After being temporarily shut down since December, Elysian Brewing finally unveiled its remodeled Capitol Hill brewpub ahead of its official reopening on May 6 — and things look mighty fresh. The location now features antique details, increased capacity (seating for 175, instead of 140), a renewed focus on smaller batches of beer, and some intriguing menu options.
Elysian is the biggest brewery in Washington state by production numbers, and while its Capitol Hill spot was always a draw for Seattle beer aficionados, the 23-year-old brewery — built in a former storage facility for Packard cars from the early 20th century — was in dire need of updating, with rotting wood and furnishings that showed their age. Mallet Design Build — which has worked on many big restaurant projects, including nearby Italian hot spot Spinasse — kept the cozy, neighborhood bar vibe intact with just a few modern flourishes, utilizing vintage bar lights from Poland, salvaged pieces from an old gymnasium to build booths, and repurposing the original brewery doors to frame the bathrooms. The shiny new brewing equipment is also on full display in the back.
Though the brewery itself is bigger, the capacity to make beer will actually be smaller by design, going from a 20-barrel operation to 15. The brewers explain that this will let Elysian experiment with smaller batches of beer at this location, before ramping up production at its largest facility in Georgetown. (Elysian also operates a third brewery in Pioneer Square, but closed its Tanglewood pub in March.)
As part of the remodel, there will be a revamped menu as well, heavy on beer flavors, naturally. Highlights include wild boar bratwurst with beer mustard, manila clams with citra hop broth, and a quinoa dish topped with malted barley syrup. And while there have been no new beers announced yet to wash that all down, expect some to arrive soon as the new facility gets fully up and running.