Much as I love a crisp riesling—and that’s very much—it will never quench thirst quite like beer. The reasons for the emergence of bike cafes in the last couple years are many—shop owners had restaurant backgrounds; cycling is seasonal and owners want to make better use of increasingly pricy real estate—but perhaps the basic reason is that bikes and beer just go together. Here are five spots to find just that.
Good Weather Bicycle and Cafe
Seattle’s newest (opened in September) bike cafe sits inside Capitol Hill’s very lovely Chophouse Row. Owner Brandon Waterman figures they came up with it partly because it simply combines things they love: bicycles, coffee, food, and beer from places like Stoup, Lowercase, Snowdrift, Ravenna Brewing, and Redmond’s Chainline Brewing Company—a bike-centric brewery, for those who want to fold their layers of bike and beer over on themselves one more time.
Captiol Hill’s Métier is maybe the space for the most serious bikers—those who choose clothes for aerodynamics as much as look. Or so it’s marketed. Their name means “one’s calling” and they have an onsite training facility. But even obsessives need a beer, it seems. Here you can grab a rotating craft brew or a Rainier tallboy, or a wine from their Washington-centric wine list—the most robust of these cafes.
Peloton is a sort of spiritual sister joint to Good Weather. The owners are friends. They’re about nine blocks from each other, and the overall low key vibe abides in both. Cloudburst, Holy Mountain, Seapine (my trinity of broadly tapped Seattle beers), and Standard Brewing are all represented here, as is a pretty sophisticated—if expectedly avocado-loaded—food menu for a bike shop.
MiiR started as a water bottle company. They’ve since expanded into bikes, bags, and stainless steel growlers and pint cups. Their flagship shop on Stone Way sells all this. But you can also fill those growlers with pours from over twenty taps in the shop, or sit and have a pint of, say, Reuben's or Deschutes beer, or cider or Kombucha or Proletariat wine. They run a daily happy hour with $2 off pints from 3 to 6.
Ballard brewery Peddler isn’t a bike shop, per say. You can’t buy a bike or solicit complex repairs. But it’s named after its founders’ devotion to cycling, so there’s plenty of space to hang your bikes and a spare part vending machine. If you show your Cascade member card or Bicycle Benefits sticker you get discounted growler fills. But maybe the biggest draw is the big covered beer garden out back—for when you’re tired from a ride but still want to be outside. Oh, and it’s a brewery. So, you know, they have lots of beer.