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Special Brews

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

23 Ratings
Ratings: 23
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 14.48%
Taps: 15
Bottles: 1,000
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Store ]

14608 Highway 99
Ste 307
Lynnwood, Washington, 98087-5500
United States
phone: (425) 741-7049

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @specialbrewswa

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: hopburster on 05-21-2011)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 23 | Reviews: 19 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by flagmantho:
Photo of flagmantho
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%

I went into Special Brews today because a friend of mine who lives nearby spotted it, and I wanted to see if this would prove a good, relatively nearby beer destination. I was not disappointed.

The place looks relatively new inside and seems a little disorganized, but the selection is excellent for a shop its size. The have several taps available at a bar, although I didn't afford myself the opportunity to try them.

The folks working the shop were helpful and friendly. I picked up a mixed 12 and I'm definitely going to be returning. Their prices seemed quite reasonable for a specialty brew store.

I returned a few weeks after writing this review and got a chance to talk to Annie, the owner. She was extremely helpful and even helped me locate a beer I was looking for at a completely different brew shop. I can't recommend the place highly enough!

Further comments: as of January 2014, I have become a regular here and a huge booster. They've expanded to 15 taps, often including a cider or two. The space has expanded to be a real tavern with a dozen tables, plus TVs for football games and other entertainment. I really enjoy coming here!

flagmantho, Aug 05, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of crowellbw
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

I always try to stop in when in the area. Great bottle selection with a good mix of rarer stuff, good tap list, great layout, never too crowded.

crowellbw, Nov 17, 2014
Photo of BabyTree
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Great place and great people. If you're north of Seattle and looking for a beer, this is a great place.

BabyTree, Nov 04, 2014
Photo of draheim
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Special Brews is a great little bottle shop. I've gotten great personal service from Annie when I was looking for a few particular beers and didn't want to make a trip in vain. The space is inviting and comfortable and they have a huge selection of beers. Prices seem about right. I'd be there more often if it were closer to where I live.

draheim, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

rab53, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of JesseSavona
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

JesseSavona, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of BourbonBarrelBeerBelly
1.99/5  rDev -54.3%

Long story short...

Been going there for about exactly a year. My business mainly consist of buying expensive bottles for my cellar. I usually buy something anytime I'm in and most of them know me by name.

About a month ago, me and a friend stop in for our weekly visit to see about any new releases. The owner, Annie, stops us as soon as we walk in and ask us if we need any help. Her approach was mildly awkward, but it was busy for a weekday, so we figured they were having a private party. We do our thing, look around, make friendly small talk with the owner, but ultimately don't see anything we want.

On our way out, Annie, opens the door behind us, calls me by name and says to never come back. As i said before, I'm a regular there and spend what I consider to be a lot of money, so me and my friend thought she was joking. I laughed and said, "I can't tell if you're serious or not." She replies, you don't buy anything when you're in, and have a reputation for being a thief! It was the weirdest, and most random accusation I have ever personally encountered, it made absolutely no sense.

Special Brews is the only place that knows me by name. So when she says "reputation", I'm assuming these are rumors brewed between her staff members. To make matters worse, I have personally encountered individuals who have had similar experiences with them. Safe to say, I'll never be going back. And with all the wonderful bottle shops and grocery stores around, there's no need to. Everything I said here is factual, and I have a witness, as well as email conversations to prove it. I'm not telling anybody to not go there, I'm just saying what needs to be said.

Cheers.

BourbonBarrelBeerBelly, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of Mages64
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Mages64, Jan 07, 2014
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

HuskyinPDX, Jan 04, 2014
Photo of sergeantstogie
4.66/5  rDev +7.1%

Atmosphere is a tough one here. I went high because anywhere I can drink a pint (in this case Brown Suggah) and shop for bottles is immediately bumped up a few notches. But, it could be improved and make filling empty sixers or boxes easier.

Quality??? I liked it. A lot.

Service was good. Not nagging and not aloof. Though they knew the answers to all my questions.

Great selection. Just about perfect. Well for here, it was perfect. Thanks to the little distance from Seattle I guess, certain beers were on the shelf that were long gone at other places.

I picked up Lagunitas Sucks for less than 2$ a pop (12 oz) so I think that is very reasonable!

sergeantstogie, Dec 10, 2013
Photo of Aitkend
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%

Annie is amazing! Ask her for recommendations. Samples are easy to come by on tap or you can make up your own 6 pack. A great selection but a little hard to figure out how the selections are laid out in the store. Don't wander, ask for help - they are great! But DO NOT pick up Buddy the mascot.

Aitkend, Sep 03, 2013
Photo of ZedMikey
5/5  rDev +14.9%

The Seattle metro area has many great bottle shops. Special Brews stands out among them because it scores so well in every category important to a tavern/bottle shop. Great atmosphere, great service, great selection.

The atmosphere of the shop is amazing. Not only are the staff awesome and friendly, but the crowd that tends to congregate there is eclectic and fun, too.

Beyond being great people, the staff are very knowledgeable and eager to help customers with everything from answering questions to pouring a draft to selecting a bottle from the shelf.

With around 1000 beers (and ciders, meads, wines) on the shelf, the selection is certainly not lacking. They do have limited space, so decisions are made about what is stocked and what isn't, but if there is a specific beer you can't find, ask Annie about it. They also have 6 taps that rotate very regularly, and you'll sometimes find a cask of something tasty hanging out behind the bar, too.

While Special Brews has no kitchen, pub snacks are always on hand for patrons to have a snack with their beverage. If you're after something more substantial, you can bring in food from elsewhere to enjoy with your beer, but I would recommend checking how busy Special Brews is first. It regularly becomes standing-room only.

Check Special-Brews.com for tasting events (quite frequent and usually on Wednesdays), recent deliveries, what's on tap, etc. The page is kept updated. Most of all, stop reading reviews and just stop in already! :-D

ZedMikey, Dec 06, 2012
Photo of bbarnumboy
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%

It was such a blessing for us locals when this establishment opened it's doors just over 1 year ago. Congratulations on the success so far and the recent 1 year anniversary.

This place has a great selection and I can typically find all of the bottles I need, for my drinking pleasure or those trading boxes I need to send out. Everyday they are getting more and more special release beers etc. Just like any place they have to establish themselves and sell enough of a brewery's beer in order to get their limited release products.

They have an awesome selection of Mead for those of you into Honey wine. huge selection of German beers as well for those who appreciate that.

They do not serve food at this Bottle shop, But they do have 6 rotating taps and typically have something very good to pour. You can get bar snacks, popcorn or even locally made fudge if you are feeling a little hungry. There is a pretty large selection of glassware to buy as well.

My only complaint is that they are growing in popularity so much, that they will probably outgrow their facility sometime in the near future if they have not already. Always room for expansion and It is great that a shop like this is doing so well in our area.

You will not find customer service like this at any other shop around. The shop is family owned and they are the friendliest and most helpful people around. All other bottle shops within my area not too personal with their customers, so this makes Special brews really stand out.

Not certain about all of the discounts they offer, but they offer 10-15% off of bottle prices to certain local businesses etc... They are constantly updating their Facebook, Twitter and Web page with the most current tap list. They literally post every time a keg blows and a new one is tapped throughout each day!

They do have a mug club and a 99 beer challenge for those that are into that kind of thing. If you are in the greater Seattle area or North of Seattle, this is a great bottle shop to check out! They offer over 1000 Bottles to choose from so it is not hard to hit the 99. My favorite is how you can browse the bottle area while sipping on a draft beer.

www.Special-Brews.com

Thank you Special Brews crew!

bbarnumboy, Jul 18, 2012
Photo of bumchilly25
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%

What a find! Visiting North of Seattle for a hockey tournament. Searched this up on BA and was extremely impressed. Tons of cooler space with an amazing selection of bombers and singles. Some great brews on tap as well, but seeing as I had the family waiting in the car, I had to be quick. Picked up some Palate Wrecker, a Pink Peppercorn IPA and a bunch of fruit based selections for the wife (Purple Haze, Great Divide Wraspeberry).

When I mentioned at the till that I was visiitng from Canada (Vancouver, BC), the super friendly teller gave me 10% off my bill.I plan to hit the place up again tomorrow when I'm by myself and have some more time to browse. Highly recommended!

bumchilly25, May 11, 2012
Photo of Veteran
3.16/5  rDev -27.4%

Overall I had a Bad Experience with the clique of the Mug club. They advertise that if you drink all 99 beers you will get a Mug with your name on it. I was 40 beers in when they told me even if I finish the 99 they wouldn't let me in the Mug club because someone in the club didn't like me. I never had any problems with anyone there as far as I know. I wish they were honest about their Mug club in the first place before I wasted all my money there.

This place is not friendly to Disabled Veterans. If you are active Military or a Vet go somewhere else.

Veteran, Apr 08, 2012
Photo of NWer
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%

I visited this place when they first opened to check them out. I went in, looked around, and left unimpressed.
That was then, this is now.
On my return visit, I was impressed by their selection and doubly impressed by the friendliness, truthfulness and knowledge of the lady who helped me.
I selected a Stone 11-11-11 and a Bruery Mischief.
Then I topped it off with a tasting of their six rotating taps:
Pike Dry Hopped Double IPA
Emerald City Dotties Seattle Lager
Fremont Abominable Ale
Southern Tier Creme Brulee
Boulevard Nommo Dubbel
Schooner Exact 3Grid IPA
Are you kiddig me?
Had a great time just to buy beer.
A new favorite beer store. Can't have too many of those.

NWer, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of boomer31
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%

While visiting from MN I was looking for a place close to my hotel and found Special Brews on BA. This was hands down the best overall bottle shop I've ever been to. The selection was solid, the prices were fair but the standouts were the tap list and the service from Annie.

On tap was Bourbon Angel's Share, Black Xantus, Cascade Test Flight and a few others I can't recall. By the time I left I spent close to 4 hours there talking beer and homebrewing. Annie picked out quite a selection of beers for me to try. I would have purchased all of them had I not had to fly back the next day.

She also attempted to track down some Pliny the Elder for me which is something not many owners would do.

If you're in the area you must go. If you're not in the area I suggest seeking this place out for a beer or two

boomer31, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of nsabo
3.86/5  rDev -11.3%

Best bottle selection I've seen in Washington, relaxed atmosphere, and the fact that you can crack open a bottle and drink it in the store is appreciable. My complaint (and this is a Washington beer store complaint) is that they only sell single bottles, which has its perks but generally means higher prices. Every beer I saw I've seen cheaper elsewhere, but the store also boasts a lot of beers I haven't seen anywhere else. Great selection, but pricey.
Note, the have beers on tap, but I didn't check them out.

nsabo, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

great store - wish it were closer.

6 taps - all well advertised on the website and twitter - seems to be a steady flow of Cascade taps too which is nice.

tons and tons of bottles - coolers, dry shelves and all - everything looked fresh and well maintained.

with all the specialty bottle shops in the area, the subtleties make all the difference - there seemed to be a heavier selection of bruery, boulevard, midnight sun, lost abbey and the likes.

all the other NW staples from WA and OR are present and accounted for as well as tons of bombers, singles and other goods.

really impressed - when work takes me to bothel, i'll detour up this way

dirtylou, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of Domeshot14
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%

I found myself in Lynnwood for business. A quick search of places here on BA and I stumbled upon Special Brews. It worked out great as it was only a few miles from my hotel. The location is your typical beer focused store. A wall and a half of refrigerators, about four double sided shelves in the middle of the store, and a small shelf dedicated to wine. There was probably 10 people just hanging out at the tables snacking and drinking beers when I stopped in. There was a dog wondering around the store, it appeared to belong to one of the patrons. I'm a dog person so I like seeing places that are dog friendly. If they were serving full meals here I wouldn't want to see the dog inside, but that's not the case. The store was very clean and everything was organized by geography. This was nice because I was looking for something local. I ended up picking up a couple of IPA's and heading out. If I ever find myself in town again I will definitely be stopping back here.

Domeshot14, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of doughanson78
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%

A: Not as dark as Bottleworks was. Hopefully it don't affect the beers in the long run. Very open with a few nice couches to lounge in. Nice bar to sit at with a 50" (I believe) Samsung LCD TV to enjoy the game on (Seattle Mariners when I was there).

Q: Had some quality beers. Some were both chilled and not.

Ser: Service is excellent. Annie, the owner, is very friendly. She tries to answer all your questions while attending to other customers. Pretty knowledgeable also.

Sel: The selection is definitely lagging. Lots of beers you can't get anywhere in Snohomish county. Big Stone and Rogue selection, but hardly any Sierra Nevada. Annie readily admits that it's gonna be a while before she will be able to get the rare brews. They have a sheet for suggestions on brands you would like to see them carry.

F: When you order something from their tap you are offered snacks. Like chex mix or something. I did't get any but definitely a nice touch.

V: Seemed like all prices were on par with other places I've been. Seen cheaper prices but those were on sale.

I'm really hoping this place does good as it is one of the few places we have up north. Anything can be found in Seattle, but that's quite a drive for a good beer.

Had 6 different beers on tap. You can try all 6 for $6. About a 4oz. glass of each. She even pours them in the order you should drink them. Nice touch. 1st was Allagash White, then Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse, Mac & Jacks African Amber, North Sound Goosetown Brown, Beer Valley Brewing Black Madness, and Reel Ales 10^2 (10 squared).

doughanson78, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of pranaferox
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Atmosphere: Pretty typical bottle shop atmosphere - refrigerated cases and shelves, linoleum floors, etc. They have a nice large wooden bar and big windows in the front. Beyond the physical attributes of the space, the atmosphere is really enhanced by the family feeling the owner fosters. She's always smiling and always happy to chat with the customers.

Quality: The taps seem to be well taken care of. Everything that you want to be fresh is fresh (though they've only been open for a month, so the IPAs kind of have to be fresh).

Service: The owners are both super nice, especially Annie. She's happy to talk beer or anything else. You'll be well taken care of at the bar or shopping for bottles.

Selection: The bottle selection is pretty large and always getting larger. They've only been open for a month, so stock is not where it will be in the future.

Food: They don't offer actual food, but there is a pretty good selection of bar snacks. Additionally, they are happy to let you bring in any outside food or order takeout to be delivered at the bar.

Value: Prices seem to be in line with other bottleshops in the Seattle area.

Overall I really like this place. I'm always happy to stop in to buy some bottles or hang out at the bar for a while.

pranaferox, Jun 09, 2011
Photo of Over9000IBUs
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%

I love this place, just found out about it last week and I can't stop going in a buying stuff. Annie, the proprietor/owner(I think) is awesome she continues to blow my mind with her extensive beer knowledge. They have six rotating taps with a great selections and the rest of the place is chock full of racks and coolers of anything she can get they can get their hands on. Also, you can pull a bottle of the shelf and drink it there too. As for food just the bar snacks but whatevs. A bit tricky to get to but well worth it, so go grab a pint and walk around and geek out on the great selection of great brews

Over9000IBUs, Jun 06, 2011
Special Brews in Lynnwood, WA
95 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.