Start by drinking beer in Seattle’s Ballard and Fremont neighborhoods, the unofficial heart of our beer scene. Ballard has nearly a dozen different craft breweries within easy walking distance of one another. Stoup Brewing Company, with its outdoor patio and various beers on tap from hoppy India pale ales (IPA) to easy-drinking pilsners, is an always-popular favorite. A few steps away, Obec Brewing is known for its Czech-style beers, from a malty dark lager to the granat amber. Find more globally inspired brews with a Seattle twist about three blocks away at Lucky Envelope Brewing Company. The Chinese American founders use nontraditional ingredients such as yuzu, mango, and black tea in their flavorful beers. And in the bordering Fremont neighborhood, Fremont Brewing is usually full of people, especially on summer days, enjoying pints of their pale ales on the expansive patio.
Elsewhere, breweries pull from Seattle traditions to make new classics enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. In Pike Place Market, longtime standout Pike Brewing Company pours barrel-aged brews as well as IPAs and their iconic Kilt Lifter scotch ale. SoDo’s Seapine Brewing mixes it up with kolschs, stouts, and doppelbocks—all with Pacific Northwest flair, while Georgetown Brewing Company, located in the namesake neighborhood, is famous for its supremely drinkable Manny’s pale ale. Be sure to stop by the flagship taproom of Métier Brewing in the Central District, one of the first Black-owned breweries in Seattle and a great source for creative beers like a coconut porter and Japanese-style street food.
Wine is also thriving here, with a dozen tasting rooms within city limits. Seattle has the largest urban winery on America’s West Coast: House of Smith Wines Jet City, in the Georgetown neighborhood, pours world-class sips in a gorgeous contemporary space. And in the industrial area of SoDo, the SODO Urbanworks complex is home to 10 different wineries, including a seltzery for light and refreshing spiked seltzers and a bar focused on sparkling wines.
Only a 30-minute drive from Seattle is Woodinville Wine Country, where more than 100 tasting rooms and wineries pour reds and whites made from grapes grown across the state. Be sure to visit majestic Chateau Ste. Michelle, the state’s oldest winery, where a grand castle-like tasting room also has fantastic outdoor space for summer picnicking. To see the vineyards in person, head east to Washington Wine Country and its three major wine-making communities—Walla Walla, Yakima, and Tri-Cities. All offer endless wine-tasting opportunities, often overlooking rolling hills and grapevines.
When it comes to spirits, local distilleries produce excellent small-batch whiskey, vodka, gin, and more. Near the downtown waterfront, Copperworks Distilling Company produces award-winning spirits like single-malt whiskey and cask-finished gin, and offers them for you to enjoy in a tasting flight or after a behind-the-scenes tour of its facility. In the SoDo neighborhood, Westland Distillery also serves whiskeys made with locally grown, malted, and even smoked grains and lets guests see its barrel room on tours.
Artisanal brandy, whiskey, and bourbon come to life in the Fremont neighborhood, where Fremont Mischief’s vast tasting room also features a full-service restaurant. And Big Gin Distillery, tucked away in an intimate space in north Queen Anne, is the perfect spot to sip innovative gins and even a craft gin-forward cocktail.
Travel Info: Pike Place Market is a 5-minute walk from the heart of downtown. Ballard and Fremont are accessible from downtown via the King County Metro 28, 40, and D Line bus routes. SoDo is accessible from downtown via the King County Metro 21 bus route. Georgetown is accessible from downtown via the King County Metro 113 and 124 bus routes. Central District is accessible from downtown via the King County Metro 3 or 4 bus routes. Queen Anne is accessible from downtown via the King County Metro 3, 4, and 13 bus routes. Woodinville is a 30-minute drive (32 kilometers) from Seattle. Walla Walla is a 4.25-hour drive (420 kilometers) from Seattle. Yakima is a two-hour drive (228 kilometers) from Seattle. Tri-Cities is a 3.25-hour drive (335 kilometers) from Seattle.
Dive deeper into Seattle’s renowned food and beverage scene with more itinerary ideas and group dining options here. Learn more about excursions in Woodinville Wine Country, located just 30 minutes from Seattle, here.