A Six-Pack of: Great Local Beer to Grab at the Store
Seattle Met is celebrating Seattle Beer Week with a daily six-pack of brewery or beer recommendations.
Here’s the tricky thing about craft beer: The actual lagers and ales on the market change all the ever-loving time. It’s a testament to brewers’ creativity—and an antidote to beer-drinking boredom. But just when you fall in love with a particular hazy IPA or honey cinnamon cream stout, something different shows up to take its place in the cooler.
With that in mind, here are some breweries that have a reasonable (sometimes massive) presence in local grocers. They make marvelous beer across a range of styles. If you’ve offered to grab a case of cans for a party or just want to stock your own fridge with good stuff created by good people, these are some eminently safe bets. (Caveat: The full list of great Washington breweries who populate grocery store coolers is easily 10 times longer.)
Georgetown Brewing Company
Washington’s largest craft brewery looms large in our drinking psyche thanks to Manny’s, the clean, hoppy-but-not-bitter pale ale that’s as much an emblem of Seattle as Seahawks jerseys and Ridwell boxes. Manny’s showed up in cans for a short run during the wilds of 2020. Normally you’ll usually see cases of Bodhizafa, Georgetown’s more citrus-hopped IPA and Roger’s, its pitch-perfect pilsner.
An early force of the Ballard beer boom now puts out a head-spinning variety of cans: seasonal IPA and lagers, various hazy IPAs, a porter for the ages, short runs like a recent coffee cream ale. Even the hard seltzer’s great. Even amid this breadth of beer styles, Reuben’s might be forever distinguished by its green-on-green cans of Crikey, its first American-style IPA (and best-selling beer to date). It’s the Northwest in a glass, but also nods to founder Adam Robbings’s British heritage.
When Seattle beer drinkers confidently rattle off the attributes of citra hops versus mosaic, chances are they acquired that knowledge over a pint or two at Stoup. The Ballard brewery has a grasp of hops that feels both scientific and intuitive. Core beers (like that bright, sunny Citra IPA) show up on local store shelves, but you’re just as likely to see rotating favorites like Pistol Fingers IPA and even non-IPAs like the crisp Bavarian Hefeweizen.
Holy Mountain Brewing
It’s still one of the city’s most impressive breweries, but a lot has changed since the Interbay operation arrived in 2015. Back then, Holy Mountain's mixed- and barrel-fermented brews filled a void in the city. The barrel program isn’t going anywhere, but these days the taproom and limited supply of cans include way more IPAs and lagers. The result feels more fun, less self-serious. The beer, through it all, retains its intellect. Holy Mountain's can distribution isn't enormous, but they're easier to find than ever before, in bottle shops or local grocers like PCC and Central Market. (And keep an eye out for a second taproom opening this summer on Phinney Ridge.)
Black Raven Brewing
The elder statesman of Eastside breweries makes bird puns feel mythological—and makes everything from a malty scotch ale to its staple Trickster IPA. Black Raven cans are a common sight around Seattle (even at Trader Joe’s). These include the epically great Coco Jones coconut porter or Kitty Kat Blues, a pale ale infused with blueberries good enough to win over people who scorn pale ales infused with blueberries. Rotating, seasonal, or one-off creations tend to come as tallboys rather than 12-ounce cans.
One of the founders of Seattle’s modern craft beer movement (way back in 2009) has upped its production to a point where it puts out more than a half dozen year-round beers, in addition to seasonals. Which means cases of Sky Kraken hazy pale, Dark Star imperial oatmeal stout, and the classic Interurban IPA are on sale everywhere from QFC to Costco. Seattle drinkers tend to think of Fremont for its gonzo urban beer garden or the special-release bottles of barrel-aged B-Bomb, but if you’re buying beer at a local supermarket where the Bud Light section runs deep, Fremont’s cans are often available, and always a safe harbor.
Guide to Local Beer
Here's what's on tap for the rest of Seattle Beer Week
Best of the Beer Aisle | New Breweries | Local Lagers | Breweries with Food | Family-Friendly Taprooms