Thursday, September 27th, 2018

Beer Crosscut 9.27.18: A Flight of Elysian Brewing


Beer-Flights-Logo-no-wordsFounded in 1995 by head brewer and founder, Dick Cantwell, CEO and founder, Joe Bisacca and founder, David Buhler, Elysian Brewing has grown to become one of Seattle’s largest craft breweries. The three gentlemen were in their 30s when they opened the original Elysian bar on Capitol Hill. The men expanded the company to include Elysian Tangletown in the Green Lake area, Elysian Fields in Sodo near the sports stadiums, Elysian BAR near Westlake Center and a production facility on Airport Way South in Georgetown in 2011, that is until they sold to AB-InBev in 2015, in which Cantwell left to eventually buyout Magnolia Brewing in San Francisco. Elysian has brewed more than 350 different recipes since opening, using a variety of unusual ingredients; they are seasonally notorious for their pumpkin beers. Each year Elysian hosts the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival (Oct. 5-6 this year), where dozens of different pumpkin beers are poured, some of them from giant pumpkins. Tonight, the Elysian Pumpkin Road Show parks at Peaks and Pints. In celebration, we present an all-day Elysian beer flight we call Beer Crosscut 9.27.18: A Flight of Elysian Brewing. Night Owl Pumpkin Ale

5.9% ABV

While most breweries have one or two pumpkin beers in the portfolio, Elysian brews more than a dozen, including Dark O’ the Moon, Night Owl, The Gourdfather and Blight. Night Owl, brewed with more than 7 pounds of pumpkin per barrel, seven different malt varieties, green and roasted pumpkin seeds, bittered with Magnum hops and spiced in conditioning with nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger and allspice, is their most lauded. It leans more toward Christmas than Halloween. Maraschino, banana-nut, cinnamon, pecan and graham cracker hit the tongue. Cinnamon dominates with some caramel and a touch of biscuit malt sweetness to support. The pumpkin love doesn’t end there — every year, Elysian also holds the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival (Oct. 5-6 at the Seattle Center), a celebration of 80 different gourd grogs, some of which are even served from giant pumpkin kegs with taps hammered right in the side.

Elysian-The-Gourdfather-TacomaElysian The Gourdfather

11.2% ABV

The Gourdfather is a pumpkin barleywine you can’t refuse, mellowing with age but still reminding you who’s boss. A veritable pushcart of malt bill brings Pale, Munich, CaraHell, CaraVienne, C-15 Crystal, as well as pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, up against a rival neighborhood armed with Magnum hops. At 23.4 Plato starting gravity and 11.2 percent alcohol it’ll keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Elysian-The-Fix-TacomaElysian The Fix

8.9% ABV, 55 IBU

Originally a collaboration with the Scots at Brewdog in 2013, Elysian’s The Fix is a big and bold imperial stout that is also just as much of a chocolate beer as it is a coffee beer. The Fix also may be the most caffeinated brew on the market, brewed with 9 pounds of Stumptown Coffee Cold Brew, or the equivalent of a 1/2 cup of coffee in every bottle. Elysian then aged the stout on 3,000 pounds of Congolese cocoa nibs from Seattle-based Theo Chocolate. This is an intensely dark and rich beer.

Elysian-Mens-Room-Black-Imperial-Ale-TacomaElysian Mens Room Black Imperial Ale

8% ABV

Elysian brewed the Mens Room Original Ale for “The Mens Rooms” radio show on 99.9 KISW The Rock of Seattle, with a portion of the net proceeds supporting the Fisher House at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. This version, Black Imperial Ale, is an imperial red ale (on the darker side of the spectrum, but not “black”) with interesting malts and aggressive Chinook and Cascade hops. The taste is caramel sweetness with vanilla and a hint of chocolate followed by powerful pine, earthy hops. The brew resembles a Cascadian dark ale with significantly less roast-y coffee notes. Hops dominate the more you drink it.

Elysian-Space-Dust-TacomaElysian Space Dust

8.2% ABV, 62 IBU

It was different times. It was a glorious January 2013 day when co-owner Dick Cantwell told the rest of the planet he and his Elysian Brewing Co. had a new craft beer to add to their Manic IPA Series: Space Dust IPA. The Elysian pubs had long dusted off the Dust, pouring the rainbow of orange, lemon, melon, and resin that leads to a treasure of bitterness at the end to those who checked into Elysian. Cantwell announced Space Dust will “come drifting across the cosmos to select restaurants, bars and retail establishments. More than the ocean needs the cosmic light of starglow energy, you will love this beer.” People did. By the billions Carl Sagan would have said. Cantwell left Elysian, as well as a few of the brewers who brewed the first batches, but Space Dust still lights up the Universe.