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Sipping Autumnal Ale at the Burgundian in Tangletown

Welcome back to Pints of Interest, a column from Jake Uitti that features bartenders and brewers pouring some of the best beer in Seattle.

Nestled in the windy north-Seattle Tangletown neighborhood, the Burgundian is a gem serving draft beer, ciders, sours, cans, and bottles. Operated by the people who own Brouwer's and Bottleworks, the Burgundian has one of the most satisfying poutines in the city -- an added bonus. Eater stopped in on a chilly Monday afternoon to sample five pours and talk brews with bar manager James Moffitt:

  • Bear Republic Tartare Berliner Weiss with raspberry syrup— A sour beer, light but with autumnal notes that are cut, sweetened, and balanced upon adding bright red raspberry syrup.
  • Finnriver Farmstead Cider— A muted, light in taste but strong in presence apple cider.
  • Laurelwood Pumpkin Ale— A mild spiced, calm, and not-too-strong in the nose fall ale.
  • Bainbridge 2013 Viognier Bbl Tripel— A beer with touch of hops and a touch floral flavor, a perfect brew to dovetail from the summer months into September and early October.
  • Crux Fermentation Project Half Hitch IPA— Super strong (10%) but the double IPA doesn't drink like it. Think a summer ale with more bang.

What's the bestseller here?
People love IPAs, they're a very Northwest and West Coast sort of thing. But we sell a lot of different stuff. We keep a bunch of porters and stouts on taps, two ciders, sours, seasonal stuff. We always have Veltins Pilsner on, that's our house pilsner, and Fremont's Trifecta, which they make for us. Style-wise, we try to spread things out.

What's specific to Burgundian given that it's so neighborhoody around here?
We do get a lot of the repeat local customers. But I also see this place as a sort of destination bar. We have awesome food, good beer, and extensive bourbons and spirits as well. If I didn't work here I would come here for the poutine, the burger and our breakfasts, and my favorite beer on tap right now would have to be -- not a beer, but a cider, the Finnriver Farmstead is so good.

How often do you change taps, and what do you look for?
We are constantly rotating while making sure there is a certain number of IPAs and Belgian-style beers. We want to keep the taps diverse, beers that are harder to find, and we're also doing special events where we showcase certain things. What do I look for in a beer? My palate is different because I don't go for the hoppy stuff -- I am drinking more sour beers these days, I like lighter beers because they aren't as aggressive on my palate.

What's it like working in conjunction with such a big beer house like Brouwer's?
I think we do get some cross traffic -- [owner] Matt Vandenberg has established himself as a big name in the city -- but at the same time we have our own following. We've only been open for about three years [in December] and we've recently been going through some changes -- we have a new chef, who is going to take the food in a new direction, as well, while still keeping things classically-based. It's great to work with Matt who knows so much about beer and cares so much about putting out a wide variety. How could we go wrong?

Burgundian

2253 56th Street, Seattle, WA 98103 (206) 420-8943

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