I’ll be one of the first to admit that beer plays an inordinately important part in some of my travel decisions. And to be perfectly honest, it would take more than two hands to count the number of times I’ve diverted part of a trip at the last minute because I’d learned about some great brewery, bar, or other great beer destination. My love of beer started almost ten years ago on my first backpacking trip through Europe, when I wound up staying at a hostel in Antwerp that had more than 30 different Belgian beers available at their bar. It was trouble (though trouble of the most delicious variety). Hence began my love of beer and, by extension, my interest in brewing as I wanted to duplicate those delicious brews back home and add my own spin to them. In many ways, I feel fortunate to call a place like Seattle home, as quality beer is just something that’s expected here, and the craft brewing movement is alive and well here.
There are so many different bars and shops here in Seattle where you can find something new and exciting to drink and the list below represents my humble opinion regarding the best of the best in this fair city. I’m sure I’ll leave a place or two (or five) out, but I think that just solidifies the fact that there are so many great options here. Now, without further adieu, here are my top places for beer in this lovely city by the sea.
1. Chucks Hop Shop
The place in north Seattle to score some bottles, fill your growler, have a pint, or get some candy. And not only is there a great vibe and a fantastic beer selection, but complementing it all is a rotating roster of some of the city’s best food trucks, including: Ezells and Where Ya At Matt. This is one of the first places I go when I’m looking for something special to drink.
2. Super Deli Mart
Another outstanding bottle shop, though a bit out of the way in West Seatlle (though good beer is always worth the trip). One of the strengths of the Super Deli Mart is that they host some fantastic tasting events. It was fall of last year that I was lucky enough to score some tickets to taste the Sam Adams Utopias here.
3. Beer Junction
Oh, West Seattle, if you weren’t so isolated from the rest of the city and so damned inconvenient for a busser like myself, your selection of fine beer shops just might lure me out of Ballard. The Beer Junction is one of those places, a fantastic bottle shop with knowledgable staff and a great tap selection, and a place thats become a neighborhood institution with tastings and other events.
4. Two Beers Brewery
One of the best up-and-coming breweries in the city, Two Beers puts out some inventive and high-quality beers and maintains a fantastic tasting room to boot in ‘The Woods’ down in Sodo. They’ve also set up the first cidery within Seattle since prohibition.
5. Brouwers Cafe
No Seattle beer list would be complete without mentioning Brouwers, the pre-eminent Belgian bar in town. While their food is good, especially for Happy hour (pomme frites, anyone?), the main appeal lies in their bottle and taplist. Not to mention a decent scotch selection. Yes, it is a bit pricey and ordering from their bottle list will set you back a fair penny, it is a great way to splurge.
6. Beveridge Place Pub
A great alehouse and another reason to venture out to West Seattle for some beer. The Beveridge Place Pub focuses primarily on serving Washington beers and has a great selection of some of the harder-to-find local brews. They don’t serve food, however you’re welcome to bring in your own grub. The BPP is divided into two sections, with a quieter room for conversation and a second “game room” with a big screen tv, pool tables, shuffleboard, and other typical bar accoutrements.. Come here for the chill atmosphere and the great local-focused tap selection.
7. Uber Tavern
Uber continues the tradition for Seattle beer bars, with a low key vibe and a beer selection to make any snob happy. They also offer kegs to go of some truly delicious brews, however like some other places on this list, no food. There are some good nearby options for grub that you’re welcome to bring in with you, like Da Vinci’s and PCC. It’s small, cozy, and a great place to unwind with some friends.
8. Naked City Brewery
Located in Greenwood, Naked City is a bit off the beaten track when compared to other breweries, but Naked City does Greenwood proud. Their food is above par, especially when compared to what one would expect at a typical brewery, and their tap selection is top notch.
Bottleworks is exactly what its name would suggest: a great place to go to find that vintage that you’re looking for. Their bottle selection is top notch, their staff is helpful, and they usually have a few good brews on tap. Few things compare to sipping a good beer while browsing shelf after shelf of delicious beer.
10. The Stumbling Monk
Ah, Belgium, you have another great home here in Seattle in this dark little Cap Hill beer bar. Located a bit off of the main Broadway drag on Olive, thus free from a lot of the chaos that tends to envelope the south end of Broadway at nights, the Stumbling Monk is a fantastic, no-frills place to pull up a chair with some friends, sip some of the best of Belgium, and play some board games.