How does 2022 stack up compared to 2013?
Fatalists may not want to believe it. Naysayers and adversaries may choose to ignore the facts, but the Seattle brewery scene has enjoyed a significant increase over the past nine years. It calculates out to about a 50 percent increase in the number of breweries over the timespan. That said, it is always sad when a brewery closes, even if two breweries open in its place.
I was recently cleaning up my hard drive and came across a document from 2013 that listed all of the breweries in Seattle. This was an official list of licensed breweries in the city as provided by the State of Washington. I thought beer-loving folks around Seattle might find it interesting.
Today, Seattle is home to over 60 breweries, most of which are brewpubs or breweries with tasting rooms. Back in 2013, there were about 40 real breweries in Seattle. (Read the list below and you’ll see what I mean by real breweries.) So yeah, although some folks might deny it, we are still growing. Basic math. There were 40 and now there are 60, which equals a 50 percent increase.
So here it is for your entertainment and edification, a list of Seattle breweries in 2013, with info about where they’re at now. As the list shows, very few just disappeared entirely, and many locations live on by different names. More breweries plan to open soon. To see all of the breweries in Seattle these days, just check out our map of Seattle Breweries and Beer Spots.
Seattle’s Licensed Breweries, circa 2013
- BIG AL BREWING (White Center) – Gone but still a brewery. Now Future Primitive Brewing. Not at all the same brewery as it was back then, but still a brewery. Don’t get your barley in a bunch, I know that White Center is not part of Seattle, but where else should I put it?
- BIG TIME BREWING COMPANY – Still there. Of course, Big Time is still there. Seattle without Big Time Brewing is like New York without the Eiffel Tower or Paris without the Coliseum. Big Time timelessly endures!
- BLUEBIRD BREWING – (Greenwood Avenue N.) It was an ice cream shop with a nano-sized brewery. Novel concept. As far as I know, they are no longer brewing, but the ice cream shop remains.
- BURDICK BREWERY (South Park) – Gone. Back then, Burdick Brewing and Lowercase Brewing were located in the same building in South Park. Burdick is gone, but Lowercase is not. Long story, but the taprooms in South Park shut down in 2016 and that was pretty much the end of Burdick Brewing, but Lowercase lives on and operates its taproom in Georgetown.
- ELLIOTT BAY BREWERY & PUB (W Seattle) – Located in downtown West Seattle, in the biz district known as The Junction, the world has largely changed around The Pub. Thankfully, it remains what it has long been; one of my favorite places on the planet.
- ELLIOTT BAY PUBLIC HOUSE & BREWERY (Lake City) – Back in 2012 when this place opened… man, did Lake City need this, or what? That neighborhood, which now is also home to Hellbent Brewing, was bleak for beer drinkers back then. Elliott Bay Lake City is still thriving.
- ELYSIAN BREWING COMPANY (Capitol Hill) – Massively remodeled, but still there.
- ELYSIAN BREWING COMPANY (Elysian Fields) – Still serving pregame crowds.
- ELYSIAN BREWING COMPANY (Georgetown) – In 2012 it was just a big production facility. Now it is also a taproom.
- ELYSIAN BREWING COMPANY INC. (Tangletown) – It was home to one of Elysian’s pilot programs. No longer Elysian, no longer a brewery, but still a pub.
- EMERALD CITY BEER COMPANY (Airport Way, SoDo) – Long gone. Does anyone remember Dottie’s Seattle Lager? This place wasn’t ever really a brewery. I mean, the building was the home of Rainier Beer for decades, but Emerald City Beer Co never actually brewed in its small space there.
- EPIC ALES (SoDo) – This place was kind of funky and a bit before its time. Cody, the guy who made the beer, now has a brewery over in Hoodsport (Potlatch Brewing), but Epic Ales is gone. Read about Cody’s new place here.
- FREMONT BREWING COMPANY (Fremont) – It was still a comparatively diminutive affair back then, but look at what Fremont Brewing has grown into! The Urban Beer Garden is one of the busiest taprooms in the city. I think, the very busiest.
- GEORGETOWN BREWING CO. (Georgetown) – It used to be just a brewery, where you could stop in to try small samples of the beers, and then get growlers and kegs to go, but there wasn’t a proper taproom. That’s changed. Georgetown Brewing’s still-feels-new-to-me taproom is awesome. Always a selection of new, interesting, and often one-off beers on tap.
- GORDON BIERSCH BREWERY RESTAURANT (Downtown) – Closed in early 2019. It was on the top floor of the Pacific Place shopping mall. It was a huge restaurant. Kevin Davey, now the owner/brewmaster at Portland’s Wayfinder Beer, honed his craft here (and before that at Chuckanut Brewery) before opening his own place.
- HALES ALES (Fremont-Ballard) – It’s pretty well documented what happened here. If you want to buy the building and all that’s in it, read this story. Kind of sad the way it went out so quietly.
- HILLIARD’S BEER (Ballard) – It’s now the home of Lagunitas Taproom and Beer Sanctuary. Back in 2012, Hilliard’s made a name for itself when it released cans of its saison. Back then, canned saison was a serious oddity. Hell, canned craft beer of any sort was rare. Hilliard’s was also different because it ascribed to a “We’ll never brew an IPA strategy” at a time when a tidal wave of IPA was sweeping across the city and the nation.
- LANTERN BREWING (N. Aurora) – Still there and still focusing on Belgian- and French-style beers. I haven’t been there in too long. May have to remedy that soon.
- MACHINE HOUSE BREWERY (Georgetown) – Still there, for now. As we recently reported, they are hunting for a new location following unsuccessful negotiations with the landlord. Still focused on brewing the best real ales (cask-conditioned beers) in the city.
- MARITIME PACIFIC BREWING COMPANY (Ballard) – Still there. Back before Ballard was home to so many breweries, it was home to this one. Argh! Fetch me some sliders from the Jolly Roger Taproom, y’ scallywag!
- McMENAMINS (Capitol Hill) – Still there. Like a lot of McMenamins locations, the small brewery at McMenamins Six Arms produces just enough beer to call itself a brewery. As far as I know that’s still the deal at both locations in Seattle.
- McMENAMINS (Queen Anne) – Yeah, like I said above. All that applies here, too.
- NAKED CITY BREWERY AND TAPROOM (Greenwood) – It was really sad when this place closed down. Happily, a new brewery has moved in — Halcyon Brewing. Brewmaster/Owner, Don Webb, is still plying his trade around Seattle, brewing award-winning beers for Old Stove Brewing.
- NEW BELGIUM BREWING (Georgetown) – Not there, but wasn’t ever really there anyway. In 2013, New Belgium was licensed at Elysian Brewing’s location because of a collaborative relationship it had with the pre-AB version of Elysian. Now Elysian is owned by Anheuser-Busch and New Belgium is owned by Kirin. The world somehow kept spinning.
- NEW BELGIUM BREWING COMPANY (Capitol Hill) – Yep. All that stuff I said above.
- NORTHWEST PEAKS BREWERY (Ballard) – Not in Ballard anymore, but not gone. Moved across town to Hillman City and now occupies the former home of Spinnaker Bay Brewing.
- ODIN BREWING COMPANY (South Park) – Gone. Back in my college days, my buddy Mike wrote a song called Moving to Tukwila. When Odin Brewing actually did that, I couldn’t stop thinking about that song. Now the brewery has moved away from Tukwila and there’s no song about that.
- OUTLANDER BREWING (Fremont) – Still there. For me, this one fits into the category of “has it really been around for that long?” Seems like only yesterday that it opened in that funky old house in Fremont.
- PEDDLER BREWING COMPANY (Ballard) Gone, but still a brewery. Renton’s Bickersons Brewhouse spruced it up and moved into the space vacated by Peddler. The beers are tasting great! More people need to visit this taproom and come to recognize that it is now a totally new thing.
- PIKE BREWING COMPANY (Pike Place Market) – Still there. Um, duh. Pike Brewing isn’t going anywhere. In fact, there’ll soon open two new locations around Seattle. Check out the story about that.
- POPULUXE BREWING (Ballard) – Gone, but now it is the home of the Yonder Cider and Bale Breaker Brewing taproom. Peter and Amy of Populuxe Brewing are in the process of opening a new brewery in Packwood, a mountain town southeast of Mount Rainier.
- PYRAMID BREWERIES (SoDo) – Gone, but still a brewery. Well, it will be a brewery again soon. Working in conjunction with the Seattle Mariners, Metier Brewing will soon fire up the old brewhouse. Read about that here.
- RAM RESTAURANT & BREWERY (Northgate) – Gone. The reimagined Northgate did not have a place for The Ram. GO KRAKEN!
- RAM RESTAURANT AND BREWERY (University Village) – Gone. Some sort of clothing store in its place.
- REUBENS BREWS (Ballard) – Still there and thriving. Back in 2013, they were still operating out of the little spot up on 53rd. A lot has changed for Reuben’s Brews, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
- ROCK BOTTOM BREWERY (Downtown) – Closed in 2016.
- ROOFTOP BREWING COMPANY (Interbay/Nickerson) – Still there and still doing great. No longer the only brewery on the block, Old Stove Brewing opened down the road. Now you have two reasons to visit that neighborhood.
- SCHOONER EXACT BREWING COMPANY (SoDo) – Gone. Now it’s San Juan Seltzer. Not going to mince words, it was like watching a messy trainwreck in slow motion as this one fell apart.
- SEAPINE BREWING COMPANY (SoDo) – Still there, but in a different location than it was in 2013. They abandoned the tiny spot on 4th Avenue near Costco and moved into a new, lovely home near 1st Avenue and Hanford Street.
- SPINNAKER BAY BREWERY (Hillman City) – Gone, but still a brewery. As previously mentioned, it is now the home of Northwest Peaks Brewing.
- STANDARD BREWING (Central Dist) – Still there. The original spot was tiny. Since 2013, the brewery expanded to take over the entire building and now has a bigger brewery as well as a kitchen. Standard Brewing also opened a second location down on Rainier Avenue called Sovereign Brewing, which is a more barrel-focused version of Standard Brewing.
- STOUP BREWING (Ballard) – Still there. Hard to imagine Ballard without Stoup. They also opened a second location in recent years: Stoup Kenmore, which is a taproom and restaurant at the north end of Lake Washington.
- TWO BEERS BREWING COMPANY (SoDo) – The Woods Tasting room at Two Beers Brewing doubles as the tasting room for Seattle Cider Co. It’s a great place to take that friend who doesn’t like beer or has reasons why they cannot drink beer. Good beer, good cider, one-stop shopping.
- URBAN FAMILY PUBLIC HOUSE (Ballard) – In 2013, it was still a tiny brewery in a backroom on Ballard Avenue. Then it moved to the other side of Salmon Bay to a location in Magnolia. Then it moved to its new, big, beautiful facility on NW 52nd Street in Ballard, across from Stoup Brewing. The abandoned location in Magnolia will soon open as Bizarre Brewing, as we reported in this story.
- WEST SEATTLE BREWING CO (W Seattle) – Still there and still busy with regulars from the nearby neighborhood. Recently, WS Brewing had to move out of its taproom down the street on Alki Beach (damned landlord!), but the brewery and taproom on Fauntleroy Way, just across the recently reopened West Seattle Bridge, is waiting for you.