This is the final installment of the 2012 Seattle Beer News list of the Top 10 Beer Spots in Seattle. Many great bars, pubs, and breweries did not make this list; that doesn’t mean they aren’t outstanding places. Check out the previous post for #2.
When it was time to decide between my favorite places for the top spot in this list, it really became difficult to pick one over the others. But, it didn’t take too long for me to come to a decision. At one point, I realized that I have thought to myself on more than one occasion: “If I ever open my own bar someday, I would love for it to be pretty much just like Beveridge Place Pub.” That about sums it up. Beveridge Place Pub (BPP), located in West Seattle, just has a perfect balance of good beer wrapped up in a welcome atmosphere. Other bars might have a bigger beer list with more rarities and variety, but I just don’t think any compare with Beveridge Place when it comes to atmosphere. The whole package put together earns BPP the top spot on my list.
The Beer: BPP juggles their taps of beer (36 taps now, as of yesterday!) with a concentration on local offerings, while never failing to bring in interesting beers from breweries outside of the state. They rotate most of the taps regularly, while eight taps keep house favorites, such as Georgetown Lucille IPA always pouring. The rotating taps still concentrate on Washington beer, but they also hit all styles and locations, and you never know what you are going to find on a given visit. They get their share of special release beers that hit Seattle. In addition to their draft beers, they also stock over 100 bottles of beer, and there are always some real gems available. They will occasionally break out older vintage bottles from the cellar, as well.
Another thing that helps BPP rise to the top is their events calendar. They have brewers nights just about every Thursday, and they also work other regular special events in. A popular event in recent years has been their periodic Iron Brewer competitions, where two local breweries are matched up against each other to create a beer using special ingredients chosen by the bar. The beers are then poured at BPP and customers decide the winner in a blind-tasting competition.
They also do several larger events/festivals throughout the year. Each February they have their annual Barleywine Bacchanal where they dedicate 24 of their taps to pour more than 50 barleywines over the period of the festival, including many older vintages, multi-year verticals, and rare offerings. Their I.P.April is another favorite, when they typically have a dozen taps dedicated to rotating hoppy beers throughout the month of April. Another customer favorite is the Hoptoberfest in October where customers vote to decide what the house IPA will be at BPP for the following year. That month-long event finishes with their IPA Cask-O-Rama, featuring 30+ casks of IPA on the bar top.
The Food: Not having a kitchen is a problem for some pubs, but I consider it a strength for BPP. Many pubs with no kitchen encourage customers to bring in/have delivered whatever they would like. But at BPP, customers really embrace that opportunity by bringing in food from home to share over a few beers, or picking up their book of menus to order delivery from one of the many options. A trip to BPP for dinner is a great excuse for me to order a Cherry Bomb from Zeek’s Pizza next door or to pick up an outstanding gyro from Kokoras just across the street.
The Atmosphere: This is where BPP truly becomes a special place. First off, the bar is split into two distinct sections. The large main front room holds the beautiful wooden bar and is filled with tables perfect for couples or large groups, and there are also a few couches to relax on. With games and various reading materials sitting around, a trip to BPP can literally be like sitting in your living room, if that’s what you’d like. There are probably about ten seats at the bar, and there are also a couple high bar tables with stools and standing room. It’s this side that feels like a true Public House, with a welcoming atmosphere, completely unpretentious and friendly service , and good beer flowing.
While the front room is perfect for conversation and a relaxed beer over a book, the adjoining game room is the ideal place to catch a game on TV, shoot a game of pool, or use the shuffleboard table. There are several big screen TVs, and BPP is a strong supporter of all local sports, but especially the Sounders. They will throw the sound system on the broadcast for bigger games as well. There are quite a few tables spread throughout the game room, and a decent sized patio sits just outside with tables as well.
Most bars have a single atmosphere that embodies the entire bar. But, BPP manages to have two separate worlds brought together in one place. I love having the option of the two rooms to go along with a kick-ass beer selection.
As many are aware, BPP is dog friendly. For the most part, I have no problem with it and most dogs are very well-behaved and just chill underneath a table. But, there have been times when I’ve seen owners letting their dogs roam around, and there have been a few barking matches between curious dogs. You sometimes have to step over a dog because their owner is allowing it to sit in the middle of the aisle. But, these occasions are rare and sure don’t bother me very much.
There is also no table service at BPP, which I don’t find to be an issue at all. A trip to the bar to peruse the beer menu isn’t a hassle to me and allows groups to not worry about splitting a bill (often a huge freaking headache). The line can sometimes look intimidating, but it moves quickly. Since there is no food, I don’t think this is a huge deal to most people.
Overall: I heart Beveridge Place Pub. It fits perfectly in its off-the-beaten-path spot near the corner of California and Fauntleroy in West Seattle; if BPP was in the heart of Capitol Hill I get the feeling you’d have problems ever finding a seat. It’s a great place to sit and talk about beer, the world, politics, or your latest adventures. It’s a perfect place to catch a game on TV. And, most importantly, it is all about the beer. Cheers to owner Gary Sink and his wonderful staff for making this my favorite beer spot in Seattle.
Beveridge Place Pub
6413 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98136