Sunday, May 22, 2011

Seattle Beer Travel Guide

Since I enjoy Paul A. Ner's dispatch about Milton and Rehoboth Beach, DE and my own little KC travel guide, I had Wes Port deliver a similar guide to Seattle. Below is Wes Port's Seattle. If you're a blogger/writer and interested in writing a travel guide to your particular area contact me (

A trip to Seattle wouldn’t be complete without sampling some of its world-class beers. The region is packed with brewpubs and artisan/micro breweries, some of which offer a tour.

Breweries and Brewpubs

Being from Kansas City, I am quite fond of the Boulevard tour, and have yet to find a tour here that rivals the KC facility and experience. A closerunner-up (in regards to a tour with the “feel” of Boulevard) is the Georgetown Brewery (5200 Denver Ave., Seattle, WA). They give one tour per month, it costs $5 (for charity), and they have a very limited number of spaces for a more intimate beer tour and discussion. If you visit Seattle, call or email Georgetown well in advance to find out when their next available tour is scheduled and to reserve your space! Oh, and did I mention that you get to sample FAR MORE than $5 worth of beer…?They also have great merchandise – hats and t-shirts for you and onesies with cool beer slogans on them for the kids?

Georgetown Brewery is home to “Manny’s Pale Ale.” You will see this local favorite in nearly EVERY bar and restaurant in Seattle. It’s as common as KC’s Boulevard Wheat.

Another great experience near Seattle would have to be the Redhook brewery (14300 NE 145th Street, Woodinville, WA) just north of Bellevue. Here’s a tip: Go early on a Sunday before the church crowd arrives (it’s no secret they’re the heaviest drinkers…) and enjoy a leisurely lunch in the brewpub. Sign-in for the 1:00 tour (cost is $1.00 and includes a free tasting glass) and follow the guide on a one-hour “tour” in a single room. They talk you through their brewing process, have you sample a wide variety of beers, and serve up a bit of comedy during their spiel. And when you’re just not quite done drinking, there’s the Woodinville Whiskey Company (16110 Woodinville Redmond Rd. NE, Woodinville, WA) right down the street! Makes for a relaxing Sunday afternoon. There is actually a myriad of distilleries and wineries in an adjacent strip mall. No blue laws here in one of the least religious cities in the country!

If your Seattle stay finds you in the Fremont neighborhood, check out the Fremont Brewery (3409 Woodland Park Ave., Seattle, WA). There isn’t a tour, but visitors are allowed to sit in the brewing area where a bartender cranks out fresh suds for the locals. Growlers are available for purchase if you’d like to carry some quality, Seattle beer back to your hotel. When you’ve had your fill of liquid gold, walk a few steps down the street to the 509 Winery (1300 N. Northlake Way, Seattle, WA)!  And there are tons of great bars and shops to skulk around at in Fremont, and a great opportunity to get your picture taken in front of a giant statue of Lenin that was shipped in from the fallen USSR.

Want in on a couple Seattle secrets? Two Beers and Baron Brewing are up-and-coming small-batch brewers, the second of which is difficult to find. Both have really tasty creations and offer interesting settings for their beer production.

Two Beers (4700 Ohio Ave. S, Seattle, WA) is produced at a loading dock in a fairly industrial area. In the evenings, they open their large, dock door and set tables outside. You can order from a wide selection of beers at their bar, watch a sporting event on their flat-screen TVs, and enjoy a rare sunny day sitting on the dock, mingling with the “after work crowd.” And the other 300 days when it’s not sunny, you can sit under your own umbrella while enjoying your beer at a table on the loading dock. You’re welcome.

Baron Brewery’s tasting room (1605 S. 93rd St., Seattle, WA) likewise, is in an industrial setting. It’s not well-marked and is merely a door leading you into a 10 x 20 “closet space” with a tiny bar and a few stools. It’s usually crowded with local regulars. Not a place you’ll find any tourists! They offer 5-6 beers on tap and brew the beers in the adjoining “loading-dock” space. This has been a sublime discovery for me here in Seattle. I’ve enjoyed popping in to Baron’s tiny bar on many occasions after work with colleagues as a cheap and interesting way to wind down after a busy day! After delighting in good conversation and even better beer, I fill up my Baron growler to take home for the weekend (or for breakfast the next morning). Incidentally, they have the coolest growlers containers, but sell out quickly.Call first before you go; they have only evening hours at this location: phone 206-764-1213. Also, check out their new Pillager’s Pub in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle.

For a more traditional experience, there is the Pike Place Brewery (90 Pike St., Seattle, WA), just down the street from the Pike Street Market. They have their own beers, produced in-house. Nothing special…just a typical touristy, brew-pub restaurant, but their Double IPA is killer!

Restaurants and Bars
As for local Seattle bars/restaurants that shouldn’t be missed? Here’s a list of some of my favorites, in no particular order. There are too many to note, but here’s a sample.

West Seattle:
West 5 (4539 California Ave., Seattle, WA) on California Avenue has a mean baked bacon macaroni dish!!
Talarico’s (4718 California Ave. SW, Seattle, WA) has a FANTASTIC happy hour with enormous slices of pizza.

If you like Mexican food, a hot little place called Mission (2325 California Ave. SW, Seattle, WA) has amazing ambience!

The Brickyard (2308 California SW, Seattle, WA) has an amazing outdoor patio.

The Alki Tavern (dive bar!) (1321 Harbor Ave., Seattle, WA) is right across from the Water Taxi stop and has a great burger.

Alki Beach offers a wide variety of bar-hopping opportunities and on a sunny day has really great views of the Olympic Mountains, ferry boats, sand volleyball matches, and is ideal for all kinds of people watching.

Duke’s on the beach (2516 Alki Ave., Seattle, WA) has a 2nd-floor balcony and bar overlooking EVERYTHING! Perfect perch on a rare sunny afternoon in the Pacific NW!

Downtown Seattle:

The Red Lion Pub (1415 5th Ave., Seattle, WA) is a cool little place to grab some food and drink a beer. It’s located below a hotel.

The Alibi Room (85 Pike St., Seattle, WA) (located in the alley below the Pike Market “fish throwing place”) is a great happy hour location with awesome food. Good vibe!

If you like sushi, the “best place” downtown is Nijo Sushi (83 Spring St., Seattle, WA). They have a few beers on tap and an excellent selection of happy hour sushi/sashimi. They’ve got an outdoor patio as well.

Bimbo’s in Capitol Hill (504 E. Pine St., Seattle, WA) has beer, burritos the size of a baby, and a Mexican wrester theme.

Six Arms Brewery in Capitol Hill (300 E. Pike St., Seattle, WA) is always a good bet!

Elysian Fields in Capitol Hill (1221 E. Pike St., Seattle, WA) has great beer, but I’ve never been too impressed w/ the food.

If you’re near the ball stadiums, check out the Triangle Pub (553 1st Ave., Seattle, WA), and also the New Orleans Creole Restaurant (114 First Ave. S, Seattle, WA). Really unique, fun places.

Check out the views of Lake Union at Hooters or the Bluewater Bistro (7900 E. Green Lake Dr. N, Seattle, WA) (next to each other). You can have beer and food while enjoying the yachts, float-planes, and sailboats!

Just south of downtown in Georgetown, visit Loretta’s Northwesterner (8617 14th Ave. S., Seattle, WA), eat a burger and drink some beer in an Airstream on their back patio.


The George and Dragon Pub (206 N. 36th St., Seattle, WA) is a great place to drink British/Irish beers and watch a soccer match on the many TVs.

Wingmasters (5811 24th Ave. NW, Seattle, WA) is one of the only places to get “decent” wings in Seattle. It’s a bit of a drive, but is a great dive bar/restaurant with a college bar feel.

The Ballard and Fremont neighborhoods both have areas PACKED with bars and restaurants. Great for walking and nightlife.


  1. Awesome list. Seattle is my favorite US city to visit. The beer scene is unpretentious and welcoming.

    Did you have an opportunity to check out Black Raven in Redmond? They are a year old and leafy taking awards for their trickster IPA. Highlight of my last trip.

    Also Brouwers Cafe was overlooked on your list. the Maproom of Seattle in my opinion.

  2. I liked the Pyramid Brewery beer garden before going to a Mariners game. That was a fun time too if someone is going to a game there.

  3. This is awesome, I love your travel tips. I'm heading out to Seattle in about a month, I might have time to hit up ONE of these places!

  4. it's good to see that Bimbo's made the list! you can't do a proper Seattle post without a mention of their baby sized burritos!

  5. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  6. Glad to zee you list West Seattle, but you missed some key beer establishments that are a must visit:
    Elliott Bay Brewery, which has great food and excellent beer. There is always several seasonal's on tap.
    The Beverage Place: You will lose yourself in this relaxed atmosphere (couches, games, tavern tables) pub that has a beer list that will blow your mind. If you are looking for rare brews on tap, this is the place to visit.
    Beer Junction: Beer store turned part time pub. This "beer store" has a selection that will blow your mind, with rare brews on tap, that can be taken home in a growler or enjoyed there. (has a big selection of Boulevard, that I pick up before a K-State game.)

    If you are in Seattle you have to visit West Seattle, just min fron Downtown and the best views of the city and Olympics. And the three places above are a must visit. I sugest grab a 6 pack at the Beer junction and have a picknick on Alki Beach or Lincoln Park.