over the weekend. 

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