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Friday, October 14, 2011

Elliott Bay Brewing Company Offers a Flavorful Fall

The blazing maples in my Tacoma backyard mean fall has arrived, and to me that might signal the winding down of another year, but not to those in the business of brewing craft beers. In fact, this is the perfect time to celebrate the seasonal delights, and you can't do any better than Elliott Bay Brewing Company. With locations in both Burien and West Seattle, they have doubled your opportunity to enjoy some exceptional beer, brewed on site, along with equally exceptional food, freshly made with the best ingredients. At Elliott Bay, both the food and drink offerings feature locally sourced and organic choices.

Organic beer? You bet. The base malt for all of Elliott Bay Brewing Company's house beers starts with 100% organic barley, and these brewers were the first in King County to produce USDA Certified Organic beer. The range of organic beers they offer exceeds that of any other brewery in the state of Washington.

In a recent interview, I asked one of the owners, Todd Carden, if he could pick a favorite beer. "I tend to like IPA styles the most," he said, "hoppy beers ranging from every day IPA to the big double Imperials. But I also enjoy trekking with beers through the seasons. When it’s winter, I want to taste those winter beers. It’s always refreshing."

And it's refreshing just to try something new now and then. Last week, I had lunch with some friends at the Burien location and for the first time, I tried the Organic Coffee Stout. Wow! The coffee flavor really came through. In other words, if you're typical of people in the Northwest, who love both coffee and craft beers, it's an interesting combination. But don't take my word for it;  try it yourself, or select from all these choices, including this fun offering of the season:  MASHING PUMPKIN ALE.

Want something to eat with that? Here you can download the tempting regular menus for both the West Seattle and Burien locations. And here are the October Food Specials for West Seattle and Burien. For lunch with my friends, I kept it simple, ordering the Smoked Turkey, Bacon, and Swiss Sandwich, which could have easily fed two. But I shamelessly ate the whole thing because I simply could not stop. My friends had the Imperial Ruben and the No Doubt Stout BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich. My husband relished The Cuban. We all went away happy.

But we won't be away for long. It's the time for fall flavors now, but each month brings new reasons to return.

"After all these years," Carden said, "when we start to approach November and all of a sudden you see all those winter beers coming out, you go, 'Ah, what a great time of year.'"

'Tis a happy man who can make a living while living his bliss. Carden, his business partner Brent Norton, and head brewer Doug Hindman, all know that kind of happiness. "I love the craft aspect of what we’re doing," Carden said. 

The creative challenge must take into consideration such factors as how weather affects the hops crop, the sugar content, and yeast, a wild organism. "It takes somebody at our level, who knows what they’re doing, who can be adaptive to many changing things," he added.

Speaking of "changing things," the leaves may change, and so will the seasons, and even the seasonal beers. But one thing never changes, and that is the craftsmanship, creativity, and sense of fun that goes into everything brewed by Elliott Bay Brewing Company

No matter what is going on in the world, remember to appreciate every day and enjoy the simple pleasures, like an occasional lunch out for some great pub food and a craft beer, shared with friends. Life is really very good. Just ask Todd Carden.


Hoppy Long Cassidy said...

Now I want a beer and a huge sandwich. Thanks a LOT for messing with my good intentions for dinner with your fine writing, Ms. Brown!

Candace Brown said...

Dear Hoppy,

"Now I want a beer and a huge sandwich. Thanks a LOT for messing with my good intentions ..."

That's exactly what I mumbled to the menu when I read it. Rubens and Cubans, especially, can get you into a lot of trouble.

Thanks for the nice compliment, and for reading Good Life Northwest. Hop along this way again, won't you?