Best Beer Gardens In Seattle

May 21, 2015 5:00 AM

(File photo. Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

For this list of Seattle places to enjoy the leisure of sipping a well made beer, we largely ignored the popular haunts of Ballard, replete with many trendy pubs for quaffing down craft brews. Instead, we searched the region to bring you some of the lesser known, but still popular, places to grab a handcrafted beverage made with love and care by local artisans in the city or just beyond the borders.


Hilliard’s Beer
1550 N.W. 49th S.
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 257-4486
www.hilliardsbeer.com 

Located in Fremont (aka “lesser Ballard”), Hilliard’s may be best known for their “12th can” pale ale, conceived during the 2013 Seattle Seahawks historic season. They brew a full range of other styles and seasonal selections. There is no food made on site, but there are usually food trucks in the parking lot. If not, you are always welcome to order in or bring your own food to enjoy along with your brew, and maybe a game on the big screen in the large, open taproom or outdoor seating area if Seattle weather is being cooperative. Except for some special events, Hilliard’s taproom is all ages and dog friendly. They regularly host fun events with local bands and community fun with ample free parking, too.

Rachel’s Ginger Beer
1530 Post Alley
Seattle, WA 98101
www.rachelsgingerbeer.com 

Since Rachel’s produces handcrafted sodas and not beer, this choice is something of a ringer. It’s called “beer” and is quintessentially Seattle, so we couldn’t leave it out. The beverages are made in Seattle using fresh water, lemons, organic sugar and ginger. The original recipe ginger beer is fresh, fragrant, and not too sweet. Each season, there is also a rotating selection, such as strawberry rhubarb, Asian pear, and blueberry. At their store and cocktail lounge in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, you can enjoy a Moscow Mule and other cocktails made with your favorite ginger beer flavor, as well as RGB ice cream floats and boozy shakes. Or, pick up a growler to take home. There is no food on site, but since Pike Place Market is outside, feel free to bring in food from other shops.


Big Al Brewing
9832 14th Ave. S.W.
Seattle, WA 98106
(206) 453-4574
www.bigalbrewing.wordpress.com 

Located in White Center in southwest Seattle, Big Al’s has a small outdoor patio and an indoor living room with darts and TVs. While indoors, it resembles a divvy “man cave,” the brewery has a relaxing laid back vibe that is comfortable and a nice place to hang out. There’s even a friendly house dog. The beers are well-made, including hoppy IPAs, smokey and chocolate porters, and seasonal selections. No food, but you are welcome to bring it in from nearby burger, pizza, and taco joints that are within easy walking distance. The hours are somewhat limited. If it’s crowded, just pick up a growler to go.

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Lowercase Brewing
8103 8th Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 258-4987
www.lowercasebrewing.com 

Located in the South Park area of Seattle near the Duwamish River, Lowercase Brewing offers a relaxed vibe-with a small indoor space with a garage door that opens to an outdoor area with tents and heat lamps as needed. You can play board games, gather around the fire pit, and listen to live music. They offer several beers that are regularly on tap, along with seasonal selections and small samples you can try before you buy. Food offerings include a few bar snacks, warm nuts, and rotating menu items; consider yourself lucky if they have salmon on the grill and chowder. The friendly owners and staff welcome families and dogs. They brew rootbeer and gingerale, too.


Airways Brewing Company
320 W. Harrison St.
Kent, WA 98032
(253) 236-8632
www.airwaysbrewing.com 

Located near the Kent Town Center Plaza, the Airways Bistro churns out a rotating menu of flatbread pizza, sandwiches, and house made soups, along with a small selection of appetizers. Wash down the food with any of their craft brews, or choose from a selection of locally made wine and cider. Outside seating is available if weather permits. Airways Brewing offers several styles of beer year-round and seasonally produces many more small-batch beers. You can also head west to their Tap Room (close to SouthCenter Mall and SeaTac Airport) and drink the freshest beer of the season (sans food, or bring in something from a nearby restaurant). Either place, you can sit for a pint or two, and take home a growler, bottles, or cans

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Carole Cancler is a freelance writer covering all things Seattle. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.