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Chuck's 85th St. Market

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

19 Reviews
Reviews: 19
Visits: 48
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

656 NW 85th St
Seattle, Washington, 98117-3143
United States
phone: (206) 297-6212

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @chucks85th

Notes:
Place added by: chuckshin on 11-20-2010

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 19 | Visits: 48
Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
4.57/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

It's an unpretentious convenience store with ~40 taps, an excellent bottle selection, ice cream (for the kids or weak-willed adults), and food trucks. The interior layout is poor when it's busy (dictionary definition of a "bottleneck"), it's a bit dingy (but in a cozy and charming way), and the draft/growler prices are often befuddling. But, ultimately, if you are new or old to an interest in craft beer, this place is a must-visit when in Seattle. You'll feel welcomed here, and will always find something (and probably many things) to drink. (550 characters)

Photo of PacNWDad
5/5  rDev +9.9%

This is my goto beer store/taphouse. Great food trucks every night and weekend afternoons, too. Very knowledgeable, friendly staff. Great draft beer selection and if you do the samplers, it is a great deal. Very good selection of beers to buy as well. Great events weekly, including trivia. (295 characters)

Photo of Goatdavemac
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Stellar staff. I went in expecting to find one or two gems, but once I started talking up the staff, I left with a case full. Great selection, and a staff who listened to what I was looking for, and then they were more than happy to help. The dingy outside makes it especially charming. (289 characters)

Photo of nmann08
5/5  rDev +9.9%

This was by far my favorite beer stop during the entire San Francisco to Seattle road trip. Now being from the Mid-Atlantic where the concept of a liquor store/tap house is a lot more rare, maybe I was just easily amused and impressed, but this place is awesome.

If I lived in Seattle, this would be my go to spot regularly. It's a combination of a mini-mart, beer store and bar. They have electronic tap system that looks great and highlights specific beers. The night I was there they had a Midnight Sun Sampler special ($8 for four 4-oz pours). You had to choose from categories, but I still got Son of Beserker and Bar Fly, which was a great deal. Good service, fast moving line.

The bottle coolers surround the seating area and are divided by style. They have everything from local staples to the big boys and even a few expensive rare vintage bottles that if you are from out of town, are worth the time. I bought a Fremont Bourbon Abominable, Breakside Bourbon Barrel Aztec and a few almanacs. Pricing seemed normal.

The only negative I could ever highlight is it is a bit cramped when busy. The seating area is right next to the bar and then it is boxed in by the bottle coolers, so if it is busy, there is a lot of foot traffic.

I wish I had place like this in the DC area and can't wait to go back. Go here, enjoy, thank me later. (1,357 characters)

Photo of draheim
4.18/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

I've been going to Chuck's since they first opened, after converting from a little corner convenience store. They've grown and expanded and I'd say their now a community hub for the Crown Hill/Greenwood neighborhood. Great beer selection (among the best in the city), huge tap list, good focus on Northwest beers, great food trucks on the regular, nice little beer garden where their tiny parking lot used to be. Beer prices tend to be on the high side (5% to 10% above other spots). It's not fancy, but the space is welcoming. Families congregate and relax here, staff is really friendly. Chuck's is an asset to the city. (622 characters)

Photo of Zach122
4/5  rDev -12.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Easily my favorite bottle shop in Seattle. Every time I stop by, I spend about 20 minutes trying to pick out a handful of new beers, but it can be very difficult due to the fact that they have approximately 1000 bottles for sale. Plus, all this beer is stored in coolers, which is how I'd prefer the beer to be stored, versus room temperature at other similar locations. If you also feel like having a drink while you explore, they have about 38 rotating guest taps available to drink in house or fill up a growler/half growler to take home. My only real issue when I visit is the lack of physical space available to move in. But this is a minor inconvenience to accommodate the large amount of beer available.

The staff is very friendly and do their best to keep up with the large amount of people that are often stopping by after work and on the weekends. They do have a small grill behind the counter for some basic food options, but they also invite a different local food truck to park in their lot every day to provide some favorites if you're looking to get a meal while you're there. (1,092 characters)

Photo of Smurf2055
3.5/5  rDev -23.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2

Probably my favorite bottle shop in the Seattle area. Prices are pretty standard, the selection is as good as any you will find, plus he’s got a bunch of rotating taps with local stuff and other goodies. Chuck and his staff always seem very knowledgeable and helpful. They are nice guys to just have a conversation with. You can tell he loves his job. Makes a damn fine IPA brat too. It could pass as a corner convenience store, but make no mistake, this is a great place to hit up.

Edit*

It has certainly changed a lot since my first review. There are now 38 taps, great selection, over 1000 bottles of beer, but now it is a full blown bar. Crazy busy at night, but the staff is still very friendly and helpful once they get to you. Prices are a bit more expensive for bottles, but great deals for tap beer. (812 characters)

Photo of BoFoSho
4.47/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Before Chuck's Hop Shop came into existence, there used to be a mini mart in that building. You know, those marts that sold beer to anyone who could see above the counter. Now that I'm 21 I feel that Chuck's is a blessing for the entire neighborhood. Whenever I walk in the doors I feel like an adolescent teenager walking into a porn convention, getting a beer boner on the spot. Hefeweizens. Brown Ales. IPAs. Reds. Double Reds. Pale Ales. Pullman-water. Kegs. Imports. Exports. Beer accessories for days. You name it, Chuck's has it! They rotate around 50 kegs, and the friendly service always lets you taste as many as you like (before you get tipsy). I recommend Chuck's Hop Shop to anybody who is having trouble finding their perfect beer or just wants to hang out with some friends (dogs are good to go inside as well). By far and away the most impressive beer store in Seattle, Chuck's Hop Shop! (903 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.96/5  rDev -13%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

A: Misleading. Do not judge a book by its cover. The place is your would be market but once you enter and walk to the back you're in for a treat. Nearly 1,000 beers; rare stuff, vintage stuff and solid standards. They have some tables and chairs at the back by the coolers. Drink beer and shop. Plus they have a few stools and a makseshift bar. A good vibe here. but it quickly becomes cramped, overcrowded and borderline uncomfortable

Q: Only quality beer, 99% of the beer was properly stored in coolers.

S: All of the guys were extremely helpful, knew the beer and enjoyed what they were doing. They had no problems entertaining questions and providing recommendations

S: Everything from Midnight Sun, Cascade, HoTD and beyond bottlewise. They have 30+ solid handles for growlers to go or to drink while you shop. I mean solid taps! Fremont Sister IIPA and Sound Humulo Nimbus for example.

F: No food but it is a market so grab something off the shelf.

Perhaps the best kept secret in Seattle. Something about this place intrigued me. This is exactly what I desire in a beer store. (1,091 characters)

Photo of danieltweten
4.97/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Chuck's is the best beer store in Seattle. Bottleworks is over priced and the employees are the epitome of beer snobs (rude). 99 Bottles is the same.

32 taps that always change? You just don't see that at any other beer store. It's awesome. The parking isnt great, but there is some in the street behind the store. Rotating food truck is an awesome idea. Other than the disconnected back room in the store, I felt it had good atmosphere. I went on a Tuesday night and it was pretty crowded. Regardless, I asked an employee some help finding something and he promptly walked back and helped me.
It is pretty reasonable and they had my girlfriend's favorite Ace Pear Cider! We haven't been able to find a store in Seattle that had it.
Great experience and I will be making this my local beer shop! (799 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I stopped in at Chuck's Hop Shop for the first time today to see what all the fuss is about. It was a damn fine little bottle shop; perhaps not the best in Seattle but quite good.

The selection is largely similar to other good bottle shops in the area, and very nearly everything was properly displayed in refrigerator cases. I was surprised and happy to see a lot of offerings from Cascade as well as from Alesmith, the latter of which I don't think I've seen before in Washington.

Atmosphere is great, with seating in the middle for drinking and socialization. There's a small corking fee, which I think is pretty acceptable. Prices in general are a little bit high, but not out-of-order.

Chuck happened to be there and offered his help. Seems like a nice enough guy, and it's great to see the owner mingling with the customers. Chuck's has an ice cream counter and a selection of Kwik-E-Mart type snacks, if you want to call that food. But hey, this is a bottle shop, not a pub.

I will absolutely be back to Chuck's, and probably soon. A great little place. (1,065 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.48/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Chuck's has come a long way in the last year...

Location is pretty key for me - 85th and 8th, very easy uphill drive from Ballard. For tourists and those not residing in the area, fairly easy to access from I-5 (85th street exit).

It doesn't look like much from the street - theres only a few parking spots and they can be tricky to get in and out of, especially with traffic. Parking on the next street up (assume this is 86th) is usually very easy.

There are a few outside tables, some tables right on the window as you enter and then more in the back.

Everything outside of the beer area is a little questionable - some decent wines, but mostly low-budget gas station food and drink selections otherwise.

They have 30 freaking taps - all served in mason jars. They are the most aggressive establishment when it comes to sampling that you'll find. This is a good thing - you can probably grab a nice buzz just partaking in free samples if thats your thing. The taplist is always quality, with a heavy west coast focus.

The bottle selection is very solid - yes it tends to be more expensive than rival shops, but things also tend to hang around here a lot longer than at other places. For example, cascade releases that sold out at bottleworks in a day are STILL on the shelf here. They get just about everything that comes through town, though their allotments of some of the rarer stuff is often tough to figure out. You're almost always guaranteed to be surprised by something you find here.

A year ago, there were bottles of very questionable quality (really old IPA's, etc) - this seems to have improved significantly. They have lots of old beers, but less "expired" beers.

A great local business - don't judge by the exterior appearance (1,751 characters)

Photo of kemoarps
4.36/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Found this place while doing my cna training in seattle. Found some great brews id looked for unsuccesfully elsewhere. Great selection high quality brews and a neat almost community deli or coffee shopish atmosphere. The staff was friendly and seemed ready to help. My only complaint was that it was a little more expensive than i was anticipating. The few brews that are also available in west texas were actually cheaper there than here. Timately though id rather support a good local business and slightly overpay for what i want rather than be stuck with limited selection to save a few bucks. (597 characters)

Photo of kennypojke
5/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Chuck is awesome, awesome, awesome. Without using names, I have stopped going to an old player in the beer store market here in Seattle because the great staff that got it started moved on and the new guys are rude, unhelpful and act like they have been made the oracles of beer, despite being in diapers when some of us got a start. A second joint that has a huge selection just west of Northgate also became intolerable when the woman would not take my gift card from a friend, claiming it had "expired". After explaining that was against the law in Washington state, she kept to her guns, making things up left and right. I took my business elsewhere and my friends agreed and stopped going there as well. Then came the fateful day my good friend in Greenwood told me about Chuck's. "Chuck's is awesome" I believe is what I was told. Well, good, because I had a wedding coming up and needed to get epic beer. Chuck was a complete rock-star, hooking me up with some of my favorites I couldn't get anywhere else (Bourbon Barrel Quad, Collab No. 1 Imperial Pilsner, etc), as well as an AMAZING keg of Chuckanut Vienna lager. The beers were all hits, but the level of customer service was just awesome.

Okay, so about the store, I can't imagine anything better. It's unassuming, approachable, and feels like part of the community. People go there to try new things, not to get drunk or pretend they know things they don't, because those people aren't there. It's normal people enjoying awesome beer. Chuck has a number of taps, which are very well-selected and always interesting (had 120min IPA last night!). He also allows you to grab a bottle and pay a very small corkage. There are some simple tables scattered about in the back of the store to sit at. The best place about this venue is that it's still sort of a secret gem, but I can't help put a plug for the business in, even if it means losing some of the secrecy of it.

Of all the Seattle area stores, this is #1 for me know, followed by Full Throttle Bottles and the others. The Wallingford folks are off my list forever and so are the folks on Aurora. Long live Chuck and a good business model where the customer is treated with respect and gratitude. Also, having a new beer in a market is just fun. (2,265 characters)

Photo of kingcrowing
4.41/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in with a fellow BA, and boy am I glad we came! I got some concecration, red poppy and parabola!

Chuck is super friendly, he knows a lot and was just a great guy. Many beers I didn't see elsewhere in the city, prices were a bit higher but that's what you pay to find the rarer stuff! He has a bunch of beers on tap and we had a couple that were delicious! He not only has a ton of locals but some limited stuff from all around and he does growlers.

I love this place and really wish I was closer! (506 characters)

Photo of atowle25
4.84/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The best part about about Chuck's is Chuck. Very friendly guy, loves to talk about beer, and always helpful. The beer selection here is excellent. I've found that Chuck's will often get some rare stuff that other places either don't, or it disappears too fast. Chuck's is still a bit of a hidden gem, so the good stuff sticks around longer. With all that said, the prices "can" be slightly inflated at times. Nothing major, but a bit of a markup on certain beers that you mind not find in some places. IMO - it is worth it for the service and selection. This is will continue to be one of my regular spots. (606 characters)

Photo of csachter
4.78/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I heard about this place in a conversation on the forums here in BA and decided I had to check it out that night. Well...I was blown away by the selection they had, as other reviews have stated it's a strong selection of NW beers but has plenty more to choose from as well.

The owner was enthusiastic about helping the customers and talking about beer. Every time I go in he's sure to tell me about upcoming tastings or something new they've gotten in the store. They're also adding a taproom soon with growler fills so it sounds like its only going to get better.

This is definitely becoming one of my regular beers stops in Seattle. Great place! (651 characters)

Photo of NWer
4.44/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

I knew this place when it was a meat market 50 years ago.
Things have changed.
I had no idea it became a go to place for beer until I saw it mentioned on BA.
What a great find. Knowledgeable owner, very friendly, loves to talk beer.
They do tastings on Friday evenings so check that out if you're inclined.
Everything but growler fills.
I highly recommend this place. Giving Greenwood Market a run for its money.
Their focus is local - Washington State - beers but have a broad selection as well.
500 char. (507 characters)

Photo of BandFan
5/5  rDev +9.9%

This place used to be scary (previous owners/store) now it's a welcoming corner store with one of the best beer selections in Seattle.

The first time I went in I was completely shocked by the selection. Every time I've been in since something has changed for the better, this time it was brand new, shiny coolers where there used to be stacks of beer -- stacks of beer aren't bad, but cold beer is better. Everything looks great on the shelf, good lighting, always stocked, organized well. They claim "Best American beer selection in Seattle" and if it's not true it's damn close. I found Boundary Bay's IPA, Cabin Fever and Scotch Ale here today, something you normally have to hit Bottleworks for. If it's Northwest brewed, it's probably here. If it's good, it's probably here. I could easily beer shop here exclusively and be fine.

The staff is always helpful. Every time I go in they come back and talk about beer.

This place and the people who work here are really customer-focused and it's going to become one of the go-to spots for good beer in Greenwood. It already is for me. (1,087 characters)

Chuck's 85th St. Market in Seattle, WA
97 out of 100 based on 19 ratings.