Rain or shine, if you ask me what my idea of a perfect day is, it almost always will involve a trip to a brewery. Nothing puts a bigger smile on my face than when I can grab a cold one on tap at a chill spot with family and/or friends. That's what the good life is all about!
And since I love beer so much and know a thing or two about the Seattle beer scene, I thought I would reinstate my "Nommin' Around" series with a tribute to a handful of my favorite places to drink beer in Seattle.
Whether you are new to Seattle, planning a day-trip or just want to explore some new spots, try one or two of my favorite Seattle breweries. Cheers! Sláinte! Prost!
1. Fremont Brewery
Not that these breweries are in any order but…they sort of, kind of are! But only in the sense that Fremont is, hands down, my favorite brewery in Seattle, nay, the world. After all, they do call Fremont the center of the universe! Fremont Brewery has been a dear love of mine even before I moved to the hood. Their beers are smooth, crisp and highly drinkable. Even though they specialize in IPAs, particularly, fresh hop IPAs in the fall, they offer a variety of beers that any beer lover can get behind, whatever your fancy. My favs include the classic Interurban IPA, the Lush IPA and the Universale Pale. Even though you can find delicious Fremont beers in just about any grocery store in Western Washington, you just have to stop into the taproom to drink the beer straight from the source. Plan to go on a warm day to snag a spot on the patio for a prime time location overlooking Lake Union.
2. Reuben's Brews
Ok (again) not intentional on the list order, but Reuben's is probably my close-second favorite brewery in Seattle! Reuben's has a special place in my heart for a few reasons. Before Reuben's was a blip on everyone's radar, Cole and I were fans since its most humble beginnings. In true Ballard form, Rueben's quite literally used to be housed in a tiny, old warehouse with just a handful of plastic chairs available for people to sit in while enjoying their tasty beers. Word soon got out that this hole-in-the-wall was something else and they soon moved to a bigger and better location just down the street still in the heart of Ballard. Even though it is not the small, quaint little ballard brewery I came to know and love, the beers are every bit as good. From the always-on-tap beers like the Crikey IPA and the Gose for fans of sours to seasonal favs like the Daily Pale and Imperial Pumpkin, Reuben's is a can't miss for the Seattle brewery scene.
3. Stoup Brewing
In keeping with the Ballard beer theme, Stoup is a can't miss for a Ballard brewery crawl! Just down the street from my beloved Rueben's is another stellar brewery called Stoup. From the fun and quirkly patio area with ample seating to the tasty beers on tap like the Citra IPA and the NW Red, Stoup is one of Seattle's best breweries hands down. Get there early on weekends to snag a spot and plan to stick around for fun food trucks like Napkin Friends,a latke sandwich truck, to stop by!
4. Peddler Brewing
A Ballard brewery hop is certainly not complete without a trip to the bike-themed brewery, Peddler. Whether you are a cycler or not, this extremely Seattle-esque spot is worth the trip simply for the dedication to the theme, from the quirky bike decor to the names of the beer like On Your Left IPA. With an expansive covered patio that's ideal for warm and rainy days alike, it is easily one of my favorite places to hang in Seattle. What has made this brewery an even better place to grab a cold one as of late has been the addition of a killer sandwich shop right next door that you can have delivered, Mean Sandwich. The name says it all: it truly is a MEAN sandwich!
5. Rooftop Brewing
Fairly new to the Seattle brewery scene in general, Rooftop is a relatively small, quiet little spot to drink a brewski. Though the name suggests an outdoor rooftop, I was pleasantly surprised to find a covered "rooftop" patio for the wintery months when you still crave a cold brew. For the summer months, you will find an extended uncovered patio to really soak up those rays in style. The beer itself is tasty as well with a nice, clean Pilsner Style Ale for something on the lighter side and a citrusy dry-hopped pale for something a bit stronger. Bonus points: this brewery is making a splash in the local political scene with a special variety aptly named Beer Trumps Hate that helps to support local charities from a percentage of sales. Win win WIN!
6. Holy Mountain Brewery
If I were to compare a brewery to a person, Holy Mountain would definitely be your standard Seattle hipster. From the super minimalistic vibe of the brewery to the experimental beers on tap, Holy Mountain is not-your-mama's brewery! With a strong emphasis on European-style and cask beers, you will find unique beers like a refreshing Grapefruit Saison and hearty Black Beer brewed with flaked barley. Another key reason why Holy Mountain makes the list for me is the fact that it's 21+ which is a nice reprieve from the typically family-oriented Seattle brewery scene.
7. Floating Bridge Brewing
Since I went to UW, it is safe to say I was "raised a Seattleite" out of the U-District. So it's surprising (in a good way) to see the college-centered neighborhood now have it's own brewery! Floating Bridge features a low-key atmosphere with little to non-existent crowds which is a huge plus for all of my fellow introverts. A few of my favorite brews include the Westbound IPA and Chai Pale. But the best part? Shuffleboard!
8. Ravenna Brewery
Nestled quietly in the Ravenna neighborhood just northwest of the U-District, Ravenna Brewery is quietly creeping up on the best beers list in the Seattle area, and for good reason. Not only do they have a quaint, neighborhood-like space with a great patio area but their beers are mighty tasty. You can even get crowlers to go!
9. Optimism Brewing
Housed in one of the historic auto shops on Capitol Hill, Optimism is one of Seattle's newest Brewery landmarks. What I love most about Optimism is the space which is both giantic and welcoming. Optimism is also one of the more unique breweries I have ever visited in that their beers don't have your standard names, but "code names", if you will with descriptors. It is even a prime spot to host a beer-centric party, because aren't those the best kind of parties?
10. Redhook Brewlab
If you are a fellow Washingtonian, you already know the legacy of Redhook beers. What you may not know is that Redhook recently reinvented itself with a modern brewlab smack dab in the middle of trendy Capitol Hill. I will admit, I was skepticical at first but once I visited the industrial chic new digs and tasted one of their original beer concotions, I was sold. For long time fans of Redhook beers, you will still find your tried and true varieties like the Longhammer IPA and the ESB on draft. You will also be pleasantly surprised to find collaborative beers with other Washington Breweries like Matchless (a Tumwater fav) and local businesses like Salt & Straw. Redhook also has a killer food menu which is a lovely bonus.
11. Seapine Brewing Company
Last but certainly not least is Seapine Brewery, a brewery I often forget about because of how far away it is from good ol' Fremont. Though it may be a slight trek, Seapine ranks in my top brewery list for good reason: the space is chill and the beers are phenomenal. Cole and I recently attended their 2nd Anniversary Party and were blown away by how smooth their beers were from a range of IPAs featuring a variety of hops to their specialty milk stout. What struck me even more was how friendly their staff was which makes drinker beer even more enjoyable, if you ask me!