Don's Top Picks

Don . You can follow him on twitter as @BeerGuideSEA or read his twitter feed below

Note that we regularly update what constitutes a top pick so places can be relegated from the list if their beer range dips or there are other significant changes.


Large two-room pub (main room bar and games room) with outdoor seating in clement weather. Main room at entry has bar area (order at bar, usually no table service). No food but own food from nearby take out places allowed, or have it delivered. Widely regarded as one of Seattle's best.


One-of-its kind pub, serving some of the best casked ales in the Pacific Northwest - certainly the most authentic. Machine House never did beers the easy way, opting for English-style cask ales in a world of CO2-keg craft brews. That this pub is even open is an accomplishment. It's a simple, relatively unadorned single-room beer bar, and the main attraction are those handpumps rising proudly behind the bar. Nine of them. This is a do-not-miss.


In just a few years, Naked City has become one of Seattle's most well-regarded and popular craft breweries, and it's an excellent pub too, with a healthy mix of house and 'guest' taps. A must-visit when in Seattle. 28 taps include 4 ciders.


Slow Boat Tavern A Don top pick  Don Honorable Mention WiFi available21 or older only. New entry in the Guide in 2016. Regularly has Seattle brewed beers

Ken Provost departed north Seattle's Uber to open this little spot, and the taps boast one of the most inspired - some would say curated - selections in town. The Rainier tap is for more than a cheap beer: ask for an Old Man Provost to find out why. A must-visit.


The Pine Box A Don top pick A Fred top pick  Full menu available. WiFi available Regularly has Seattle brewed beers

Former funeral parlor converted into one of the city's best pubs. Beer list is updated in real-time, on-line.


Honorable Mention

Bottle shop with a bar and 40+ taps. Tasting flights available. No food but many nearby take out places.


Brother Barrel  Don Honorable Mention Full menu available. WiFi available Brewpub. New entry in the Guide in 2016. Regularly has Seattle brewed beers

It will become apparent upon tasting the house barrel aged beers, perusing the guest taps, and tasting the excellent treats from the kitchen that the gang behind Elliott Bay Brewing have knocked it out of the park here. Up in Lake City and very much worth the journey.


One of Seattle's newest breweries and taprooms, opened and run by former Elysian brewer Steve Luke. Interesting and well-made range of ales and, yes, a pretty good Pilsner lager too.


Approach this one with respect; Holy Mountain was one of Seattle's most-anticipated brewery openings ever, and it continues to make sought-after beers. Saisons, farmhouse ales, sours, barrel-aging projects, and more. Consider this one a must.


One-of-its kind pub, serving some of the best casked ales in the Pacific Northwest - certainly the most authentic. Machine House never did beers the easy way, opting for English-style cask ales in a world of CO2-keg craft brews. That this pub is even open is an accomplishment. It's a simple, relatively unadorned single-room beer bar, and the main attraction are those handpumps rising proudly behind the bar. Nine of them. This is a do-not-miss.


The Shambles  Don Honorable Mention Full menu available. WiFi available New entry in the Guide in 2018 Regularly has Seattle brewed beers

Every so often, a new pub or restaurant comes along that handily exceeds expectations. Such is the case with the Shambles, which combines craft beer, craft cocktails, and gastropub food elevated to some of the highest levels in town. This one's a must-visit.


Slow Boat Tavern A Don top pick  Don Honorable Mention WiFi available21 or older only. New entry in the Guide in 2016. Regularly has Seattle brewed beers

Ken Provost departed north Seattle's Uber to open this little spot, and the taps boast one of the most inspired - some would say curated - selections in town. The Rainier tap is for more than a cheap beer: ask for an Old Man Provost to find out why. A must-visit.


Utterly un-fancy corner local with Belgian-focused tap selection, featuring a range of Belgian imports and American-brewed Belgian-inspired brews. Focus here is on the beer: no kitchen, no flashy decor, just a simple Belgian-style beer café.


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