We put together a list of 10 Seattle breweries you should try 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.
There are a plethora of breweries in Seattle these days – so many that we can hardly keep up with the new ones. Seattle and King County alone have more than 70 of Washington’s 272 breweries, according to Washington Beer. That’s a lot of beer! Certain neighborhoods, like Ballard and SODO, boast the largest conglomerations of breweries, with more opening seemingly every week. We do our best to get around to as many as possible, so we can pass along the tasting notes.
Seattle Breweries to 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.
Peddler Brewing Co.
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.
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.
A new addition to the Ballard neighborhood, Lucky Envelope Brewing has a number of great beers on tap, including their signature Thaiger Mom Tripel, made with lemongrass and Thai lime leaves. Co-owners Barry Chan and Raymond Kwan 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. On tap, they currently have an IPA, a Pale Ale, a Trippel, a British Stout and a German-style Lager.
Seapine Brewing Company
Opened in 2012 by Drew Colpitts and Adam Smith, Seapine Brewing Company has a small tasting room 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.
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. 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 Roggenbier, which is a rye hefewiezen. In my opinion, it’s one of the best breweries in Seattle.
Machine House Brewery
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.
Counterbalance Brewing Company opened the doors to its new 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. They currently have five beers on tap – and IPA, a blond ale, a dark ale, and ISA and a Russian Imperial Stout – with more on the way.
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 recently 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.
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.