Best Brewpubs and Taprooms in Seattle

Plus: See who won the award for Most Iconic Washington Beer Brand
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 
LAGER THAN LIFE: Elliott Bay Brewing has three pub locations, but our favorite is still the West Seattle original

This article appears in print in the July 2018 issue, as part of the Seattle Magazine Second Annual Beer AwardsClick here to subscribe.

BEST BREW PUB
A restaurant or pub with its own brewery on site

Elliott Bay Brewery and Pub

While the company’s other, newer locations in Burien (est. 2007) and Lake City (est. 2012) are lovely in their own right, the original West Seattle brewery and pub is as comfortable as your oldest flannel shirt, the one you’ve had since 1997, when this brewpub opened. Cozy and aged to perfection, the long and narrow space is filled with oak furnishings and self-fashioned, dark-stained plywood booths. Classic pub fare, such as burgers, sandwiches and fish and chips, exceed expectations, while less common fare, such as jambalaya and ahi tacos, invites you to try something more imaginative.

Consider pairing the Luna Weizen (a Hefeweizen) with the Hawaii Five-O burger, which features teriyaki sauce, Swiss cheese and grilled pineapple. Order like a pro and ask for “crack sauce” (chipotle aioli) to accompany your herb-seasoned french fries. West Seattle, 4720 California Ave. SW; 206.932.8695; elliottbaybrewing.com; all ages

Readers’ Choice Winners:
1. Naked City Brewery and Taphouse Greenwood, 8564 Greenwood Ave. N; 206.838.6299; all ages
2. Pike Brewing Company Downtown, 1415 First Ave.; 206.622.6044; all ages
3. Redhook Brewlab Capitol Hill, 714 E Pike St.; 206.823.3026; all ages

BEST BREWERY TAPROOM
Brewery with a taproom serving tasters and pints, but not a brewpub or restaurant

Old Stove Brewing


HOPS, SKIP AND A JUMP: Old Stove’s stunning new taproom, in Pike Place Market’s MarketFront expansion, overlooks Elliott Bay

When Uncle Fred and Aunt Margaret come to visit from Topeka, you will probably take them to Pike Place Market. While you’re at it, give them an even more authentic taste of Seattle at Old Stove Brewing’s new MarketFront taproom, which is located in the MarketFront addition that was completed last summer. This spacious taproom features polished concrete floors, big communal tables, exposed wood beams, and floor-to-ceiling, west-facing windows that overlook Elliott Bay. When weather allows, the windows roll up and the taproom sprawls onto the patio.

While Old Stove Brewing’s MarketFront location is open as a taproom, final construction is finishing up, and it will soon become a full-service brewpub. All ages are welcome, but only grownups can enjoy the Two-Pronged Crown IPA, my personal favorite from its lineup and a consistent crowd-pleaser. Pike Place Market Waterfront, 1901 Western Ave., Suite A; 206.602.6120; oldstove.com; all ages

Readers’ Choice Winners:
1. Reuben’s Brews: Ballard5010 14th Ave. NW; 206.784.2859; all ages
2. Holy Mountain BrewingInterbay, 1421 Elliott Ave. W; holymountainbrewing.com; 21 and older only
3. Fremont Brewing: Fremont, 1050 N 34th St.; 206.420.2407; fremontbrewing.com; all ages

BEST BEER-FOCUSED RESTAURANT
A restaurant or pub with a strong focus on beer

The Pine Box


DARK AND STORMY: Grab a pint and a pizza at the Pine Box on Capitol Hill, and breathe in the history of the former funeral home

This establishment is located in a historic funeral home, through which many notable Seattleites have passed on their way to the pearly gates, including actor and martial arts master Bruce Lee (a picture on the wall proves it). Now enjoying a less somber second life, the old chapel serves as a restaurant and bar with 30 beers on tap. The room is softly lit by tall, arching windows with small, frosted panes, and the original, ornate moldings on the ceiling date back to 1923. A balcony at the back of the room, now used for restaurant seating, presumably accommodated overflow mourners or perhaps a choir.

The menu offers a range of salads, sandwiches, burgers and pizzas. Order the chicken and broccoli pizza—a white-sauce pizza with mozzarella, red onion and thyme—and ask one of the beer-savvy bartenders for a pairing recommendation. Capitol Hill, 1600 Melrose Ave.; 206.588.0375; pineboxbar.com; 21 and older only

Readers’ Choice Winners:
1. Brouwer’s Café Fremont, 400 N 35th St.; 206.267.2437; 21 and older only
2. The Pine Box
3. Latona Pub Green Lake, 6423 Latona Ave. NE; 206.525.2238; 21 and older only

BEST BEER RETAILER
Savor a pint or take some growlers to go

Chuck’s Hop Shop Central District

BROWSING FOR BREWS: Is it a bottle shop or is it a bar? Chuck’s Hop Shop in the Central District blurs the line in the best way (and there’s ice cream to boot)

The second of Chuck Shinn’s hop shops (the original is in Greenwood), this newfangled kind of beer retailer, like the original, blurs the line between bottle shop and bar, with the perimeter of the room lined with reach-in refrigerators full of beer, and the middle of the room crowded with tables and chairs full of the neighborhood’s beer lovers.

Commonly referred to as Chuck’s CD, this bottle shop has hundreds of beers in bottles and cans as well as 50 beers on tap. So grab a pint while you shop or maybe hunker down for a couple of hours with the family in tow. Usually you’ll find a food truck out front in the parking lot, where you’ll also see more bikes and baby carriages than cars. You’re also welcome to bring in your own food, and the shop sells Full Tilt ice cream by the scoop, along with bags of chips and some other snack items. Central District, 2001 E Union St.; 206.538.0743; chuckscd.wordpress.com; all ages; dog-friendly

Readers’ Choice Winners:
1. Chuck’s Hop Shop: Greenwood, 656 NW 85th St.; 206.297.6212; all ages
2. The Beer Junction: West Seattle, 4511 California Ave. SW; 206.938.2337; 21 and older only
3. Chuck’s Hop Shop Central District 

BEER-FOCUSED BAR
At least 12 beers on tap, rotating regularly; bar only, no food

Beer Star

REC ROOM: Beer Star has something for everyone: beer, snacks, TVs and even a kiddie play area

If a long-troubled business district is going to realize the promise of gentrification, establishing a good, upscale beer joint, especially one that welcomes kids as well as their thirsty parents, is a good start. And thus, Beer Star fell from the heavens and landed in the heart of White Center in May 2017. When techies, hipsters and young families flee the oppressive housing prices in other parts of Seattle, this expansive beer hall is waiting with 48 beers on tap, a huge bar for grown-ups only, tons of tables for groups and even a play area for the kiddos. Scattered flat-screen TVs, high ceilings, exposed beams and large, west-facing windows define the space.

Next door, Li'l Woody's offers easy to carryout fare. If hamburgers don’t sound good, you’re welcome to bring in food from any of the neighborhood’s other restaurants, such as Proletariat Pizza or Bok a Bok Fried Chicken and Biscuits.
White Center, 9801 16th Ave. SW; 206.453.3088; beerstarusa.com; all ages; dog-friendly

Readers’ Choice Winners:
1. Chuck’s Hop ShopGreenwood 656 NW 85th St.; 206.297.6212; all ages
2. The Beer Junction: West Seattle, 4511 California Ave. SW; 206.938.2337; 21 and older only
3. Beveridge Place PubWest Seattle, 6413 California Ave. SW; 206.932.9906; 21 and older only

MOST ICONIC WASHINGTON BEER BRAND

Pike Brewing Company

LIVING LEGENDS: Rose Ann and Charles Finkel of Pike Brewing Company in Pike Place Market were building a beer empire long before it was cool

In a city where everything seems shiny and new, and very little of our local culture predates grunge, Pike Brewing tirelessly persists as one of Seattle’s oldest and best breweries. Because of its proximity to Pike Place Market, this brewery and pub is all that many visitors see of the local beer culture; we could not ask for better ambassadors. Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, who founded the brewery in 1989, remain omnipresent on the local beer scene, and if we ever erect a Seattle Beer Pantheon, theirs will be among the very first names chiseled in stone at the shrine.

In 2012, when the Space Needle celebrated its 50th anniversary, Pike Brewing was selected to create a beer to commemorate the milestone, an obvious and appropriate choice. Like the brewery itself, that beer endures and is widely available in 12-ounce cans, but do yourself a favor and get a pint of Space Needle Golden IPA at the source by visiting the brewery and pub. Pike Place Market, 1415 First Ave.; 206.622.6044; pikebrewing.com; all ages

Readers’ Choice Winners:
1. Rainier Beer Now owned by Pabst Brewing Company and brewed in California
2. Georgetown Brewing Company: Georgetown, 5200 Denver Ave. S; 206.766.8055; all ages
3. Pike Brewing Company

The print version of this story includes now dated information about Beer Star. The online version reflects the latest information about dining and carryout options available at the location.

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