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 love 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 Safeco Field and a block from Qwest Field. Another microbrewery original, Pyramid has been in business since 1984. Today, Pyramid has alehouses in Berkeley, Portland, Sacramento, and Walnut Creek, as well as Seattle.
Food: Full menu
Beer: Hefeweizen, Apricot, Thunderhead IPA, Outburst dry-hopped IPA, Wheaten IPA, and seasons and special series.
Location: 1201 1st Avenue S, Seattle – 206-682-3377
With about 100 seats, Black Raven’s taproom, 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).
Food: No kitchen, but the brewery has a deal with Flying Saucer Pizza, who will bring a pizza right to your table with no delivery fee. You can also bring your own food and there is a food truck many days of the week.
Beer: Trickster IPA, Totem Northwest Pale, Morrighan Stout, Second Sight Strong Scotch Ale, Coco Jones Coconut Porter and a rotating session IPA series.
Location: 14679 NE 95th Street, Redmond – 425-881-3020
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.
Food: There is a full and varied menu, which also includes vegetarian and vegan choices.
Beer: A long list of regular and seasonal varieties, including Mens Room Original Red, Avatar Jasmine IPA, Dark o’ the Moon, Dragonstooth Stout, The Immortal IPA, Loser Pale Ale, Perseus Porter, Zephyrus Pilsner, The Wise ESB. Also count on a long list of specials, imports and more.
- 1221 E Pike Street, Seattle – 206-860-1920
- 542 1st Avenue S, Seattle – 206-382-4498
- 2106 N 55th Street, Seattle – 206-547-5929
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. Fill your growler or buy a keg.
Food: No food. All beer, all the time.
Beer: Five regular beers that are always produced: Manny’s Pale Ale, Roger’s Pilsner, Chopper’s Red Ale, Georgetown Porter, Lucille IPA. There is a rotating lineup of sometimes produced beers, too.
Location: 5200 Denver Avenue S, Seattle – 206-766-8055
Since 2011, Hilliard’s has produced primarily beer in cans. The taproom is warmer and cuter than many other taprooms, and hosts live music on Thursday nights.
Food: No food, but the brewery often invites food trucks into their lot. You can also bring your own food into the taproom.
Beer: In cans: Amber, Saison, Blonde, Pils. In kegs: Chrome Satan, Extra Special Belgian, Murdered Out Stout, Nautical Reference Pale Ale, Unobtanium IPA
Location: 1550 NW 49th Street, Seattle – 206-915-3303
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 more unique experience—tours of the brewery on Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., tastings included. There’s also a retail store where guests can buy beer, merchandise, and apparel.
Food: No food.
Beer: African Amber, Serengeti Wheat, Blackcat Porter, Two Tun IPA, Cascadian Dark Ale, C-U Lator
Location: 17825 Northeast 65th Street, Redmond – 425-558-9697
Naked City Brewery and Taphouse
Naked City is a great place to find a long list of beers, but also an extensive menu. One of the best features of the restaurant is the happy hour, which is 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and all day Sunday.
Food: Extensive lunch, dinner, and happy hour menus.
Beer: Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands, Betsy's Mountain Amber Ale, Pinkerton Porter, Screening Room Northwest Red Ale, Brute Force IPA, as well as many, many guest beers.
Location: 8564 Greenwood Avenue N, Seattle – 206-838-6299
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 very cool. Bonus—you can tour the brewery or explore the Microbrewery Museum.
Food: Full menu, including a kid’s menu.
Beer: Pike Pale Ale, Kilt Lifter Ruby Ale, Monk’s Uncle Tripel Ale, Naughty Nellie Golden Artisan Ale, Pike IPA, Old Bawdy Barley Wine Style Ale, Tandem Double Ale, Stout, Double IPA, plus seasonal selections.
Location: 1415 1st Avenue, Seattle – 206-622-6044
A lineup of beer and some of the best microbrewery food in town, what could be better? While not as close to the stadiums as Pyramid, Schooner Exact is just over a mile away so also makes a great pre- or post-game watering hole.
Food: A modest, but tasty menu, as well as an equally tasty brunch menu.
Beer: 3 Grid IPA, Regrade Pale Ale, Profanity Hill Porter, King Street Brown, Gateway Golden Ale, Gallant Maiden Hefeweizen, seasonal and special beers.
Location: 3901 1st Avenue S, Seattle – 206-432-9734
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, but the beers are complex and delicious. Bonus—the brewery gives part of all sales to local charities.
Food: No food.
Beer: P-51 Porter, Ace IPA, Pocket Aces Double IPA, Stratofortress, Miss B Haven Tripel
Location: 509 ½ Puyallup Avenue, Tacoma – 253-651-4832