The Best Breweries In Seattle

Where to go for hazy IPAs, sours infused with four fruits, and good times among mash tuns.
brewery patio with spread of beers and food looking out onto mural

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

In Seattle, breweries have a lot of different uses. They’re summer picnic destinations. They’re birthday party HQs. They’re places to refine your chess strategy while chomping on a food truck gyro. And lest we forget, you can also drink beer there, too. Get ready for a lot of flaked malt.


photo credit: Nate Watters



$$$$Perfect For:Drinking Good BeerBig GroupsOutdoor/Patio SituationDogs
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Bizarre is the best brewery in Seattle—there’s something for everyone to geek out over at this Magnolia operation. If pilsner was something you sip with a shrug, Bizarre’s version tastes like technicolor in a black-and-white world. Folks who are into the darker stuff can have at the helles lager treated with smoke or the iced coffee-like hazelnut honey stout. And for those who would rather be at a natural wine bar, there are fruity goses fermented in cabernet franc barrels and pumped full of barnyard funk via brettanomyces. Experience the above in a room full of blonde wooden picnic tables and squiggly paint accents, or sneak away to the adjoining rooftop.

Around here, “a pint of Manny’s” is as common of a phrase as “let’s reschedule,” and Georgetown is responsible. For the beer, not the flaking. And if you’d like to nab it at the source, along with other iconic pales, IPA, and their chocolatey porter, their tasting room (in...Georgetown) is an ideal gravel-filled place to do that. Especially with a friend you’re overdue to catch up with—just don’t reschedule.

Fair Isle in Ballard is about appreciating the nuances of beer as you would a glass of wine. They specialize in farmhouse-styles, made with native yeasts and refermented with fruits and vegetables like pluots, beets, and kiwi. There are oaked ones with infusions like sencha tea or blackberries and tarragon, as well as some winemaking techniques in play. Best part is, 49th Street Beast operates the kitchen, which means you can pair your piquette-esque saison with fancy charcuterie or a dry-aged, bacon-topped burger.

photo credit: Nate Watters

We love Here Today near the Olympic Sculpture Park for salty-lime brunch IPAs and breakfast tacos—specifically migas loaded with tangy red sauce and softened tortilla chips, and cauliflower with pickled onion. And for a brewery located in tourist country, it’s never super busy. There are plenty of retro booths, space at the bar for you and your laptop, tasty Mexican-style lagers, and 90s McDonald’s-style shoestring fries.

photo credit: Nate Watters

If you don’t have a beer agenda in mind, go to Project 9. This Maple Leaf spot is a large asphalt oasis dropped onto a busy intersection, and their beer lineup is as unpredictable as a monkey loose inside of a Home Depot. You’ll find peanut butter and jelly sandwich sours alongside turtle-flavored stout, and San Diego-style IPAs next to ones infused with pineapple and tangerine. Use it as a meet-in-the-middle spot when folks in your group are coming from opposite sides of town, or a patio session that feels just as summery as an oyster bar on the water.

If you’re looking for a calmer place for you and a couple of strollers, you’re in good hands at Rooftop Brewing, which is a quieter, serene spot—and as the name suggests, is technically located on a roof. Take in the view of Queen Anne homes, at least one small sliver of Lake Union, and/or a giant boat. Their IPAs succeed in particular (don’t miss the Tropical Staycation) and be sure to show up on a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, as that's when you'll catch the incredible smashburgers from Smash That Burger Co.

You’ve probably had some beer from Cloudburst at a restaurant or nice bar, but their warehouse-like tasting room is a breath of fresh air in congested corporate Belltown. Except for decorative flowers on the tables and red and turquoise racing stripes on the wall, Cloudburst looks like a narrow garage—only with beer instead of a Prius. We like any of their IPAs, or the Happy Little Clouds pilsner.

Sours can be polarizing, but if you like beer that tastes like liquified Warheads and hops, Urban Family will be your paradise. Their sours come in refreshing combinations like mango and peach, raspberry and lemon peel, and passionfruit and pink guava. If you’re truly a fan, they have sour slushies, and if you’re not, they brew a few IPAs and some barrel-aged bangers, too. Sip them all in their industrial tasting room, or grab a picnic table on the front patio.

If you only have time to visit one Ballard brewery, make it Reuben’s. It’s a fun taproom with 24 homemade beers and plenty of long wooden tables perfect for day drinking with a big group. There isn’t much decor beyond a few big beer-making tanks, but their beers—like the gose and the Crikey IPA—are so good that you won’t care. And now, Reuben’s has their own food truck permanently parked outside that serves sandwiches and snacks.

Perihelion is a place that feels designed for fall—with an outdoor firepit, barrels everywhere, an open kitchen that makes the Beacon Hill tasting room nice and warm, and an overall woodsy vibe. But it works any time of the year. They have a full menu worth planning a meal around (along with an outstanding burger), great music, and beers that range from apricot sour and roasted pepper IPA to classics like scotch ale and oatmeal stout. Use it for your next group hang or solo beer.

Drinking at Stoup feels like having your friend’s homebrew, only it’s good. There’s a wall covered completely in bumper stickers, the bar shares a room with the massive beer-making tanks, and rotating food trucks—like Off The Rez and Mexicuban—are always parked outside. The best part about Stoup is that it works for all types of weather—during winter, the main tasting room has plenty of seats, and when the sun comes out, the garage doors swing open and you can sit outside on a patio table. Plus, there’s a bonus beer garden around the corner with a firepit, and a second bar upstairs.

Fremont Brewing Company is everyone’s favorite place to day drink in the summer, and we’re not arguing. The urban garden is like Disneyland for craft beer nerds, but there’s something for you even if you don’t care how hazy your IPA is—they even have three different non-alcoholic beers which come in handy if you're driving but want some stout. It’ll be hard to find a seat, but just send one person to stalk tables with their best passive-aggressive glare while the rest of your group waits in line for a drink. Bring your own takeout from Royal Grinders or Pacific Inn here, but if you forget to do so, there’s a huge bowl of free mini pretzels.

If you’re brewery-hopping in Ballard and your priority is a standout patio, the one at Bale Breaker is the winner, complete with an expansive gravel-coated space, funky murals, and firepits. And since it doubles as a tasting room for Yonder Cider, you’ll have more gluten-free options on tap than you'd find at other breweries—like hard apple juice brewed with pineapple and cardamom, or spiked strawberry lemonade slushies. While the beer is good (we’re fans of their hazy stuff), you’re really here for Yonder’s fruit-based cider and the great outdoor space.

Lucky Envelope focuses on incorporating Asian flavors, and the resulting beers are excellent. Our favorite is their peanut butter stout, though you’ll also find a stellar raspberry sour, or a two-pepper pale ale made with habanero and Japanese shishitos. They also produce small-batch limited styles like mango lassi IPAs and cucumber gochugaru sours, as well as specials for Lunar New Year. When it’s not raining, their patio has a lot of energy, powered by cornhole and food trucks.

Forget the fact that Halcyon has one of the best patios on Greenwood’s main drag, a space that includes the whole gang—murals, picnic tables, and a pergola. (On second thought, don’t actually forget that.) This brewery also serves furikake-dusted hot dogs, dumplings, and a lineup of crisp IPAs. Stop by when the weather is nice, or for Wednesday chess nights.

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Located inside Fair Isle Brewing is 49th Street Beast, a Beast & Cleaver outpost that serves tasty charcuterie, dry-aged meats, and fancy vegetable dishes.

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