Saturday, May 21, 2005

Maritime Pacific Brewery and Jolly Roger Pub

After a week of interviewing teaching job candidates and field trips and who knows what else, my wife said, "Wherever we're going this week, I need a beer. Or two." Finding a beer in Ballard has never been hard. Usually Rainier would be the choice of the hard working Scandinavians on the waterfront working the mills and the boats. Well, the Rainier brewery south of Seattle turned into a coffee roaster and is now being made into artist's studios. Similarly, the beer in Seattle is no longer predominantly American lager like Rainier. The microbrewery movement started in the Northwest and Ballard was the birthplace of Redhook (Ballard Bitter, ya sure ya betcha).

Fortunately there is a microbrewery within walking distance of us - the Maritime Pacific Brewery and Pub. From the sidewalk you can see the holy beer making vats with the sacred machinery to fill them. I knew it would be just what my wife needed. We knew it was a small place so we got their before six on a Saturday. From the door we saw a table in the corner that was just vacated. But in our first step over the bar's threshold we were assaulted by a wave of sound. Somehow the noise does not escape to the outside or it is drowned out by 15th Ave. above and Leary Way outside. In any case, it took us by surprise. We figured that it was a positive feedback effect. One group starts out talking a little loud, the next group has to raise their voices, and so on until the beer and the addition of more people to the mix creates a cacophony.

We sat at the table and we were at least assured that anything we talked about was going to be unheard by anyone else. At last, we could finalize our plans to lead Ballard out of the tyranny of Seattle after one hundred years without anybody overhearing our seditious talk! And what better place to do this than the Jolly Roger Pub (the name of the pub at the Maritime Pacific Brewery.)

Okay, we really didn't talk about seceding from Seattle. But we did have some mighty good beer. My wife's hefeweizen got the highest marks in her book - I have a feeling we will be having some more of that in the near future. I had the flagship red ale and a pilsener which were very good and fresh. Unfortunately, I couldn't have a bitter ale because they had run out. The night before the crew was supposed to have stocked up some kegs for the next day. As this was the Jolly Roger Pub, I guess the pirates couldn't be bothered after a night of ho, ho, and a bottle of rum.

The food at the Jolly Roger Pub has been pirated from a much higher class diner than you would have expected. Instead of just sandwiches and finger food, there are a lot of fish dishes and other unexpected entrees like Lamb Medallions. My wife had Catfish and jalapeno hush puppies and I had a Shrimp and Scallop creole kind of stew. They both were very delicious and more importantly, went excellently with the beer.

We never really heard any distinct conversations in the din, but once my wife made out that the very animated gentlemen at the bar were having a discussion about Bush's "No Child Left Behind" law. Not what we expected at all. The clientele at the time we went was an odd mixture of working class and yuppie. There may have been a Scandinavian fisherman at the bar. Not too many hipsters or Old Ballard.

3 Cellphones
3 Hard Hats
1 Ironic Wool Cap
0 Blue Wigs


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