Seattle’s Best Breweries

Updated: February 14, 2017

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Tips and Recommendations

  • Many of Seattle’s best breweries are located outside of downtown. I’ve included transit information when applicable, but most of these spots are also just a cheap cab/Uber ride from the city center.
  • A few breweries operate like pubs, and serve food. Those that don’t, usually welcome outside food being brought (or ordered) in.
  • Check taproom hours before you go. Many keep odd hours and aren’t open late.
  • Many breweries and taprooms are kid and dog friendly. If you’ve found a great spot that’s not on the list, and you’re unsure whether Junior and Fido will be welcome, it’s a good idea to call ahead and check.

Downtown

  • Cloudburst Brewing
    Tucked into an unassuming spot on Pike Place Market’s northern edge, Cloudburst distributes bold and refreshing ales often infused with unexpected citrus notes and other, more eccentric touches. The founder, Steve Luke, was previously the experimental brewer at Elysian, and sampling his latest creations with the other connoisseurs gathered by the narrow, open-air entryway is a distinctly Seattle pleasure. Of the many delicious options, be sure to try the Market Saison, which rotates new flavor combinations based off the Market’s freshest ingredients (strawberry and mint, on a recent, early summer visit). The good folks at Cloudburst welcome outside food and well-behaved dogs, but ask that you leave the kiddos at home.

    HoursWebsiteReviews2116 Western Avenue

  • Old Stove Brewing Co.

    craft brewery in Pike Place Market

    Pike Place Market’s newest brewery provides a perfect pit stop during a day spent sightseeing. They’ve got over a dozen hand-crafted beers on tap, as well as a rotating cider and wine selection, all housed within a comfortable, airy space that’s open to the outdoors in nice weather. Settle in at a booth beneath the massive mural (can you find all 20 hidden objects?), or pick a perch at one of Old Stove’s long picnic-style tables – ideal for large groups, or for making new friends. The food menu is brief, but mouth-watering – composed of a few well-executed appetizers, sandwiches, and soups. There’s a pint-sized kids’ menu as well, offering miniature versions of some of Old Stove’s tastier sandwiches. Take home your favorite brew in a 32 oz. “crowler.” (It’s a growler in a can!) Happy hour is daily, from 4-6 pm.

    HoursWebsiteReviews1525 1st Avenue

  • Pike Brewing Company

    Historic Seattle craft brewery

    A Pike Place Market stalwart, and one of the biggest outfits on this list, Pike Brewery has been creating great craft beer since 1989. They create seven beers year-round (the Kilt Lifter Scotch-style ale and XXXXX Stout are particularly popular), as well as limited and seasonal beers like Harlot’s Harvest pumpkin ale and Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale. Their in-house pub offers a good selection of local and organic alehouse-style grub, and with $5 and a reservation you can tour the brewery and see and sample their beer-making process in action. Pike Pub and Brewery is very family-friendly – they’ve got a great kids’ menu, and kids over 6 are welcome on the brewery tours (they tour free) – but fido is a no-go.

    HoursWebsiteReviews1415 1st Avenue

Capitol Hill

  • Elysian Brewing Company
    Despite being purchased by Anheuser-Busch in 2015, Elysian remains a Seattle institution, with four different locations now open since launching in 1996. Their home base is still on Capitol Hill, in a cavernous and often-crowded space offering solid pub food, alongside standards like the beloved Immortal IPA and a rotating selection of seasonal options and limited editions. Of the latter, keep an eye out for The Dread, a dark and rich Imperial Stout aged in oak barrels and hopped up with admirable gusto. While being owned by AB may have cut into Elysian’s hip factor, the welcoming vibe of the venue and broadly enjoyable flavors of the brews (which have lost none of their crispness since the merger) make it a fun, easy stop on any beer lover’s tour of the city. Kid-friendly til 11pm.
    (From downtown: Take the light rail to the Capitol Hill station – Elysian is about an 8-10 minute walk away – or take one of numerous buses (11, 49, 2, 7) that serve the pike/pine corridor.)

    HoursWebsiteReviews1221 East Pike Street

Ballard

  • Reuben’s Brews
    Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood has become extremely popular, and with that popularity the character of the area has seen a major shift toward fancy restaurants, boutique stores, and expansive residential development. But Ballard cuts a wide swath across the city’s northwest corner, and there are still pockets of the rickety warehouse spaces that once helped define its personality. Reuben’s has taken advantage of that lingering understated vibe, putting one of Seattle’s best breweries in the middle of a low-key residential/industrial area. The beer selection is extensive, with traditionally-brewed and barrel-aged favorites; even a small (but potent) collection of sours – a rarity in Seattle. Reuben’s is kid/dog-friendly and welcomes outside food: order a pie at a discount from the adjacent Zeek’s pizza (a Seattle institution), or grab a bite from one of the rotation of food trucks that drops by daily.
    (From downtown: Your easiest route is the “rapid ride” D line from downtown; get off right after crossing the Ballard Bridge at Leary. From there, it’s a 5-10 minute stroll to the northeast.)

    HoursWebsiteReviews5010 14th Avenue Northwest

  • Stoup Brewing
    Right around the corner from Reuben’s in the same “Ballard brewery district” is Stoup Brewing, whose specialties include their renowned stouts and porters – the Robust Porter is a particular dark chocolatey favorite. Their beloved Citra IPA has a summery burst of bitter that offsets the malty goodness of their darker offerings. You can find their ales on tap and available in limited supply in a number of venues around the city, but the tasting room is definitely worth seeking out, especially if you’re on a Ballard-centric crawl. Low-key and friendly, the’ve got butcher paper and crayons for the kids, and their charming outdoor area is great for groups. Dogs and outside food are welcome – there’s usually a food truck parked nearby.
    (From downtown: Your easiest route is the “rapid ride” D line from downtown; get off right after crossing the Ballard Bridge at Leary. From there, it’s a 5-10 minute stroll to the northeast.)

    HoursWebsiteReviews1108 Northwest 52nd Street

  • Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Co.
    If Seattle’s top-flight tasting rooms tend to have a ramshackle feel to them, Bad Jimmy’s, set along Leary Way’s industrial edge, is no exception. It has a back-alley warehouse space resembling a converted garage, and a deliberate lack of pretension that puts the focus on the beer. The brew-loving crew behind the operation have made better use of the building than most others, however: aggressively red-lit and styled with a kind of punk/rockabilly aesthetic, the venue often hosts parties in the upstairs loft space, as well as events in the indoor/outdoor area out front. Jimmy’s indulges in some enhancements and filtering which beer purists might initially dismiss as too precious, but their subtle infusions tweak core, hop-derived flavors in ways that don’t overwhelm. Recently they featured a “Mai Tai PA” (say it out loud) that incorporated pineapple and orange accents while delivering the bitter edge that IPA lovers expect. Well-behaved dogs and outside food are welcome – Jimmy’s is blessed with close proximity to tasty restaurants like Bourbon & Bones and Leary Traveler, which you can take in and enjoy while downing a pint or three. Kids are welcome til 7pm.
    (From downtown: the 40 and 28 buses can get you within a few blocks.)

    Hours • WebsiteReviews4358-B Leary Way Northwest

Interbay

  • Holy Mountain Brewing
    Situated in an industrial, plain part of town – as many of booming Seattle’s best breweries are – Holy Mountain is referred to by many in almost reverent tones. That aura of specialness is partially explained by the impermanence of their approach; unlike a lot of even the smallest, spunkiest breweries, Holy Mountain has no recurring “standard” beers. The whole menu rotates out with seasonality and, often, secondary fermentation that keeps any one beer from staying consistently available. A visit in June yields hoppy saisons and Czech-style Pilsners; in December, the featured ale could be an Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels. The tasting room itself is aggressively sparse and modern/warehouse chic without trying too hard, complete with hardwood booths and a sliding door on the back wall that opens out into a field of train tracks. It’s a place of worship for beer aficionados and Northwest hipsters alike. Bring in your outside food, but leave the kids and dogs at home.
    (From downtown: The trusty D line drops you within a few blocks.)

    HoursWebsiteReviews1421 Elliott Avenue West

SoDo

  • Ghostfish Brewing
    The first and only dedicated gluten-free craft brewery in the state, Ghostfish produces top-notch brews that even gluten-frindlies will love. By eschewing the use of barley in favor of malted gluten-free grains like millet and buckwheat, the brewers at Ghostfish get the most out of the hops they use, giving rise to monstrous (and delicious) beers like the “Peak Buster” double IPA and its 130 IBU. They also excel at Belgian-style ales; the Shrouded Summit Witbier is opaque and citrusy, with a nice, bracing hint of juniper in the finish. Both ales are on the “flagship” list, and available year round. Besides being gluten-free, Ghostfish distinguishes itself by fashioning a proper restaurant/pub experience out of their tasting room: They offer a full menu (gluten-free, of course, with many vegetarian and vegan options) and flat screens showing Mariners, Seahawks, or Sounders games (all three teams play only a mile away from here in the Stadium district). Family-friendly until 7pm, dog-friendly always.
    (From downtown: The 21 bus will drop you within a block. However, you will have to pass the stadiums to get there, so take note of any events that might be happening, as related traffic will add to travel times)

    HoursWebsiteReviews2942 1st Avenue South

Georgetown

  • Machine House Brewery
    Set out in the increasingly trendy industrial neighborhood of Georgetown, Machine House Brewing specializes in ales derived from English hops. This gives rise to some debate in local beer-drinking circles, since unlike many Northwest specialty brewers, the beers they concoct are relatively mild. Those seeking complex bitterness and through-the-roof IBU counts might thus be slightly disappointed, but if you are after an easy-drinking, reasonably low alcohol beverage, this is a fantastic choice. Set just off Georgetown’s main drag along Airport Way, the room is housed in the old Rainier Brewing location: a hulking—yet welcoming—brick warehouse, with indoor/outdoor areas that accommodates live music events, art openings, and other events. There’s no kitchen, but Machine house welcomes outside food, and is dog/family-friendly – they even have a corner play area with toys and games for the littlest customers.
    (Getting there from downtown: Regular bus service runs from routes 124 and 106; by car, it’s reachable in 10-15 minutes. One note: You will have to pass the stadiums to get there, so take note of any events that might be happening, as related traffic will add to travel times.)

    HoursWebsiteReviews5840 Airport Way South

Leschi

  • Standard Brewing
    Hop heaven for beer drinkers, Standard’s output is small, but potent. The tasting room is just a little wedge, with a fairly expansive outdoor area – a constant lure for nearby residents and devotees who come from across the city. While IPAs are the order of the day here, Standard founder Justin Gerardy keeps the alcohol content (ABV) reasonable, and his brews highly sip-able on both rainy days and sunny afternoons alike. No food, but the staff is fine with you bringing in nearby grub; the Atlantic across the street offers a great selection of local cheese and hearty salads, among other dishes. Well-behaved dogs and children are welcome.
    (Getting there from downtown: The 8, 14, and 27 buses all get you close, but you might consider a taxi or Uber; from the downtown core, it’s likely a sub-$10 fare.

    HoursWebsiteReviews2504 South Jackson Street, Suite C