Washington, in case you didn’t know, is the world’s second largest hop growing region in the world. With about 50 microbreweries in Seattle proper alone, we don’t have to go far to get a good pint. Since the sun is finally making an appearance, don’t waste your time drinking indoors. These breweries have the sunny spots and crisp pours to accompany them.
Located perfectly between the heart of Fremont and Gas Works Park, you can guarantee this beer garden is packed full of bikers, urban hikers, and tourists alike on a sunny day. Family owned since 2009, Fremont Brewing always has a wide selection on rotation including their Interurban IPA, Proletariat Porter, Dark Star Imperial Oatmeal Stout, and aptly named Summer ale. Order a flight to try them all, and grab a complementary apple and pretzels to enjoy the beer garden.
For this brewery, it’s not unusual to find them spontaneously smoking a 150-pound hog or to have a local group play live music out on their patio. This motorcycle-garage-turned-brewery has a patio that can seat up to 150 in the heart of the Ravenna neighborhood and has trivia every Tuesday with a food truck calendar full of Seattle favorites. Their Summer Wheat is a tropical beer made for drinking in the sun and they also have a jalapeño kolsch on tap, which is a mix of a pilsner and lager with a little spice added in.
Through September, every Thursday (except first Thursdays for trivia!) is movie night at this brewery. Playing classics like Risky Business and The Sandlot to new favorites like Pitch Perfect and Bridesmaids, you can bring your own camping chair and watch your favorite flicks with a pint of wildflower honey wit or tangerine hefeweizen–originally a summer classic, but now a year round brew it was so popular. Also try their new sour beer made with earl grey kombucha mixed with blonde ale. Other events include a Pun Slam–out pun your competition and your beer tab is paid for–every second Wednesday, and an astronomy talk every fourth Wednesday put on by University of Washington students.
Located on Nickerson right before the Ballard Bridge, this small brewery sets out this sign—“Bridge up? Beer over here!”— to remind you that Seattle infrastructure doesn’t have to ruin your after-work vibes. Equipped with free popcorn and a deck overlooking the canal, Ballard, and Fremont, this brewery has big personality for such a small space. This summer they are serving up Glorious Basker, a blood orange wheat beer and a 6.8 percent Stargazer IPA which is darker than your typical IPA but has five different kinds of hops.
Up in Lake City, these brewers are coming up on their two-year anniversary on June 10. Their patio is open any ol’ elusive sunny day, but for their anniversary party they will be shutting down their parking lot and turning it into a full-on beer garden. Along with the release of an anniversary IPA, this summer they will have a Belgian-style wit you can drink while playing corn hole out on the patio or watching the game on the TV they roll out on the dry days. Food trucks park every day with weekly schedules that you can check out on their Facebook page.
This brewery serves as a two-for-one. Not only do they have a substantially sized patio at their Greenwood location, but they also just opened a patio-bearing location on Camano Island. Less than a two hour drive from Seattle, a visit to Naked City makes the island an easy day trip. Here in the city, they're serving up Yankee Drifter, a summer lager, and Beer Garden Summer Mosaic IPA—and this summer the brewery hosts a kid-friendly pride event out in their beer garden called The Rainbow Hop, plus a '90s Mix Tape Sing Along featuring the best of the decade (yes, that includes the Backstreet Boys). Browse the entire event lineup here.
Arguably the best place to grab a brew before you watch King Félix pitch a few across the street at Safeco, this brewery’s proximity to the fields and their patio out front make it a popular destination for pre-game antics. This season’s brew is Curve Ball, a summer blonde ale made with Vanguard and Perle hops giving it that crisp taste and heavy aroma. If that doesn’t sound good, their year-round hefeweizen is always fresh.
At the risk of stating the obvious, you know it’s a good sign when the name of the establishment includes “beer garden” in the title. In West Seattle is the newly opened Ounces that exclusively serves Washington beer, cider and wines. While it is technically not a brewery itself, it’s a space you can taste multiple of the best brews our state has to offer. Order by the flight and try them all. The menu changes often, but they've served everything from a citrus blonde from Mollusk to a Beer Brunch IPA from Chainline Brewing Company.