Visiting Seattle (Summer 2016 Update)

Discussion in 'US - West' started by BuckeyeOne, Jul 4, 2016.

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  1. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Devotee (441) 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
    Holy Mountain Brewing
    Stoup Brewing
    Cloudburst Brewing

    Other Highly Recommended Breweries & Brewpubs
    Georgetown Brewing
    Seapine Brewing
    Black Raven Brewing
    Big Time Brewery and Alehouse
    Machine House Brewing
    Schooner Exact Brewing
    Naked City Brewery and Taphouse

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

    Highly Recommended Bottle Shops
    99 Bottles
    The Beer Authority
    The Beer Junction
    Bottleworks
    Chuck's Hop Shop Central District
    Chuck's Hop Shop Greenwood
    Full Throttle Bottle
    The Last Drop Bottle Shop
    Malt & Vine
    Pear Delicatessen
    Super Deli Mart
    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
    Blue Star Cafe & Pub
    Bramling Cross
    Giddy Up Burgers
    Mammoth
    The Masonry
    Quinn's Pub
    The Yard Cafe
     
  2. ballardbeer

    ballardbeer Initiate (135) Nov 10, 2013 Washington

  3. jtirpak22

    jtirpak22 Initiate (0) Aug 27, 2015 Washington

    I'd throw Urban Family in the "Must-Hit" category. If people disagree with them being "Must-Hit" I would at least suggest a placement in the "Highly Recommended" section, which I doubt anyone could have an issue with - I'm going there LONG before visiting many of those places.

    And if we're going out as far as Black Raven I think we should put Geaux and Postdoc on there, especially since it would be easy to hit all three and both are pretty great. Geaux is in my personal top-10 in and around Seattle.
     
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  4. distantmantra

    distantmantra Meyvn (1,201) May 23, 2011 Washington
    Trader

    UF has been making good beer for a while now. Still surprised at the lack of local love.
     
  5. SeaAle

    SeaAle Disciple (334) Jun 24, 2012 Oregon

    Yeah, the stuff I've had from them here in Portland has been real good. Definitely deserve to be on the highly recommended list.
     
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  6. TheBungyo

    TheBungyo Champion (836) Dec 1, 2004 Washington

    The only issue I have had with Urban Family is lack of much variety. I've been there many times where the only offerings are saisons and ipa's/hoppy pale ales. I love those kinds of beers, but a touch more variety would make the place even better. Also, it can feel sorta weird to be there and have the place be absolutely dead. Based on the beer alone it definitely deserves to be on the list somewhere.
     
  7. jtirpak22

    jtirpak22 Initiate (0) Aug 27, 2015 Washington

    You're right that there's never a Kolsch or Lager type on tap. But I'm there fairly regularly (since it's only a 5-10 minute walk) and I feel like Death to Cereal, a breakfast stout, is a mainstay on their list. UF knows what they do best and seemingly have a limited number of tap handles / capacity to do it - why put on something marginal when you can stick within your wheelhouse and put on something much better? I would posit that more variety might lead to diminished quality.

    A typical draft list of saisons, sours, IPAs/hoppy pales, plus one or two beers of a different style really isn't wholly dissimilar from what you'll generally see at Holy Mountain. I've been to Holy Mountain plenty of times where my only options were saisons and IPAs/hoppy pales. HM's most recent published taplist included a Pilsner and a Dark Mild amidst saisons and IPAs/pales, before that was a Mild and a Wit. I'm curious if you have the same issue with Holy Mountain? Not poking at you, but I've heard a number of people make those same kind of comments in the past with regards to UF but adulate Holy Mountain - not that you've done that here. It seems contradictory.

    I have the same issue with the empty taproom, it's odd to be the only customer at times. It baffles me as to why it's not busier.
     
  8. TheBungyo

    TheBungyo Champion (836) Dec 1, 2004 Washington

    No, I think Holy Mountain does a much better job at variety. Aside from the saisons and hoppy beers, Holy Mountain often has stuff like King's Head (double brown ale), Three Fates Pils, oaked lager, wit, English mild ... all sorts of different stuff. Sure, it helps that they are ridiculously proficient at brewing a wide range of styles, but what's more they actually put some thought into seasonality. There may have been a visit or two where the draft list seemed a bit one sided, but that hasn't happened with the regularity that it did at Urban Family.
    There was a long stretch of winter where everything Urban Family had on tap was stuff better suited to summer or spring, really light easy drinking stuff. As much as I enjoyed their beer during those visits, I was pining for a stout, porter, or even a schwarzbier. In the end, I still walked outta UF pretty happy.
     
  9. distantmantra

    distantmantra Meyvn (1,201) May 23, 2011 Washington
    Trader

    Urban Family is seriously supply constrained. I was there with my wife and daughter once and all they had was Lady of the Night and Death to Cereal. On a 90 degree day. Bikers who came in left without buying anything. So that sucked.

    Recently they seem to have five to six beers consistently on tap. I wonder if they're shipping too much all over the country at the expense of the taproom?
     
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  10. TheBungyo

    TheBungyo Champion (836) Dec 1, 2004 Washington

    I had a similar experience this spring. It made me wish I had gone somewhere else that day.
     
  11. jtirpak22

    jtirpak22 Initiate (0) Aug 27, 2015 Washington

    I don't think I've seen less than 5 taps any time I've been there in the past 6 months so hopefully that's the new standard. Could be that they're shipping too much out. But there also seems to be a theme in people's comments on here that the taproom is typically empty, so why wouldn't they?
     
  12. distantmantra

    distantmantra Meyvn (1,201) May 23, 2011 Washington
    Trader

    Fremont opens at 11am, it's definitely worth a stop especially if the weather is nice.
     
  13. dirtylou

    dirtylou Poo-Bah (3,761) May 12, 2005 Washington
    Society Trader

    Definitely agree that urban family should be in 2nd tier of that list. Otherwise, pretty fair
     
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  14. jtirpak22

    jtirpak22 Initiate (0) Aug 27, 2015 Washington

    @BuckeyeOne - any chance we can get you to throw Urban Family on that Highly Recommended list?
     
  15. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Devotee (441) Mar 9, 2008 Washington

    (1) I can no longer edit the post. I don't have those rights. (2) Except for this thread, Urban Family doesn't often get mentioned by posters on this forum as a highly recommended spot. Until yesterday, I wouldn't have even considered it. (3) Due to this thread, I think Urban Family will get some visits and, if people show them some love, I'll add them in the fall.
     
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  16. ballardbeer

    ballardbeer Initiate (135) Nov 10, 2013 Washington

    UF makes fine beer (and i miss their old location on ballard ave), but why would we need to add them to the visiting seattle thread? aren't there dozens of other breweries that make similar quality beer that could be thrown in as well? just off the top of my head... standard, two beers, rooftop, hellbent, lucky envelope, populuxe are unquestionably good breweries (and most have nicer tap rooms or more convenient locations than UF). i don't see much value in adding more names to an already enormous list for visitors.
     
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  17. jtirpak22

    jtirpak22 Initiate (0) Aug 27, 2015 Washington

    I guess it's because, for me at least, from a quality standpoint I tend to have UF in my top 5 in Seattle. It's also a brewery that distributes to different parts of the nation and it may interest some visitors who have had their bottles to check them out. Can't argue with the "nicer taproom" comment, Urban Family is certainly lacking there. But their location does put you within short walking distance of the Ballard Locks.
     
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  18. distantmantra

    distantmantra Meyvn (1,201) May 23, 2011 Washington
    Trader

    Urban Family is doing something more akin to Holy Mountain than the other breweries you listed. Sours, NE IPAs, saisons, etc.

    They can be left off, that's fine, but I think people have a good point to bring them up. We ignore them for the most part.
     
  19. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Devotee (441) Mar 9, 2008 Washington

    Hence, the reason why I didn't consider adding them previously.
     
  20. jtirpak22

    jtirpak22 Initiate (0) Aug 27, 2015 Washington

    Ideally, people will make a concerted effort to visit in the coming months and we can rethink them in the fall. I also feel maybe we should pay a visit to some of those "highly recommended." I see at least one on there I'd rather not have people visiting if we want to put our best (beer)foot forward.
     
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  21. AyeDogg

    AyeDogg Aspirant (216) Oct 29, 2015 California
    Trader

    Thanks for the info, will be visiting in the first week of August.
     
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  22. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (10,026) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Well,?
     
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  23. distantmantra

    distantmantra Meyvn (1,201) May 23, 2011 Washington
    Trader

    Some people don't like Naked City and Bigtime. I dunno.
     
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  24. jtirpak22

    jtirpak22 Initiate (0) Aug 27, 2015 Washington

    I like Naked City, the beer is typically above average (or better) and the food is very good.

    I go to Big Time regularly for grumpy hour but don't think I would ever visit if it wasn't SO convenient for me. I don't like to speak ill of any brewery but I will at least say I don't think it should be on the highly recommended list.
     
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  25. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (10,026) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    That was my guess too. I've long been on record stating that NC is one of my faves. They brew a wide variety of styles, and generally come pretty close to nailing all of them. While I've been a BT fan a long time too, I haven't had any of their stuff in a while, so they may have slipped.
     
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  26. jtirpak22

    jtirpak22 Initiate (0) Aug 27, 2015 Washington

    Agreed on NC, I think they do a very good job. As for BT, I do think that may be the case. I remember really enjoying their beer back when I first moved here but lately (past year or so) it seems to have fallen off a bit. And I'm certainly not calling them a bad brewery, or even marginal/average, just don't see them on the Highly Recommended.
     
  27. brett_arneson

    brett_arneson Initiate (0) Nov 23, 2013 Minnesota

    This is extremely useful, visiting this Friday-Sunday. I already have a full blown itinerary from my Uncle that lives in Seattle, but he left off Geaux. I saw it mentioned above - pretty important to hit Geaux or is it one we could let go? A group of us are already going to 25-30 in a three day span (lots of Ubers and sharing beers)...
     
  28. ballardbeer

    ballardbeer Initiate (135) Nov 10, 2013 Washington

    um, can we see this itinerary? and can you please, please post a trip log if you survive?
     
  29. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (10,026) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    If you're going to be near it, hit it. I probably wouldn't go out of my way for it. YMMV.
     
  30. jtirpak22

    jtirpak22 Initiate (0) Aug 27, 2015 Washington

    Wouldn't call it "important" but if you head out to Redmond for Black Raven along 520 it's silly not to stop there. The beer is typically very good but the taproom is inconvenient if you're not in Bellevue or passing it on your way.
     
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  31. brett_arneson

    brett_arneson Initiate (0) Nov 23, 2013 Minnesota

  32. TheBungyo

    TheBungyo Champion (836) Dec 1, 2004 Washington

    There's more than several of these I'd skip in favor of spending more time at the better places, but that's just me. Maybe you really want to cram as many in as you can. I don't see any places that you intend to skip that you shouldn't though.
     
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  33. brett_arneson

    brett_arneson Initiate (0) Nov 23, 2013 Minnesota

    If it were up to me that is the way I would do it as well... some of the other people I am with want to go for quantity over quality. Still, doing it that way will give me a nice broad view of the Seattle beer scene. I'll spend more time at my favorites next time I am back! We will probably be in and out of a few of these places as well.
     
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  34. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Devotee (441) Mar 9, 2008 Washington

    OK, now you're starting to piss me off.
     
  35. ballardbeer

    ballardbeer Initiate (135) Nov 10, 2013 Washington

    that's awesome, thanks for sharing!

    a couple thoughts...
    • agree with all the skips, although i would suggest adding back in HiFi since it's pretty much across the street from Black Raven.
    • in general, friday is going to be tough for transit. eastside traffic from 330-630 can be brutal.
    • Saturday is going to be epic
    • maybe add a stop into chucks central district on Sunday between optimism and standard.
    cheers!
     
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  36. jtirpak22

    jtirpak22 Initiate (0) Aug 27, 2015 Washington

    If I've come across as condescending or negative in any way that was not my intent. I'm just throwing my $0.02 out there. It did say, "Recommendations & suggestions are encouraged."
     
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  37. brett_arneson

    brett_arneson Initiate (0) Nov 23, 2013 Minnesota

    My uncle kept warning me about Friday traffic. Oh well, it will provide time to hydrate along the route! Noted about HiFi, we will probably add that one back in.
     
  38. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (10,026) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    My thoughts:
    Skip Elysian, but, I'm a notorious ABI hater, so...
    As long as you're near Hi-Fi, why not?
    I'm OK with Brickyard and 12 Bar. Again, you're right there, and hitting Triplehorn, why not?
    Old Stove is brand new, and right at Pike Place, which is by Cloudburst, why not?
    Skip Hilliards.
    I'm a minority, but I like Maritime Pacific. Foods pretty good. too.
    Again, you'll be going right by Hale's, why not?
    I haven't been impressed with Ghostfish, but, what the hell you're in the neighborhood.
    Machine House is a must hit.
    And, as I mentioned upthread, Naked City is amongst my favorites in Seattle. A must hit, not a must skip.
    Also, the Northgate location of The Ram has a respectable reputation.
    Ya might want to consider hitting Brouwers (it's just down the street from Fremont) and the Toronado, even if it's just tick off a bottle of Cable Car.

    Have fun, and let us know how it goes!!!
     
  39. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Devotee (441) Mar 9, 2008 Washington

    Agreed on skipping all Elysians pubs as well as their beer. I took Elysian off the lists when they sold to ABI.

    Yes, skip Hilliard's and add both Maritime Pacific and Hale's. These are two of the oldest breweries in the city (if not the state) and they're still going strong. Both of them serve above average pub food. The Maritime Pacific Nightwatch and Flagship Red are tasty for their styles. Too bad you're not around for their Jolly Roger Christmas Ale. Hale's Supergoose is a damn fine DIPA and their Kolsch is very good.

    The bottom line is that both of these places make solid beers in classic styles. There's nothing there that's really experimental. Just solid, old school ales.
     
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  40. TheBungyo

    TheBungyo Champion (836) Dec 1, 2004 Washington

    I love the food at the Maritime/Jolly Roger. As for the beers, the cask offerings can be quite good,especially the porter or Islander Dry Hopped.
     
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