Seattle Beer News Top 10 Beer Spots – #4 Naked City Brewery & Taphouse

July 17th, 2012 · 6 Comments · Bar Reviews

This is 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. Check out the previous post for #5.

#4 Beer Spot in Seattle: Naked City Brewery & Taphouse

Donald Averill & Don Webb before opening

Naked City Brewery & Taphouse, located in Greenwood, continues to evolve. They first opened in 2008 as a taphouse pouring 24 taps of all guest beer. Then, in 2009 they added their own small brewery to create house-made beers. Since then, they expanded the taphouse into the space next door and have also beefed up their kitchen to provide a more robust food menu. Now, they are working on expanding their brewing capacity by adding fermenters that will essentially triple their maximum volume.. Located near the busy neighborhood of 85th and Greenwood Ave, they helped to fill what was a glaring need for good beer in that immediate location.

The Beer: Naked City does a great job of focusing on beer from the northwest and West coast, while still mixing in offerings from all over the map to fill out their 24 taps. They usually have several of their own house-brewed beers on tap at any given time (six when I last checked), such as Spark in the Dark Smoked Porter, Hoptrocity and The Big Lebrewski. They have frequent brewers nights and special events, and they tap special casks each Thursday night at 4pm. They do a great job of always having an interesting variety of beers on tap.

One thing us beer geeks love about Naked City is their real-time tap list updates. They are constantly updating their website and Twitter feed with beers when they go on tap, as well as upcoming beers that will go on tap in the future. Pair that with an updated chalkboard and tap list printouts at the bar, and they are setting an example for other beer bars and breweries to follow.

The Food: The food options range from simple appetizers, to soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and more. They use fresh and local ingredients, and there are several healthy options to offset the beer calories. There are multiple vegan options as well. I’ve had some good meals here, but beer will always be the focus at Naked City. More often than not, I just grab one of their hot pretzels served with an amazing dipping sauce that is a blend of Tillamook cheddar, Dijon mustard, and porter.

The Atmosphere: Naked City is one of those places that manages to be welcoming to both the 21+ crowd looking to have a relaxed beer, as well as local families stopping in for a weeknight dinner and a couple beers for mom & dad. The bar layout is accommodating for quite a few people, and the addition of their “Screening Room” a couple of years ago really opened the place up. There are a couple TVs usually turned to either sports or old movies. Service is efficient, friendly, and knowledgeable. If either of the owners (“The Dons”) are around, they are usually more than happy to talk beer.

Overall: Naked City hit on a pretty perfect business model for rolling out their business. Breweries can be slow to ramp up, and they fixed that problem by focusing on guest beers at first. Boy, did they hit on something big. Since rolling out their own beers to complete their plan and now with further expansion, Naked City has become quite a special place that has become a favorite of many locals.

Naked City Brewery & Taphouse
8564 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 838-6299

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Scott

    Love Naked City. They don’t have the chalkboard any more. It went away with the expansion into next door.

  • D

    I loved Naked City… but there’s one waitress who has messed up our bill so many times (including triple charging my GF’s card once and overdrawing the account) that it’s hard to go back with Chuck’s and The Yard right there. Have always loved the beer selection though.

  • mr. howard

    important to note that after a year or two of limited menu offerings they recently added a kitchen hood and are now doing some really excellent food!

  • john

    have you seen/tasted what Don does with that brewing system? astonishing selection of house brews and not shy about having great guest taps. it is all about great beer at Naked City. have always enjoyed myself there, just wished i lived a bit closer.

  • Kaiser

    Scott – you are so right. Thanks for the reminder.

  • SteveE

    I crave their field roast sandwich all the time. I love their food, the beer is excellent too. If you live towards Ballard, it is fun to walk from there to Chuck’s and over to 15th. Two great beer places in 1 trip.

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