Serious Eats: Drinks
Behind the Scenes at Elysian's New Brewery in Seattle, WA
As demand for craft beer continues to grow, Seattle's Elysian Brewing has expanded by opening a 35,000 square foot production facility in south Seattle. I had the opportunity to stop by the new space, located in Georgetown, on the day they were brewing their first batch.
It's a 60-barrel, 4-vessel system that will fill quadruple-sized 240-barrel fermenters. Currently there are 10 of those fermenters with room to add 8 to 10 more. In addition to the massive fermentation tanks that fill the space, what really stands out is the elevated brewdeck. With it, the brewers have easy access to the mash tun, wort kettle, and the whirpool tank; plus plenty of space for storing hops. But the real reason for the oversized brewdeck is not just for hops—it's to fit pallets of pumpkins for Elysian's pumpkin-inspired beers.
The inaugural beer in the shiny new tanks is their winter seasonal, BiFrost. Along with BiFrost and other seasonal beers, the Elysian production brewery will concentrate on their core line-up of beers which includes The Immortal IPA, Dragonstooth Stout, The Wise ESB, and Avatar Jasmine IPA. Brewing these beers in the new facility means they can meet growing demand—and the other brewpubs can be freed up for experimenting and specialty beer production.
While they've started brewing beer, there is still a lot of construction taking place at the production house. For example, a custom-made conveyor system is being built in the bottling and packaging room, allowing Elysian to offer their beer in six-packs for the first time.
This new operation is for production only; there is no tasting room to visit in this space. To drink from the source, you'll need to visit one of Elysian Brewing's other three locations—the original brewpub in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, the Greenlake brewpub in Tangletown, and Elysian Fields near Seattle's two stadiums.
Elysian Brewing Company
About the Author: Paul Gibson originally hails from Carlsbad, New Mexico, so it's no wonder he prefers the Northwest's cooler temperatures and its vast selection of hoppy delicious beers. As a kid, he first started taking photos with an Instamatic of his friends on their BMX bikes. Now he takes photos of beer, breweries and on occasion street photography, events and concerts--minus the Instamatic. You can see more of his photos on Flickr.