I am a man of my appetites. I like my whisky strong, my food spicy, my coffee black and my women (er, woman) with red hair. So when I hear a local pub is having a coffee-beer festival, I’m on it like a hippie on Scooby snacks. I expect said festival will have plenty of porters and stouts. These beers generally have pronounced coffee-esque flavors. But I want to be challenged, too. This weekend the Burgundian threw down the gauntlet.
The Burgundian is part of Bottleworks/Brouwer’s, which is a beer force to be reckoned with. Brouwer’s was the first pub I visited in Seattle and it set the bar high. Really high. So it makes sense that the Burgundian’s kung fu is strong. It’s open for breakfast (served all day), has a remarkable beer selection, and is obsessed with bacon laced food. Winning.
I found myself waiting outside on a brisk Saturday morning, chomping at the bit for fore mentioned epic breakfast and coffee-beer. I was early. The staff was still getting everything perfect for the day’s event. They also took some time to chat me up about the pub. They wanted to do something to make the Burgundian stand out from its big brother. They considered Seattle’s obsession with beer and coffee deeply. Bingo… coffee beer fest.
I also asked what I should have for breakfast. The manager recommended the eggs benedict.
I sauntered up the bar and was handed a menu and a beer list. It’s filled with some heavy hitters and some very interesting combinations. I decided to start out with the MIA, aptly named because apparently a keg showed up without a description or an origin. All they knew was that it was a porter. Remember, I like adventure. I also ordered the eggs benedict.
This is what was delivered. I can’t express in words how frackin’ good this was. (Bacon cheddar biscuit, apple wood smoked ham & two poached, organic eggs topped with cream cheese hollandaise. Served with garlic herb Yukon potatoes.) No alcohol could defeat this. I’m primed and ready.
The MIA hit a double with a deep roasted coffee texture and flavor, yet had an expressed hop profile that made me wonder if it was an imperial porter. The bartender and barback were wondering what I thought, since it was a mystery beer. I gave it a thumbs up but was already looking for a more challenging brew.
Second up, Epic Ale’s Coffee & Cigarette’s Espresso, made with tobacco smoke, cinnamon and cardamom. Now this was a challenge. It came off much lighter than a porter or a stout, and had the taste and texture of a sour. As soon as I drank it, my tongue was assaulted on all sides. There was the coffee, but the tobacco and spices made it taste more like a tea, and the yeast notes added a chewy bitterness. The overall experience lived up to its name, like having that morning cup of coffee with a drag from an American Spirit. It may sound icky to a non-smoker, but for all us ex smokers, we KNOW that feeling and it is amazing.
Third came the Gigantic city hasn’t slept for days imperial black saison w/ cold press coffee. Holy mother of baby Jesus. This was a delight on the senses. It’s a hop buzz from the get go. At this point I am glad for the uber breakfast. Coffee beer is what happens when you get too old for vodka and redbull.
The fourth and final round was the Fremont Wandering Wheat with Tony’s Ethiopian Blend. Perfect ending to a perfect morning. It was light, crisp, and pale with delicious African coffee notes. This was much needed as 1) I didn’t want to be drunk before noon 2) I had a meeting at 1pm sharp.
I was sad to leave. The Burgundian is a great place for manly foodies. The staff is awesome, the beers are awesome, the food is awesome, and the location is awesome (near greenlake, you can walk it off in a picturesque setting). I don’t know too many places in Seattle that cater to both breakfast and beer, much less at this caliber. I will be back.*
*Note to readers: I did come back the next day (Sunday) for more coffee-beer and to try the coffee porter chocolate and almond encrusted bacon. Yes, you should be jealous.