Elysian Brewing Company
1221 E Pike St
Visited on March 6, 2008
By the time I made it to Elysian Brewing Company’s original location on Capitol Hill, I’d spent many months enjoying cheap bombers of the beer on a regular basis. I love the full-time lineup, especially the Perseus Porter and The Immortal IPA. I had high expectations for this visit, and unfortunately the brewpub fell short a little bit. Mainly the bread on my reuben was soggy and the service was terrible. If I ever bother to visit again, I’m pretty sure those scores would shoot up, making this place a much higher ranking. But as they failed to impress on my one visit, the score remains low.
There are three Elysian locations throughout Seattle, but the one I chose to visit was the original, located a mile east of downtown on Pike Place. The building is pretty standard. The interior boasts a rather large bar protruding from a centralized kitchen. Tables extend from the entrance, along the opposite wall of the bar, to the opposite end of the building and on multiple levels. The lighting is low, the mood casual, the décor unassuming. It is a very nice place, but nothing that sets it apart from the other 100 brewpubs I’ve been to.
The menu is not very extensive but it is eclectic. There is something here for everyone, and they use their beer in many dishes. The dishes are upscale versions of pub classics, and seem to be done quite well. I enjoyed a reuben with a twist – added sautéed mushrooms to the regular fare. Besides the bottom bread being soggy, which means it was probably sitting around for a while, it was very tasty. The star of the meal, however, was the sweet potato fries. They were some of the best I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a ton. No dessert offering knocks the score down a couple digits.
The beer selection is fantastic and extensive. Besides their standard six ales that you can find in bottles, the brewpub offers six to eight seasonal, pub-only brews that are imaginative and daring. My favorites were the Irish Stout and the Jasmine IPA. The latter had all the floral goodness of hops with the addition of some herbage that just took it over the edge.
The place was busy, but that does not excuse the terrible service. It took at least 10 minutes for our server to show up once we were sat. It then took about an hour for our food to come out. Apparently the food runner took our grub to the wrong table, who gobbled it up even though it wasn’t what they ordered. At least that’s the excuse they gave us.