local beer

Seattle Brewery Tour: Interbay & Magnolia

Interbay/Magnolia are sister neighborhoods that have Seattle institutions like Fisherman's Terminal, Red Mill Burgers, and Palisade. In the past few years it has also gained a few new spots that add to its charm and community. And they just so happen to be our favorite kind of spots, breweries.

There are four breweries in the Interbay/Magnolia area, all with a little bit different atmosphere and flavor profiles. Today we take you on a little tour to check them all out. 

Urban Family Brewing

Urban Family Brewing is located on a quiet street close to Salmon Bay in Magnolia. They brew French and Belgium inspired beers in their taproom and often have food trucks around on the weekend. 

If you like sour beers, this is the spot to go. Their Sour Bog (currently on tap) was refreshing and tart. Want to know what will make it taste even better? Drinking it while playing Pictionary, which you can do because Urban Family totally got the memo about stocking up a games cabinet! Holla at your girls! 

The tables are long for big groups, so bring your friends and order one of everything!

Urban Family, everyone is welcome!

Urban Family, everyone is welcome!

Figurehead Brewing Co.

New kids on the block! Figurehead is a small brewery in Interbay that opened up in 2016. Fun fact, they were officially Seattle's 60th brewery (do we live in the best city or what??), and we think they will have a nice, happy life here. The staff is friendly, the beer is diverse, and the logo is super cool. We would totally buy a t-shirt with that ship on it. These are the important things people, t-shirt design potential.

Golden and delicious

Golden and delicious

12 taps of Figurehead

12 taps of Figurehead

Taster at Figurehead. 

Taster at Figurehead. 

Holy Mountain Brewing

Holy Mountain is the brewing child of male duo Colin Lenfesty and Mike Murphy. They opened their space in Interbay in 2014 and have become a favorite spot for beer drinkers because of the open space, large booths, and the oak-inspired beers. They have had some pretty spectacular beers on tap recently, including the Astral Projection Double IPA and the Bourbon Barrel Aged Kings's Head.

Insider tip: If it's your first time visiting we would recommend plugging the address into your GPS. The front door is actually around back of a large warehouse building on 15th Ave. 

That middle one might look like OJ, but it's was actually a juicy Double IPA

That middle one might look like OJ, but it's was actually a juicy Double IPA

They really try to make sure you can't miss it once you find it! 

They really try to make sure you can't miss it once you find it! 

The door is clearly labeled so you don't accidentally go into the employee entrance of Dog Lounge next door. 

The door is clearly labeled so you don't accidentally go into the employee entrance of Dog Lounge next door. 

Rooftop Brew Co.

We saved the best for last. This is our favorite brewery in the neighborhood because of its cozy space and amazing sense of community. It's hard not to make new friends in this spot and the awesome beer on top of everything else makes for a great afternoon. 

Rooftop is located right by the Ship Canal bike path and is a great spot to ride to if you are out and about. The patio is a wonderful place to drink beer during any season (heaters are out in the colder months) or you can grab a spot inside and sit close to the popcorn machine, which is kept full of the (free) salty treat all day! If you need something more substantial then wait until after 4PM and Curbside Burgers and Brats will pull up. 

So, what beer should you drink? There is always a tap list full of great options, but we recommend always getting at least one pour of the Beer Trumps Hate IPA. All the proceeds go to non-profits that "fight hate by advocating for people of all races, religions, genders, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic statuses." It tastes good and helps the community. Can't do better than that. 

Our beer family. Papa, Momma, and four babies.

Our beer family. Papa, Momma, and four babies.

Nice pour.

Nice pour.

Free popcorn, yes please! 

Free popcorn, yes please! 

Seattle Brewery Tour: Capitol Hill

By now you probably know we are working our way around the city to taste all that our local breweries have to offer. Here are the results from our trek around Capitol Hill. 

Optimism Brewing 

Quote by the bar at Optimism Brewing

Quote by the bar at Optimism Brewing

Optimism is an intriguing new addition to Capitol Hill breweries. This open beer hall is the creation of a Microsoft/tech power couple who were tired of software. Naturally, they decided the next step in their lives would be to open a humble, 16,000 sq ft. brewery in one of Seattle's hottest neighborhoods. 

When you walk into Optimism you feel the openness of the massive space, their brewing operation is front and center and they have communal seating. The yellow paint and large windows give off a light feeling. Perfect for drinking a beer with some friends. 

Many beer enthusiasts will pause in confusion when reaching the bar to order though. Optimism's owners have been clear they want to bring beer drinking back to the "every day (wo)man." So instead of calling it a Stout, they describe and label their beers with more general names (Ex. Black: bold, coffee, nutmeg). 

They state beer is "not something that should be intimidating, pretentious or expensive. For this reason, we try to make beer approachable to everyone by describing our beers in ways that everyone can understand without beer-geek jargon."  

It's a nice thought. Not sure if it really works though.

Regardless of how they name the beers, we've found that they do indeed know how to create beer that tastes good, which is more important than anything else. Dive into a sampler and you'll agree with us.

Sampler at Optimism Brewing

Sampler at Optimism Brewing

In addition to the good beer, the no-cash checkout is speedy which means you'll never wait in a long line and the food truck pod in the back brings delicious food to their door. You can also bring your own food in to enjoy with their beers. 

And can we just get on a soapbox for a minute and say that the way they've done their bathrooms is how EVERYONE should be doing bathrooms. Seems so obvious. Thank you, Optimism.

Our favorites? Amplify and Zest

Elysian Brewing Company

Night Owl Pumpkin Beer at Elysian 

Night Owl Pumpkin Beer at Elysian 

Elysian. Ohhhhhh Elysian. We used to all love you without question. You made great beer. You were Seattle's pride and joy. Then you sold to Anheuser-Busch. You went corporate. And now we are all confused. 

We will try to put on our unbiased reporting hat for this review though.

Capitol Hill is Elysian Brewing's original location, which opened in 1996. For the most part, it's your classic brewpub (their food is decent). There isn't any trendy logo or minimalist design like these hot new kids on the block. It's a more traditional atmosphere with exposed timber and dark, heavy curtains hanging in the windows. 

As for the beer. It's delicious. They might have sold out, but they didn't change the recipes that have made them big enough to gain interest from the largest beer company in the world. Right now they have their famous pumpkin beers on tap, which go well with the rainy, chilly weather!

Our favorites? Space Dust and Super Fuzz

Outer Planet Brewing

A "One of Everything" sampler at Outer Planet 

A "One of Everything" sampler at Outer Planet 

Another new brewery to Capitol Hill! Outer Planet opened in 2015 and is a small operation, but it has a great vibe and some good beers. With their live music performances and huge pile of card and board games you can always bank on entertainment while you drink. 

Their taps are also fun to say, with names like The Meddling Monk and Galaxy Girl it will make you spark up a conversation with the brewery owner to find out what inspired them. 

Oh, and did we mention they just recently started serving pizza? I mean why wouldn't you go check this place out? 

Our favorites? Kumbaya Supernova IPA and Spacetrucker Brown

Standard Brewing

Photo from Instagram by @ nathaniel.stott

Photo from Instagram by @nathaniel.stott

This small brewery up on Jackson St. is wonderful. It might technically be the Central District, but we wanted to include it here because it's not too far and you gotta know about this place!

With what seems like a million breweries opening up around the city it's hard to accomplish a unique vibe. So many are starting to blend together in look and feel. We think Standard's ability to do something a little different is what drew us in. And fortunately for us they are doing a pretty good job on the beer front too. 

With 12 beers on tap you'll have plenty of options, regardless of what you like you'll find something good here. If you need help choosing a truly exceptional one though, they have two award winners from the WA Beer Awards this year, the Imperial IPA (bomb.com people) and the Brett Earl. They don't serve food but allow you to bring it with you, so hit up a food truck and head on over. 

Our favorites? Imperial IPA and West Coast IPA (We like IPA's okay?)

Flatstick Pub

Local beer? Check. Mini golf? Check. Dog-friendly with cool art? Check and Check. Flatstick Pub just expanded to Pioneer Square, and we could not be more delighted. This Eastside spot has finally crossed the pond and now all of us Seattle folks can enjoy the fun. Their curated taplist of only the best Washington beers and ciders in addition to the mini golf and (newly invented bar game) duffleboard courses make this a great place to have get togethers with friends (although your friends either have to be 21+ or of the canine variety, sorry kids).

In addition to the entertainment and beer, they also have approximately 1 million TVs to watch the local sporting events (Go Local Sports Team!), and they commissioned our favorite artist, Henry, to decorate the place. Not to mention the large cubbie-hole type seating that gives you privacy and space to gather a group. The vibes are great, the beer is cold, and the people are friendly. What more could you ask for in a night out?

Henry art and colorful balls

Henry art and colorful balls

Oh wait, there's more! (this is starting to feel like an infomercial, but we are being sincere. Cross our hearts.)

It is only $7 to play mini golf and $3 for duffleboard. That makes this the cheapest fun thing to do in all of Seattle-land. You can't even buy a deck of cards for $3 anymore. And duffleboard is basically the best game to be invented since its cousin, shuffleboard. 

Insider Tip: Yappy Hour ($1 off your beer) is M-F from 6-7PM and all day Sunday. Bring in your pooch for a discount! 

This light-up Space Needle takes your ball at the end of mini-golf. Um...cool.

This light-up Space Needle takes your ball at the end of mini-golf. Um...cool.