Over the past three years, I have done my share of research on beer spots in Seattle. Every neighborhood has a beer bar, a bar with a decent tap list or a bottle shop to offer those that search the land for all that is fermented yeast. One of the things I love most about Seattle is the variety of neighborhoods (reminiscent of Manhattan) where you step out of one and into the next…almost immediately it becomes obvious that you’re in a whole new world.
I’ll start with a nice wiki excerpt:
Historically Ballard is the traditional center of Seattle’s ethnically Scandinavian seafaring community, who were drawn to the area because of the salmon fishing opportunities. In recent years the decline of the fishing industry, and the addition of numerous condo buildings, has decreased the proportion of Scandinavian residents but the neighborhood is still proud of its heritage.
Ballard is situated by so many unique landmarks: the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (a facility that move boats from the water level of the lakes to the water level of Puget Sound, and vice versa and is the location of a salmon ladder); the Ballard Farmer’s Market; the Ballard Bridge and historic Ballard. This neighborhood was Redhook Brewing Co.’s first home, has colorful public art works as well as restaurants with the freshest ingredients. With all of this going on, spending a day in Ballard will keep you entertained. Stopping at these places will satisfy your beer needs.
An Irish pub, Old Peculiar has a large wooden bar with a mirrored bar back lined with whiskeys. Cozy nooks and an outdoor patio make this a versitle space while killer tater tots and at least 10 microbrews on tap nurture a bar patron’s desires. A place where the young and the old co-exist, I’ve seen Ninaski, Dogfish head and local brews such as Hales on tap.
During happy hour, food items such as Irish nachos, tater tots, chicken strips and chips are $4 with microbrews clocking in at just $3. When does this amazing deal occur? So glad you asked– during the hours of 4-6 pm and 10 pm-midnight ANY DAY of the week.
Its been awhile since I have visited Old Peculiar. Located on the main drag, Market St. NW, you step in and immediately your past journeys melt away. The space is a good size- not so big that you have trouble navigating and not so small that you are sitting on a stranger’s lap (unless that is your thing, then don’t let us stop you). There are plenty of regulars and some wildly entertaining people watching.
This taproom is home to Maritime Pacific Brewery and is a new space. Before this newer, much bigger space, the Jolly Roger Taproom was located right across the Ballard Bridge in a small warehouse. The old warehouse was used for brewing with the taproom there for us to enjoy the fruits of Maritime’s labor. That’s what beer drinking is all about, right? It was a quirky space that felt as though you were on a shipwreck which fits with the whole Ballard, fisherman, Maritime, pirate theme.
Then one day, we were riding past the space and it was empty with a FOR LEASE sign. Oh no! Soon after, we found out that they were just moving to a larger space, but we would have to wait, as the space was being remodeled.
I honestly can’t remember how many months past before the new space opened, but when it did, we were the 4th and 5th people in line to experience Maritime’s new dwellings. The new space still alludes to the fisherman, pirate, sea captain theme except the boat is way nicer with bright, finished wood, plenty of natural light and amazing food and beers. I’ll start with some food recommendations: the fried pickles are delicious, as is the dipping sauce they come with, the onion rings are massive and tasty and the mahi sliders are killer– add some of the homemade hot sauce that is on the table.
BEERS: Maritime is more or less the staple local microbrew. Even bars that don’t focus any energy on beer will have a Maritime beer on tap and is usually my saving grace. Their dark amber ale, Nightwatch is a personal favorite- it is bitter, smooth and hoppy with that roasted flavor. Maritime has a good line up of beers that will appeal to any beer drinker, so check it out.
If your looking for something a little more sophisticated, a little more upscale, but still want some damn good beer then stop by the Old Town Alehouse. Their food and beer prices are not outrageous by any means, but the motif lends itself to the low key evening. Every time we walk by here, we pop in to see what they have on tap and generally there is at least one intriguing option.
Their beer selection says they are trying to keep a diverse tap list, but aren’t willing to do the research to get the rarer, more innovative beers on tap.
For example, currently they have three Belgium beers on tap: Hoegarden Wit, Chimay White Label and Lindemans Framboise. All good beers but commonplace compared to several other Belgium breweries. In looking at their current tap list, it appears that the Old Town Alehouse tries to keep one of every style pouring. Port Townsend Brewing Co.’s Straight Stout, Georgetown Brewing Co.’s Georgetown Porter and Boundary Bay IPA is enough to make me stop in and wet the whistle.
I am very intrigued by their menu and its making me hungry. Your average appetizers such as fries, onion rings and hummus are followed by many affordable and delicious sounding options: gumbo, the spicy fried chicken sandwich (smothered in hot wing sauce- SOLD), the Ballard Beef Dip Sandwich (lets see if it rivals Chicago) and fish and chips. All sandwiches are $10.75 and most of the appetizers are under $9. So those of you that have experienced this joint, please leave a comment and let the world know!
So that’s Ballard’s beer scene in a nutshell. If you have a place that you love in this neighborhood (I can’t cover them all), leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next up: Belltown.
Written by Jess R.
Week 38 of 52 (I can’t believe it’s almost the end of 2010)
1009 E. Pike St.
Seattle, WA 98122
Type of Establishment: Pizzeria
Visit: After arriving at Elysian Brewing Co.’s Pumpkin Beer Fest at 11:30AM, we were starved by 2PM. Big Mario’s was right down the street and had the potential to fill our stomachs and our need for quality beer.
Beers on Tap (at time of visit):
Georgetown Manny’s Pale Ale
Miller High Life
Maritime Flagship Ale
HUB Abominable Ale
Expect your average Budweiser, Bud Light, Corona and Rainer in a can.
Now, I am a girl who grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Since then, I have lived in Ohio, New Orleans and Seattle and had yet to find a place that rivals the pizza I grew up on, the pizza that was easy to grab on-the-go and was always so good no matter what time of the day or night. As of Saturday, October 16th, 2010, my world has changed. Big Mario’s offers pies and slices with variety, weight and a price tag I appreciate. With a Lagunitas IPA in my hand, I ordered the sausage and pepperoni slice as well as the fresh basil and mozzarella slice (I was hungry). The slices are fresh, oily, cheesy, with a thin crust that has the perfect amount of soft, doughy texture. This is the best pizza in Seattle- hands down.
Some background on the owner, Mario Velliotti may convince you of the authenticity even more. I present to you, a little piece of history from Big Mario’s website:
In the winter of 1964, Mario Vellotti emigrated from Naples, Italy to live and work on Mulberry Street in New York City. Mario made his early living tossing pizza and cooking in some of New York’s most notorious kitchens; Angelo’s, Casa Bella on Mulberry Street and Nanni Al Valletto on 59th Street. Later Mario joined his brother and uncle in the family business, opening their world-famous pizzerias in all five Burroughs, including Sal’s on Broome Street, Bensonhurst’s J & V and the original Patricia’s in the Bronx. Big Mario is in Seattle now…enjoy!
Big Mario’s boasts a narrow space and provides a pizzeria feel without the starkness. Instead, this venue is a pizzeria with a comfortable, neighborhood bar atmosphere. Baseball was on the one TV, several taps of micro-brews were available behind the bar and board games were there to keep you occupied. This is a place I could hang out at all day just grazing on pizza slices.
Located in the edgy Capital Hill neighborhood of Seattle, I felt like I was back home in Brooklyn– hanging out with friends, watching the Yanks and eating delicious slices. With the addition of Seattle’s dedication to craft beer, I must say, I am in love. From here on out, this is the place in Seattle that I will turn to and satisfy my pizza craving.
And if having amazing pizza and micro-brews wasn’t enough, Big Mario’s keeps things exciting this Halloween by celebrating with the best of them on Saturday, October 30th. Event details below.
Sat Oct 30
1st Annual Big Mario’s Halloween Party & Lookalike Contest!
Dress like Modern Big Mario or 1971 Big Mario
1st Place winner each night gets $250 Tab at Mario’s, 2nd Place $100 tab
Free! 21+ Only.
This is going to be hilarious! So stop by big Mario’s for a delicious pie, a beer and maybe you’ll even meet the man behind it all, Big Mario circa 2010.
This Thursday marks the opening day of Seattle Beer Week, so events might be a bit Seattlecentric for the next week or two. For those of you who live in Seattle- awesome for you and for those of you who do not, its time to visit!
Monday, May 10, 2010
FredFest 2010: Portland, Oregon
6:00PM-10:00PM @ Hair of the Dog Brewing Co.
The date of this event recently changed from May 8th to May 10th. Check out our post for more information on the event.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Belgium Beer Fest: Santa Monica, California
4:00PM- 12:00AM @ the Library Ale House
This is just the beginning of a two-week festival featuring, you guessed it, Belgium style beers. Guests can purchase a logo Chimay glass for $15 and refill it with one of the 8 rotating Belgian handles for only $5 during the entire two weeks of the festival. Each beer will be on for one keg only, so once its gone.. its gone. This event stars: Goose Island‘s Matilda, Urthel Hop-it, Russian River‘s Consecration and many more.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Great Beers of the Great Lakes: Bronx, New York
7:00PM-9:00PM @ the Bronx Ale House
You know we have an affinity for beers from the Mid-West and now you lucky New Yorkers can drink up and report back. Beers from Founders Brewing Co. and Erie Brewing Co. will be available for your enjoyment. Cheers!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
OPENING DAY FOR SEATTLE BEER WEEK!!: Seattle, Washington
5:00PM @ Hales Ales Pub
Kick it off with visits to Hale’s Brewery for the featured SBW beer on cask, Shultzy’s Sausage for a special imported cask and end the night at Naked City Taphouse for some special Washington beers on tap!
Friday, May 14, 2010
Back in Black Stout Night: Seattle, Washington
3:00PM-3:00AM @ Brouwer’s Cafe
All I can say, is “Thank God this is on a Friday night.” With a line up of rare and wonderful stouts on tap, surely a beer lover will need a day to recover. Brouwer’s Cafe always gets the finest selections for these events, so if you’re a stout fan, this is not to be missed!
Lazy Boy Brewing Night: Seattle, Washington
5:00PM- close @ Naked City Taphouse
Come join Shawn Loring, owner and brewer for a night of special Lazy Boy Brewing beers! Prizes and giveaways will also be in the mix.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Tour de Pints: Seattle, Washington
11:00AM @ Pike Brewing Co.
Grab your helmet, check your brakes and jump on your bike. Today is full of physical activity rewarded with plenty o’ beer. The Seattle Beer Week website states:
The 2010 Seattle Beer Week Tour de Pints, a bike ride with stops at some great beer bars, is now upon us. If you were there last year, we will be following a very similar route. Only one Feat of Strength this year as we hope to keep the group more together. We plan to spend about 30-45 mins at each location.
Route is as follows:
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Brett Brunch: Seattle, Washington
11:00AM- 2:00PM @ Hudson Public House
This is my dream brunch:
Seattle Beer Week- if only I could take a vacation from work to enjoy all of the amazing events lined up EVERY DAY. Those of you who get to go to an event, please email me at email@example.com or leave a comment. I want to live vicariously through you!
The dawn of Seattle’s epic 10 day beer mania approaches. Are you ready?
The pandemonium will continue on over at Schultzy’s Sausage in the University District – which the subject of our most recent 52 Weeks column article.
We hope to see you all out, as much as can be done without losing your jobs.
For easy access to all that is Seattle Beer Week, we have added a linked image to the top of our website. You can click the link to visit their web page, or otherwise follow them on Twitter or Facebook; or get updates on your phone by texting “SBW” to 839863.
Our friend Ian Roberts is back at it with another offering of Seattle Beer Week!
Fresh off a trip to Belgium, Ian is back in town and recently launched a nice website laying out the schedule for Seattle’s best beer extravaganza.
With a massive bevy of sponsors, the Week looks to offer even more juicy beer magic than last year. You can check out the amazing lineup by navigating through the Events portion of their website.
This year Hales Brewery has been selected to put together the brew for the Week, a double IPA. We cannot wait!
1 of 52
601 Summit Ave East
Rank: #1 of 1
Type of Establishment: Full bar with food…sometimes.
BEERS ON TAP (at time of visit) —>
Ninkasi Radiant Pale Ale
Hale’s Mongoose IPA
Port Townsend Nitro Stout
Hale’s 25th Anniversay Dubbel Ale
Ace Champagne Cider
Elysian Prometheus IPA
Dick’s Winter Ale
FOOD OPTIONS: Sometimes food means there is a kitchen, with one cook, who sometimes decides to offer meals. The “menu” changes everyday I gather, and is posted on the same chalkboard that one can find the rotating beer selection. During our visit the chalkboard informed us that there would not be food today. There was, however, a print-out taped to the wall advertising a $5 grilled cheese. Just drinks for us.
STAFF OPINION: Though attentive, not very smiley or talkative.
Just a few blocks east of I-5, across the street from Top Pot Doughnuts, lies an establishment that BeerBlotter had never before set foot in. This day, we changed that.
There doesn’t seem to be a sign anywhere on the outside of the building that says Summit Public House, but there is a large Leffe Poster in one window and a few neons to tell passers by that there’s beer inside. No false advertising here. A very round selection of brews can be found, macros to local micros and everything between. Liquor too. All bases are covered in the drinks department.
The place as a whole is small and cozy. A cove to the right as you walk through the door houses the pool table, and to the left, a row of wooden booths separate the stand-alone table section from the bar. The bar itself is warm and comfortable. We grabbed a Hale’s Belgian Dubbel, Dick’s Double Danger Ale and Port Townsend Stout and took a load off in one of the booths.
There was a decent showing for early on a weeknight, but all were well behaved and mainly quite, most with attentions on the T.V. above the bar broadcasting the BCS National Championship game.
A diverse crowd, both young and old. The tattooed bartenders seemed a bit annoyed to be at work. The seats were a little uncomfortable. Summit exists in a strange place somewhere between a dive and a classy joint.
In summary, Summit Public House is not entirely jaw dropping in the character department, but could easily have a much worse beer selection and does a good job providing nearby Capitol Hillers with a solid local spot to grab a cold one and watch a little sports, play pool, or just relax and socialize with friends.