Seattle has a vast number of breweries and taprooms that offer a unique beer experience. Below you will find 5 of the ones that stand out to me as a true Seattle Microbrew/Craft beer experience. This list ranges from a few that have grown big enough to have a large restaurant, distribution in stores, or are a small local brewery that you can find at various Puget Sound restaurants in addition to their taproom. At the smaller taprooms with their partnerships with various food trucks you can have a great day sampling several beers and great food. On a nice day you may just find yourself playing a game of corn hole with fellow beer lovers. You will find with craft brewing companies they love talking about the beer, so don’t be shy ask them questions and sample their varieties to find a favorite or to simply try something new they offer seasonally.
In the heart of Seattle located at the southern tip of the Pike Place Market this little brewery is anything but. They have been pouring since 1989, the beers are great, their food selection is vast and you can have a different experience every time you go there depending on where you sit. Whether you like light beers, ambers, or stouts this place has you covered. With several “bar” areas to self-seat you can go alone or in a large group. I am a fan of their IPA or Kiltlifter but you can get a taster of 6 to find your own favorite. Love sweets? Try their desserts made with their Stout–you won’t regret it. If you are in need of a break from the action in Pike Place, or maybe you need a good Happy Hour, or a fun place to take out of town guests, then put this location on your radar.
Tucked away in the South Park area of Seattle this brewery is new to the scene. When you first walk up you will not immediately think “craft brewery”. They have a great outdoor area with rock sculpted furniture. Once you walk inside you are welcomed into a true craft brewing experience. Their inventive twist on microbrews makes you want to try them all. The Mexican “Lager” is refreshing and not at all what you expect from a Lager. They have a Shandy, Pale, and IPA on tap as well. Their spring seasonal –which will make me sad when it goes away– is Red, and it is delicious! If you like something a little darker they have a Brown that is a blend of coffee and beer goodness. Their location is great for summer relaxing and a game of corn hole, or partaking in one of their many events – comedy nights and for Game of Thrones fans you can now drink beer and watch with other fanatics. Unable to make it down to their location to pick up a pint, LoBoy, or growler – they are on tap at several restaurants and bars in various neighborhoods around the Greater Seattle Area.
Feeling the need to have great local Seattle beer and experience a fun food truck experience with a cool neighborhood buzz? Try this place out. The beer list is vast and you can drop in and pick up a growler or grab a seat and enjoy a sampler, a pint, and some grub. Stoup is in Ballard and is truly a neighborhood brewery for those lucky enough to walk from their front porch to enjoy all that this local place has to offer. The staff is knowledgeable and will help you navigate their extensive list, just tell them what you like and trust them to pull the right pint for you. When the weather is nice this place is packed and is standing room only. I really enjoy their Red but I am partial to a good amber ale. Looking for something a little lighter or darker? They have you covered on either ends of the spectrum. I recommend checking out their website to see what local truck they have feeding people the day you are going to visit. You can also find Stoup in a variety of watering holes around Seattle.
Location: Ballard Neighborhood – 1108 NW 52nd St, Seattle, WA 98107
Opening Hours: Tues – Thurs 3pm – 9pm; Fri 3pm – 10pm; Sat 12pm – 10pm; Sun 12pm – 9pm
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Tucked away in Ballard this location is a great space for groups of all sizes, taking advantage of this taproom being converted from an old car service garage. They have various beers on tap along with their canned beer selection available for tasting. I enjoyed their Boombox IPA in their glasses that look like a beer can without the top. As with other taprooms, Hilliard’s partakes in the food truck movement when they are open so people can enjoy a good bite to eat with their beer. Hilliard’s beer selection is creative and imaginative. How can you go wrong with a beer called ‘OMG!! Cookies’? The location offers a large screen for viewing sporting events and an outside area for a good game of corn hole. Planning on a large group getting together? Try reserving one of the large round standing tables with a view of the large screen. Hilliard’s cans can be found for purchase at various selling establishments as well if you aren’t able to swing in and try a glass from their taproom.
Location: Ballard Neighborhood – 1550 NW 49th Street Seattle WA 98107
Opening Hours: Mon-Weds 3-9pm; Thurs & Fri 3-11 pm; Sat Noon-11 pm; and Sun Noon-7 pm
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Started back in 1995 this brewery is a Seattle Craft Beer Icon. Their Capitol Hill location is the first of 4 locations where patrons can not only grab a great beer but nosh on items from a vast menu selection. While the beer on tap really is the star of the show, their locations feature not just beer but wine and liquor choices along with a variety of non-alcoholic options. I had the beer they call the ‘Loser’ but I was the winner as it was a good pint. If you can’t make a decision from the list of over a dozen beers on draft you can always go with a sampler. The good news for people who want to try this and live outside the Seattle area is that Elysian is currently available in 11 states. Not in one of those 11 states? Fear not, the brewery was bought in January by the one and only King of Beers with plans to expand their distribution, so keep checking your local beer outlets as you could soon see it on a shelf near you.
Location: Capitol Hill – 1221 E PIKE ST. SEATTLE, WA 98122 (see website for other locations)
Opening Hours: Mon – 11:30AM til late; Tues-Fri – 11:30AM to 2AM; Sat – Noon to 2AM and Sun – Noon til late
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