Just another blog post about Seattle Beer Week

YEA HAW! Seattle Beer Week is officially in full swing!

Last night attendance was high and the sun was brightly shining at Maritime Pacific Brewing as they tapped the official beer for the 2011 SBW, Maritime’s Decompression Ale yesterday at 6 p.m. Definitely more hoppy than anything I typically drink, it was still a lovely, floral hopped ale with a balanced, clean finish. Certainly refreshing on the first nearly-70 degree spring day here in Seattle!

First off, I grabbed a pint of the Maritime Nightwatch, which is easily and quickly becoming my favorite in the “dark ale” category. Nightwatch pours dark brown/black, with a frothy tan head. This dark ale has the flavor of a porter without the thickness of one. For a dark beer (and I mean dark), its surprisingly refreshing and not too rich or heavy for multiple pint consumption. Went great with my Lil’ Jolly sliders and a scrumptious mountain of smokers (onion rings).

Next I grabbed a pint of the Jolly Roger Christmas Ale, on tap special for the event. Having only consumed this beer from a bottle, I was pleased to finally have this fresh from the tap.. So much flavor with the usual Christmas-y spices and rich malty aroma and taste, this is a definite Seattle Christmas classic. And why not be ironic and drink it in one of the first warm, sunny days in May?

This Roger sure was Jolly. Yo ho!

Suffice to say, the evening was a success, with tons of happy, drunk Seattlites kicking off the first truly warm and sunny Spring week with the first day of beer week. Kudos to the staff at Maritime, who provided truly excellent, quick service and kept the beer a-comin’. On we go into day two to see what the rest of SBW’s adventures bring. Keep checking back here for more SBW entries and updates on which events I’ll be attending.

Cheers!

Tucked in the safety of quiet little Greenwood

Today was my first time in both Naked City and Pillagers Pub. I know, I know, it’s pretty embarrassing that I’d never been to either of these Seattle beer hot-spots. But, certainly, a Sunday afternoon was the perfect time for a stroll down Greenwood between these two fantastic tap-houses.

Artwork like this always belongs in neighborhood bars.

First stop, Naked City, which boasts around 20 taps, mostly local beers, four of which are their own brews. Intrigued by the beers that they have brewing currently, I had a pint of the Naked City Brimstone & Treacle Old Ale and I was gleefully and instantly transported back to my many times in England. Had that nice, dark malty and toasty flavor with a clean and sweet, nutty finish. Easy drinking on a cold day for sure, especially at just over 8.5% abv. I got a swig of Stina’s Hoptrocity by Naked City as well, and actually quite enjoyed it to my surprise and delight. And, coming from me (for those of you who know my strong aversion towards IPAs), that says a lot. I could have stood nearly a whole pint of that one. Thanks Naked City for this fantastic intro to your wonderful establishment! A quick note that Naked City will be celebrating their 2nd Anniversary here in a couple weeks, and the Diva’s will be making a re-appearance here to celebrate with them!

Yaaaaar!

After making a short stop-off across the street at Gary’s Games and Hobbies to pick up some D&D books (yeah yeah, beer + nerding out = perfect Sunday), we walked up to the end of the block to pop in to Pillagers Pub. Neither Stina nor I had ever been to Pillagers before, and as some of you might know, this is home to Baron/Three Skull’s Brewing. As the brewery itself does not have a tasting room, Pillagers Pub acts as one for them, and boasts a fantastic pirate theme with great boardgames to boot! Sporting a wide range of different ales, Stina and I decided to stick with their special/seasonals to see how they hold up to others we’d tried by this fine local brewery. I picked up a pint of the Coconut Porter and Stina grabbed a nice 16 oz of the Baron Oktoberfest. I’m always skeptical about fruit/vegetable flavored Porters, as porters are already so thick and sweet, some flavorings just don’t work well with that. But, the coconut worked, as it was very subtle, hardly noticeable really. Best way to describe the taste is a tiny bit sweeter, toastier version of a classic porter. I definitely enjoyed it.

I think what I liked best about both of these pubs was, even more than the wonderful beer selection, the atmosphere at both these establishments was fantastic. Yes, it was a nice easy Sunday afternoon, so I’m sure it would have been different on say, a Friday night, but the crowd was friendly, low key and just enjoyable to be around while getting to know these two places. Even better, the bar tenders at both places were phenomenally friendly and knowledgeable. As someone who often goes to a pub vs. staying at home and cracking a bottle in order to have a friendly chat about what’s on tap, I can certainly appreciate this quality of any bar. I’ll regularly write a place off if the staff doesn’t know beer from an old shoe.

Naked City and Pillagers have absolutely made their way onto my list of best pubs in Seattle, not that I had too much worry or doubt.

Cheers, and see you both again soon!