Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest and still has the feel of a metropolis that has not reached its peak yet. Cocky, like a boxer on his way up; it boasts an excellent transport system that sees some of the highest transit user rates in North America and some of the very few electric trolley buses in the USA.

While it can seem brash and wears its prosperity on its sleeve, it’s undoubtedly fun. The skyline is dominated by the world famous Space Needle (great views, but overpriced) and the futuristic monorail that connects to the Needle. They’re very proud of their monorail. That’s fair enough, but I told them if they want to see a real monorail in action, they need to get to Blackpool; preferably during the Illuminations.

Although known as the Rainy City due to its rainfall, it was actually going through a near-record dry spell whilst I was there. And once you work out the address system, you’re on your way. Because, despite being a techno-hub, it’s quite traditional in other ways. Each district and the pubs therein, have their own characteristics.

I advise (having done it the wrong way round) to start at the top of the hill (Tap House) and drink downwards.

Pike Brewing: One of the region’s oldest brewpubs. A fascinating place with lots of beer memorabilia adorning the walls. Brewing is actually powered by steam but, for legal reasons, they are unable to call the beer “steam beer”.

Collins Pub: Cosy boozer with a decent beer selection.

Tap House Grill: Has to be visited just to marvel at the 160 tap selection. Be warned, it’s expensive, even by Seattle standards.

Elysian Fields: Smart and modern; lots of wood and glass. This is the one on First Ave, further up from Pike. Very reasonable prices for some rather excellent beer. My favourite Seattle haunt and, in my opinion, the producer of some of the finest beers in the Pacific Northwest.

Capitol Hill
Another Seattle must-visit place is the Stumbling Monk. I was less impressed with the decor of this small, dimly lit dive-type bar than some people, but the knowledgeable staff and select beer choice makes it worth a visit.

Fremont Ballard

The Jolly Roger Taproom, home of the Maritime Pacific Brewing Company, offers around 14 beers including some cask-conditioned ones.

I paid a few visits to Sharp’s Roaster and Ale House which is close to Sea-Tac airport. It majors heavily on food, but still manages a good list of 20+ beers and 500 spirits. Happy Hour is every 30 minutes when they spin a wheel to see what goes on offer.

Freemont Universale Pale Ale
Georgetown Lucille IPA
Elysian Idiot Sauvin IPA
Big Time Coal Creek Porter
Elysian Dragonstooth Stout

Seattle is a great city for drinking. It’s easy to get around and there are plenty of places worth exploring. My only annoyance was the determined effort to hide abvs from you and some of the prices. Although, outside of the centre, prices can be surprisingly reasonable. But be prepared to pay $3.50 for a small (8oz schooner) and $8.50 for a large (22oz tankard) glass of beer. But it’s certainly worth a visit.


Paul Bailey said…
A most interesting write-up, Tyson. Seattle is on my list of beery places to visit. Hopefully I'll make it there within the next couple of years. I must admit though to being slightly shocked by the prices. £5.30 a pint does seem a bit steep!!
Tyson said…
It does vary, but there are undoutedly expensive places to drink.
Anonymous said…
it boats an excellent transport system?

having doing it the wrong way round?
Mark said…
Do you tip more or less when the beer is that expensive?
Paul Bailey said…
I never quite get this American thing about tipping. It's one thing showing one's appreciation to thewaiters/waitress, when they've brought you your food and looked after you throughout your meal, but someone that's just poured you a pint???
Tyson said…

Well not more, obviously!


I'm afraid it's as American as apple pie. It most certainly is expected even if you buy just one drink. Which can makes it an expensive occasion for the solo drinker.
Claudia said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claudia said…
The reason for tipping waiters/waitresses/bartenders is that the federal minimum wage per hour is $2.13 — with the expectation that tips will raise that to $7.25 per hour. $7.25 = roughly £4.55. Businesses are meant to make up the difference if their employees don't make enough on tips— whether or not they do that is another question entirely. My guess is many will not pay the difference. Whether or not working for tips makes people better waitresses/waiters/bartenders, probably depends on the establishment and whether or not they care to train staff. I appreciate a staff member who can make good recommendations and will tip for that, as well as generally attentive service. 10% is the minimum, if the service was particularly good, maybe even 15% or 20%. I'm not a huge fan of the fact that the staff don't get paid properly by their employers, but this isn't going to change any time soon.

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