Washington State Breweries

In a rainy city like Seattle, indoor activties like enjoying a good pint of beer have become a local tradition and part of the way of life. Beers like Redhook, Maritime Pacific, and Pyramid Ales all got started here in the Northwest. There are also several microbreweries in the Seattle area that let you taste the freshest beers along with classic pub fare.

A microbrewery is a brewery that produces beer in smaller quantities. There are about 366 microbreweries in the US, and most of these have opened since the 1980s, when the trend first started. A brewpub came to be known as the place where you could sample beers from the micro brewery.

Maritime Pacific has only been around since 1990, and this is a smaller, locally owned brewery. Their beers are brewed in the Ballard area of Seattle, which has a busy nightlife, making it a perfect area for microbreweries that want to get a lot of foot traffic. The taproom of the Maritime Pacific Brewery is called the Jolly Roger, named after the best-selling holiday brew.

The Red Hook brewery is another local favorite. This is one of the most well known breweries in Seattle, and was also located in the Ballard area, since it has industrial area that makes it perfect for a brewery to operate. The Red Hook Brewery has been around since 1981, so this is a well known favorite. Having since shifted its larger operation to Woodinville in 1994, the Red Hook Brewery is still a popular local beer, and this restaurant and brewpub is always busy.

The Elysian Brewpub is one of the most popular microbreweries. The setting is in a large warehouse. Here, in Greenlake, you can find excellent food to go with the great beers. Elysian has a number of different beers, from the light Pale Ales to the darker Strong Ales. You can enjoy any sort of time at this, one of the most well known Seattle microbreweries, be it a quick beer pit stop, a date, or a place to while away the hours over a pitcher or two with a friend. Parking is usually not a problem, either. The food at the Elysian brewery will not disappoint; menu items like the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich might be the best you've ever had, with tender beef, well-done onions and peppers and just the right amount the seasonings.

Pyramid Brewery is one of the bigger names in Seattle breweries. It makes Pyramid beer and Thomas Kemper soft drinks. Pyramid has been around since 1984, when it first started operating under the name Hart Brewing. Since 1996 it has been called Pyramid, after its best-selling beer. The Pyramid Pale Ale was the first beer of one of the earliest microbreweries in the nation.

The brewery for Pyramid Ales is in Berkeley, California, but you can enjoy these fine beers all over the country. If you're visiting Seattle as part of your Washington vacation, be sure to visit a local brewery. No trip would be complete without one of the delicious local beers from one of the many microbreweries in the Pacific Northwest.

Image: Paul David Gibson (flickr)
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