Seattle is a good place to get a beer. It is also chock full of beer snobs who like to start every sentence with the word, "Actually..." so it can be an annoying place. It is a mythical city where bars with fewer than 20 taps are frowned upon, and bars with more macrobrews than microbrews are actively boycotted and egged; their owners tarred and feathered. This is all metaphysically done, of course, because the only acceptable expression of disapproval in Seattle is passive aggression communicated through light sighing and varying degrees of mouth-gape. I have never, for example, seen someone send back a skunky, flat, musty, or excessively heady beer, as that would be far too confrontational. It is this evolutionary environment which prevents Seattle beer, despite it's ubiquity, from achieving truly high ratings. Seattle is the cute girl who, because nobody ever correct or criticizes her, has a personality that never improves.
Here in Seattle, we don't just have craft brewers, we have craft distilleries and craft tap handle-makers who literally do nothing but use chisels and lathes to make tap handles for northwest craft beers. There is a club for tap handle makers. They are all crafty sorts who cannot be trusted.
Okay Seattle is not actually not that unique except in one regard: An awful lot of bars in Seattle, as compared to other cities, have their own commissioned beer. Maybe it's a Washington liquor licensing standard that is to be credited with this local trend. I don't know. Edit this if you do know. Oh god please help me edit this entire article. I don't know enough about Seattle beer and am hoping merely to annoy goons through poor grammar, unfunniness, and outright misinformation such that they are prodded into editing. For example, I will say "This troper" a lot and have run-on sentences and an unnecessarily massive introductory passage about Seattle and so if you just read that and it annoyed you, edit this page and remove it and then edit something useful into the article while you're at it.
- 1 Breweries
- 2 Brewpubs
- 3 DIY Breweries (U-brews, Self-Brews, Brewing Workshops)
- 4 Bars
- 5 Bottle Shops
- 6 Distribution
- 7 FAQs
This is not a complete list. Breweries are only listed here if goons have something to say about them, good or bad. Go here instead for a map and list:
Newish brewery in the Ballard neighborhood. Beer is distributed widely in the Seattle area, and available at the brewery. The cans (16oz tallboys only, no bottles) are fairly unique looking, apparently designed by the owner, who used to be a graphic designer (hearsay while I was sitting at the bar). Saison is tasty, as well as the Pils, the E.S.B. (An extra special bitter recipe fermented with a belgian yeast) and the Chrome Satan (california common).
Located in between Redmond and Woodinville. A small local brewery that has become extremely popular over the last few years. Their beer is generally excellent. All my friends love their scotch ale, their IPA is wildly popular, and I like to order off their rotator/seasonal/special brew list. They usually bring something awesome to the local beer festivals. Hard to find outside of the brewery itself.
They have a couple of brewpubs (Capitol Hill, Tangletown and Sodo) and a large facility in Georgetown. The stuff they produce on a regular basis is good, but their seasonal and small batch stuff is reliably better. Widely available in the Seattle area, but both brew pubs also have stuff only available on draft that is worth trying. They host a pumpkin beer festival once a year that is worth going to if you like pumpkin brew.
Notable brews: Name (style, availability)
This is not a complete list. Brewpubs are only listed here if goons have something to say about them, good or bad. Go here instead for a map and list:
DIY Breweries (U-brews, Self-Brews, Brewing Workshops)
Located in Edmonds. This place can be massively busy on weekends and during sporting events. It's a little pricey as compared to true homebrewing or joining a club, but it's a good place to trade beer and that fact can save you money. That's also one reason why some people with complete homebrew setups still go to Gallaghers'. You can probably trade a few cases of your generic Octoberfest for some guy's secret recipe clones of Russian River brews. They also have 6 or so taps on premises, all brewed in-house. There is no food, so order take-out or get pizza delivered. There are a few flat-screen TVs and a dog. Unlike some other self-brew places, this place is really just a brewery workshop as opposed to being a brewpub that also has a self-brew section. In other words, don't go here if you aren't planning on actually brewing.
Make sure you schedule your brewing and bottling times or at least call ahead.
A place for butts. A placeholder for butts. Butts!
Located in the Fremont neighborhood, Brouwers has 64 beers on draft, including a regular selection of Belgian beers, a huge bottle list, and tasty Belgian inspired pub food (try the lamb burger). Associated with Bottleworks, they often have cool events. These events will be standing room only, and there will probably be a line out the door. Brouwers is also crazy busy on the weekends, especially at night.
Holy shit go here.
Smallish store in the Wallingford neighborhood. Good bottle selection, they also have a few taps in the back. You can have a pint while you shop, or get a couple of growler fills. If you get lucky, you might snag one of the few seats. You can bring food in, and eat there.
What you'll find in the average supermarket.