Seattle is a beer mecca, an absolutely outstanding city to sample the very best of America’s more recent explosion in craft beer. For the past 6yrs we’ve been fortunate enough to experience and sample the Northwest’s finest IPAs, porters, stouts and sours, some of which you may have read about in this blog (beer). This past week Robin and I explored beer, in an intense night-after-night adventure, through the vehicle of Seattle Beer Week 2010. We tasted so many fabulous beers to write about each in detail here, but I will try to highlight the events, and the beers that we thought stood above the rest.
Chuckanut Beer Dinner at Delancey: Chuckanut is a brewery out of Bellingham Washington and they paired up with arguably Seattle’s best pizza joint Delancey, to bring forth a beer dinner to be remembered. We shared the fun evening with our friends Dawn and Eric (WrightAngle). The dinner was hosted by Kevin Davey of Chuckanut, who described the philosophy, history, and beers from the brewery as the evening progressed. Basically, the concept for most of the beers was that they are heavily inspired by the travels of the owners and brew master throughout Germany and Eastern Europe. The beers we had that evening, with the exception of the Stout, were all in the classic German style brewed with German style yeasts, and local German hops. The Kolsch and the Pilsner were both crisp and delicate, slightly fruity with a mild accent of hops. The pairing of the Kolsch with Kumomoto oysters and beer-vinegar with shallots was my favorite pairing of the evening, although the Pils was the favorite beer. All the dishes were well crafted and seasoned perfectly, especially the duck fat roasted potatoes. The pizzas at Delancey are always the show stopper and we all agreed that the classic Brooklyn, essentially a margherita sans the basil, was the best, with its tangy sauce, beautiful texture, and well seasoned crust. The final beers of the evening were the Helles, a Munich style beer with crisp finish and slightly sweeter aspect, the Stout which was toasted with hints of coffee and bitter cacao, and an Alt- or fruity German ale, with very malty character. These beers were all great in their style, but their pairing with the pizza and soup didn’t seem come out as a strength. In any case, the event was quite fun, and we were exposed to a series of delicious local Northwest brews outside of the tradition of local Northwest IPAs, porters, or stouts.
1415 NW 70th St.
Seattle, WA 98117
Art of the Table open house with Pike Brewing and Dog Fish Head: We’ve been to beer events at Art of the Table before, which have been simply fantastic. Dustin Ronspies and Matt Younts take their food and beer passions both very seriously, and they pair food nearly perfectly with beer. Having access to the breadth of excellent choices from Dog Fish Head and Pike Brewery made leaving work early in the mid-afternoon really very worthwhile. First of all it was a great chance to meet and chat with several players in the beer industry. We had the great opportunity to talk with Rose Ann and Charles Finkel, owners of Pike Brewing as well as Sam Castiglione of Dog Fish Head, and Matt Younts. It was a small group so we had the chance to ask questions and get the stories behind these 2 brewery’s excellent beers. The event offered 6 small plates along with 3 beers from each brewery. The highlights were as follows: The Midas Touch, a spiced beer (DogFish) brewed with a 2700 yr old recipe was Robin’s favorite (I also enjoyed it). Hard to describe, but the best I can do is- it is like drinking saffron infused honey with a hint of malty beer flavor. It was paired well with saffron caulifower, carmelized onion, and hummus flatbread. We also enjoyed the 90 minute DogFish Head IPA, brewed by injecting hops into a closed kettle each minute for 90 minutes. This IPA is perfectly balanced and well rounded, even the hop fearing folk are likely to enjoy it. It was paired with an Albacore Tuna Poke, Spicy Jicama, Nori, top on a fried wonton.
Pike Brewing brought forth their Double IPA, which first debuted last year during Seattle Beer week. This beer has a more chewy hops flavor, a bit more heat, but still has nice malt balance in the finish. It was paired with a shooter of cumin-corriander carrot soup, topped with cilantro-preserved Lemon-yogurt which contrasted the bitterness of the hops well. We were told that Pike downtown has lots of great seasonals on tap including a dry wit beer, which sounded fabulous for this time of year.