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Drawn in by the high reviews, this was my first real trip to West Seattle (although I had been to Alki Beach previously) and I found it to be really endearing, more like what most of the rest of Seattle used to be like.
And, on that same vein, Elliott Bay calls itself a "neighborhood brewpub" and that's exactly what it is. Situated 1/2 block from the center of West Seattle (the so-called Alaska Junction) it's certainly a neighborhood hangout. People just seemed to know each other, with questions like "How's your wife?" and "Whatever happened to that blah?" flying around me.
I ended up here on a Sunday night around dinnertime and it was fairly busy. One real seat left at the bar and a wait for tables.
I ordered their sampler, which consisted of five 5 oz. samplers for $5.50 (yeah, kind of a rip-off). Included was the Elliott Bay IPA, Luna Weizen, No Doubt Stout and the Demolition Ale. Out of those 5, I liked the Demolition the best, but the stout was a close second (and I'm very much an IPA guy). The Demolition was called red but, to me, tasted much more like an ESB. Either way it was full and flavorful. The stout was nearly perfect, but a little hefty on the malt and too much carbonation. But still very good.
The real surprise though was the Luna Weizen. Normally, I can't stand wheat beers and, when they're offered in a sampler, if I don't request something else, I'll gulp them down and chase it with another beer or water, or give it to someone else. I decided to go for it this time and I'm really glad that I did because I actually liked it. There was no over-the-top wheat taste and, although light, you could still very much taste the beer. The color was crazy light, but, in the end very misleading. Definitely not a beer that you should put a lemon into (not that you should do that with any beer in the first place).
I ended up coaxing a couple of more tastes from the bartender because I was eager to try the rest of their selection, including their other IPA, Dry-Hopped, which I ended up with a pint of ($4.50). I also had the Alembic Pale, which turned out to taste a little hoppier than the IPAs but had less flavor and body. I also tried the Hop Von Burien, supposedly a Belgian style, and didn't think a whole lot of it.
I also ordered food: blue cheese chicken sandwich, which is one of my favorites at brewpubs. The sandwich was good, nothing amazing, but the fries were frozen and not really that great. Everything went well with the beer though.
I ended up missing the last bus to my hotel (I was staying near Sea-Tac and had no car) and had to take a less-desirable bus because I ordered a pint, but I'd say that it was worth it.
They also had a Maritime Pacific on a guest tap. I had missed a visit to them (what I consider to be the best beer in Seattle) this time, but I just didn't have time to drink them with all of the other in-house choices.
I mark wifi being available because they had a public, unsecured network, but I wasn't able to get on. However, the Mexican restaurant across the street also had one and theirs worked for me. Probably just a temporary fluke.
All in all, A+ for these guys. I would hope that they're running their Burien location just as well.
reviewed on: 2008-07-31 14:39:19