Libby’s primary concern was finding a bar where we could watch the Nuggets game. She admitted that she wasn’t certain of the beer selection while driving me to Jillian’s. Given I am in Seattle, and they seem to be rather proud of their beer here, I assumed there would be *something* on tap I hadn’t had before. I just hoped it was something good.
Jillian’s is a chain of Dave and Busters-like pool halls. I had been to one before, just can’t remember where. That’s the thing about Jillian’s – it doesn’t matter what city you’re in, they’re all the same. But tonight was about two things: Libby and the Nuggets beating the Cavs (she says confidently after watching Melo sink a winning shot over Lebron in overtime). And yes, there was good beer there that I hadn’t had before.
Libby was surprised that this beer was new to me. I guess it’s a pretty big deal out here. Let’s see, locally brewed amber ale that’s frequently on tap… I won’t say it, but you know what I’m thinking. This beer actually reminded me more of Avalanche than Fat Tire. There was a slight citrus front to it, which, as far as I can recall, I’ve never come across in an amber before. But it works.
The commercial description says that “no visit to the great beer city of Seattle is complete without a couple of pints of this magnificent amber ale.” Yes, I very much liked it. Yes, I am glad I tried it, especially considering its apparent fame in Seattle. But I’m here for three days; I’m moving on to my next drink. (Once again, lacking photos of Seattle, here’s me with a lion cub in Africa.)
There should be an experiment where someone tests how much I like my beer based on whether or not the Nuggets are winning. Actually, I can think of someone who I imagine would do a very good job of determining this. African Amber? We were up somewhere between five and ten points. I ordered the Mudslinger right about the time that the Cavs had their first lead that I had seen in the game.
Maybe it’s the fact that I see the words “nut” and “ale” and expect Tommyknocker’s Maple Nut Ale or maybe it’s the fact that I have no tolerance for us losing our lead in the second half. But I was not impressed by this beer. The website lists it as “medium body,” I found it lighter than that. A little watered down almost. The flavor was sweet and nutty, but it got too sweet at times. A pruney taste surfaced from time to time, not something I want in a nut ale. So I decided to chance the hefeweizen.
Back home, at least among my friends, Pyramid brewery is known for its Apricot Ale. We’re a unique bunch though, so this might just be us. I can’t say that I have had any of Pyramid’s other beers. (I do hear that they have an amazing brewery tour, but something tells me that I won’t be making it there today.) I also don’t like hefeweizens, at least usually. The one thing I tend to not tolerate in beers, on a personal level, is that weird taste in heavily unfiltered beers. Hefeweizens more or less guarantee that flavor, so I tend to avoid them. I know, it’s a problem I have, I’m trying to get over it. This beer, however, didn’t have that taste. As a result I liked it, I felt like I was cheating, but I liked it (and no, the Nuggets weren’t necessarily winning. Damn, Lebron is a hell of a player).
Haywire, it turns out, won the gold for 2009 American-Style Wheat Beer with Yeast at GABF. This makes me feel justified in liking the beer, but also given the title of the prize, it’s obviously not a real hefeweizen. The beer reminded me of Breckenridge’s Agave Wheat, only lighter – one of those rare times when lighter is actually better. It was less filling than Agave while maintaining the citrus-sweetness, but not in an overwhelming way like Michelob’s Shock Top or Lienenkugel’s Sunset Wheat.
I finished it shortly after Melo sunk his winning two-pointer with only seconds to go.
I like Seattle.