There are all types of classic and quirky breweries in Seattle, but if visiting, these are the city's eight oldest and essential breweries to taste test and explore....with a bonus honorable mention.
Redhook Brewery is one of the oldest breweries in Washington State. Founded in 1981, Redhook has a series of award-winning IPA's and craft beers, with the Big Ballard Imperial IPA being their first creation. It's considered the "Grandfather" of craft beer, and most notable creations are the ESB and Loghammer. The Capitol Hill location is packed with locals and tourists alike. What makes this unique is that the brewery sells beer that is only available in the taproom, and can't be found canned or bottled on any store shelves.
The Pike Brewing company has one of the best locations in the city, the historic Pike Place Market. Established in 1989, a husband and wife duo decided to pursue their dream of opening a brewery in Seattle, and chose one of their favorite spots in the city. It's an ideal location for travelers to grab some grub and beers after an afternoon of perusing the Pike's Market. Along with residing in a historic location, the company's history gives it's reputation. The Finkel couple brought beer inspirations over from Europe to create craft beers to fit the American palate amidst the growing wine culture in the state. Today, it is still independently owned and some of the greatest brewmasters started at PBC.
If searching for a good beer with longstanding history, check out Big Time Brewery. Known as Seattle's original brewpub, Big Time opened its doors on December 8, 1988, and has been serving craft beer ever since. Not only is it a classic Seattle bar, but it resides in a historic building so the facade and interior has an antique flare. Located in the heart of the U-district on University Way NE, the main customers are students and old timers who just love the brews. Twelve beers are on tap at all times. Big Time's standards include the Scarlet Fire IPA, Atlas Amber Ale and Coal Creek Porter. There is a cask-conditioned "real ale" on tap at all times, and three rotating seasonal beers.
Fremont Brewing Company is one of the most respected breweries in Seattle. It's a local favorite for many reasons, but with one being that it has the most PNW vibe. The large in-front beer garden seating area attracts people to drink outdoors year round nestled in their REI gear, but it's also a pitstop for many local bikers. Located in Fremont and across from the Burke Gilman Trail, it has a true outdoorsman vibe and boasts many seasonal favorites.
Hale's is among one of the oldest breweries in Seattle. Founded in 1983, still to this day Hale's is independently owned and brewed. Much of their inspiration roots from English brewing methods Located in Ballard in the warehouse area, the taproom has 20 beers in stock. They offer beer-to-go samples and events throughout the year.
Elysian is another longstanding classic in the Seattle brewery culture. Established in 1996, they are known for their classic beer but also some brews that fuse together unusual ingredients. They have several taprooms in the city, with Elysian Fields being one the more popular taprooms for sport lovers, thanks to its Pioneer Square location which is adjacent to the Century Link arena and Mariner's ball field. Most love Elysian for their popular seasonal Pumpkin Ale.
Located in the funky, and what was once the Seattle culture, Georgetown neighborhood, is another classic Seattle brewery that carries growlers and offers tours of its facility. The Lucille IPA , Manny's and the Bodhizafa are local favorites.
And the BONUS brewery goes to Rainier Brewing. What is left of this fine old brewery is the structure that once housed a brewing company, which is now an event rental center and community art space. Seattle wouldn't be Seattle without looking at the giant R located as they drive by on I-5.
What is your favorite classical brewery in Seattle?
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