Visiting Seattle (Summer 2015 Update)

Discussion in 'US - West' started by BuckeyeOne, Jun 26, 2015.

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  1. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Mar 9, 2008 Washington

    Surely many of us agree that this forum could use an easily searchable/bump-able "I'm visiting Seattle, where should I go?" thread. Here, I'll attempt to cull the consensus "must-hits," along with other highly recommended metropolitan-area Seattle breweries, brewpubs, bottle shops & beer bars that appear in this type of BA thread. Recommendations & suggestions are encouraged.

    (Almost) Universally Recommended "Must-Hit" Breweries (None have food but you can bring in food or purchase from food trucks outside)
    Fremont Brewing
    Reuben's Brews
    Black Raven Brewing
    Holy Mountain Brewing

    Other Highly Recommended Breweries & Brewpubs
    Georgetown Brewing
    Stoup Brewing
    Naked City Brewery and Taphouse
    Big Time Brewery and Alehouse

    Highly Recommended Beer Bars
    Beveridge Place Pub
    Brave Horse Tavern
    Brouwer's Cafe
    Collin's Pub
    Cooper's Ale House
    The Dray
    Hudson Public House
    Latona Pub
    The Noble Fir
    The Pine Box
    The Sixgill
    The Stumbling Monk
    Toronado Seattle
    Uber Tavern
    The Wurst Place

    Highly Recommended Bottle Shops
    99 Bottles
    The Beer Authority
    The Beer Junction
    Chuck's Hop Shop Central District
    Chuck's Hop Shop Greenwood
    Full Throttle Bottle
    The Last Drop Bottle Shop
    Malt & Vine
    Vine Street Market
    (A Few) Beer-centric Restaurants
    Just about any decent restaurant in Seattle has an acceptable beer list. Many are more-than-acceptable.
    Bambino's Pizzeria
    Bitterroot BBQ
    Chippy's Fish and Drink
    Giddy Up Burgers
    The Masonry
    The Yard Cafe
    Twisted Pasty
    Rocket80, draheim, TreeBear and 6 others like this.
  2. JamLand

    JamLand May 7, 2013 District of Columbia

    Are there any recommendations for places to stay? Either neighborhood based or specific hotels?
  3. Mantooth

    Mantooth Dec 6, 2011 North Carolina

    I'd be into places to stay, too.

    Also - best eats (regardless of beer) and things to do while there.
  4. grainbillxs

    grainbillxs Dec 22, 2004 Washington


    Any further discussion of Seattle lodging prices will send you straight to Portland.
  5. dirtylou

    dirtylou May 12, 2005 Washington
    Society Trader

    Portland lodging prices suck too. Airbnb.
  6. RKP1967

    RKP1967 Sep 26, 2010 Virginia


    Thank goodness you guys are paying for my Seattle stay this summer.
  7. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Russian River does not distribute to Washington.
  8. erushing

    erushing Dec 4, 2014 Texas

    You guys are awesome for having these threads. I'll be on Bainbridge Island for most of 2 weeks between 7/15 and 7/29. The trip is pretty wide open and we'll probably take 4-5 days at the end to stay somewhere else. Possibly down to Astoria/PDX, but there's enough to do in Washington that it may make sense to just stay in the Seattle region. We have a couple very small kids, but while we're on the island, we have babysitters. We'll probably take some day trips into the city with/without the kids.

    I'm sure I can just use this guide, but one specific question is about any special beers that may be released during that time. I see in another thread that Black Raven Splinters might be out around then, which sounds great. I'll be overwhelmed by all the stuff I can't get elsewhere anyway, but I do love big beers, so I'm interested in stuff like that if it works out.

    Any recommendations on non-beer related stuff is appreciated, but this guide alone is pretty great to have and I'll look through some of the old threads. I plan on taking at least one day to myself for a long hike out in Olympic NP. I also figure it's probably good to stock up at a bottle shop on the first day before heading out to the island.
    sharpski and BBThunderbolt like this.
  9. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    I'll let the Seattle guys handle most of what you're wondering about, but I would like to throw in my usual caveat. We've got a lot of breweries, both WA/OR based, and from neighboring states, that you've never heard of. Just walk into wherever looks interesting to you, and try what they've got. Plus, you'll find find good beer in places that may surprise you (for example, in my town you can get good beer in an outdoors store, a book store, a bike shop, and several hair cutting places. We've got some generous laws:wink:), keep an open mind.:slight_smile: And, please post up a trip report when you get home, we like hearing what people think of their visits. Cheers, and enjoy your trip!
    kemoarps and sharpski like this.
  10. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Bumping back to the front page.
  11. ONovoMexicano

    ONovoMexicano Jun 14, 2012 New Mexico

    At my NBS buddy @beertunes and other Seattle folks, I'm hoping for some fine-tuned advice from this thread. First off, I'm staying near the Washington State Convention Center and attending a conference there. I attend this conference (NCSL) every year around the country and my dad and I always take one afternoon and do a brewery/brewpub/beer bar crawl. My pops really loves the breweries most and prefers those, but I'm open for a combination (especially given the spread out nature of the breweries).

    Just to give y'all a sense, last year we hit a Twins game, then hit Fulton, walked a bunched, crossed the mighty Mississipp and hit Dangerous Man, Indeed, Bauhaus, and 612 breweries. I don't recall exactly but may have been 4-5 miles of walking. Point is we don't mind walking.

    I mention this because looking in the vicinity of the Conv. Center, it seems the "closest" breweries that I want to do are Holy Mountain, Reuben's and Fremont (the latter two I've always intended to visit, the former I chose thanks to this thread). It appears there's no way in hell I'm walking to all three so I'm hoping for some suggestions from all. Are there stops we can make in between and take two shorter taxi rides? Are there other breweries or brewpubs we should add in between these stops ---which assumes we'd likely start at Fremont and then head to Reuben's and then HM or vice versa--- or legit beer spots?

    We'd likely do this on a Wednesday PM. I'm not sure of the public transpo situation in Seattle but we're not afraid of that and not opposed to taxis, but we do like the walking and seeing the city aspect as well.

    For the TL, DR crowd, please recommend stuff a great crawl that would include Holy Mountain, Reuben's and Fremont (if that's reasonable, of course).
    kemoarps likes this.
  12. TheBungyo

    TheBungyo Dec 1, 2004 Washington

    The only real deadzone if you start at Fremont and end at Holy Mountain is between Ballard where Reuben's is and Interbay where Holy Mountain is. If you start at Fremont you can then swing by Outlander, then hit Hale's (not a place I'm personally interested in but they are on the way, as is Bad Jimmy's), then cruise to the Reuben's. While you're in that area of Ballard there are a ridiculous amount of breweries also nearby ... Stoup, Lucky Envelope, Maritime, Peddler, Hilliard's, Northwest Peaks. You can hit any number of those then move on to Holy Mountain. I've heard good things about Lucky Envelope and personally have enjoyed Stoup too. If you want food Maritime's Jolly Roger Taproom has great pub food and almost always beer on cask.

    Pretty sure you can grab a bus (can't remember which line runs down 15th but it should take you almost directly to Holy Mountain). This tool is useful for planning bus trips
  13. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    There's a bus, the #26 IIRC, that will drop you right near Fremont Brewery. Fremont is your starting point, enjoy a pint or two, but not too many. Walk around the neighborhood, visit the Troll and Lenin. Go to Brouwers cafe. Continue walking on either 34th, 35th, or the Burke-Gilman Trail. You'll come to Hales Brewery and Maritime Pacific Brewing (neither of which are big favorites here on BA, but I enjoy both well enough, especially Maritime), as well as any bars that look interesting to you.

    36th turns into Leary Way, keep on going until you decide if you want to check out Bad Jimmys Brewing. If not, keep going until you get to 45th, take that into Ballard, where you will find a nice little pod of orcas. B-Pod, if you will. After swimming with those whales, you can either bus back downtown, or swing by Holy Mountain. You can probably guess my choice. I was just at HM the other day, but wasn't paying the slightest bit of attention to where the hell we were. The Seattlites will tell you if it's walkable, or if you'll need a cab/bus. You can hit a bunch of breweries on this trek. I've done it a few times, minus the HM leg. Gives you a nice feel for those neighborhoods, and a chance to explore some of breweries that don't get as much attention.

    The Fremont-Ballard leg is only 2-3 miles, and a quick look at Bing maps says 2.7 miles from Reubens to HM. Collect 'em all! How long you in town for?
  14. ONovoMexicano

    ONovoMexicano Jun 14, 2012 New Mexico

    Thanks Terry. I'll be there August 2-6 for anyone interested in grabbing a beer or interested in an IP trade.
  15. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    I'll see how things work out and let ya know.

    Looks like @TheBungyo and I posted almost the same stroll.:sunglasses: Great minds think alike.:wink: Post a separate thread when you're ready to hit the town for some beers, maybe a few Seattle BAs could meet ya.
    kemoarps, TheBungyo and ONovoMexicano like this.
  16. mjmcnns

    mjmcnns Jan 28, 2014 Canada (BC)

    I'll be in town with friends for the M's/Jays series next weekend, and we're considering our post-game plans on Saturday afternoon. Initially we were primarily leaning towards Fremont/Brouwers/Bravehorse (we love Bravehorse, and it's generally back in the direction of our accomodations). But now I'm thinking we may want to consider Fremont and them Ballard area breweries. Any feedback on the two options? I've never been to any of the Ballard area breweries, and only tried beers from a select few of them.
    kemoarps likes this.
  17. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    At some point you should hit Collins Pub. It's a short walk up from the stadium. As long as you're in town for the whole series, might as well hit the Ballard-Fremont groupings too.
  18. mjmcnns

    mjmcnns Jan 28, 2014 Canada (BC)

    Collins is indeed on the pre-game menu!
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  19. draheim

    draheim Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    Others have covered the Fremont/Reuben's/Holy Mountain question adequately. Since I work at the convention center (in the office tower) I just wanted to add 2 cents about that area. As far as beer, the immediate area is kind of a dead zone. Best bets are probably Pine Box, Tap House Grill, and Yard House (in that order). A little farther away, Brave Horse in South Lake Union and Pike Brewing at the market. This is not an endorsement, but there is also a Rock Bottom nearby. I'm probably missing a couple spots but I'm only in that area for work so don't spend a lot of time drinking beer there. There's a spring version of this thread where you can find lots more info and discussion, and a few strong opinions about Yard House in particular. Enjoy your visit!
  20. mjmcnns

    mjmcnns Jan 28, 2014 Canada (BC)

    I'll add that, as a tourist who visits Seattle 6-8 times a year, draheim has pretty much nailed all the downtown spots I frequent. The only one missing that immediately comes to mind is the aforementioned Collins Pub.
  21. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Mar 9, 2008 Washington

    And if they're going to Brave Horse, the Wurst Place just around the corner is a must-hit.
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  22. mjmcnns

    mjmcnns Jan 28, 2014 Canada (BC)

    Just looking for some recos in the Ballard area. I think we'd be looking to go to probably two in addition to Fremont and Reuben's, which would be on the list anyhow. What are some folks preferred places of the other options?
  23. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Mar 9, 2008 Washington

    My two would be Stoup and Giddy Up Burgers.
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  24. carlhaynes

    carlhaynes Jun 8, 2013 Washington

    Stoup definitely, they seem to be firing on all cylinders lately.

    I've always thought their beers were pretty mediocre, but Peddler's new patio, looks like a great place to hang out.
  25. mactrail

    mactrail Mar 24, 2009 Washington
    Moderator Society Trader

    I think beer + food is an important category, so for close in Pioneer Square I would include Elysian Fields and slightly further south my favorite is Schooner Exact. Thanks for the compilation!
  26. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    I second Schooner Exact. They're one of the Seattle breweries that I feel doesn't get enough love here on BA. And, as far as Inbev Fields goes, well opinions vary. :wink:
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  27. MicroFanatic

    MicroFanatic Mar 21, 2009 Washington

    Ok tried 57 different beers and the standout for me and my friend was the Buoy IPL. Really incredible hop flavors!
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  28. RKP1967

    RKP1967 Sep 26, 2010 Virginia

    The best beer in Seattle was a lager from Oregon? Hahahahahhaaha
  29. dirtylou

    dirtylou May 12, 2005 Washington
    Society Trader

    I assume that post was meant for another thread. If you spit from Buoy, it'll be in Washington soon enough though.
    Strangestbrewer likes this.
  30. mactrail

    mactrail Mar 24, 2009 Washington
    Moderator Society Trader

    Well, I am thinking of the creative and cheap Mexican food I've been lucky enough to encounter on a couple of "taco tuesdays." And politics aside, while I'm not a fan of the regular Elysian brews, the Fields location always has interesting and even oddball brews of their own. And then you can head across the street to the ballpark for a Bud Light!
  31. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Oh, don't get me wrong, I always loved stopping at Elysian Fields before a M's game. I'll miss that place. But, they made their deal, and I make my choices. And, even at stadiums I don't drink fizzy yellow beers. Especially not Inbev products. I only even drink Redhook under duress.
    TheBungyo likes this.
  32. ONovoMexicano

    ONovoMexicano Jun 14, 2012 New Mexico

    Okay, I've been doing some research.

    Here's what I've determined:

    I'll start at Fremont then walk to Sixgill followed by Brouwer's. Outlander next. Then maybe some grub at Giddy Up. On to Stoup and Reuben's. The Noble Fir if we're not obliterated by then.

    I'll probably do Holy Mountain on it's own, although another option is to cut out a few of the bars (Noble Fir would be easy to cut, but maybe Brouwer's or Sixgill) and follow Reuben's with Holy Mountain.

    I've also determined that close to the Renaissance where I'll be staying, I can easily hit Collins Pub, Pine Box and Stumbling Monk and once I'm at Stumbling Monk I might as well try to visit Brave Horse and The Wurst Place. The ones closest to my hotel would be another day, of course. Not something I'd do after all the breweries.

    One question I have is, if I were to, on a Monday or Tuesday evening, head up north beyond Fremont, it seems that there are a concentration of bars near Toronado. Is that correct? How's that neighborhood? Worth a visit?

    As always, thanks again for this great thread and all the advice from you WA BAs.
    BBThunderbolt likes this.
  33. TheBungyo

    TheBungyo Dec 1, 2004 Washington

    Only advice I can offer is check the hours of places you may visit on Monday or Tuesday. Some places aren't open earlier in the week (Holy Mountain for example is closed Tuesdays).
    ONovoMexicano likes this.
  34. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Mar 9, 2008 Washington

    This neighborhood and the adjoining ones are definitely worth a visit. If you hit Toronado, you could hit the Whole Foods (for bottle purchases) right around the corner. Not far from Toronado is one of Seattle's oldest ale houses, Latona Pub. Not far from there is Burgundian (part of the Brouwer's and Bottleworks family). And you can easily get to Bottleworks for more bottle purchases, growler fills, and pints on site after Burgundian. Toronado, Latona Pub, and Burgundian all have above average food.

    [NOTE: Elysian Tangletown is a block away from Burgundian. Do not be tempted to stop. There's nothing to see there. Just move along.]
  35. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    I'm not sure exactly which neighborhood it's in (one of the Greens, either Greenwood or Green Lake, @TheBungyo will know) but Naked City is on my personal Must Hit list. In the U-District, which doesn't seem that far from Toronado (but I don't spend enough time in Seattle to be real familiar with the geography of the neighborhoods) is Big Time. They should still have their Old Sol Wheatwine on, and maybe bottles as well, and that's one of my favorite beers ever. Ever.

    Excellent call on the Collins pub visit, another on my Must Hit list. It's not right next door, but not too far south of the stadiums is a little cluster of breweries: Machine House (only cask ales, great stuff), Schooner Exact, Two Beers/Seattle Cider, and I think a couple more.
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  36. TheBungyo

    TheBungyo Dec 1, 2004 Washington

    Greenwood neighborhood. Definitely not shabby as a destination with the aforementioned Naked City, Chucks Hop Shop (great selection of bottles and something like 40 drafts), The Yard Cafe, and soon Flying Bike all within walking distance. Not quite in the neighborhood but definitely walkable is the 74th Street Alehouse and Prost!

    Also, I've got to agree about Big Time. They've always done a great job in hiring talented brewers and their current brewer is no exception in my opinion. Really liking what he's putting out ... and Old Sol is an excellent Wheatwine. Definitely not one to miss.
  37. distantmantra

    distantmantra May 23, 2011 Washington

    They're opening up a Lodge in Greenwood on the corner of 85th. Crazy.

    I live in the Green Lake Urban Village area, so Toronado, Latona, Burgundian and Uber are my haunts. Fix Coffee normally has Boneyard, and Pies and Pints is a nice option for local beers if you've got kids. There's a new place next to the Starbucks across from the lake called The Shelter has a decent tap list, but always seems to have Grapefruit Sculpin so I can't complain.
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  38. erushing

    erushing Dec 4, 2014 Texas

    Just got back to hot, hot Austin after 10-ish days on Bainbridge Island and a few days in Astoria, OR. I'll probably put together more of a review later on, but the tl;dr version of the trip was that we had a great time, tried a ton of different beers and ate some great food. The recommendations here and in other threads were outstanding, so thanks a ton! We were a little limited considering we had a 1YO and 4YO with us and were out on the island, but we went to several places on the OlyPen and made it into Seattle on maybe 5 days. I'll preface my highlights with saying I'm not the biggest hophead. I love some IPAs (but more DIPAs), but I get a little sick of it after a while. I'd love to come back in the colder months and revisit everything. Highlights for me were Holy Mountain by a large margin, Fremont, Pine Box, large local taplists in tons of out of the way places, etc. Marina Market in Poulsbo was pretty awesome and I could have spent a small fortune there. Got about 10 large bottles there, 5 consumed, 5 brought home (including one BBomb I'm excited to crack open). I can't believe all the barrel aged stuff that is easily available, though Poulsbo might be a little out of the way. I didn't make it to any bottle shops in the city, so not sure how they compare. Overall, it was great to see such a huge local brewery culture. I made it to Valholl and Bainbridge Island Brewing also and had several bottled offerings from Sound and had some good to great stuff from all of them as well. Otherwise, it was a pretty wide and random set of stuff I had in various places. Went to Ft George and Buoy in Astoria, which were also pretty good. Missed De Garde (closed the days we were around), which was a huge regret, but not really after being in the Seattle area for so long before that. Also missed the JK Atrial Rubicite release, which seems like it was almost certainly a good thing. I appreciate how not crazy the beer culture is up there. 3 hour lines and 80 year old grandma-mules are not really a part of the scene that I enjoy.
  39. erushing

    erushing Dec 4, 2014 Texas

    more in depth report...

    Standout Beers: (more or less in order, though the Gin Barrel Saison from Fremont was as good as almost anything)
    I could say everything at Holy Mountain, but I particularly loved Le Petit Gris, Celestial Lineage, Pyrokinesis and the grisette
    Fremont Gin Barrel Aged Rye Saison, Gose, The Brother, Rye Saison
    Sound Entendez Noel
    Valholl Barrel Aged Stouty Stouterson
    Hilliard's Saison
    Quilter's Irish Death
    I'd imagine that in a different season, I might love Fremont as much as HM with BBomb, KDS and whatever available.

    It looks like I had 65 different beers, almost 40 washington, almost 20 oregon, several Cali, 1 Alaska, none that I could get in Texas except for the Widmer Hefeweizen that my father in law handed me when we arrived the first night after traveling the entire day with 2 little kids. I have to admit that it was delicious. It also took me back to when I used to visit Portland a lot in the early 2000s.

    We went to the Bite, which I had kind of pushed against, but my wife really wanted to go to and it was pretty fun and we did the craft beer tasting, which was good to get a general taste of a bunch of WA breweries.
    Paseo. As all my own home specialties are slow cooked meats, I thought the pork could have been a bit moister, but the sandwich overall was really good. Then the seared scallops sandwich was amazing. I have to thank @TheBungyo for that tip because it's not something we would have ordered otherwise and it was one of the best things we ate the whole trip. I know Un Bien is supposed to be better, but this was pretty great anyway and we were driving right by it.
    We also made it up to Ballard, which we liked a lot, but only long enough to shop a little and eat at La Carta de Oaxaca, which was probably our favorite meal. We meant to go to Reuben's after, but kind of ran out of steam/time on our only day without the kids. (that day we had done the Bite and Holy Mountain already)
    We got one late night out minus the kids and went to Ba Bar (good, but overrated, overpriced) and Pine Box (loved it)
    Also ate at Le Pichet, which was really good if you're into that sort of thing.

    You have too many damn people that live there (or probably just too many tourists). This is coming from an Austinite (15 year transplant) where one of our most common activities is bitching about traffic/pop. growth and reminding visitors to not forget to leave.
    You have an insane # of breweries and that is awesome.
    We're already talking about how we need to go back to Seattle when we get a long weekend away from the kids.
    Thanks for this thread and the other threads with recommendations. I wouldn't have had a clue about what was good on the OlyPen (including Poulsbo) without those threads.
    I just read in our neighborhood paper that we're getting a Yard House nearby in our fancy upscale shopping mall-ish area and I cracked up. Maybe I'll direct visitors to it in the SW forum. :wink:
  40. TheBungyo

    TheBungyo Dec 1, 2004 Washington

    Very glad you enjoyed your trip, and happy to hear you liked the scallop sandwich. That pork you had at Paseo, well imagine that sandwich but with a better marinade and much moister pork ... that's basically Un Bien, which is also cheaper. I've always meant to eat at La Carta de Oaxaca but the crowds have kept me away. Must be as good as they say for a Texan to praise it. I've visited Corpus Christi many times and it always kills me to leave Mexican food of that quality behind.

    Thanks for the detailed review of the area. I love reading these ... and please let us know when you come back. Much will likely change in that time, we'll give you the scoop!
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