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Eat, Drink, and Be Merry at These Seattle-Area Brew Pubs



Thirsty? Brilliant. Hungry? Even better. Seattle is lucky to boast an impressive lineup of brew pubs that serve food (fresh, seasonal and almost always organic) as delicious as the beer brewed on-site. In this town, the more locally-sourced, the better.

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. Several tour companies here take thirsty folks on excursions that make the rounds; this allows visitors and locals alike to visit multiple brew pubs in one fun-filled afternoon. Cheers!


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A university crowd frequents this local mainstay, which has a saloon-like ambience with lots of dark woods and beer memorabilia. House brews are much-loved, whether they're Big Time standards or specialty creations, and you'll find ambers, oatmeal stouts, and ales among the selection. Hearty pub food like pizzas, chili and sandwiches makes a good complement to the beer and also helps ward off alcoholic discomfort if you indulge a little too much. A CD jukebox offers a host of good music, and there's shuffleboard in the back room. This spot proves a perfect destination for a laid-back evening (especially after an active stadium day).


A favorite nighttime haunt of the West Seattle crowd, this friendly brewpub offers a casual setting for mingling with friends or enjoying a bite of pub grub with the family. The spacious seating area is marked by its rustic red brick walls and high ceiling, which combine to give the place the look and feel of a European-style beer hall. Year-round house quaffs include Alembic Pale Ale, Elliott Bay IPA, Luna Weizen and No Doubt Stout; a variety of seasonal brews are available, too. A loft area upstairs offers a few pool tables. Happy hour happens twice daily—from 3 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close.


Ram Restaurant & Big Horn Brewery


Especially during the university's regular sessions, this upscale watering hole is a favorite weekend haunt for hordes of purple-and-gold-wearing Husky faithful, who crowd in to watch their team on the tube while enjoying house-brewed beers and some of Seattle's best burgers. Shiny brewing machines and exposed brick walls give the place a quintessential brewpub look. A member of the Big Horn Brewing family, the Ram features a handful of colorfully named brews, including the popular Buttface Amber, Big Red Ale, and Total Disorder Porter. Menu items range from sandwiches and salads to comfort foods like meatloaf as well as lighter and even gluten-free options.


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You're in the beery Pacific Northwest, where microbreweries sprout like mushrooms after a rainstorm. If you're interested in place at which to sample suds from a wide variety of those breweries, Brouwer's Cafe in Fremont is pure beervana. Obviously run by hop heads and beer geeks, Brouwer's staff is amazingly knowledgeable about lagers and ales. This casual and understated pub offers no fewer than 64 rotating draft selections, along with more than 300 bottled brews and 60-something types of Scotch. And to help soak up some of that beer in your belly, the cafe features a Eurocentric menu of exceptional eats from mussels to falafel sandwiches.




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 brews 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, fish and chips and other tasty dishes. As the brewery's original location, Elysian-Capitol Hill offers a 220-seat beer hall and full-service bar and restaurant constructed inside a 1919-era Packard storage building. As the website states, "This location is not only the birthplace of our company; it is where many of our events and festivals began."


Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery and Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Pyramid Ales


Pyramid is now one of the largest West Coast breweries to arise from the early microbrew pioneers of the Pacific Northwest. 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, you'll find classic Pacific Northwest 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. Pyramid boasts a broad range of high-quality beer known for its assertiveness and consistency. Pyramid's brewers take care of all palates. 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.


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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.


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."


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."


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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