Brews News: Say Cheers at Popular Seattle Venues



Thirsty? Brilliant. Lucky for you (and us) Seattle hosts a wealth of breweries in which to enjoy some delicious locally brewed beer. Many folks claim that Washington started the microbrew rebirth in the 1980s; these days, the state boasts one of the country’s largest concentrations of breweries. Fun fact: Three-fourths of the nation’s hops are produced in the nearby Yakima Valley (thanks to the region's sources of mountain spring water and other fresh ingredients that make it an ideal spot for brewing).

Many local brewers from Redhook Ale Brewery to Pike Brewing Company offer tours of their grounds, allowing visitors to witness and understand the brewing process before sampling some glasses for themselves. Other smaller operations give you the impression you've stumbled into your friend's welcoming basement (a friend who happens to brew really tasty beer, that is). Seattle breweries keep patrons on their toes, constantly rotating in new flavors and often organizing events from alfresco concerts to batch release parties. Other venues keep games (for adults and kids) on-site, and a handful even allow for BYO picnic meals. Several tour companies here take thirsty folks on excursions that make the rounds; this allows visitors and locals alike to visit multiple breweries in one fun-filled afternoon. The beer options don't stop here though; check out the many choices, and, most importantly, enjoy!



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This local microbrewery, with its huge interior, expansive windows, and copper-topped bar, is eminently cool and is a great place to hang out with friends and sample house-brewed beers. Many of them bear mythological names, in keeping with the brewery's name, and you'll find everything from lagers and stouts to pilsners and ales. A good menu of pub fare includes pastas, sandwiches, stews, and fish and chips. Thanks to its location, this venue is a popular spot for sports enthusiasts to gather before, during or after Sounders or Seahwaks games. Snag a seat at the bar or at one of the businesses many tables.


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Hilliard's
Photo courtesy of Hilliard's


 

Hilliard's opened its doors in October of 2011 with a focus on beer in cans and an industrial-chic ambience that draws beer drinkers from near and far. Thanks to its location in the Ballard beer bubble, visitors can stop in here before or after checking out other neighborhood drinking holes. Founded by Ryan Hilliard and Adam Merkl, the staff has gradually expanded, as has the beer list. Popular beers range from the blonde, pils and saison (in cans) and the IPA and "Murdered Out Stout," served from kegs. The size of this taproom makes it a good option for larger groups.


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Woodinville


 

Thirsty? Look no farther. Redhook is "proud to hang his hat at a state of the art brewery located in the heart of scenic Woodinville, WA." Completed in 1994, the impressive venue takes inspiration from the brewhouses of Bavaria, Germany. The popular spot features grounds on which many events take place the warmer months (like an alfresco movie series). Overlooking the brew tanks, visitors find the Weatherman's Room and Tour Gallery (which can be rented for private parties). Tours cost $1 per person, run for one hour and include up to five samples of delicious beer. (Guests also receive a souvenir tasting glass, a walk through the brewery and a trivia-sprinkled history lesson.) The Forecasters Public House allows visitors to indulge in all of the Redhook beers (including many served only here) and pub-style meals.


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Peddler Brewing Company
Photo courtesy of Peddler Brewing Company


 

Peddler Brewing Company is a Ballard brewery and tasting room. Owners Haley Woods and David Keller combined their love of riding bikes, brewing and drinking beer and opened this popular spot in March of 2013. Peddler boats s a seven-barrel brewing system which pumps out up to 14 kegs of beer per batch. Eight taps mean regular brews as well a couple rotating seasonal taps. The indoor space features a large bar and tables, plus there's an outdoor patio. Try sampler trays or pints on-site; take 64-ounce growlers and 32-ounce bottles for the road. Want to ride your bike to our brewery? You're in luck! An indoor bike rack holds nine bicycles, while a bike work station means visitors can take care of tune-ups or flat tires. The bicycle theme pervades the brewer--from the bathroom faucet handles to the gears in the concrete counter top.


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Maritime Pacific Brewing Company and Jolly Roger Taproom


 

Bright colors and nautical decor add visual interest to this inviting bar, where patrons have their pick of 14 beers from the onsite brewery. Maritime Pacific Brewing Company is a small, family-owned brewery, established in 1990 in Ballard, the traditional home port to Northwest mariners. According to the website: "With its full-rigged white clipper ship set against dramatic Olympic Mountains, the Maritime Pacific logo recalls days past when fast windships once plied these Puget Sound waters laden with cargo for trade in exotic ports-of-call. To please the descendants of those bygone sailors in whom the taste for fine local beer lives on, and to salute Seattle's seafaring history, the Maritime Pacific Brewing Company was created."


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Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery and Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Pyramid Ales


 

Started in tiny Kalama, Washington, as Hart Brewing Company in 1984, Pyramid is now one of the largest West Coast breweries to arise from the early microbrew pioneers of the Pacific Northwest. Now with breweries in Portland, Berkeley, Sacramento, and Walnut Creek, as well, this huge brewing facility and brewpub in Seattle is the original since the move from Kalama. Located in the city's stadium district, it is housed in a vintage brick warehouse and features an expansive patio out front for fair-weather imbibing. Inside is classic Pacific Northwest interior decor with concrete floors, dark wood, and exposed beams. Rows of long, narrow stand-up height tables cross the center of the voluminous space, with low tables and booths around the perimeter and in side rooms. With so many years in the brewery biz, Pyramid boasts a broad range of very high quality beer known for its assertiveness and consistency. Pyramid's brewers take care of all palates. Pyramid Hefeweizen is a bright, unfiltered wheat ale with citrus notes. Spicy and malty seasonal Snow Cap Ale is a Christmastime favorite. Ultra-hoppy pale ales come in both light and dark varieties, Discord Dark IPA and Outburst Imperial IPA, a dry hopped style. Pyramid Maibock is a lightly malty bock-style brew. Food ranges from pub fare such as gourmet burgers to regional specialties like wild Alaskan salmon and fish and chips plates, even a pot roast braised in Snow Cap. Yum.


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Georgetown Brewing Company
Photo courtesy of Georgetown Brewing Company


 

Although this draft-beer-only-production brewery in South Seattle's Georgetown doesn't feature a brewpub, visitors still swing by in droves for the venue's retail shop. Here thirsty folk can pick up kegs to go and growlers; a social bar counter (with no seats) also means visitors can sometimes sample the newest beer before it's released. The venue is the brainchild of beer lovers Roger Bialous and Manny Chao, and today their Manny's Pale Ale creation is one of the region's most beloved brews. Also try the Roger's Pilser, Chopper's Red Ale, Georgetown Porter and Lucille India Pale Ale.


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Fremont Brewing is a small, family-owned microbrewery founded in 2008 to brew small-batch artisan beers "made with the best local ingredients." Brew masters use barley from Washington State, hops from a fourth-generation, hop-growing family in the Yakima Valley and water from the Cedar River Watershed in the Cascade Mountains. Located in Seattle's funky Fremont, guests can enjoy beer at the "Urban Beer Garden" (think long communal tables inside and out). Beer lovers will also find this company's gems on draft at many Seattle bars and restaurants as well as at neighborhood bottle shops or grocery stores. Looking for a larger quantity of Fremont Brewing's fine beer? Pick up a keg or growler to go.


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Hale's Ales
Photo courtesy of Peddler Brewing Company


 

Partway between Fremont and Ballard, this brewery and pub warrants a stop-over. This spacious venue boasts a philosophy that promotes being sustainable and healthy too. Hale's employs an age-old English brewing method that features an ale yeast that has long been specially adapted for the open-topped fermenters (of the traditional English brewery). The fermenting room sits behind 15-foot-tall panes of glass, meaning brewery visitors can witness the process (there are even mirrors on the ceiling), while sampling the pub's brews and eat. Find tapas and small plate options (from black bean cakes to smoked salmon chowder) or more substantial dishes like burgers, salads, shepherd's pies and chicken au jus. Try brews like the "Troll Porter" and the "Hales Cream Ale."


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The Pike Brewing Company
Photo courtesy of The Pike Brewing Company


 

Sipping local brews in one of the city's most historic and iconic spots: Who could say no to such temptation? Enjoy lauded beers from the Pike Pale and the Pike IPA to the Kilt Lifter and the Pike Naughty Nellie in a vibrant setting where the antique-covered walls are a feast for the eyes. (Can't make up your mind on which beer to try? Better yet, grab a sampler tray!) Also enjoy tasty pub eats in this bustling subterranean space; try the fish 'n' chips, the Ploughman's Platter, the Pike Poutine or the Puget Sound platter of mussels and clams.


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Meet Corinne Whiting

Corinne hails from the other Washington, where she caught the travel bug early on. Corinne studied abroad in Strasbourg, France (undergrad) and in Edinburgh, Scotland (graduate school). She's...  More About Corinne

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