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169 Ratings

Type: Bar, Beer-to-go

1710 N 45th St
Ste 3
Seattle, Washington, 98103-6855
United States

(206) 633-2437 | map

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Ratings: 169 |  Reviews: 114
Photo of Damian
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%

Located in a funky neighborhood near the University of Seattle, Bottleworks is regarded by many to be Seattle's "beer mecca." When I visited, I was amazed by the "beer only" selection. Yes, that is correct. There was no liquor of any type except for beer. (I must admit this was my first visit to such a store.) Amazingly, just about all the beer was stored in coolers for freshness. Better yet, the lighting was dim in order to further prevent any possibility of beer spoilage. The overall ambiance of the store was exceptional. I am disappointed that there is no way to rate the atmosphere of liquor stores on Beer Advocate because if there was, this place would definitely get a "5." When I entered, I was immediately transfixed by the low lighting and the trance-like electronic music playing in the background. Soon I was greeted by an extremely friendly and helpful employee. At the front of the store, there was an amazing offering of glassware, as well as beer t-shirts and bottle openers. The beer selection was comprised of a thorough, high-quality array of European and American craft brews. To my surprise, I had never before seen many of the Euro selections (nor the Northwest beers for that matter) on the East Coast. There were also a few "rare" and "vintage" offerings, including Rogue "small" beers from 1998-2003. The beers I looked at all seemed to be moderately priced. I eventually left the store with an Alaskan Smoked Porter, a pint glass and a Bottleworks signature bottle opener and still had enough money left over to buy the Pad Thai lunch special (which paired perfectly with the Fish Tale Organic IPA, but I will save that for another review) at the terrific Thai vegetarian restaurant next door. Overall, this place was amazing. I only wish there was a liquor store on the East Coast that cared about its beer as much as Bottleworks does.

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Photo of dnichols
3.9/5  rDev -12%

I have visited the store twice after learning about it via the website. The web site does not adequately inform regarding current availability and price of products, however, it does provide a decent understanding of the breath of options you are likely to encounter. The store was easy to find and when I was there parking was adequate. The limited hours is a bit of a hassle (noon to 8 or 9 pm) but once I knew the limitation I was able to plan my schedule around the business hours. The staff was extremely friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. I bought a decent quantity of beer and that may have increased the attentiveness of the staff but I did feel welcomed from the moment I entered the store.

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Photo of livingregret
3.5/5  rDev -21%

--Having just heard about this store yesterday, I decided to embark on a epic 1 hour drive to check the place out.I am quite pleased I made this journey. Upon arriving I noticed the place was indeed dark and kept at a nice cool temperature for all of the drinks. When you enter you also can't help but notice the large amount of different beers they had available. Unfortunately for me, many of the drinks I came in to find were sold out. Staff was quick to make recommendations for other drinks I might enjoy. Staff could also easily point where any drink you named was at, which made it a nice smooth experience.
In terms of pricing it was fairly reasonable for what I could normally expect to pay online. The plus side was is that it is cheaper than paying S&H. I will be making another trek a bit later to explore all of the drinks I have yet to try

Edit: I'm actually editing my review after making another stop to the store. Once again a good amount of the drinks that I was looking for was sold out, which is not there fault. But they also weren't aware of when new stock(or what I was looking for) would be coming back although they were pretty common international drinks and they even carried posters for them. So w/ that in mind I decided to change up my review some

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Photo of udubdawg
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%

I can live with beers that are slightly pricier than elsewhere if I get a selection and quality like this...

An enormous selection (more than you would ever think could fit in here really) of good beer is here, and it is even treated well, with low lights and seems to be at cellar temperature. Picked up DFH, Pikes, Deschutes, Full Sail, and a few others. More than decent glassware. Service wasn't the most helpful but was very efficient, knew beer, knew the store well and quickly pointed to whatever I inquired about.
Not a place I get many chances to visit, which is a shame.

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Photo of travisd13
4.8/5  rDev +8.4%

This is hands down my favorite store to shop for overall experience. It's about a twenty minute drive for me into the U district and worth every painful minute. They carry a very wide selection of beers from all over the world. First thing you'll notice is, its cave like, very dark. Followed by a case of proper drinking glasses, this is when you know you're in the right place. Then you come across cooler after cooler of properly stored beer. The beer in the coolers is organized and well stocked. Best all of the beer is properly chilled for storage. They do have some beer that's not in a cooler but, the overall store temperature is cool so not to worry. The staff is friendly and very knowledgeable. Everyone I've talked to has always lead me in the right direction for my needs. The only down fall I can come close to mentioning would be price. I have found it to be a little high. But, if you do the math, I can get everything from one store or drive around all day pick up one here and one there. I'll make mine a one stop shop. Keep up the good work!

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Photo of skillerified
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%

Made the trek up from my downtown hotel on a weekend trip. Upon walking in, the first thing you notice is how dark it is. My trip up to the store was a little quick and flustered, and I got there about 15 minutes before closing, so I was initially annoyed at the lack of light. However, it only took me about 30 seconds to realize why it was so dark and then I knew I was in a serious beer haven here.

The store was packed for a tasting when I got there, so my experience with the service equates to being checked out. I didn't really have a chance to talk to anyone there. He checked me out quick though, and from the snippets of conversation I picked up with other customers, I could gather that they knew what they were talking about. They seemed to be making some good reccomendations too.

As I said, I only had 15 minutes to make my picks and check out before closing, so I could only really make one pass of the store to see what they had. The selection seemed decent, a little smallish as others have mentioned, but carefully chosen. I did notice a few vintage dated brews, lots of Belgians and Germans, plenty of local stuff and I managed to grab their last bottle of Hop Rod Rye.

I think I did alright for only having 15 minutes. I'd love to come back someday and take a good hour browsing if I could. Definitely somewhere that the touring beer geek has to take the time to visit when in the area.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.55/5  rDev +2.7%

Quality: This has to be its strongest point in my opinion. The lights were down low and the almost all of the brews were in coolers. Amazingly they were at cellar temperature as well. They care about their beer and it shows.

Service: He asked me if I needed help. I asked him if they shipped beer so I wouldn't have to lug it in my luggage. He said they didn't for legal reasons. And so the shopping began. The checkout can be a bit slow as I'll explain later. Damn good overall.

Selection: They do select some fine offerings and overall I would say the selection is very good. The only problem is the size of the place. There really isn't much room to add more beer and that is a problem for selection. "Great Selections" just not enough of them to be considered world class. Prices were on par with what I would expect although some were mysteriously high. In all fairness I'm not entirely familiar with the Seattle beer scene or the states particular laws so please take that into consideration.

Notes: I will definitely make this a regular stop when I'm in town. The line of JW Leese brews w/ yearly vintages was nice. They don't use a SKU system during checkout. The checkout is strictly manual compute based where the clerk would have to type in keywords for each beer. Old school at its finest.

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Photo of ojiikun
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%

What a place. For it's size, bottleworks has a wide selection with a beautiful focus on Belgian imports. Granted, it could be bigger, but for the shelf space they have, they have done well. Sections also exist for regional offerings, special occsions (extra-large gift sizes), and such. Staff is flexible and happy to let you take a single from a six-pack. Staff, however, is not always willing to make a recommendation, though the ones they make are often sound. Possibly the best selection of beer-specific glassware that I've ever seen in one place. The only drawbacks are the highly-fluctuating availabilities (if you liked it this week, don't get your hopes up that it will be there next week!) and the relatively high prices. More common offerings can generally be had for 20-30% less just down the street. Still, half of what the carry can't be had elsewhere for two states around.

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Photo of CBA
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%

Being my first truly dedicated beer store I have visited in the States I'm blown away by the lack of selection we actually have here in Alberta (one of the most beer friendly provinces). This is a store where one can wander aimlessly for hours. The help I received from the staff was forthcoming and knowledgable. I was only in Seattle for the night, and I visited the store three times. The layout was easy to navigate, the lighting kept to a minimum, and practically everything is cooled. The selection of NW craft beer was outstanding and the numerous verticals they carried of many barleywines/old ales was stunning. They had every version of the JW Lees barrel aged 2005 (Port, Sherry etc.) You could easily spend a small Arabian fortune in this place. I will be back.

Beer Haul:
Full Sail Wassail
Full Sail Old Boardhead 2005
Thomas Hardys 2005
Stone Old Guardian
Great Divide Old Ruffian
Deschutes Obsidan, Black Butte & Jubeale
Sierra Nevada Celebration
Victory Hop Devil & Prima Pils
A'Chouffe N'Ice Chouffe
Abbaye des Rocs Brune
St Bernardus 60th
Bear Republic Black Bear Stout
Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Ale
Weihestephaner Hefe & Doppel
DFH 90 minute
Pikes XXXX Stout

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Photo of calinative68
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Visited this store on a short business trip to Seattle. For being just a beer specialty store, the footprint is substantial, which equals a great selection. I would say it's a beer "Disneyworld!"
I wanted to bring back some beer with me on my flight so I was limited to the space in my suitcase.
I decided to pickup some belgians and some glassware for the trip back to SLC.
You can find just about anything here, from NW Micros to internation, the list goes on!
About the only drawback is that it's on 45th in Wallingford, and parking can be a pain in the a$$. But it's Seattle so what do you expect!
If you live in or are planning to visit and enjoy beer, this is a must stop! End of story!

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Photo of sockeye101
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Pretty much as good as it gets as far as a beer store goes. Selection is amazing, all organized by style. Everything is stored at the proper temperatures and the lights are even a bit dim as to not taint any of the precious liquids. Staff is always willing to point you in the right direction if you're looking for a particular style. The only problem with Bottleworks is you can't leave without at least few selections. I've often gone there with the intent to buy just one bottle of something, but there's always something else that catches the eye.

If you're in the Wallingford area it is a must see. And if you're not, it's worth the drive.

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Photo of Matthew
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%

A fantastic selection of beers, all properly stored and tons of aged beers seperated by year and style. THe belgian selection of beers in my opinion was one of the best I've seen. There was a great selection of American micros as well. There is a nice selection of glass wear and some other random beer decor. Decently priced, nothing unreasonable, definatley in the ball park of where the prices of most beers would be at most specialty stores. The service was so-so imo a bit unfriendly but not unknowledgable. This is a must stop if you are in the Seattle area.

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Photo of flexabull
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Best beer store around. Bar none. I have found others that are good... but this is the best.

Selection is incredible, especially for such a small place. All the beer is refridgerated, and the selection is well sorted so it's easier to find the region or style you are looking for.

The owner is great, was always a good guy to talk to about beer, music, whatever. The other employees I have ran into there were always helpful too.

This is a place I make sure to visit everytime I make it back to Seattle.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
5/5  rDev +12.9%

One of the best places to buy beer in the country bar none. A deep, deep Northwest selection, with many rarities, and a Belgisn selection to match. The beers are extremely well kept, the staff very knowledgeable and passionate about beer, and GREAT special events, tastings, meet the brewers events. I used to live in Seattle and went all the time and miss it. I travel out there once ain a while and was there recently. My one caveat is that ocassionally they close for inexplicable reasons. One of my trips to Seattle was marred by the fact that I drove all the way out there (Its in Wallingford/U district area), and they had a sign on the door that thety were closed for some random reason. Call ahead! You will love this place!

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Photo of benito
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Here is beer's Mecca, or at least Northwestern beer's Mecca. Bottleworks is, uniquely, devoted entirely to beer. They've got a vast selection of microbrews from the Pacific Northwest, Belgians, and other top tier selections from craft brewers around the country.

Their fridges are well organized, often times by style and then, within each style, by vintage as well. Service is friendly, informative, and prompt.

Their prices are a bit high (Allagash at $20+) though not unreasonable...and given the quality of offerings around the store, I'm willing to grant them this indiscretion.

Bottleworks sets the standard for craft brew vendors; I wish I lived in Seattle just to be close by.

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Photo of BDTyre
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%

Wow! Similar situation to the last review. We were in Seattle for a concert, and the only reason we stayed for 3 days was to bring back beer. Between my wife and I we spent nearly 200USD. There was too much to choose from! The only thing I was looking for that they didn't have was Stone's Imperial Sout. They did have Rogue's RIS and Barleywine, as well as some mead and other oddities I'd never find in Vancouver.

The store was dark and tight, but well laid out. If I'm ever in Seattle again, I will definitley return, and with more money. One of the best beer stores I've ever seen.

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Photo of colebenoit
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%

This is my second visit to this wonderful store, and it was even better than the last. I live in Vancouver, BC and due to the fact that the liquor in the province is government controlled the selection can be a little, well lacking. So thus we set out on mission to Seattle to procure a large stock of beer to bring back home and did just that.

The store is exceedingly well laid out with everything easy to find and organized by style and/or origin. Had no problems locating what I was looking for and thus found a few I wasn't looking for. The pile in the center often mentioned on BA was rather small and neatly organized as well.

The selection was for the size, extremely excellent. These guys definitely know what they are doing and the choice of products and styles is the best I've ever had the pleasure of looking through. I'm not going to go into detail about what we purchased because it was over 30 bottles, but vintages of Alaskan Smoked Porter, Aecht's Rauchweizen and some aged Old Crustacean were greatly appreciated. The only thing I didn't find that I was looking for was Westvleteran, but thats understandable given its rarity. Other than that selection was top notch.

The fellow that was working that day was quite friendly and had a few suggestions for us. He also was kind enough to give us the couple of glasses we we're going to purchase due to the fact that we were spending a fair chunk of change($150 or so to be exact). In the end all of these things add up to one of the best stores I've been into, beer or not and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone in the area.

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Photo of Hobbz
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%

One amazing beerstore for sure. Not the largest of shops and therefore it won't knock you out if you're looking for a gazillion assortments. But the inventory they do carry is sublime and any number of bottles in stock will be hard to find elsewhere.

Here, they take care of what's presented on the shelf (as others have said, a worker will stroll by every so often to re-align beers on the shelves), they set each refrigerator’s temperature per style, retain low lighting and do not overcrowd space too too much. I particularly like to see that they long ago implemented the notion of stocking a dedicated subset of beers generationally (thinking of Alaskan Smoked Porter '05/'04/'03...and other verticals).

Then contrast the selection with impeccable service. Each time I have visited has been similar. Not bothered with until I bother. Then any bit of information seems to be open. One time shopping with a buddy and just about to head out I popped a few questions to the cashier (and only floorperson). After fifteen or more minutes of rambling I was impressed as we left, my friend chuckling, shaking his head and letting out: “Amazing.” Only for him, wasn’t referring to the place itself, but rather a quip of wonderment at how such a kid that looked to be all of 20 years young could gather that much experience and go on about things that he even couldn’t follow.

Oh, and gotta love the Bottleworks’ own über-worldly bottle cap opener. From another planet, really. Don’t think I could wear this baby out in a lifetime! Check them out if in stock.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
5/5  rDev +12.9%

I'll concur with the general assessment of this place: Good lord. My heart literally started to pitter-pat when I went inside.

Who knew that such a small-looking store could house beer paradise? Almost everything in the store is refrigerated, and it's separated by style first, then brand, which makes it all the more difficult to stop from buying out the store - just try looking at an entire cooler full of the best IPAs and not wanting to pick out ten different ones. The selection of Barleywines is most impressive, with vintages going back to the mid 90's in some cases - Bigfoot and Old Crustacean were well represented.

As mentioned, a horseshoe of coolers rings the store, with an island of unrefrigerated stuff in the middle - but that's more a place to store unopened cases. I passed over pretty much everything in the middle. It's dimly lit, which is great, because one can assume the intent is to minimize UV radiation. There was one guy working, who I think was the manager, and he was both knowledgeable and enthusiastic. He made rounds about every five minutes to straighten up the coolers, sliding beers to the front and into good position to read the labels.

I live out in the beer boonies, so I made a trip to Seattle specifically to go to this place - I ended up picking up two and a half basketfuls and spending $160, and the manager offered me two pint glasses of my choice for free (over $10 free) and all the empty six-pack cases I wanted to add to my wallpaper collection (I was humble and only took about ten.)

I'll definitely be back- probably in about a month, to restock.

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Photo of masikon
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%

I've driven past this place for years without even noticing it. After getting into craft beer over the last few months I now realize this unassiming shop in the Wallingford district will be the death of my wallet. The vibe in this place is perfect for me, very very dark with loud music and cluttered upon entrance with young somewhat hipsterish employees who all seem to be having fun and appeared to be reasonably knowledgeable. The selection is simply astounding, you can walk around for hours just trying to understand the collection of beers in front of you. The best thing is that they have a lot of beers in many different vintages, old guardian barley wines going back a few years, aged chimay, etc as well as having some "bottleworks only" selections from a few local breweries. Prices are fair but not cheap. overall an amazing place which i'm sure i'll be a regular at.

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Photo of lostbearbrew
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%

Wow- it was all I thought it was going to be...and I had some pretty high expectations. The only reason I went 4.5 on selection was due to a few out of stock brews I'd have liked to pick up, but such is life.

When you walk in, the counter is to your right, and then the displays and the coolers begin - coolers line both sides all the way back and across the "end of the store" (before the storage area.)

Nicely laid out, easy to find all the brews. Great NW selection of breweries, and only a few I didn't see there as available. Superb for an IPA or DIPA fan....A few other beers were just out of stock, but still weren't available for me to take home - oh well.

Kevin is a great guy - friendly, smiling, ready to help. The rest of the staff was easy going and on top of keeping things flowing along.

Relatively easy to find, and parking around back seemed ample enough. Really enjoyed this stop on my trip out west.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.55/5  rDev +2.7%

What can I say about this place that hasn't been said already? I literally had dreams about this place for months before I even got to go here. You walk into a dark and fairly cluttered storeroom. Enough room to walk around, but just wall to wall beer wherever you turn. A "U" shaped refrigeration unit plus seperate other units await as you walk through the door. It's very nicely arranged in the coolers. Each door has an appropriate style. The first door was the IPA door. About 75 different IPA's in 12oz and bomber sized bottles with prices below each of them. Pretty much the whole store is all singles except for a medium sized cooler in the middle with six pack (which you can grab singles out of). The very cool thing about this store is that you can buy different ages of some brands. They had about 4 years of Bigfoot and another 4 of Old Crustacean, but several other brews. The prices for Belgian beers were a bit high as well as the aged beers. But, hey, where else are you going to find 1998 Old Crustaceans? The guy working there wasn't much help, but he wasn't rude either. Just a guy running the registar basically. The glassware selection was very nice as well. At the time of the visit this was the Holy Grail of all beer stores that I had been to....until my visit to John's Marketplace in Portland. If you are within a days drive of Seattle, come here for sure (Bottleworks).

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
5/5  rDev +12.9%




I was VERY excited to stop by this place during my recent foray into the upper Northwest under the thin guise of a business trip (if you ever get a chance, the Fairmont Olympic in downtown Seattle is one serious kick-ass hotel). RoyalT was kind enough to haul my sorry ass 'round town for a few choice visits (you will be rewarded for your kindness) and I told him Bottleworks was way up on the list.

End store in a small row of store. Ample parking.

When you head inside, make sure you hold on to something welded/nailed/cemented to the floor. Your head will spin like a top when you begin to comprehend just exactly what is available to you in this beer heaven. One thing that struck me was that it was really dark. But this is a great thing. All the beer is protected from light.

Lots (that really doesn't begin to describe it) of beer on the floor and even more in the multiple coolers they had. Singles (HUGE selection) and 6-packs available. I nearly wet myself on several occasions when I saw just what I could cram in my carryon. Multiple vintages of many, many beers. First time I've ever seen this, not to mention side-by-side for easy picking.

Can't find anything in the front (like that'd ever happen)? Just check the chalkboard over the entrance to the back for a partial listing of goodies in the back. How many years of JW Lee's Harvest Ale do you want today? Some Rogue Old Crusty from the last 10 years? Sure.

All the workers were very friendly, and, more importantly, damn knowledgable about what they were selling. Offering suggestions on what to try. Kick ass.

Although I am very lucky to have Once Upon A Vine in Richmond (my previous measuring stick for beer store quality), I would jump/leap/vault at the chance to hit this place again.

Too bad I didn't have more room in my luggage.

This place lives up to the scores. If you west of the Rockies, find a way to make this stop.

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Photo of Knuckles
5/5  rDev +12.9%

I fear that my rather strong opinions about Brouwer's have, for some reason, led people to believe I may possess similar opinions about Bottleworks. Quite the opposite, actually. Part of what I love about Bottleworks is what I dislike about Brouwer's. Bottleworks is a like a great used bookshop, in that you can go in there and get lost for hours just browsing. It's comfortable, and I always love going in there (I just don't like driving there very often, as 45th isn't terribly convenient to this BA. However, it is always worth the visit). Maybe it's this contrast between the two spaces that led me to being disappointed in Brouwer's. But that's neither here nor there, as this review is about the best beer store in the Seattle area.

Quality: Bottleworks is a bottle shop that is beyond compare in terms of its dedication to quality beers. They have, by FAR, the largest selection of craft brews that you are going to find in the the Northwest, and one of the greatest import selections as well. The care they take in terms of storage, etc. is also fantastic. Further, they cellar and stock vertical selections of various holiday beers such as Old Crustacean, Alaskan Smoked Porter, Old Guardian, etc. It's great to see a retailer take the time to take product off the shelf in order to age it properly and offer this to the consumer. Not all customers have the space to properly age a beer, and I think it's fantastic that Matt and crew do this.

Service: Always great. I rarely ask any questions when I'm in, simply because my head is always buried in some cooler, but there always seems to be someone coming in asking for advice on what to buy their wife/husband/yardman/chiropractor, etc. and whomever is behind the counter is always quick with something of quality to recommend (it also warms my heart to hear them frequently recommend the big beers from Silver City. Mad love to Don Spencer from the east sound, yo.).

Selection: Phenomenal. There's no other way to describe it. Sure, you can get Bear Republic at Central Market in Poulsbo, but you can't get Allagash and pick up a bottle of 2003 Poseidon.

About my only complaint with this store (other than it's way too goddam far from my home), is the pile of beer boxes in the middle. Not that that's a bad thing in and of itself, but frequently I'll see something I want that isn't in the cooler, and it will be on the bottom of the pile (and it's a bigass pile). Not a big issue, really, I'd just like to see better distribution of the product throughout the pile.

I love this store. It is a thing of beauty, and all other bottleshops should take lessons from them. They've got the windows covered to keep the light out, and the interior light is nicely muted in order to give it a nice, homey feeling. It's also very carefully airconditioned at (I'd guess) between 65 and 70 degrees. These kids care a lot about the product that they put on the floor, and it shows in everything they do. Pay them a visit when in Seattle, as they deserve your money.

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Photo of freed
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%

Even though I'd heard personal accounts of the store, and I'm accustomed to large selections, I was still temporarily numbed when I entered the store. The dimly lit and highly decorated interior is a visual deluge of beer and beer paraphernalia. To the left is a selection of domestics - mostly regional micros. The center aisle seems to be a mix of special deals and new arrivals, and the right side ranges from ciders, pearys, sours, and imported beers. The back has a mix of barleywines and strong ales as well. All bases are covered - even glassware.

To keep my sanity and financial security, I stuck mostly to the micro side only to venture over to the import side for a glimpse. The selection is excellent, and at least for the regional micros - the prices were excellent. Cheaper than in Portland even without factoring in the bottle deposit. One of the beers I'd been hoping fore - LaConner's dry hopped IPA seemed to be temporarily out of stock, but the staff was pleased to inform me of more and retrieved several bottles for me. They also made a few recommendations which were helpful. I later found myself in disagreement over one of the beers - but opinion is opinion.

Unlike most of the bottle shops I frequent, every beer has been fresh. I often find some sours or old beers that have been lurking on the shelf for too long. The low light and smaller available stock is most likely the greatest factor.

Like I said, when I received the total for my two mixed sixers, I was surprised at the bargain. I nearly went back to get more.

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Bottleworks in Seattle, WA
Place rating: 4.43 out of 5 with 169 ratings
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