It’s a given that a city known for its alternative rock music scene will inevitably be home to an impressive number of over 250 breweries.
In Seattle, it’s all about craft beer and supporting the microbreweries. You’ll see locals and visitors from far and wide coming for not only the music and amazing cultural scene, but also the beer.
What Are The Best Breweries In Seattle?
With so many options in the local beer industry, how do you decide which one to try first?
These are some of the top breweries that have proven to be a favourite among the people who know best, the native Seattletons themselves. These places have embraced originality and have come up with brews that stand out among your average crafts, and are well worth a visit.
Old Stove Brewery
There’s something about enjoying a cold pint by the ocean that just makes you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. The Old Stove Brewery on the waterfront of Pike Place not only has some superbly crafted beer made on-site, but also the best fish and chips in Seattle. Enjoy that combination with some freshly caught oysters to start.
Their taproom is inspired by the Maritime theme of the pacific northwest, and their vision was to support the tradition of the community’s “meet the maker” philosophy. Have a seat next to their wall to floor windows with a panoramic view of the harbour, while enjoying one of their beer flights with delicious accompaniments and you’ll be happy as a clam.
The “glass-backwards” approach of Reuben’s Brewery is what makes their craft stand out. Their beers are held to the golden standard of brewing, and the method of thinking of the final product before developing the recipe results in a beer with no boundaries or limitations. They start with traditional methods of German-style beers and think of how the flavours can be tweaked and made into a one-of-a-kind.
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There’s not only an art to making a perfectly crafted beer, but also a science. When ex-biology teacher Robyn Schumacher and chemistry graduate Brad Benson got together to make Stoup Brewing, they perfected the formula and technicalities of brewing and made a beer that adds up to the perfect equation.
Stoup has two locations at the moment, Ballard brewery and taproom and Kenmore taproom and restaurant. Ballard is where the magic happens, and where you can sit in the greenhouse and enjoy a beer straight from the kettle. Kenmore is where the in house food is, and where you can accompany the beer with some indulgent meals like smash burgers, ribs, pizza, nachos and pies.
Urban Family Brewery
If you’re looking for a sour beer fix, then the Urban Family Brewery is the place to be. They’ve worked hard to preserve their reputation as a brewery with a menu that’s consistently changing and giving you a taste of pretty much anything and everything. Their fruity sour beers include flavours like raspberry and guava, but if you are a beer purist you’ll also have the option of some delicious and light Belgian style farmhouse ales.
The Cloudburst Brewery
They describe themselves as a “hole in the wall”, and the first impression of this local favourite is no fuss, quirky and to the point good beer. The Cloudburst Brewery has locations on Western Avenue and Shilshole Avenue. Their taprooms have more of a bar atmosphere, so although all dogs are welcome you’ll have to leave the kids at home.
They make a killer IPA with some humorous names. Try the “Space for rent” or “how to get rich”. Or if you like your beer sweet and coconutty, try the “Grandma take me home”. Whatever it is you’re having, you’re bound to enjoy it with a smile, or a chuckle. The staff and brewers don’t take themselves too seriously, and what’s not to love about that.
The Georgetown Brewery
The Georgetown Brewery likes to joke about the culture behind craft breweries. When you don’t like your job, you quit and start making and drinking beer for a living, and that’s exactly what they did. Since then, they’ve made a one of a kind pale ale, “Manny’s ale” that has become unique and legendary to the city of Seattle.
They encourage tastings and tours for as little as $5. You can sample all the beers on offer and purchase a whole keg to take home. Or take a seat at their open-plan, industrial-style taproom and take in a casual and fun atmosphere. Georgetown gets to the point with their brews, and all their commitment goes into this, so you know you’ll get a satisfying beer at the end of the day.
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Enjoying beer as it’s always been is the motto that the Lowercase Brewing company lives by. They thrive to make pilsners you can “see-through”, so no purees, excess hops or added flavours. It’s all about traditional beer for the traditional beer lover. There’s nothing to fault for the brewery going back to basics, that’s why Lowercase stands out in the crowd of breweries Seattle has to offer.
What Is The Biggest Brewery In Seattle?
Nothing screams Seattle quite like the grunge/ punk scene it’s notoriously known for, so it’s only fitting that the Elysian brewery has become the biggest producer of craft beer in the city. It started its beer journey in the id 90s and has carried through the aesthetic into today.
Elysian prides itself in the support and pursuit of photographers, musicians and creatives, all while making tons of beer. It was last recorded that they produced over 90000 barrels of beer in a year, superseding the competition.
Which Seattle Brewery Has The Best Food?
Everyone loves a beer snack when they’re enjoying a cold one (or a few). The usuals you can expect at your local pubs and breweries usually stem from the likes of your greasy favourites like pizza, burgers, nachos and fries, and don’t get us wrong, we’re not complaining.
However, this notion can often set off the premise that beer drinking and tasting is always and forever will be a casual dining experience. Until Fair Isle Brewery came along. This concept brewery has added a touch of class and formality to beer drinking and has accompanied its carefully crafted beers with a sophisticated menu experience.
Their Tesulate restaurant branches off of their taproom and hosts a variety of different high-end chefs and dining experiences on a rotation basis, and with every different menu comes a different beer pairing. Note that this is separate from their more casual taproom area, and booking is required.
The Faire Island brewery specializes in farmhouse beer. This process is unique as it takes after the pre-industrial revolution style of beer, where the brew was aged in oak barrels instead of kettles. Faire Island also makes use of the Pacific Northwest’s bountiful crops of yeast and wild hops to make their beer that has a distinctly Seattle taste.
What Are The Major Beer Events And Festivals In Seattle?
If the huge variety of breweries to choose from in Seattle has you feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry, it’s understandable. That’s why beer tasting and appreciating events were invented so that a beer fanatic like you can get a little taste of a huge variety of Seattle breweries in just one day.
A great event to embrace the outdoors and the urban natural scenery of Seattle is by attending the annual Brew at the Zoo fest, set to return in October 2022. Enjoy your beer from one of the well-known craft breweries of Seattle among the amazing animal exhibits. A combination you wouldn’t think of, but makes so much sense once you’re in it. This will probably be the best outdoor beer-drinking experience you can have in Seattle.
There’s also the great pumpkin beer fest held by the biggest brewery in the game, Elysian brewery. Another fall time event, this occasion calls for Halloween dress-up, pumpkin smashing, and indulging in a whole lot of interesting and innovative beer crafters by yours truly. This event usually calls for a committed party attitude, as you’ll start in the day and go off late into the night, so snack and get drinking.
The best of the best Seattle breweries, which beer is Seattle most well known for?
The Manny’s Pale Ale from Georgetown brewery has stood to be an all-time favourite among the Seattle locals and has now become somewhat of an attraction for people looking to experience a truly authentic Seattle beer. This beer has become a symbol for the Seattle culture, with original flavours with an understated hint of edge and uniqueness.
So, next time you’re in the city, skip the coffee and go straight for the pale ale, and you’ll begin to realize that the breweries aren’t just an added bonus to the city’s culture, but rather the backbone and foundation for all the events, concerts and social gathering Seattle is so well known for.
Jake has been a craft beer and homebrew enthusiast since his college days. He loves scouring Europe for unique and unusual hops to add to his beers.
Founder of Jake’s Brew Haven – he currently hosts beer-tasting sessions at select local pubs in Baltimore.
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- What Are The Best Breweries In Seattle?
- What Is The Biggest Brewery In Seattle?
- Which Seattle Brewery Has The Best Food?
- What Are The Major Beer Events And Festivals In Seattle?