roblog - Official Blog of Rob Hurvitz

16 Dec 2011 - 8:32:29 PM

There's this hip new climbing gym called the Seattle Bouldering Project that opened earlier this year, and I'd been meaning to check it out. Spring was busy with the Europe trip, summer was busy with outdoor stuff, and so it took me almost into the new year to climb there. Plus, I've been unemployed and haven't wanted to splurge on paying for a day pass. A member can get a first-time guest in for free, but I hadn't gotten around to finding a friend who's a member and who would return my emails. Maybe their spam filters were too strict. Anyway, I went there today with a non-member friend, and we got in for free, it being both our first times there and, more importantly, we knew one of the folks who works there. That's always helpful.

We arrived around 11:00 a.m. and it was pretty empty. That was good for having our pick of the problems, but not so good for resting in between, which you really need to do if you don't want to burn out quickly. The gym is pretty big, and so we would try a few problems on one wall, then wander to a different wall, and that helped put in some breaks between climbs. Also saw the routesetters in action -- they'd taken over the north wall and were putting up a whole slew of new problems. Unlike in Vertical World, where a setter puts up a route and that's it, you take it or leave it, here all the setters climbed each others problems and gave feedback, tweaked hold placement, and made them "perfect." Pretty cool, and it explained why I liked most of the problems I tried.

So, for all of you out there pulling your hair out about what to get me as a present this winter holiday season, a ten visit punch card to the SBP would be greatly appreciated. I'll even buy you a post-gym beer if you come climbing with me, as well. Or put a flattering picture of you up here on my blog. Your pick.

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1 Dec 2011 - 1:03:21 PM

The day after Thanksgiving was cold and sunny, which was much better than cold and rainy, and so Jonny and I hopped on our bikes to check out two new bike paths. Towards the end of the ride, I felt a little odd about not visiting a brewery (interesting Pavlovian effect, I suppose), and so we circled around town some more until we were back in the SODO neighborhood and locking up our bikes outside the EPIC Ales brewery. EPIC is an acronym for "Every Possibility Is Conceivable," and they make "strange and wonderful brews."

Update! (3/16/2012) - Dropped in again for one of their Saturday beer brunches, after I saw a picture they posted to facebook of bagels they were making in-house from their own spent grain. I had one of those stuffed with their own sockeye salmon lox and fennel salad. It was so friggin' good that I wanted seconds. Also tried two more of their beers.

    Rob's Picks
  • Chocolate Chili Sour - Chocolate from Theo, of course, and dried chipotles. Apparently there was a chocolate beer fest recently that I missed. Anyway, good sour aroma. Good sour start. Chocolate and chili flavors not really evident, but they balance out the sourness and really fill it out. Light on the tongue. Chocolate comes through on the finish, as well as a very slight lingering heat from the chili. A very drinkable sour! From a wild fermentation base that Cody made last summer. Wow!
  • Simply Winter - 7% - Rye-based. Whiskey/bourbon aroma. Strong rye whiskey taste, with some subtle malty sweetness. Nice mix. Smooth and rich -- I kept salivating throughout the finish. I need to buy some bottles of this.
  • Pumpkin Pie Gose - Strong sour aroma, subtle pumpkin. Very sour/tart start but sweetens a little and the pumpkin flavor comes thru a bit. Really great sour ale interpretation. My favorite pumpkin beer (yeah, I know, that's not saying much...).
  • Project Two - Belgian-style barley wine. Strong alcohol flavor with good caramel balance. Good lingering bitterness.
    The Rest
  • Zero Minute IPA - Wet hop Lambic. Medicinal aroma. Sour, quite light, with lingering parsnip/lemon grass flavor. Really interesting. One of strangest wet hop beers I've had.
Two out of three EPIC samples -- Seattle, WA

On most Saturdays they do food and beer pairings, and Cody mentioned that in late December they're planning to do a five course vegetarian dinner with five paired beers. Sign me up!

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