There are a plethora of breweries in Seattle these days – so many that we can hardly keep up with the new ones. At last count there were 174 breweries – the most of any city in the U.S. That’s a lot of beer! Certain neighborhoods, like Ballard and Sodo, boast the largest conglomerations of breweries, with more opening seemingly every week.
You may be interested to learn that Seattle has even more breweries than the famed beer city of Portland. That makes Seattle the true king of beer in our minds. If you’re a beer lover, you absolutely must check out the microbreweries that are popping up around the city. Some have been around for a long time, and some are brand new. One thing is for certain, you’ll find all kinds of different styles, flavors, and aromas floating around town.
We put together a list of 15 Seattle breweries you must visit immediately. These are some of our favorite places in the city to drink a pint. Beer tasting is one of our go-to activities on a nice weekend in Seattle, and it can be yours too, even if you’re just visiting.
Seattle Breweries You Must Try
One of my favorite Ballard breweries in Seattle, Stoup Brewing is a great spot to relax with a beer. The brainchild of Brad Benson, Lara Zahaba and Robyn Schumacher, Stoup opened in 2013 in a warehouse tasting room in Ballard, where they pour a great lineup of beers.
Their regular taps include a Northwest IPA, a Robust Porter and a Session IPA. But there are always new additions to the lineup like the Bavarian Hefeweizen and Citra IPA they currently have available. Bonus: there’s almost always a food truck parked just outside the large garage door that’s often propped open to allow guests to enjoy a beautiful day.
Location: 1108 NW 52nd St, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
Hours: 3pm to 9pm, open til 10pm Friday and Saturday, opens at noon Saturday and Sunday.
Beers to Try: Easy A IPA, Citra IPA, Bavarian- Hefeweizen, German Style Pilsner, NW Red
Peddler Brewing Cowebsite
Not surprisingly, Peddler Brewing Co. attracts a large number of bicycle enthusiasts to its Ballard warehouse location. The garage door at Peddler is usually propped open, too. On a nice weekend, there’s rarely a free space on the bike rack out front where everyone parks while they enjoy some local beer.
Owners Haley Woods and David Keller opened Peddler in 2013 in order to combine their love of riding bikes, brewing and drinking beer. Their love for peddling shows up in many facets of the business, from the gear-embedded concrete counter tops to the work station where you can do a tune up or tire change when necessary.
Address: 1514 NW Leary Way, Seattle, WA 98107
Hours: Wed 4pm-10pm; Thurs-Friday 4pm-11pm; Saturday 11am-11pm, Sunday 11am-8pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Beers to Try: Double Haze IPA, Tangerine Hefeweisen, Peaches ‘n Wheat Sour, Irish Dry Stout (nitro)
This SODO brewery was one of the first in the now-beer-heavy neighborhood. Schooner Exact opened a small tasting room in the front of their brewing operation at a warehouse with an indoor and outdoor space. The outdoor patio quickly attracted beer enthusiasts, and eventually they morphed into a brewpub with a full food menu.
Schooner focuses primarily on Northwest-style ales, with an emphasis on IPAs. They have quite a few specialty beers that have gathered a dedicated following, like Hoppy the Woodsman and their new endeavor into sour beers.
Location: 3901 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
Hours: Every day 11am – 9pm
Beers to Try: Hoppy the Woodsman, 3 Grid IPA, Profanity Hill Porter, King Street Brown
Lucky Envelope Brewing was started by co-owners Barry Chan and Raymond Kwan, who decided to open the brewery after years of successful wins in home brewing competitions and their endeavor became a reality in May 2015, when they opened the doors to their Ballard brewery.
They have an interest in unique flavors and combinations, so no matter what is on tap at the time you know it’ll be something different and fun. My favorite of their beers will always be the Thai flavor combination with lemongrass and lime leaves, but you probably won’t find it on their current line up. You will find a few IPAs, a lager, and pale ale – and a few interesting flavors like peanut butter and hot peppers.
Location: 907 NW 50th St, Seattle, WA 98107
Hours: Wed-Thur 3pm-9pm; Fri-Sat 12pm-10pm; Sunday 12pm-9pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Beers to Try: ENIAC Mosaic IPA, Helles Lager, Two Pepper Pale Ale, Peanut Butter Cream Stout.
Seapine Brewing Companywebsite
Started in 2011 by Drew Colpitts and Adam Smith, Seapine Brewing Company has a brewery and taproom in Sodo where they offer their beers in growlers, pints, half-pints and tasters. They have an IPA or two on their regular rotation, along with a hefeweizen and milk stout. If you happen to be there when they have one of their seasonal brews on tap, you may be able to try their winter ale or pumpkin ale, as well.
The taproom is a kid and pet-friendly environment and a great place to hang out and try a few beers. Their current selection is written on the chalkboard, and you can choose taster sizes too so you can try a few different styles.
Location: 2959 Utah Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
Hours: Mon 3pm-9pm, Tues-Thurs 12-9pm, Fri-Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-8pm
Beers to Try: Seapine IPA, Sea Witch Stout, Mosaic Pale Ale, award-winning Peach Gose
Ballard is a mecca for beer lovers and Reuben’s Brews fits right in with their family-owned craft brewery showcasing a rotating selection of draft beers. They have such a diverse list of beers on tap that you can always find something you like. We love getting tasters of as many unique styles as we can. Why do I say that? Because there are 24 beers on tap.
If you’re a hops fan, try the Imperial IPA or the Roasted Rye IPA that register at 80+ IBUs, or if you’re like me and don’t love a bitter beer, try the Robust Porter or American Brown. They sometimes have additional interesting brews like the current Summer IPA. In my opinion, it’s one of the best breweries in Seattle.
Location: 5010 14th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
Hours: Every day 11am-10pm
Beers to Try: Imperial IPA, Roasted Rye IPA, Robust Porter, American Brown
Populuxe Brewing Companywebsite
Populuxe was awarded the 2018 Small Brewery of the Year award by the Washington Beer Awards. Their tasting room might be small, but they have the largest beer garden in Ballard! Combine that with the tasty beer, and the food trucks that are often parked in the yard, and you have a winning combination.
They have up to 9 styles of beer on tap at any given time, but they often rotate. If you find one you love, you might want to check their Facebook page to make sure they have it.
Location: 826B NW 49th St, Seattle, WA 98107
Hours: Mon-Thurs 3pm-9pm, Fri 3pm-10pm, Sat 12pm-10pm, Sunday 12pm-9pm
Beers to Try: American Blonde, Cinderblock CDA, Beer Snob Brown, Citra/Red
Machine House Brewerywebsite
Located in a historic area of Georgetown, Machine House Brewery aims to provide Seattle with good session beers (highly drinkable beers with lower alcohol content and bitterness). They mostly produce English-style ales, but also branch out to include experimental beers infused with local ingredients.
Their Best Bitter, Gold and Dark Mild beers all fall below the 5% ABV level, while others like the IPA and Oatmeal Stout come in somewhere around 6%. The taproom features long picnic tables to seat plenty of beer drinkers on a busy weekend.
Location: 5840 Airport Way S #121, Seattle, WA 98108
Hours: Wed-Fri 3pm-9pm; Saturday 12pm-9pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm
Beers to Try: Best Bitter, Dark Mild, Golden Ale, Oyster Stout, Mandarin Pale Ale
Counterbalance Brewing Company opened the doors to its taproom in Georgetown in early 2015 after a few years of planning. The owners, Frank and Jeff, were former coworkers at another job and eventually left to start their own brewery. And we’re incredibly glad they made the leap. Their beer is very good.
The taproom is a fun place to hang out, as well, even though it’s located in an industrial park. It’s always hopping with people. They have tasting trays so you can try a bunch of different beers before settling into a pint of your favorite.
Location: 503B S Michigan St, Seattle, WA 98108
Hours: Mon-Thurs 3-8pm, Fri 3-9pm, Sat 12-9pm, Sun 2-6pm
Beers to Try: Counterbalance IPA, Abigail Blonde Ale, Reconteur Rye, Pilsner, Sunny Disposition
Ghostfish Brewing Companywebsite
We have a bunch of friends who no longer consume gluten for one reason for another, but they still love beer. Now they have a source for high-quality gluten-free beer in Seattle. Ghostfish Brewing Company opened in Sodo and they are the only Seattle brewery to exclusively offer gluten-free beer and food. Instead of using wheat to brew, they use unusual malted grains like millet, buckwheat, and brown rice. The taproom is located in an old-made-new warehouse space that is very comfortable and nice.
Location: 2942 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
Hours: Mon-Thurs 3-9pm, Fri-Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-7pm
Beers to Try: Vanishing Point Pale Ale, Grapefruit IPA, Shrouded Summit Belgian White
Well known for their small-batch beer, Fremont is a fixture in the Seattle beer scene since 2009. They are the 3rd-largest brewery in Washington State by volume. We love that they are still family owned and we love their slogan too: “because beer matters!”. They have a really great location in Fremont where you can hang out and try their beer.
Sit down to try a pint of one of their regular favorites or branch out to try a seasonal. They also offer refrigerated cases of their beer so you can pop in for a six pack or a growler whenever you need it. If you’re staying around Seattle for a few days, you’ll notice that you can also order Fremont beer from most restaurants and bars in town.
Location: 1050 N 34th St, Seattle
Hours: Sun-Wed 11am-9pm, Thurs-Sat 11am-10pm
Beers to Try: Universale (Pale Ale), Interurban IPA, Stone Squirrel Coffee Porter, Bonfire Brown Ale
Optimism Brewing Companywebsite
We watched this tasting room being refurbished for a long time and were in constant wonderment what was moving into such a huge space. When we found it was Optimism Brewing Company we were very excited. Optimism doesn’t just focus on one style of beer. They make them all! This is why a tasting tray is the only way to go when you’re new to their beer.
Go in with an open mind and be prepared to try all styles and flavors. Their really great menu board will give you a description of what you’ll be tasting so you can make an informed decision. You’ll need this because their beers have fun names that have nothing at all to do with the style.
Location: 1158 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122
Hours: Mon-Thurs 12pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-12am, Sunday 12pm-9pm
Beers to Try: Hello World!, Heliotropic, Pride, …Before the Dawn.
The Pike Brewing Companywebsite
The Pike Brewing Company is so embedded in the Seattle beer scene that you almost don’t think of it when you conjure up breweries in Seattle. The brewery was opened in 1989 by Charles and Rose Ann Finkel. In 1996 it was expanded to include the pub, which is one of my favorite places to hang out in Seattle for beer and food.
They have a large number of their own beers on tap, but they also have tons of rare and hard to find bottles of beer from around the world. The food is really good there too, which is not always the case at pubs. The best part though is that Charles and Rose Ann still attend beer festivals and pour their own beer for guests. They are incredibly nice and friendly.
Location: 1415 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
Hours: Every day 11am-12am
Beers to Try: Space Needle IPA, Kilt Lifter, XXXXX Stout, Naughty Nellie
Urban Family Brewing Co.website
A small craft brewery located in the Magnolia neighborhood, Urban Family Brewing Co has made a name for themselves over the past few years on the Seattle brewing scene. They utilize fresh ingredients, complex yeast strains, and interesting hop profiles to make their ever rotating and changing line up of beers.
If you like sour beers, this is a good place to start. They often have one or two on tap.
Location: 4441 26th Ave W, Seattle, WA 98199
Hours: Mon-Thurs 4-9pm, Fri 2-10pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-10pm
Beers to Try: Clouds of Pale Gold, Tropic Heart Mango & Passionfruit Sour, Heart of Stone Sour Ale
Located in Columbia City, this brewery has a small storefront in a shopping center. It might not look like much from the outside, but there’s plenty of great beer awaiting you inside. They are dog and kid friendly. If you want food, you’ll have to bring it with you. They do have taster trays available so you can try their beers before you decide, and they have 4 different growler sizes so you can take some home.
Location: 5041 Rainier Ave S #106, Seattle, WA 98118
Hours: Mon-Fri 4pm-12am, Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12pm-10pm
Beers to Try: Call it a Day Pale, Another IPA, Rye Stout, Black Currant Dark Saison, Gin and Tonic Sour Gose
Since there are so many great breweries in the Seattle area and we’re only covering 10 in this post, I want to pass along another great post for enjoying Seattle breweries in a self-guided brewery and food tour that starts downtown. We don’t mind taking one for the team and checking out all of the breweries in the Seattle area for the sake of research. If there are any breweries in Seattle that you love and we didn’t include on this list, tell us what they are and we’ll include them in the next edition.
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Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.