Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jar-a-Beer at The Sexton

In 1858, Philadelphia tinsmith John Landis Mason patented a glass jar with a unique sealing screw-on zinc cap.  Made of soda-lime glass with a standard 60 mm or wide 7 mm mouth diameter, the Mason jar has been integral in the home-canning market for over a century.

In Seattle's hipster Ballard neighborhood, the Mason jar has also recently become integral in the delivery of beer to my mouth.  A masterful resurgence, the jar-a-beer model has been observed in at least three local establishments and this fine publication will chronicle all of them.

Betcha weren't expecting a history lesson, huh?

For our first installment, I visited The Sexton, a small-plate southern cuisine joint in old town Ballard. Opened in December 2011, The Sexton has enticed a healthy crowd since with creative cocktails, comfort food, and bourbon. Lots of bourbon.

While Rick, Alyssa, and I had enjoyed The Sexton not long after they opened, I had kind of forgot about it until the Jar-a-Beer series kicked off. Some friends and I hit it up on a recent Friday, a much welcome treat after a long week of work.

Despite a packed house, the staff went out of their way to ensure we had a table that was comfortable and booze while we waited. I kicked off the evening with The Double Bind, a fine cocktail with bourbon, lemon-sage shrub, ginger beer, and angostura bitters. God. Damn. It was good.

Drew dove right in with the first jar-a-beer for the evening, intrigued by the impact that the Mason jar would have on his experience. Judging by the less than 5 minutes it lasted on the table, I'd think it was an utterly transformative refreshment.

Between the four of us, we were able to order nearly everything on the menu; a delicious foray beyond the Mason-Dixon line.

Here are a few highlights that you'd be foolish to not try:

  • Sliders:  Go with the BBQ pork option on a brioche bun.
  • Fried Brussel Sprouts:  Salty vegetably goodness.
  • Sexton Mac:  Bacon roux, five cheeses, and arugula with a balsamic redux.
  • Apple Cider Braised Ribs:  Drew's from Kansas City and says they're the best ribs in Seattle.

With dinner, I ordered a Fremont Pale Ale. In a Mason jar, no big deal. I knew the beer would be delicious, and the experience was only enhanced by the nice wide mouth, pleasant weight, and orgasmic hand-feel of the jar.

This journalist gives the jar-a-beer phenomena a hearty endorsement, and we look forward to bringing you future jar-a-beer features.

And if you're looking for a delicious meal, great service, and delicious cocktails, The Sexton is the place to be.


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