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Happy Together is a weekly column which aspires to locate the ideal food and beverage match at Seattle-area restaurants or markets.
Although for many, the origin of beer dates back only to the trial and error stage of high school drinking or early college initiation, beer is one of the oldest known man-made beverages. According to beer historians around the globe, transcripts from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and China mention the production and consumption of beer, many linking its creation to bread yeast gone wrong (or good) in baking.
As the world leader in beer production with more than 1,200 registered breweries producing the widest variety of beer styles, Germany has been brewing suds well before the eighth century when its documentation began. It adds up for the German food scene to consist of sausage, bread and sour cabbage -- grub that tastes it best when with beer.
Location, location: The Wurst Place -- On the bustling Amazon-saturated, Tesla-dealing and "velvet foam" coffee corner of Westlake and Republican, one can find a sense of humor, a pint of beer and a brat from South Lake Union's The Wurst Place. A sign outside the door boasts their expansive beer selection (and the lack of brew outside the bar), the kitchen stuffs and supplies drinkers with double digits of dog infusions from multiple meat sources with a variety of toppings, sauces and flawlessly fried frites. Tricked out in a Northwestern version of a Bavarian Wurst Haus
with a few massive flat-screens and nearly two dozen rotating taps, the Wurst Place is the only place of its kind.
Eating: Curry Bratwurst -- I double-dog dare you to eat this double-dogged brat, loaded with caramelized onions, sauerkraut and whatever else your daring heart desires among the two brats that are served on a fluffy hoagie-style bun. (Regulars supplement with curry ketchup or Dijon, stone and/or yellow mustard.) Innately spicy with a sweetness to back it up, this brat plays on its curry flavors to tie in those of the additional toppings -- both the sour yet refreshing kraut and the sugared onions.
Drinking: 10 Barrel Brewing ISA -- No disregard to the classic and somewhat predictable German and imported beers available, but the local selection sported on The Wurst Place's chalkboard brew menu are where it's at. Only in the Washington market for a few weeks, Bend's 10 Barrel Brewing brings one of its best to Wurst. The India Session Ale (ISA) takes a page out of the IPA (India Pale Ale) book and rewrites it with a lighter, crisper style meant for heavy consumption and footnoted with orange and grapefruit citrus aromas, bold hops and a tempered malt sweetness to bring the beer to a balanced conclusion.
Pointers from the Pros: Wurst Place beer-tender Casey Dobrowolski says his place of employ precisely picks its beers to align with their wieners, but there are particular styles that air on the safer pairing side.
"Pretty much all of the sausages go better with lighter beers," Dobrowolski says. "Especially the hoppier ones that will cut through the fat." Franks have fat, fat needs acid, beer has acid, and The Wurst Place has beer and franks for your Germanic culinary fix. Win, win (win, win).