Artusi rgkgip

Aperitivo options at Artusi. 

Image: Artusi

Seattle’s craft beer and cocktail ABVs (Alcohol by Volume) got out of control in the last decade or so. A manhattan with four ounces of rye, a double IPA that clocks in at 9 percent yet still comes in a pint glass. In the last couple years, though, some bars and breweries around the city have eased up on the ABV. Here are a few places for cutting back without teetotalling completely.

Machine House

Georgetown’s Machine House stands subtly out from the slew of other breweries. They have a niche—English-style cask ales—a lovely old building, and constant quality. While brews’ range in ABV, their three signature ales—Dark Mild, Golden Ale, Best Bitter—clock in between 3.7 percent and 4.5 percent and are proof positive a flavorsome “light” beer is not an oxymoron.  

Holy Mountain

Seattle’s most hyped brewery is famous for saisons and farmhouse experiments. Sure, some of their big barrel-aged beers head up toward 11 percent, but they also consistently feature low-alcohol options, from easy going patersbiers and brisk lagers to options like their current Pale Messiah, a pale ale with only 3.8 percent ABV, but still full of character from its Amarillo, Motueka, and Citra hops.

Artusi

Embrace the apertivo. Spinasse’s sibling bar offers plenty of solid cocktail options, but Artusi’s happy hour is the ideal way to lighten up: apertivi like the Aperol spritz, Cynar Collins, and Americano are $6 each—all big on flavor and easy on your liver. And while you’re at it you can snag a lamb neck pie or some daily pasta because you should only cut back on one kind of sauce at a time. You can trust me; I’m not even remotely a doctor.

L’Oursin

If you'd rather lean French, the aperitif-forward cocktails at the Central District’s L’Oursin are a fine way to do so. Try the Basque exit—amontillado, espelette, mezcal, and basque sidra—or the rose and amaro mashup, Girlfriend in Tacoma. Even the natural wines tend to be a little lighter than the 14 percent cabernets common in Washington. And if you must mocktail, they have five “Sans Alcool” options, including a virgin Campari soda and a salted celery cordial and tonic.

Show Comments
In this Article

Editor’s Pick

L'Oursin

$$$ French 1315 E Jefferson St

A legit hit of Paris in the Central District, L’Oursin glows with pendant lights and Parisian signs, in an unfussy room whose populated bar and open kitchen ...

Editor’s Pick

Cascina Spinasse

$$$ Italian 1531 14th Ave

The rustic Italian farmstead with the trestle tables and wrought iron chandeliers serves the best pasta in Pike/Pine, even Seattle: rich hand-cut Piedmontese...

Editor’s Pick

Artusi

Editors Pick, Recommended Menu 1535 14th Ave

A mod shot of Italy in the heart of Pike/Pine

Holy Mountain Brewing Co.

Brewery 1421 Elliott Ave W

There’s a vaguely culty feel to this brewery on Interbay’s main artery. It could be the temple vibe in the austere white taproom, or maybe just the reverence...