We were looking for something new tonight, so we decided to give Giddy Up Burgers & Greens a try. They teamed up with Reuben’s Brews, one of their Ballard neighbors, to host a dinner featuring their burgers and Reuben’s, well…brews.
The special allowed you to get any burger on their menu, but we both opted for the Guacamole Burger. It may sound tame from the name, but between the jalapeños in the “Awesome Sauce” and the jalapeños on top of burger itself, this burger is not to be trifled with.
The first (and featured) beer was Crikey, Reuben’s flagship IPA. Would it be able to stand up against the capsaicin assault? I’m pleased to report that it did. It didn’t fully cut through or extinguish the fire, but you could still taste fruity and citrusy hop goodness above the flames.
It was at this point we figured out that we weren’t seated in the area reserved for the event and decided to pick up our tasters and join the festivities. Whoops!
We got to our new seats just in time for the “official” tasting, but we had done plenty of our own, unofficial tasting. Here are the other beers served up:
Red Ale: 6.8% ABV, 53 IBU As I have mentioned before, I am not a fan of this style of beer. However, this is simply smooth and delicious. I’m having trouble describing it, as it is not overly malty or hoppy, but both of those flavors commingle very nicely without fighting each other at all. Balanced.
Robust Porter: 5.9% ABV, 30 IBU A solid and complex Porter. Finishes more bitter than the stated 30 IBU. It isn’t my favorite, but Reuben’s has won many awards with this one.
Imperial Rye IPA: 8.4% ABV, 80+ IBU Another tasty beer, but I wish I had it before the Red. Nothing compares to it for me.
Imperial IPA: 9.4% ABV, 80+ IBU Shares some history with the Imperial Rye, but they are very distinct from one another and I like this one better. For a lack of a better term, it is more IPA-ey. Deceptively smooth for a beer boasting 9.4% alcohol and over 80 IBU.
A common thread with all of these beers (save for the Crikey) is that they tasted even better once they started warming up. Janette suspects this may be due to the British roots of Reuben’s founder, and I suspect she may be on to something. It makes me anxious for the day they put out another cask-conditioned brew!
It wasn’t just a “sit down and drink your beer” event, and Reuben’s had a representative on site to present thoughts on all five beers as the event progressed. These presentations can sometimes be a little mechanical, but Conrad clearly has a passion about the beers his brewery produces. His joy from being able to discuss these beers with curious fans was refreshing and genuine. He was a gracious host who happily entertained question after question from those in attendance, sometimes to the whole crowd and sometimes to smaller groups. Janette and I talked with him for at least 15 minutes, and our conversation made a great cap for a great evening.