Ballard is without a doubt the most dense neighborhood in terms of breweries, and it would probably take you hours to visit just the ones within these few city blocks. That said, start with Stoup: home of the Citra IPA, a “Greenhouse” (i.e. private garden space), and general good vibes. There’s almost always a food truck parked outside, too; check the schedule here.
This family owned brewery opened its doors in 2009—like, at the height of the recession—and is now the busiest spot in the neighborhood, which is, if nothing else, a testament to the power of really good beer. Nowadays, Fremont Brewing is all about local ingredients, sustainability, and special releases; check this calendar for a schedule of the latter.
Reuben’s has the kind of outdoor space that feels like a home away from home—if your home has 24 beers on tap, that is. Check here for the taplist, food truck schedule, and information about Thank You Thursdays, a program in which Reuben’s hosts a different charity every month and donates $1 per beer to their cause every third Thursday.
For a short, adventurous, and always delicious tap list, look no further than Holy Mountain Brewing. Tucked away with very subtle signage (don’t miss the turn!) on Elliot in Interbay, the taproom is the result of three Seattle beer veterans putting their heads together and coming up with some of the most interesting beers in town. FYI, this spot is not really the right one for your rowdy family gathering—it’s 21+ only and no pets allowed.
Rooftop Brewing famously started as a “nano-brewery” in a garage behind a 7-11 in Queen Anne, the neighborhood they still call home today. Since then, the operation has obviously grown a hell of a lot, but the commitment to good beer sans frills remains. Plus, now the rooftop is not just a pipe dream, but a reality. Brews and views: the ideal combo.
When Cloudburst opened its doors back in 2016, it was one of the most talked about debuts in recent memory. Five years later, it still lives up to the hype: The beer is still boundary pushing, and founder Steve Luke is still feeling very creative when it comes to new recipes. Oh, and we’re not the only ones singing his praises—the Great American Beer Festival just named Cloudburst “Brewery of the Year” and crowned Luke “Brewer of the Year.”