The Emerald City is full of options for trying some of the best beer in America. Washington State has over 200 independent breweries and many choose Seattle as their home. Yakima Valley is one of the biggest producer of hops in the world and luckily it is in our backyard.
The craft brewery industry brought over $6 billion to Washington last year and continues to grow. If you live in Seattle, you've probably noticed. New breweries pop up on street corners as often as Belltown gets a new apartment building, but you won't see us complaining, we can drink beer allll day, every day (we don't because that isn't socially acceptable though unfortunately). But what we can do (all for the sake of research) is spend the next year traveling to every corner of the city to get you all the information you need to make informed decisions about our local beer.
Part one of the craft series is focusing on Ballard, which, in our opinion, holds some of the best beer in the city. Here are our four favorites.
Stoup, named after a Scottish drinking vessel, is fairly new to the brewery scene, opening in 2013. We are a little biased about our love of their beer since 50% of the brain power behind this operation is female. Robyn Schumacher was Washington States first female Cicerone and she is killing it at Stoup. She and her partner built the brewery on their love of science and beer, and you can taste it.
Our favorite: Citra IPA.
Reuben's entered the scene in 2012. Back then it was a lot smaller, with a metal bowl of pretzels and a short list of beers on the wall. Fast forward to today and they are one of the most popular craft breweries in the city. Getting a seat on the weekend in their expanded space is difficult, but the wait is worth it. Sitting in the sun with a Reuben's brew in your hand is a pretty good way to spend a Saturday afternoon...or Sunday...or Monday...or Tuesday... or
Our favorite: Gose Sour Ale
Peddler Brewing has great beer, but they win their spot on this list because of their space. For Seattle, this place is yuuuggeee. They have taps in the front, along with seating, but don't stop here, head out back and take advantage of their many games and giant yard full of communal picnic tables. Bond over beers with strangers by playing a game of cornhole/bags/whatever you call it where you are from or giant Jenga under their string lights.
Our favorite: Earl Gray Blonde Kombucha Sour
Hale's is the wise old papa bear of breweries in Ballard, hell in Seattle. Mike Hale opened Hale's Ales in 1983, and they are still running as an independently owned shop. That makes them the longest running operation in the NW and for that, we show respect. Their place might not have a modern logo or creative tap handles, but they pour good beer and their brewers know their stuff.
Our favorite: Supergoose IPA
There are a few other breweries in the neighborhood, but if we have to pick, these are the ones. Let us know your favorites in the comments. Cheers!