The Ballard neighborhood is at the hoppy heart of the local suds scene. It’s home to some 11 breweries so close together that it’s easy to walk between them. A few highlights: Reuben’s Brews (1406 NW 53rd St; reubensbrews.com) for globally diverse beer styles, Peddler Brewing Company (*1514 NW Leary Way; peddlerbrewing.com) for inventive brews, and Stoup Brewing (*1108 NW 52nd St; stoupbrewing.com) for hoppy classics. You’ll want to check tasting room hours before you go, but weekends are usually a good bet.
Near Ballard, Fremont Brewing (*1050 N 34th St; fremontbrewing.com) is a local favorite for its massive outdoor beer garden—just a few blocks from the Fremont Troll—and seasonal offerings, like its refreshing Summer Ale and perfect-for-fall Harvest Ale. And steps from Pike Place Market’s iconic neon sign, Pike Brewing Company (*1415 First Ave; pikebrewing.com) has been pouring pints of craft brews since 1989. Order a sampler to try six of their staple beers, or fill a growler up with your favorite to enjoy later.
The city’s first gluten-free brewery opened a taproom in SoDo. Instead of wheat, Ghostfish Brewing Company (2942 First Ave S; ghostfishbrewing.com) uses buckwheat, rice, and other gluten-free grains to make its beer. For a fruity departure, try Seattle Cider Company’s (4700 Ohio Ave S; seattlecidercompany.com) exceptional hard ciders made from Washington apples in the tasting room it shares with Two Beers Brewing (twobeersbrewery.com) in SoDo.
If your time in town is limited, pop over to one of the city’s well-stocked beer bars, where you can sip an assortment of the city’s best from a single stool. Casual and cordial Chuck’s Hop Shop (2001 E Union St and 656 NW 85th St; chuckshopshop.com), with locations in both Greenwood and the Central District, has more than 40 taps and hundreds more bottles. The Pine Box (*1600 Melrose Ave; pineboxbar.com) in Capitol Hill and Brouwer’s Cafe (400 N 35th St; brouwerscafe.blogspot.com) in Fremont are both solid 21-and-older choices for a proper night out with a phenomenal beer list.
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