It's a special issue this month: the beer issue. In honor of the drink of choice, Uncorked is taking the opportunity to expand.
Wine has always been the star of this column, but we felt it was time to include, to imbibe, others—from beer to ciders to spirits. To reflect these additions, Uncorked is now Bottle Talk. It will still feature voices you've come to expect (Purchasing Manager Joyce Combs and Polaris Manager Jim Scribner) but will also host voices from around the drinking community, as they share their passion for the industry.
We're kicking things off with, what else, beer. Cheers, and bottoms up!
By Joyce Combs, Bellevue Club Purchasing Manager
Around the Club, beer is never in short supply. Splash has four constants available (Hefeweizen, Coors Light, Big Al's IPA and Alaskan Amber) and a rotating handle, currently Bellevue Brewing Company's Belgian Whit. At Cosmos, Mac & Jack's, Lazy Boy and Manny's Pale Ale are all on tap, in addition to a seasonal handle.
The selection process for what the Club chooses to serve is a collaborative one. First, we try to keep pace with what members are drinking, and what they want to be drinking. Both the restaurant managers and I look at what's trending in the business—which beers are becoming increasingly popular and which are fading out with the season.
This process, of course, is for the rotating handles. As for the beers you've come to expect at the Club, we try to always have a variety for the various types of beer drinkers—from a light beer to a pilsner to a lager to an ale.
As with every aspect of our food and beverage department, we also try and stick close to home, which means we're choosing beers from breweries in our backyard, such as Bellevue Brewing Company, Georgetown Brewing Company, Big Al Brewing, Lazy Boy Brewing Company and Mac & Jack's Brewery. With such a densely populated area of standout craft and microbreweries, we have the best options, as you'll see throughout this special beer issue.
Our staff, including servers and bartenders, is also well-versed in the local beer culture. If they stumble across a drink at any time, they share their tastes, which are then reflected in our taps. It's an industry rooted in friendship, recommendations and word of mouth.
This time of year, I like drinking Big Al's IPA and pairing it with Splash's harvest salad, considering the rule is to order something light so you can drink more! Going into the colder months, though, I prefer Mac & Jack's paired with Polaris' burger, since both have a heavier, satisfying feel.
If you're a new beer drinker, or usually skip it because it's "too heavy," I would recommend starting with a ginger beer. We serve Bundaberg ginger beer in Cosmos, usually mixed into other drinks, but you can always order a bottle and pour it over a glass of ice. It's light; it's refreshing.
You can sample a variety of beer and find the one that fits your taste during Oktoberfest at the end of the month. Germany's festival begins Sept. 21, but you can celebrate closer to home at Fremont's festival, Sept. 20-22, which you can read more about on page TK.
Remember, if you ever have questions about the beer in our restaurants, or are in need of pairing suggestions, ask your server. After all, it's meant to be a social activity.
Joyce Combs is the Purchasing Manager at the Bellevue Club