Trying to sum up any large American city in a single blog post is a fool’s errand. That goes double for Seattle, where you can barely go two miles in any direction without hitting a brewery, winery, or distillery. Susan and I visited recently to attend the wedding of our friends Karl & Katie, and took the opportunity to check out what the Puget Sound area had to offer.
Downtown Seattle- the actual walkable core part by Pioneer Square- does not have the brewery density of Asheville or downtown Portland (ME or OR). Of the selections we found, only McMenamin’s Six Arms (a local chain) suited us for vibe and beer quality. Our recommendation is to skip downtown and instead hit Fremont.
Fremont is home to the famous troll under the bridge. It also is fortunate to have an outlet for Schilling Cidery, currently one of our favourite cideries ever. They had more than 30 ciders on tap and it was an exquisitely quiet, wonderful place. Just down the street is Fremont Brewing, which delivered decent pints in another large, comfortable space. Not far away, where the 15th Ave bridge crosses over, are three more breweries we sadly did not get to try. But this part of the city definitely seems like the right place for good alcohol tourism.
Of the surrounding islands, Silver City is still one of the best brewpubs we have been to, hands down. We encountered it years ago on our Northwest driving trip, and upon repeat visit this year, it continues to hold up. Around the corner on Bainbridge Island, the Bainbridge Organic Distillery is a treasure. Free tastings and incredibly well crafted liquor make this a must-do. Right next door is the Bainbridge Brewing Co, having a fine but not outstanding selection.
North of the city and on to Whidbey Island, Bastion Brewing is clearly a local favorite and hosted some surprisingly good brews. Wicked Teuton Brewing, located within a beer brewing store, had a strategy we have not seen before but marvel at. The owner brews beers which have earned him awards, and then sells the kits to make the same beer at home. The beer is also well crafted and to style, and the ability to make it yourself is a nice feature.
Seattle did not disappoint, and you would have to take months to explore all of its offerings sufficiently. If you have a favourite Seattle alcohol destination, please let us know in the Comments!