Cool beer decor walking in the door--gives the impression that they really focus on the beer at Elysian Brewing, which the sampler and a couple of pints proved. Banners naming Elysian large brewpub of the year at GABF in '93, 03, and 04 hang above the glass where you could see the brewhouse and a brewer hard at work in the early evening. We hit Elysian based on some pretty good samples at GABF two years ago, and I wasn't disappointed.
High ratings across the board, every beer being to style and fun to drink. Perseus Porter on nitro was the clear winner tonight, deserving a much higher rating than the bottle we had later. The Nightowl Pumpkin Ale is easily the best pumpkin ale I've had to date—excellent beer that happens to have pumpkin in the center that amplifies the beer. Very fun and interesting to drink rather than having a pumpkin pie liquefied in a glass. Bete Blanche was great too, liked drinking it, but the only beer that didn't seem to fit the style as a Belgium tripel—seemed to have some hefeweizen qualities. Odd, but very good. More time in the bar and I'd order it before their flagships The Wise ESB and The Immortal IPA, which were both good as well.
I liked the Greek mythology theme running through the beers, coasters, etc. Elysian Fields, besides being one of the extended pubs to the original Capitol Hill, is the "abode of the blessed after death." Which makes Elysian heaven or paradise in Greek mythology and all the regular beers reflect the theme. As an English teacher and sometimes poet, I appreciate it. Not the defining characteristic of a pub, but one I really enjoy. Added to this was a very light, fun atmosphere, clean and rustic with beat up wooden floors and high wooden ceiling, and a woman laughing with friends that gave my own thunderous laugh a run for its money. Really sounded like the locals were having fun.
Here's the reason for the high food rating—I actually had to choose between several very excellent vegetarian options, including a veggie pulled BBQ sandwich (never seen that before except in full veggie/vegan joints). We painstakingly decided on the Eggplant Parmesan sandwich with multicolored tortilla chips with hot and tasty chili arbol sauce. Easily a place I'd go just for food w/o beer as a consideration (which never happens for me but it could, I suppose). We were only in Seattle for two of seven days in the NW, but really wanted to come back but didn't make it because of logistics. Absolute top of the list to hit this and the other Elysian pubs on the next trip.