West Seattle, home of the Washington Beer Blog and one-fifth of Seattle’s total population, lost its mainline connection to the city last March when engineers unexpectedly deemed the West Seattle Bridge unsafe for traffic. These days, it sometimes feels more akin to an independent island-nation, but the rumors are exaggerated; you can still get to West Seattle. And you should! Good beer, maybe the Best beer, is the reward.
Beyond beer, it’s West Seattle and there’s other stuff to do. Take a walk at Alki Beach or Lincoln Park, visit Marination Ma Kai for a killer lunch, and enjoy a million-dollar waterfront view of the city, but let’s talk about the beer. (Map of our West Seattle beer stops at the bottom of the post.)
The New Kids on the Block
On the south end of the West Seattle peninsula, Best of Hands Brewing and Barrelhouse opened about a year prior to the onset of the pandemic. From the very beginning, BOH offered a breadth of beers that defied its tender age, producing well-conceived and well-executed beers. Not just the predictable IPAs and Hazy IPAs, but stuff like a mind-melting Baltic Porter and a show-stopping Gose. Currently, the brewery’s Windowless Cabin Hazelnut Stout (available on nitro) is hitting the spot.
The taproom (at Best of Hands) is open indoors and out, with limited seating inside and a parking lot converted to a tentless beer garden. We’ll see how things progress as the seasons unfold. 21-plus, no food, but frequently on the weekends there are food trucks or, quite regularly, a pop-up barbeque purveyor. To-go beer is available in growlers, crowlers, and some in cans.
On the north end of The Rock (aka West Seattle), The Good Society Brewery and Public House opened weeks before the word COVID became part of everyday conversation. Can you imagine? You finally get your brewery open, finally start selling beer in your taproom, and BAM!
The Good Society managed to struggle their way through the complete lockdown, endured the reduced-capacity regulations, and navigated all the other pandemic requirements. As a reward for their perseverance, just a few months after opening, The Good Society won a gold medal at the GABF and was awarded Best Small Brewpub of the Year. They should have also gotten a Rookie of the Year award.
Currently, The Good Society is open indoor and out, with a tented seating area out front. Serving a limited food menu consisting primarily of pizza. All-ages. At the time of publishing, The Good Society Brewery and Public House is pouring its GABF gold medal beer—First To Fall, Grisette, a Belgian-Style/French-Style Ale. To-go beer is available in growlers and crowlers.
While you are in West Seattle, consider visiting one of the other renowned beer stops. The most obvious route between Best of Hands and The Good Society, traveling along California Avenue, conveniently takes you right past three other neighborhood favorites: Beveridge Place Pub, Elliott Bay Brewery and Pub, and The Beer Junction.
The Beveridge Place Pub transformed its parking lot into a spacious beer garden that offers covered and uncovered seating. The Beveranda, the pub’s regular outdoor seating area, has also been tented. They’ve implemented an online contactless ordering and payment system. 21+, bring your own food or order it in.
Elliott Bay Brewery and Pub has also made some changes to offer outdoor seating. There’s a tent, but seating is pretty limited so plan to stop in and have one of Seattle’s best hamburgers during non-peak dining hours. All-ages pub. Order the “crack sauce” with your seasoned fries.
The Beer Junction is currently closed for on-premise consumption but they are still open for to-go sales. In addition to massive coolers full of bottles and cans, they also offer crowler and growler sales. Recently, they started offering refillable, to-go pints as well.
Ounces Taproom & Beer Garden – Great selection of draft beers. Lots of outdoor seating. Kids welcome, food trucks, all the cool stuff. Heck, they even have TVs outside for watching the game on their big, covered, semi-enclosed patio area.
West Seattle Brewing – When the seasons allow, they have a second location down on Alki Beach. The original, main brewery and taproom is up the hill.
Future Primitive Brewing – Yeah, it’s White Center and not West Seattle, but I had to give it a mention. Kids welcome, great outdoor seating, covered, heaters, all that.
Beer Star – Doing what they can to stay open as restrictions shift and the weather changes. They’ve always got a great selection of beer on tap and in the coolers. Kids welcome. Again, in White Center, but…
Super Deli Mart – I think it was the very first establishment of its kind. A convenience store morphed into a beer joint. A very well-curated draft list. Good beer at affordable prices in the coolers. Kids welcome, great sandwiches.