By Andrea Romano
July 17, 2019
Courtesy of Urban Family Brewing

What are the first few things you think of when you think of Seattle? Flannel shirts? Grunge music? Starbucks coffee? How about delicious craft beer?

Craft beer and Seattle go together like pizza and New York City. According to Seattle Magazine, “hippies, brew nerds, aficionados and accidental chemists,” spearheaded the craft brew movement in the Pacific Northwest, and Seattle was the place they called home.

It’s no secret that German beers were king in the 19th century, but many long-established breweries around the country, not just in Washington, had hard times in the 20th century either thanks to Prohibition or simply due to changes in management. Some old school local breweries in Seattle managed to hang on a little longer than most, but by the 1980s, the craft brewmaking scene was mostly quiet, according to Seattle Magazine, in favor of big corporate beer companies.

But in the mid-1980s, everything changed. Northwest-style beers became “cool again,” so to speak, and Seattle homebrewers were ready to make them, Seattle Magazine reported. The commonly accepted first microbrewery was Grant’s Brewery Pub in Yakima, founded in 1982, but it wasn’t long before breweries began to pop up within the city proper, like Red Hook Brewery, founded in 1981, and Pike Brewing Company, founded in 1989.

Since then, Seattleites have claimed a sense of ownership and pride over their beers, and it shows in the quality and taste of the brews you can find there.

Take a look at some of these amazing breweries we found in Seattle and be sure to grab a pint next time you’re in the Emerald City.

Methodology: We decided to take a sampling of some of the best and most recommended breweries from a number of expert and user-rated sites, including RateBeer, TripAdvisor, Beer Connoisseur, and Beervana. We also took into account breweries that have been featured in other publications and local beer forums as well. While the breweries listed below are not necessarily ranked, each one has a special feature, whether it’s an attached restaurant, awards and honors, tours and tastings, an interesting space, a unique method of brewing, or is famous for having a specialty. All breweries are established or headquartered in Seattle city limits, therefore some beloved s like Black Raven Brewing and Postdoc Brewing from Redmond could not be included. Along a similar line, breweries like Georgetown Brewing, even though it’s in Seattle, could not be included since they do not offer pints and only growlers and bottles to go.

1. Fremont Brewing

Founded in 2009, this well-loved brewery is famous for its artisanal, barrel aged, small-batch beers. The company is dedicated to sustainability, using local and organic (when available) ingredients for its beers, and this dedication has certainly paid off. It won Best Brewery in the 2018 Seattle Refined So Northwest Awards, as well as the 2018 Best Local Brewery/Tasting Room and Best of Barrel Aged Beer from Seattle Magazine. Its Urban Tasting Room is right on the water, so you can enjoy the view while you enjoy your pint.

2. Ghostfish Brewing Company