To celebrate my turning 27 for the 13th time on Wedneday, the GF and I went to the Elysian Brewing Company on Capitol Hill.
I'm sorry to say that I've lived on First Hill for 8 years and today was the first time I've been there. I'm only starting to explore the close by, east-of-Broadway aspects of my neighborhood.
We had a nice, low-key dinner. No one had the Delmonico. I had a smoked mozzarella ravioli dish; the GF had a burger and fries. We started with Nachos, which came covered with a layer of cheese so thick it resembled a comforter for the chips. The entrees were good, but not spectacular.
We did have some fantastic potato and bacon soup, though. Order that if they have it the next time you're there. (For more on Bacon, click here; for more on Bacon shoes, click here.)
Most people don't go there primarily for the food. It's all about the beer. They had a number of interesting looking seasonal brews, but I kept it simple and went for the Elysian Sampler.
It was a great way to compare some excellent beers, and something I don't get to do often.
I've been a Guinness drinker for a while, and I've always been a fan of Stouts and Porters. The sampler was a good opportunity to confirm that. In the back of my head, I sometimes wondered if I preferred them because it was "cooler" or "tougher" or "more macho" to drink dark beers. Those are normally not things I attempt to achieve with my food preferences, but I needed to be sure.
And yes, I did confirm that I still prefer the Porter from the sampler. It simply tastes better to me.
It is a deeper flavor than the other brews. It lack the sharp bite of the Pilsner or the aftertaste of the IPA. The Jasime had a pleasant floral scent but lacked the roundness of an Apricot Ale. The ESB was my second favorite with its clean taste that stays with you. And they were all good; there're no bad beers here.
But the Porter remained my favorite with it's thick, warm coating. That slight, complex smokiness rounded out the dinner nicely.
It's the kind of beer I could see drinking at a corporate retreat at a ski lodge. After a long day of meetings, followed by a few hours in the snow, I could see myself sitting off the side drinking the Porter. 5 to 7 people would be sitting in the room discussing and then arguing about some business problem. And I can clearly see they're all missing the point. I sit back, slowly sipping my rich beverage and finally know I have to put a stop to this. I take another drink of the soothing elixer, wipe my lip on napkin, and stand up. I step into the group and call for an end to the argument. Then I explain the point they were all missing. I may not solve the problem, but in choosing that moment, I bring the disucssion around to where it should have been in the first place. And everyone goes back to working through the issue.
That's how the Porter feels.
More to come in the next few days about some of the nifty gifts I got.