Washington has more breweries than neighboring Oregon and craft-centric Colorado and trails only California in overall numbers.
That leaves just enough room for everybody. The Craft Brewers Alliance's
Red Hook Brewery
used to call Seattle home, but sauntered off to Woodinville several years ago to brew more of its ESB, Copperhood and Wit while hosting host trivia nights in its brewpub, movies on its lawn and the occasional band. The other big brewer in town, North American Breweries' Seattle-based
, still has an alehouse in the shadow of Safeco Field and soothes suffering Mariners fans with its hefeweizen, apricot ale and Thunderhead IPA.
Tourists down that way who like what they see can head to Seattle's
and swap suds for Starbucks while taking in the sights and sounds of Pike Place Market. Just across the water is
Maritime Pacific Brewing
-- best known simply as Maritime -- and the dry-hopped Islander Pale Ale, Flagship Red or Black Porter in its Jolly Roger Taproom. That not only puts a beer lover in the middle of Seattle's funky Ballard neighborhood, but in striking distance of the Solstice tangerine flower ale and "Summer Is A State Of Mind" cask ale in the urban beer garden of
. If the artists, coffee shops and Troll in Freemont leave you thirsting for more, head to the halfway point between Ballard and Freemont for a few pints of Kolsch, Troll Porter or Mongoose IPA at
, which provides side-by-side tastings of its own brews and beers of the same variety from around the world.
That's a lot of footwork, which is why we recommend letting a group such as
Road Dogs Seattle Brewery Tour
handle the minutiae while you plan ferry rides, hikes up Mount Rainier or orca-watching trips.