Seattle and beer go together like two peas in a pod. Fortunately for all, Seattle’s microbrewery culture has been on the rise and the city is now well-populated with microbrews aplenty. Choosing the best microbreweries is virtually impossible, simply because beer is highly subjective. Still, whether you’re an experienced beer taster or curious what’s out there, Seattle’s best-known and most-established breweries are worth checking out—whether this means a brewery with a full restaurant or a place that looks like a glorified garage. Of course, from there, branch out! Try the upstarts and boutique breweries. Find the funky little brews that turn your torque! Make your own top 10 list.
In no particular order, here are the contenders:
Pyramid is the brewery of choice for most game-goers, given that the brewery is located across from T-Mobile Park and a block from Qwest Field. A microbrewery original, Pyramid has been in business since 1984. Today, Pyramid has alehouses in Berkeley, Portland, Sacramento, and Walnut Creek, as well as Seattle. Pyramid offers not only beer, but a full and pleasantly varied menu (as in, don't expect just pub food), and an expansive restaurant space where you can kick back with friends and hang out for a while.
With about 100 seats, Black Raven’s taproom in Redmond, The Raven’s Nest, can fill up fast on busy days. Order the flight and try all six of the breweries beers, or order by the schooner or pint, or fill your growler or keg (with some restrictions). There's no kitchen, but the brewery has food trucks in the parking lot and connections with many food delivery options so you'll be able to find something to eat. You can also bring your own food. In addition to the taproom in Redmond, there's another taproom located in Woodinville.
- This Capitol Hill brewery is one of Seattle’s oldest. Founded in 1995, Elysian produces some beers that you’ve likely seen at the grocery store, among them Mens Room Original Red probably the most popular. There’s a large dining room, too. There is a full and varied menu, which also includes vegetarian and vegan choices, so Elysian is great for a night out. Beers include all kinds of iconic brews from Mens Room Original Red, to Dark o’ the Moon, to Dragonstooth Stout. Also count on a long list of specials, imports and more. There are three locations: the original 220-seat taproom in Capitol Hill, Elysian Fields near the sports stadiums, and the Elysian Taproom in Georgetown.
Georgetown Brewing Company does not have a dining room or even a place to sit and drink your beer. What they do have are a fantastic lineup of beers—all of which they will let you sample for free before you buy. Stop by during tasting tasting hours to try something new, fill your growler or buy a keg. In the vein of keeping things simple, Georgetown also doesn't offer food. It's just all beer, all the time. There are six regularly produced beers: Manny’s Pale Ale, Roger’s Pilsner, 9LB Porter, Lucille IPA, Bodhizafa IPA and Johnny Utah Pale Ale. There is a rotating lineup of sometimes produced beers, too. The brewery is - as you may have guessed from the name - located in heart of Georgetown.
Mac and Jack’s is one of the area’s most ubiquitous microbreweries. African Amber, especially, is on tap in just about every place that has taps in Seattle and Tacoma! Instead of a taproom or restaurant, Mac and Jack’s offers a few different ways to experience their brews. Take a free tour and tasting every Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. There’s also a retail store and tasting room where guests can buy beer, merchandise and apparel, as well as try something new. And there's a beer garden from 2:30 - 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday at their location in Redmond.
Yes, it’s true that Pike Brewery has a bit of a touristy appeal, but that doesn’t mean residents can’t dig on this place, especially since it’s one of Seattle’s oldest microbreweries. Founded back in 1989, Pike Brewing was around before microbreweries were cool. The beers are great, and the atmosphere is unique. Bonus—you can tour the brewery or explore the Microbrewery Museum. The brewery serves up a full menu of food, including a kids menu, and it's located right in the heart of downtown close to many other things to see and places to go. Don't miss popular brews like the Kilt Lifter Ruby Ale or Pike IPA.
Tacoma’s microbrewery scene isn’t nearly as booming as Seattle's but far from nonexistent. Wingman’s is a relatively new kid on the block (though, it's been around a few years), but the beers are complex and delicious. Bonus—the brewery gives part of all sales to local charities. Wingman's doesn't serve food, but there is often a food truck out front and downtown Tacoma and its many eateries are close by. Pick up your favorite food to-go and bring it along with you. Brews on tap include plenty of IPA and Porter, as well as rotating guest taps and a cider or two. Don't miss the P-51 Coconut Porter or the unique Peanut Butter Cup Porter!