You may have noticed I was silent yesterday. Fear not! I was simply celebrating my one-month bloggiversary. I liken our relationship to that of a new couple, the annoying kind that celebrates monthiversaries for an entire year and communicates via high-pitched baby talk in public. So the actual act of posting took a back seat while my blog and I had a relaxing day off. We went for a walk in the park, ate gelato, and ended the evening with a bit of theatre and snuggling.
Now that the holiday is over, I can report that I did, in fact, have the opportunity to try both of Seattle’s good-faith efforts at replacing Pliny the Elder (no longer available in the great state of Washington). The first available was rather unsympathetically named Cry Me a River offered up by Naked City Brewing. I thought of writing up a piece on the Naked City brewpub itself within this post, but I could talk about this place for days so I will it save it for another post. The beer itself was pretty good (as most of their beers are) but it didn’t have quite the burst of Simcoe I would have expected. This made sense since Naked City isn’t exactly known for their pale ales.
This week, the more contemptibly named Whiny the Complainer from Big Time Brewery was tapped so I trekked across town to snag some. This is actually the second time Big Time has released this beer. Last year it was created as commentary on how limited the release of Pliny the Younger is. With this year’s announcement that Russian River would be pulling their distribution from Washington state, Big Time brewed up another batch to commemorate the occasion. This was a much bigger beer than Cry Me a River. It was a hell of a lot darker than any Pliny I’ve ever had and had more hops than a lucky rabbit’s foot factory.
It was a great beer but tasted more like a young barleywine than the refined elegance of the Elder. It’s not all that surprising since in most blind taste tests, hop heads typically prefer the bigger and brasher IPAs when tasted side by side with Pliny.
This also happened to be my first time at the Big Time brewpub. They’ve been around since the late eighties so they’re something of an institution in Seattle. But it’s located in a neighborhood known officially as University District, an approximately one square mile neighborhood that holds the main campus for University of Washington. This isn’t so bad in and of itself, except for the fact that the students tend to also permeate every nook and cranny there and my mere presence in the bubble known locally as “The Ave” makes me feel old.
The place definitely has a pub feel to it with high-back benches and wood everywhere. I couldn’t smell any vomit at all which I always put in my “Pros” column. They were also conducting trivia on the particular night we ventured out there. It was much more complicated than most pub trivias I’ve attended. You were given all of your answer sheets up front and some could be filled out on your own throughout the course of the night whereas others were read aloud by the host. And there was bingo. Our team of three did not win, but neither did we come in last place. We came in second to last place out of ten or so teams. We won no prizes.