Saturday was a beautiful day in the Seattle area and I thought what better way to enjoy it than go and try out a new establishment that I had heard so much about. Eventually after making the journey downtown (thank you 520 toll) I ended up in South Lake Union at The Wurst Place (thewurstplace.com). Yes it is kind of a funny name, but coming from Milwaukee I was intrigued by their menu (not on their website yet unfortunately) of many different types of sausages. I decided to take a break from burgers, I do eat other things every once in a while, and they also have fine selection of craft brews from the local area.
While I would eventually enjoy a couple of brews by the time I was finished, as well as a delicious Nurnburger sausage that Heather, a co-owner recommended, the first sud that caught my eye was the Hilliards ESB (hilliardsbeer.com). I was surprised to see this on tap, as I had previously been to the Hilliards Brewery and many of their brews were in cans. While I had enjoyed the beer from the cans, I am definitely one to appreciate fresh beers off the tap more. I feel there is more flavor this way, and also no chance of even a hint of the aluminum taste that can potentially come from a can.
The first sip of this beer was delicious. The initial flavors and aroma of the beer were fantastic as it was set in front of me to enjoy. I had definitely chosen correctly with getting this ESB off the tap. This beer had a nice caramel smell and darker hues which resulted in a great first taste. As I drank more, the beer laced down the glass and showed a true sign of a well crafted beer. There was also a hint of chocolate that became present as I consumed more of the ESB. The only downside was, being a big ale guy, the beer was a little thicker that I would have liked. Thickness like that creates a unique body to the beer and can sometimes be limiting in how much can be consumed at once because of the fullness feeling associated.
On another note: be careful when enjoying this beer, as it is claimed to have a 7.2% ABV. This is a little higher for a regular beer, but normal for an ESB and might be another reason to not drink too many at once.
Overall I would rank the Hilliards ESB a 4/5 stars.
I would definitely recommend trying this beer if you see it on tap, as it is very much worth a taste.
Personally I will now be on the look-out for more Hilliards beer off the tap, and you can expect more reviews of their beer in the future.
In the meantime, if you are in the Ballard area of Seattle, I suggest you check out the Hilliards Brewery. It is a fun experience with a wide variety of beverages and some great food truck options on Saturdays.