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The Beer Fox

The Beer Fox

May 05 2014

Quaffing with a Quiff in Seattle

Maybe you are fortunate to know my friend, Sebbie Buhler. If you don’t know her, you may have seen a portrait of her on a bottle of Rogue Chocolate Stout or on the cover of The Nickel catalog in the early 1980s. As past ambassador for Rogue Ales of Newport Oregon, Sebbie was so revered by Rogue that her image adorns one of the most luscious, rich, dark and malty beers in the country. And Rogue doesn’t fool around with labels. She is immortalized in silkscreened art, directly on the bottle. I keep one in my collector’s treasury, in a glass case next to a can of Billy Beer.

You can see the original sketches of the Sebbie prototype labels, circa 2000, in the The Roguesonian Museum. There are several, and one is subtly adorned with red kissy-lips, admittedly “out-of-character,” claims Sebbie.

If you haven’t “friended” Sebbie on Facebook yet, you might submit a request. Her posts are never boring as she weaves from baking braided-bread or growing hops to harvesting asparagus and tasting Kunik cheese. Married to Charles Chinese-Buffalo Bello, she has traveled the world, sinking her feet into the soils of Oahu and Tucson, Istanbul, the old city of Jerusalem, and even Jordan and Frankfurt.

Her brother, Dave Buhler, co-founded Elysian Brewing with Dick Cantwell and Joe Bisacca in 1995. They now own three restaurants in Seattle, producing classic craft beer and a strong portfolio of experimental brews. As Brewmaster, Dave is proud to have won Bronze at the World Beer Cup 2014 for The Wise ESB. In fact, The Wise has won two World Beer Cup awards and three medals at the Great American Beer Festival.

Elysian Brewing began its award-winning run in 1999, capturing seven World Beer Cup awards and 15 medals at the Great American Beer Festival over the years, along with winning Large Brewpub and Brewmaster of the Year twice. Quality beer pours out of Elysian’s taps and bottles. If you haven’t experienced Elysian in person, you owe it to yourself to start a bucket list with Elysian Brewing in your Number One spot.

While visiting her brother in Seattle recently, Sebbie Buhler commented (on Facebook) about Seattle’s enormously popular new hairstyle, the Quiff. “The Quiff?” I asked myself.

Wikipedia has the most direct description, stating, “a hairstyle that combines the 1950s pompadour hairstyle, the 50s flattop, and sometimes a mohawk.” Further detail explains, “The modern-day quiff includes plenty of hair at the front of the top of the head, receding into shorter hair at the back with a trimmed back and sides.” Variations include the Japanese Punch Perm and the Fauxhawk.

Seattle, with a population of 630,000 residents, boasts 46 breweries and brewpubs in the city. With such robust numbers, it would be a great place to quaff while sporting a quiff … or while just quiff-watching. One could literally drink for a year, going from one brewery to the next, without ever tasting the same beer – although you might want to repeat the very best.

Not-to-be-missed is The Pike Pub & Brewery and its fabulous Beer Museum. Charles and Rose Ann Finkel have designed a haven for beer lovers, along with such classic brews as Naughty Nellie, Hopulus Erectus, Pike Pale Ale, Pike Street XXXXX Stout, Kilt Lifter, XXX, Monk's Uncle, and Pike IPA. You may even spot a few quiffs at the bar.

Fremont Brewing pours an assortment of select styles of beer, including cask ales, fresh hop ales, and many organic brews. Some classics are in bourbon barrels, while others are infused with hazelnuts, lemongrass, pink peppercorns, rosemary, and roasted black peppercorns for distinctive flavors that wow the senses.

Big Time Brewery and Alehouse specializes in IPAs, but keeps a rolling tap list that is peppered with porters, oatmeal stout, red ales, and barleywine for the cooler weather. You may find as many as five IPAs on tap, including Bhagwan’s Best IPA, Scarlet Fire IPA and Whiny the Complainer Imperial IPA.

Gordon Biersch is a solid standard, located in the Pac Place Mall, a spectacular place to spot fresh hairstyles coming and going. With its high ceilings and bright light, Gordon Biersch welcomes people-watching. Beer-focus is on German styles, with a selection of Dunkels, Kolsch, Maibock, Doppelbock, Alt, Pilsner, Hellesbock, Rauchbier or Schwarzbier.

Elliott Bay Brewing sounds-in as another one to add to your quiff watch. With a large focus on IPAs -whether dry hopped, Belgian Style, Imperial or RyePA style – there is a lot to quaff in a place that has such earthy warmth - high spaces, brick, and the natural feel of wood. Seasonals are always available for a quick change-up, too. So keep on quaffing and enjoy the scenery.

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