Food & Drink

The Best Beer Bars in Seattle

Published On 03/19/2014 Published On 03/19/2014
brouwer's cafe seattle best beer bars
Brouwer's Cafe/Todd Bradley

Seattle lets the rest of world think this town is all about coffee, when really, we’re just hoarding the good stuff for ourselves: beer. With new breweries opening every day and the best beers from around the country coming in, drinking needs to be done at a bar where they know their wit from their weisse and can break down the difference among 27 different Northwest IPAs. So before you head out for a hop fix, check our guide to the best beer bars in town.

Naomi Bishop/Thrillist

The Pine Box

Capitol Hill
Fine, it's actually the old funeral home that used to house Chapel, but this 120-seater takes a pretty worshipful approach to the 30+ brews on tap, some of which they pour through a flavor-infusing filter, giving them a...well... killer flavor.

Tippe & Drague Alehouse

Tippe & Drague

Beacon Hill
All of Beacon Hill cheered when Tippe & Drague opened. Finally, a beer bar in a part of town that is in need of about 17 more. It’s even better than it needs to be, given the lack of competition, keeping a funky collection of local beers from big guys (Full Sail) to nano-breweries so small you’ve never even heard of them -- yet.

Chuck's Hop Shop Central District

Chuck’s Hop Shop

Opened by a guy named Stan (kidding, it's Chuck) in what used to be (and sort of still is) a convenience store, this beer shop/bar boasts a constantly updated, color-coded electronic menu board inside and a constantly rotating array of food trucks, as well as a handful of tables, outside.

Beveridge Place Pub/Mark B. Bausche Photography

Beveridge Place Pub

West Seattle
Drinking at West Seattle’s Beveridge Place is just like drinking at home -- if your house has 36 beers on tap and 150 different bottles in the fridge, a living room strewn with comfy couches, and a rec room packed with darts, foosball, TV, pool tables, etc.

Jared Adam

The Noble Fir

Opened by a pair of nature- and each other-lovers (she's a lawyer, he was an outfitter at REI), this bar aims to bring the outdoors to you via a large selection of beers/wines made from "some of the best things the NW has to offer" (hops, barley, places that aren't Portland), in an un-fussy wood-heavy space that's even got an over-sized booth stuffed with guide books and laminated trail maps.

Naomi Bishop/Thrillist

The Stumbling Monk

Capitol Hill
Presumably named for what you'll be doing once you leave, and also for the guys making what you'll be drinking while you're there, the Stumbling Monk is the single-best place in this craft beer-crazy city to score Belgian-inspired brews... but not food, or music, or anything else, really.

Naomi Bishop/Thrillist

The Yard Cafe

The 45-seater is living up to its name (it's owned by the guys behind The Dray, who simply turned the name around) by adding room for the same number in its fire/space-heated front "yard", where not only do they grow hops, but also serve hoppy Northwest IPAs that go surprisingly well with their line-up of Mexi-eats.

Brouwer's Cafe 

When pouring from a selection of 64 taps and 300 bottles, it's possible to cover everything from obscure Belgians (their specialty) to tiny cask pours of local IPAs. The food kicks ass, and it’s at its best on the special pairing menus they do for tasting nights, when brewers come through to shoot the shit about their beers and answer questions while you drink.

Naomi Tomky/Thrillist

Naked City Brewery 

This former parking lot nails the most important feature of a beer garden: a sweet mural of intoxicated walruses (walrusi?). But if you get bored of that, try out a game of ‘Washers’ (think cornhole with smaller pieces). It’s the perfect way to waste away the ever -- accompanied by the tap list split between Naked City’s own delicious brews and other top craft beers.

The Beer Junction 

West Seattle
The Beer Junction is actually a beer store in West Seattle with 37 taps (organized by style: “odd and delicious” or “on the dark side”) from which they will fill your glass. There are seats here, but they’re rarely in use. Why sit when you can walk around and browse the 1,300 bottles that are on display in the fridges that line the hallway of the store?

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The worst part about Naomi Tomky's job was definitely not checking in on all these bars. Find her beer-fueled exploits on Twitter @Gastrognome and Instagram @the_gastrognome.

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1. The Pine Box 1600 Melrose Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 (Capitol Hill)

The Pine Box, simultaneously cool and a bit creepy given being located in an old mortuary, is more famous for its cocktails than the building's actual history. Here, they always serve a choice of at least two local ciders, along with cocktails, 30-plus taps of extremely well-curated West Coast-heavy brews, fancy brunch, and other delicious bites.

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2. Tippe & Drague Alehouse 3315 Beacon Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144 (Beacon Hill)

Tippe & Drague has a light-rail-convenient location, vintage/reclaimed touches (a bar built from old doors, a slew of antique photos, a working grandfather clock...), and a promise to serve "no crap on tap".

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3. Chuck's Hop Shop 656 NW 85th St, Seattle, WA 98117 (Greenwood)

Chuck's Hop shop has over 50 rotating taps, typically divided down the middle between cider and beer, and over 1,000 bottled beers. If you find something you like, kegs and growlers are also available. Come hungry and enjoy the patio while munching from a local food truck with always changing options to choose from.

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4. Beveridge Place Pub 6413 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98136 (West Seattle)

Beveridge Place Pub has a selection of more than 30 brews and ciders, plus friendly bartenders to help you decide which ones to taste. The cozy space is replete with comfy couches, where you can nosh on chessboards and bowls of Goldfish and other salty snacks, or you can sidle up to one of the pool tables or the shuffleboard area. Beveridge doesn’t have a kitchen, but encourages delivery from any of the handful of nearby restaurants, so you can enjoy whatever West Seattle food your heart desires without having to relocate.

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5. The Burgundian Tavern 2253 N 56th St, Seattle, WA 98103 (Wallingford)

At The Burgundian Tavern, the maxim "beer is for breakfast" is dutifully maintained, and the power hour specials run Monday through Friday without fail. The always-available selection of craft beers and ciders, as well as the extensive cocktail menu, both stand to prove that no time is a bad time for drinking. Serving AM eats all day, the Tavern is an ideal late brunch spot with plenty of classic American egg dishes featuring utterly Burgundian touches like sour beer vinagrette or bourbon smoked maple syrup. Power hours at the bar include a selection of foods best enjoyed in tandem with copious amounts of alcohol (wings, soft pretzels, steak with beer cheese), and the kitchen stays open until midnight on the weekends. Whether you're looking for fries with fennel-beer-mustard, or a house-curated barrel aged cocktail, The Burgundian offers judgement free indulgence just about all the time.

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6. The Noble Fir 5316 Ballard Ave, Seattle, WA 98119 (Ballard)

Opened by a pair of nature and each other lovers (she's a lawyer, he was an outfitter at REI), this drinkery aims to bring the outdoors to you via a large selection of beers/wines made from "some of the best things the NW has to offer" (hops, barley, etc).

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7. Stumbling Monk 1635 E Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98122 (Capitol Hill)

Presumably named for what you'll be doing once you leave, and also for the dudes making what you'll be drinking while you're there, the Stumbling Monk is the single best place in this craft beer crazy city to score Belgian-inspired brews.

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8. The Yard Cafe 8313 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103 (Greenwood)

This low-ceiling'd wood-heavy 45-seater is living up to its name with its fire/space-heated front "yard", and supplementing its cafe area.



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