Seattle Brewery Tour: North Seattle

It's true that when you think of breweries north of Downtown Seattle your mind usually goes right to Ballard. Lucky for all of us they aren't the only neighborhood up there to have some kickass beer. Spread across the various smaller neighborhoods in North Seattle - think Ravenna and Greenwood - there are breweries working hard to hold their own against all the big ones in Ballard when it comes to quality of beer and atmosphere. Head out on an adventure to find some great hidden spots and enjoy some more of Seattle's great craft beer. 

Note: If you're planning a brewery crawl we want to mention they aren't all within walking distance. So, if you plan to go to all in one day, budget for Lyft rides! 

Ravenna Brewing Company  

Ravenna Brewing Company

Ravenna Brewing Company is nestled on a side street off of 55th Ave and has a small, charming set up. With colorful tiles decorating their taps and small tables scattered around their little tasting room, they offer a funky place to grab a pint. Their patio is great for summertime drinking, and it's also partially covered so even when those pesky rains come, you can enjoy your beer with some fresh air. They usually have some pretty cool beers on tap that aren't your average listings, like unique fruit flavors or barrel aged beers. 

And to elevate it a bit, they also have board games and card games to keep you entertained while you sip on their award-winning beer with friends and family, which we always love! They also win extra points for food trucks - usually they have some fine dining rolled up right outside for your enjoyment. Nosh is on Fridays - just sayin.

Our favorite beer: Jalapeño Kolsch

Lantern Brewing

Lantern Brewing

We would have never found this brewery if we weren't writing/researching for the blog - which is one of the reasons we love this job so much! Lantern Brewing is tucked away up on 95th Street, off Aurora Ave. The street definitely leaves something to be desired, it is near Aurora after all, but even though it isn't a traditionally beautiful spot, it actually ended up being our favorite on this list! Why? Well first and foremost they are incredibly friendly, but on top of that their beer is tasty, and they often have food trucks or local food vendors come and serve up tasty grub to have with your beer! 

They have a huge space and when it's warm they can throw open their large garage doors and you can sit outside and play cornhole. 

The other thing we liked about these guys was they took a step away from what you so often see at other breweries in Seattle - IPAs and Pale Ales - and have a diverse, but seriously Belgian inspired list of beers. Since they have such a good variety we recommend getting a flight of tasters to start! 

Our favorite beer: Joliefolie

Naked City Brewery and Taphouse

Naked City Brewing

Naked City is located in Greenwood and is probably the most established spot on this list. With a huge location, it's an easy place to bank on getting a seat during the busy months and they also have a bar and grill with decent enough food if you want a full-service type of place. They lovingly refer to themselves as Greenwood's Town Hall and often represent that well, with a healthy mix of all types of people (kids are allowed - families take note!). 

If you cycled through the 34 rotating house and guest taps then you'd feel 1. drunk and 2. thoroughly satisfied. With that much beer there is bound to be an option to please everyone and if you have non-beer drinkers in the your group (which would mean you hang out with the wrong sort) then they have cider and wine as well! 

We love the newest addition to their space - a huge mural done by local Seattle artist Henry. It depicts two walruses drinking beer and always makes us smile. And what really drives this spot home for us is that they also have a dine-in theater! Check out their events page for all sorts of fun entertainment from comedy shows to burlesque to football showings!

Our favorite beer: Orange Blossom Special IPA

Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery

Flying Bike Brewing Cooperative

Flying Bike is one of those places that you feel the love right when you walk in. Do you know those places? The people inside look friendly, the vibe is right, the air is sweet and the beer tastes good! It's probably something to do that it's a coop - which means it's member owned and supports community and collaboration down to the core! 

When you walk in make sure to take in all the fun and creative bicycle decorations, including the tap handles that are actually bike handles (verrrrryyyy clever Flying Bike!). Their huge mural and extensive assortment of board games make our hearts sing...and we haven't even gotten to the best part. 

Flying Bike Beer

They have crazy amazing beer! Their lavender IPA changed the way we thought about beer. One time, the bartender mixed two beers together for us and it was glorious. I mean.. have you ever had anyone do that before? We hadn't. These guys know their beer. And they also know how to have a good time. It's what breweries are supposed to be!

Our favorite brew: Bike Rye'd Saison

Floating Bridge Brewing

Floating Bridge Brewing

This family-run brewery located on the edge of University District near I-5 says their beers are free-spirited and imaginative and we can say that we have to agree. Their Tropical Pale Ale doesn't seem to follow any rules and their cherry sour was unique and delicious for Fall. They also have all the right things to make their space a great place to gather and enjoy company including a giant projector for watching football, shuffleboard, board games (including our favorites Settlers of Catan and Bananagrams), and giant windows to let in lots of natural light. 

The staff here is helpful and down-to-earth. If you are look for a non-pretentious spot to enjoy good beer this would be one of our favorites to recommend. They also have one of the biggest tasters we have seen in town. It's in the shape of a bridge and holds five large tasters. We would encourage you to get one of these and sample a variety of what they have to offer on their menu! 

Our favorite brew: Tropical Pale Ale

Hellbent Brewing Company

Hellbent Brewing IPA

Hellbent Brewing is the farthest north on this list, but totally worth the drive! They are right on Lake City Way and because they are a little bit outside of the hustle and bustle of the city they have a ...wait of it... parking lot for customers! First plus! They also have an extremely cool patio with heaters and TVs to watch sporting events year round and food trucks pulled up to grab some food any night of the week. Second plus! Inside they have a huge space complete with a bar, additional space upstairs with games and comfy couches and lots of TVs. Third plus! We should also mention they are dog friendly so you get to drink while petting all the fluffy buddies. Fourth plus! But more! They have great beer too. 

See totally worth the drive! 

Our favorite brew: Hellbent IPA or any of their seasonal IPAs

Alright - that's North Seattle for ya. By the time we post this five more breweries will have opened in Seattle, so we see you all soon with more recommendations! Also - let's all do ourselves a favor and keep an eye out for delicious pumpkin beers, besides pumpkin pie it's the best part of fall! 


Seattle Brewery Tour: Ballard

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.

Neighbors, just like Seth Rogen and Zac Efron.

Neighbors, just like Seth Rogen and Zac Efron.

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 Brewing

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.

PicMonkey Collage - Stoup.jpg

Reuben's Brews

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 Company

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 Ales

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! 

All four breweries within walking distance. Sunday Funday? Challenge accepted.

All four breweries within walking distance. Sunday Funday? Challenge accepted.

Grand Opening: Old Stove Brewing Co.

This mural doubles as an "I-Spy". Try and find all 20 hidden items.

This mural doubles as an "I-Spy". Try and find all 20 hidden items.

It's official, Pike Place Market has a second brewery in the house! Old Stove Brewing had a sneak peak opening last night and we were lucky enough to be invited to attend. 

The atmosphere is warm, as it should be with a name like Old Stove, and the tables are long and communal (Sarah, as the introvert of the group, would like to point out they also have smaller, more private tables in case sitting with strangers causes you anxiety). The beer is pulled out of taps made from antique stove handles and behind the bar is decorated with beer cans from the 30s and 40s. Our favorite part had to have been the old beer commercials playing on a screen in the corner. It reminds you of a simpler time, when the cure for a man having feelings was a 6-pack of Budweiser.

We liked the decor, but like it should be in any beer-drinking establishment, the people we met were the highlight of the evening. We had the pleasure of meeting the man who built the tables we gathered around and the realtor who worked so hard to get Pike Place a second brewery. We spoke to the brewers and the bartenders, and Kristina had a glass of stout poured down her shirt. Really it was everything a night of drinking should be! 

After doing ample research we decided the NW Wheat and the Pale Ale were our favorites. Go check it out for yourself and let us know which brews you think deserve recognition.  

They donated $2 from each beer to the Pike Place Market Foundation.

They donated $2 from each beer to the Pike Place Market Foundation.

Communal tables are great for making new friends. 

Communal tables are great for making new friends. 

Old style beer cans.

Old style beer cans.

Their neon sign keeps with the Pike Place Market tradition.

Their neon sign keeps with the Pike Place Market tradition.