Seattle Beer Bars 101

By Allecia Vermillion June 11, 2012 Published in the July 2012 issue of Seattle Met

Brouwer’s Cafe

The Senior Class

Beveridge Place Pub
Drinking here is just like hanging out in your friend’s awesome basement—if that basement happens to be aboveground and equipped with a fearsome beer selection. 
Taps: 25 
Food: Minimal bar snacks and an open invitation to get food delivered to the pub.
6413 California Ave SW, 
West Seattle, 206-932-9906;

Brouwer’s Cafe
Fremont’s Belgium-inspired cafe planted Seattle’s flag for destination beer drinking back in 2003 and is usually on the city’s forefront of introducing drinkers to new styles like Belgian tripels, barley wine, and sour beers.
Taps: 64 
Food: Mussels and frites, steak and frites, and surprisingly good salads in the rare event anyone gets tired of those frites.
400 N 35th St, Fremont, 206-267-2437;

Naked City 
Brewery and Taphouse
Naked City’s six rotating housemade beers comingle with 18 craft standouts from Washington to California. The beer list also documents which kegs are next in line for each tap, giving you reason to return.
Taps: 24 for beer, along with cider, wine and root beer
Food: Full-service restaurant
8564 Greenwood Ave N, Greenwood, 206-838-6299;

Other beer bars may have more taps, but the curated offerings at Quinn’s invariably include unfamiliar and intriguing selections. The bar, perhaps the most ruggedly stylish beer destination in town, particularly loves its Trappist ales, brewed by monks in Belgium or the Netherlands.
Taps: 14
Food: The supercharged pub menu, full of offbeat meats such as oxtail and wild boar, and even a few thoughtful vegetable-based dishes, is just as much of a draw as the libations.
1001 E Pike St, Capitol Hill, 206-325-7711;

Über Tavern
Beer labels plaster the rafters, and the exact science of how such a small space can offers so many beers (and kegs) can boggle the mind. A recent makeover installed a flashy digital display for the tap list but retained the tableside fire pit.
Taps: 17
Food: Barriga Llena often sells its crave-inducing tortas outside the bar.
7517 Aurora Ave N, Greenlake, 206-782-2337;

The Freshman Class

Brave Horse Tavern
Tom Douglas’s gastropub is perpetually packed with Amazon employees. But the beer list, a culling of crowd-pleasing finds from around the region, is worth clawing your way to a table for. Frequent beer dinners let chef Brian Walczyk display his talent for pairing food and drink.
Taps: 26
Food: Don’t even think of leaving here without having a pretzel.
310 Terry Ave N, South Lake Union, 206-971-0717;

After a brief stint as the Publican, the owners (the same team behind Brouwer’s Cafe) changed the name and affectionately dubbed it the Burg. The bottle list here numbers exactly zero—it’s cans only if you stray from the drafts. 
Taps: 22
Food: The elegantly gut-busting breakfast menu is served all day, and by breakfast we mean “the best chicken and waffles in town.”
2253 N 56th St, Wallingford, 206-420-8943;

The Pine Box
This bar gets points for its clever name, a nod to its location just steps from Pine Street, and the soaring space’s past as a Butterworth mortuary. Taps are heavy on IPAs and uncommon finds selected to impress the brewers who hang here regularly. But what really wows is the built-in Randall tap, which can infuse any beer with flavors of coffee beans, cocoa nibs, or the floral essence of hops.
Taps: 33
Food: Inventive pizzas topped with pulled pork and kimchi, arugula and walnut pesto, and the like.
1600 Melrose Ave, Capitol Hill, 206-588-0375;

Red Papaya Ale and Spirits
Beer and pho? Absolutely. The owners of a Vietnamese restaurant near Seattle Center decided to unite craft beer and Asian food, two Seattle mainstays that don’t commonly fraternize. 
Taps: 15 for beer, plus wine and cider
Food: Stick to Vietnamese dishes like noodle bowls and bar snacks like garlicky green beans. Ask the bar staff to suggest beer pairings.
530 First Ave N, Lower Queen Anne, 206-283-6614;

Urban Family Public House
Keep walking, hopheads: This bar in the heart of Old Ballard is devoted to Belgian beers and the domestic brews they inspire. A row of unadorned taps dispenses beers you won’t find anywhere else in Seattle. 
Taps: 25
Food: A limited menu of serviceable sandwiches, with expanded fare on the way.
5329 Ballard Ave NW, Ballard, 206-783-2337;

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