Friday, May 24, 2013

SBW 2013: Blue

Seattle, WA

Stellar Poster at Stellar Pizza
The fourth of my six Seattle Beer Week urban beer hikes begins very much like the one Chris and I did not too long ago, "Two Towns". It starts in Georgetown and climbs up Beacon Hill, but this time, instead of heading to Pioneer Square, we went through the International District, Central District, and finished in Capitol Hill. Distance-wise, this was probably the shortest of the Beer Week hikes, but the climb out of Georgetown is sweat-inducing, so it's worthy. There's lots to see and drink on this route and I recommend it for any time of year. Unless you live there, you probably rarely visit Beacon Hill and that's a shame. It's a beautiful and diverse Seattle neighborhood with a lot to offer. Get your ass up there once in a while. The view is great.

Georgetown - Beacon Hill - International District - Central Area - Capitol Hill

View SBW 2013 UBH #4 (Blue) in a larger map

After getting a mean sunburn on Tuesday, Wednesday's grey weather was just fine with me. Since it was supposed to rain on and off all day, Mandy and I decided to leave Link at home. None of the places on this hike are dog-friendly and I'd be an asshole to hitch him up outside the bar in the rain.

We took the bus to Georgetown and had a launch pint at Stellar Pizza. There's several good places to have a beer in Georgetown (Jules Mae's, 9lb. Hammer, Calamity Jane's), I just picked Stellar because I hadn't been there in a while and it's right by the bus stop. The tap list is good and the bar is unique and fun. The food menu looked really good, but we didn't eat.

After our pints at Stellar, we made the climb up Lucille Street and the steep staircase at the end. Our next stop, Tippe & Drague, doesn't open until 4pm during the week and we were a little ahead of schedule, so we decided to duck into Seattle Supermarket and have a few laughs. There was some pretty weird stuff:

When we finally found our seats at the bar at Tippe & Drague, we were delighted to find Burnside Brewing's Sweet Heat on tap. We ordered a couple glasses and thoroughly enjoyed the fruity, spicy perfection. It's one of my favorite beers and I really can't get enough of it.

From Tippe & Drague we intended to grab a snack at Beacon Ave. Sandwiches, but were drawn into The Oak, a relatively new bar from the folks that own Redwood on Capitol Hill. We were hoping to catch our bartender buddy Mike, but he wasn't working that day. We had a quick pint and headed for a great view on the Jose Rizal Bridge and the International District.

On the Rizal Bridge: one of my favorite views of Seattle

From the ID, we headed east a bit to our next stop. The VERY new Standard Brewing is here somewhere and I would have liked to stop in, but they aren't open during the week. The good beer options in this part of town are scarce, but a beer geek friend had recently told me about Wonder Coffee & Sports Bar and thought I should check it out.

In case you couldn't tell by the name or my green pint glass, Wonder Bar is an odd (but welcoming) place. The tap list isn't great, but there are some decent options. They specialize in Ethiopian Food and whatever they were cooking smelled great, but we just weren't hungry yet. In retrospect, we maybe should have at least gotten a small plate or something, but we didn't see any menus, the bartender was largely absent and even though it was after 6pm, I kind of got the feeling that the whole place had just rolled out of bed and was still rubbing the sleep out of it's eyes.

It's a pleasant, quiet walk from the Central District to Elysian Brewery on Capitol Hill. We arrived right at the end of the extremely popular Beer week event, Firkin Firkin. This year's theme was, "Northwest vs. Midwest". Not surprisingly, most of the popular Midwest offerings were gone by now, but we still managed to get some good tastes of breweries we rarely get in Seattle.

photo courtesy of Seattle Beer News

After our visit to Elysian, we made our way down the Hill a bit to our final stop, The Pine Box. I love going to PB because I always see somebody I know. It's a great place to drink the night away with friends and fellow beer lovers. The food is damn good, too, and really hit the spot after a long, damp hike. We had several pints, caught up with some old friends (who had undoubtedly also come from Firkin Firkin), then called an Uber Car to carry us home.

Seattle Beer Week UBH 4 of 6 was in the books. I was very much looking forward to a day off from hiking on Thursday. The next hike would be the Purple Route -- one of my oldest and favorite hikes: Downtown Seattle to Ballard, via the Terminal 91 Bike Path and Magnolia.

But I'm sick of writing now. I'm going for a walk. Here's some pics:

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