The Elysian was founded in 1995 by principals Dick Cantwell, Joe Bisacca and David Buhler. Their first Seattle location, a 220-seat beer hall and their main brewery, opened in 1996 on Capitol Hill, Seattle’s most populous neighborhood.
In 1997 Elysian was chosen to operate a pub and small brewery at Gameworks—a large entertainment complex owned by Universal Studios, Dreamworks & Sega. Elysian left this partnership in 2002 upon expiration of the five-year contract. A short year later Elysian opened TangleTown, an 80-seat neighborhood brewery/bistro. With a 3-bbl pilot brewery, Elysian-TangleTown acted as the brewers’ test kitchen, fueling the creative fires and helping cement Elysian’s reputation as Seattle’s top brewpub.
The most recent addition to the Elysian empire, Elysian Fields, opened in August 2006. Perched next to Seattle’s two sports arenas, Fields seats 400 and packs the house at lunch and on gamedays. It is typical for them to offer over twenty different Elysian beers between the three locations.
From their very first day, when they poured the beers of each of the breweries they had all worked at in the past alongside their own beer, Elysian has honored the efforts of other brewers and brewing cultures. Uniquely among brewpubs, they have offered rare German and Belgian beers at their own taps along with those of their friends, some of whom at times have joined them to brew special commemorative beers. In a way their collaboration with New Belgium is a development of this spirit of fun and mutual respect.
From 2008 to early 2011 they were able to produce large batches of their Immortal IPA and seasonal specialties at the New Belgium facility in Fort Collins, and New Belgium’s brewers would produce small-batch, experimental beers in their “Trip” series at their Capitol Hill brewery. In fall 2011, they opened their new production brewery in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, allowing them to bring all their brewing back to their hometown. Despite this change, The Trip series and the spirit of collaboration continue on.
They look forward to further growth and innovation in their brewing adventures as they devise not only new and interesting beers, but a new and interesting future for the craft brewing industry.