It was a tough decision but in the end there could only be one winner. What ultimately sealed it for Elysian was the trip Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer made last Saturday to their Capitol Hill Brewpub. Until then we were all set to declare Elliott Bay Brewing the winner. So what happened to swing it the other way…
First it was, as it should be, the beer: quite simply, Elysian served us hands-down the best 10 beers we’ve ever sampled in one place at one time. There wasn’t a ‘mouthwash’ brew among them, and they included two Belgian-style ales that we both considered best in class.
We’re not great Belgian-style fans but Elysian’s two brews were the best we have found anywhere – both beating out previous favorite, Menage à Frog from Issaquah Brewhouse (Rogue Ales).
As recently as one week earlier we enjoyed superb beer samplers at Elliott Bay in Burien – but on reflection they were just not quite as knock-your-socks-off fantastic as the latest Elysian line up.
- The Immortal IPA
- The Wise ESB
- Perseus Porter
- Bifröst Winter Ale
- Men’s Room Red
- Dragonstooth Stout
- The Trip VII Black IPA (collaboration with New Belgium)
- Valhalla Pagan Red Christmas Ale
- Bête Blanche Belgian-style Tripel
- Groaning Board Belgian-style Tafelbier
As soon as we finished our beer taster trays we each ordered a pint to go with our dinners. Mrs Fueled by Beer’s choice: Dragonstooth Stout; Mr Fueled by Beer went for the Valhalla Christmas Ale.
The second deciding factor in favor of Elysian is the food. It’s fair to say that Elliott Bay and Elysian stand side by side above the crowd with their superior food offerings.
Based on our several previous visits to the Elliott Bay brewpubs in West Seattle and Burien, and the Elysian Fields, Tangletown, and Capitol Hill brewpubs, we have come to realize that they all go way beyond offering standard pub-fare. We would describe their menus as having more of a casual bistro style, with food quality to match.
Every time we have eaten there we have never come away feeling disappointed with the food. However where Elysian excels is the greater level of creativity displayed in their menu choices.
This is particularly apparent when you compare entree selections. While Elliott Bay and Elysian offer similar appetizer selections, including good Vegetarian choices, among Elliott Bay’s entrees there is only one Vegetarian-friendly choice; in contrast, Elysian offers several. We feel Elysian’s more accommodating menu gives them the edge over Elliott Bay.