Top 13 Washington State Breweries
A Bellingham Tap Trail brewery has made another “Top ___” List. This time it’s Chuckanut Brewery. Head Brewer, Bryan Cardwell, is making some amazing beers off of Holly St. Led by the steady hand of brewmaster Will Kemper, this 10 barrel brewhouse and kitchen has brought a new level of precision to our beer scene.
Known for their technical, crisp and clean lagers they should be making any list. Here’s a look at the Top 7 according to Thrillist.com
Founded by two scientifically minded people (a chemist and former biology teacher) and a thirsty connoisseur, the now almost two-year-old Stoup has quickly become a cult favorite. The Ballard brewery was the ninth of its kind when it opened in 2013, further cementing the neighborhood as the best spot in town for beer-lovers. Big ups for beaker-style measurement systems on their glasses — it’s almost like high school all over again… minus the hydrochloric acid, and spotty report cards.
Beer picks: IPA, Winter Warmer
Chuckanut brewmaster extraordinaire Will Kemper worked at a number of legit breweries all around the US, as well as operating his own in Mexico and Istanbul before settling down in Bellingham in 2008. From fruity and complex to flowery and effervescent, you’re bound to find something here your taste buds will love.
Beer picks: Pilsner, British IPA
What would we do without our beloved Manny’s? Located in the industrial area of Seattle, this well-loved brewery doesn’t have a brewpub quite yet (or maybe ever?), but drop by the brewery for all the samples you need to decide which one you’d like to take home in a growler. You won’t find bottles of this stuff, but a bar that carries ‘em is never too far away.
Beer picks: Lucille IPA, Manny’s
Based in Redmond and brewed using a 15 barrel brewhouse, these guys keep it real when it comes to the sudsy stuff — they only brew beers they would want to drink. With all the awards they’ve won, they’ve clearly got excellent taste. Black Raven releases a few special brews every year that tend to go fast, so keep your ear to the ground.
Beer picks: Bourbon Barrel-Aged La Petite Mort, Trickster IPA
Just having released their brews to the Seattle market in October of last year, the guys at Holy Mountain Brewing spent some serious time perfecting their recipe, and the wait was worth it, as evidenced by their arsenal of brews so delicious they refuse to have a traditional flagship ale… so you have to try them all.
Beer picks: Astral Projection, Kiln & Cone
Opened in a converted warehouse by a 2012 National Homebrew Competition/2013 US Open Beer Championship winner, this Kickstarter-funded taproom is serving some seriously sweet small-batch suds, all of which are posted on a stat board listing things like price, ABV, IBU, and OG, which is the likely culprit if IBU ends up in the ICU. OMG. If that sounds too complicated you can also find Reuben’s in its taproom, plus around 36 bars and 50 stores in the Seattle area.
Beer picks: Imperial Rye IPA, Crikey IPA
Ahhhhh, Fremont, center of the universe. And arguably the center of Seattle’s brewing universe, thanks to its series of small-batch artisan beers made with local ingredients made by a long-time environmentalist/community organizer in a seriously sustainable way. Highlights include the Universale Pale Ale, a distinct Northwest twist on the classic pale ale, and the Interurban Pale, which is named after Fremont’s most famous outdoor sculpture. They also brew a slew of seasonal beers and make the occasional “wonderbeer” that they only sell at its Urban Beer Garden, or UBG.
Beer picks: Summer Ale (seasonal), Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale (seasonal)
To see the full list, head here. This Top 13 List was chosen by a panel of beer experts. They ranked all breweries on a scale of 1 to 10. The panel was made up of:
Andy Arguelles — Andy is the Head Brewer at Two Beers, but that has nothing to do with the fact his brewery made this list. We swear.
Steve Body — Steve is a beer aficionado, and a prolific beer writer as evidenced by his work at The Pour Fool and the Seattle PI.
Charles Finkel — Before he founded Pike Brewing Charles was an beer importer/exporter, a label designer, and one of the foremost suds experts in the country.
Todd Garrett — Todd is the head brewer at Hilliard’s, one of Seattle’s most popular breweries.
Sarah, The Danny Bonaduce Show & Sarah’s Beer of the Week — The co-host of one of Seattle’s most popular morning radio shows, Sarah also regular features beers on KZOK.
Chuck Shin — The owner of Seattle’s best beer retailer, Chuck’s Hop Shop.