People in Seattle love beer made locally. Beer has been a part of Seattle’s culture since the mid 19th century. Craft breweries now number nearly 50 within the Seattle city limits alone. The most popular craft brew type tends to be the hoppy India Pale Ale (commonly known as the IPA), which is not surprising as Washington State is the second largest hop-growing region in the world. Nonetheless, many other varieties and styles abound, with a great many being award winners.
Some ways to familiarize yourself with beer in Seattle:
- Pubs and Bars with lots of local taps — the Taphouse Grill Seattle offers 160 beers on tap; The Yardhouse offers “hundreds” of beers on tap.
- Brewery tours — Road Dog Tours will take you to three breweries in three hours; Seattle by Foot will take you to four pubs in three hours. TIP: Make reservations sooner than later.
- Find a brewery and try a “flight” — A flight is a number of small glasses (usually 6-8), each holding a sample of a different beer. Breweries love to do this and can offer all sorts of suggestions about choice. Typically, beers are arranged from lightest to the heaviest/darkest and equal about two pints in total. TIP: Many breweries have “tasting rooms,” rather than bars. These are open limited hours and may have food trucks or a limited food selection.
- Are you gluten free? No problem! Ghost Fish Brewery is becoming legendary for its gluten-free brewing
- Seattle Eater: The 13 Best Seattle Breweries: This site has a nice GIS component and I heartedly agree with the results.
- Seattle Beer Map: I don’t know who created The Beer Mapping Project, but I bet s/he has some librarian DNA.
- SeattleMet: The New Guide to Washington Beer: “What’s new, what’s next, and why lager doesn’t really suck.”
- Had enough hoppy craft beer and just want a good, old fashioned macrobrew? Ask for a Rainier on draft, in the bottle, or a tall can. This affordable regional lager was brewed for over a century in town and is named after the glorious mountain peak southeast of Seattle. Though they make it in California now, its red neon ‘R’ still graces the top of the former brewery south of downtown, and it is a widely available cheap option at many bars and restaurants.
Josh Polansky, Joint Conference Co-Chair Seattle 2016, and Traci Timmons, Local arrangements team