Seattle Beer News Top 10 Beer Spots – #10 Duck Island Ale House

November 15th, 2010 · 7 Comments · Bar Reviews

This is the first installment of the Seattle Beer News list of the Top 10 Beer Spots in Seattle. Many great bars, pubs, and breweries won’t make this list; that doesn’t mean they aren’t outstanding places.

#10 Beer Spot in Seattle: Duck Island Ale House

Tap handles at Duck Island. Thanks to the always fantastic +Russ for the photo

Duck Island isn’t your typical beer bar. Sure, it has a great selection of beer. But, it’s a little rougher around the edges than most of the places that will make the list. That’s part of what makes the place so great.

The Beer: Duck Island has one of the most creative tap lists in the city. They have about 25 taps to play around with, and they do a great job of keeping things interesting, no matter how often you visit. They mix local offerings in with Belgian beers and seasonals from all over the place. They hold occasional special events, including Christmas in July when the taps are full with winter seasonals from the previous year. The bartenders know their beer, and you’ll get what you order in proper glassware. If you don’t feel like a beer, they have a small┬álineup of well-selected liquor.

The Food: Duck Island does not do their own food, BUT you can order from Beth’s Cafe right next door and they will bring it over for you. You just place your order with the bartender at Duck Island and he adds it to your bar bill….awesome. I once had a big plate of biscuits and gravy with a Walking Man Jaywalker Imperial Stout. Where else can you do that?

The Atmosphere: If you are going solo, snagging a spot at the small bar is the way to go. Or, there is a pinball/video game or 2 to keep you busy. There are a few booths, and a small back room with an old pool table. Everyone I’ve met there has been super friendly; just don’t expect a bunch of beer geeks sitting around talking shop. It’s the type of place that has quite a few solo people show up that are obvious regulars. Bonus: their great jukebox is reason enough to drag some of your music loving friends in for a beer.

Overall: This place is just a classic Seattle beer joint. Duck Island manages to mix a blue collar Seattle tavern with lots, and lots of good beer in just the right way. This is the type of place you’d be lucky to have as your local. Located on the same part of the Aurora corridor as Uber Tavern, Kangaroo & Kiwi, and St. Andrews, Duck Island is a perfect stop on a mini bar crawl in the area.

Duck Island Saloon
7317 Aurora Ave N.
Seattle, WA
(206) 783-3360

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • Devlin

    Didn’t the Duck get rid of their old jukebox (which was great) and put one of those crappy internet ones in where you pay $1 a tune?

  • Kaiser

    That makes me sad if they did…

  • Kevin Davey

    They did lose the best juke in the city. This bar is single handedly the reason I fell in love with beer. I’ve been going there since I turned 21. Their juke won best in Seattle by the Stranger a time or two. I had a mix of Golden country Greats on that juke. All things change though.

  • Kevin Davey

    Five years ago, before Brouwer’s and Uber, I would have said it was the best beer bar in the north end if not the city.

  • chris dalton

    Had no choice with the jukebox. It was old and was eventually impossible to reasonably fix. Still trying to serve only the very best beers available, and PBR of course.

  • ScreamForMe

    Have always had a good time at the Duck!

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