The Best Breweries in Seattle
Seattle is a city well-known for its booming beer scene, so it’s no surprise our pre-trip polling questions indicated dozens of “favorite” breweries in Seattle. In this post, we’ll share our favorite breweries in Seattle and what makes them stand out. There are currently 63 breweries Seattle (proper) and over 170 breweries in the greater Seattle-Tacoma metro area. With that many breweries and beers, we’re certain that our small sampling of 24 breweries didn’t do this scene justice. However, our trip was based on Untappd metrics and your tips!
Urban Family, Sovereign and Cloudburst
First up is Urban Family Brewing Co., located in the Ballard neighborhood. Urban Family Brewing Co. hit our radar due to their great reputation in the sour beer department. Our favorite beer, “Mango Anywhere,” is a super tart brew with tons of mango flavor that will make your taste buds dance. The runner-up beer, “Happy Sour Batch #7,” was super hopped with Citra & Motueka. If you’re not a sour fan, we’re sure you will find something else worthwhile. Also – this place was packed, and the Ballard district is non-stop breweries within walking distance. You can spend all weekend in this district and not drink it all.
Next on our list is Sovereign Brewing, a brewery that focuses on extremely distinct Saison’s and spontaneous beers. The best beer from the visit, “Dead Bell,” is a blend of aged tart saison refermented on Brightstar peaches and Sweet Scarlet nectarines from the Okanogan. The other favorite was “Poly Rythmo,” a coolship blend that had been refermented on blackberries. Sovereign Brewing’s beers are extremely unique and complex, with a variety of flavor profiles that will leave you wanting more.
Located just down the street from Pike Place Market, Cloudburst Brewing is another must stop. Unfortunately, they do not serve flights but we had the opportunity to sip on two of our beertender’s favorites. “Sorry for Partying,” is a smooth, unfiltered brew made with pilsner, vienna, and caramunich malts and a healthy addition of German Mittelfruh hops. Andrew’s favorite was “Sentimental Value,” which in his words “is a phenomenal west coast pale ale.” Cloudburst Brewing is a tight spot for sure. The brewery does not offer a ton of room (or seating!), and there may even be a wait to get in! We recommend to get there right at opening and avoid the crowds.
Dirty Couch, Holy Mountain and Lucky Envelope
Ignore the negative connotations; Dirty Couch Brewing is not a dirty brewery. Yes, this is another Seattle brewery that is focused on sours and wild fermentation, but again it was highly recommended by our beer friends in Seattle. This fantastic stop has a ton of highly rated beers of varying degrees of tart and prismatic colors. Our favorite two beers, “Rampant Sour Red” and “Armchair Philosopher,” are both bold and rich in flavor. “Rampant Sour Red” is a Flanders-inspired sour red ale, while “Armchair Philosopher” is a wine barrel aged braggot brewed with honey. While it wasn’t the first braggot of the trip, Armchair Philosopher’s distinct profile was a trip highlight.
Your pilgrimage to Seattle wouldn’t be complete without paying homage to Holy Mountain Brewing Company. Can you guess who picked “Fresh HOP Strata” as their favorite?” Fresh HOP Strata is brewed with two row and pilsner malts, malted oats, and malted spelt with a hearty hopping of bine fresh, well, you guess it – Strata hops. My (Melissa) favorite was the “Eternal Recurrence” blonde Bier de Garde. The Bier is brewed with pilsner malt and hopped with French Strisselpalt and then refermented with Brettanomyces. Both beers have a robust flavor profile that showcase the brewer’s talent in two extremely different styles.
Red envelopes, more commonly known as Hong Bao (in Mandarin) or Lai See (in Cantonese), are monetary gifts presented by elders at social and family gatherings to the younger generations. The red envelopes symbolize good luck, prosperity and are thought to ward off evil spirits. Lucky Envelope Brewing was born from the owner’s cherished memories of these gifts growing up, and particularly around Chinese New Year. Our favorite two beers were the “Tropicoolship” and their “Raspberry Sour Ale.” Tropicoolship is a barrel-aged sour that’s funky (in a good way) and peachy. The Raspberry Sour Ale is perfectly tart with lots of raspberry nose and flavor. Lucky Envelope Brewing makes a wide variety of traditional and modern brews, but as this is a Melissa post – I stuck with sours.
Seattle is one of the west coast beer meccas and is the best beer city in the Pacific Northwest. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, be sure to check out these breweries and their delicious brews. With a variety of unique flavors and styles, there’s something for every beverage lover in Seattle. If we missed your favorite brewery, let us know in the comments below or on Instagram.
Need a good beer a little closer to home? Check out this NJ beerventure guide.