This is the 2012 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 #6.
#5 Beer Spot in Seattle: Pine Box
With so many great beer spots in town, it can be tough for some new bars to get noticed. I don’t think The Pine Box is having that problem. Their combination of outstanding beer offered in a beautiful, unique atmosphere is getting them noticed for all the right reasons.
The Beer: When an ex-manager from the renowned Brouwer’s Cafe opens up a beer bar (with 2 other beer-loving friends), you can expect special things. The 33 taps of beer focus on American craft beers, but they also rotate in selections from all over the map, such as the Mestreechs Aajt Flanders Red from The Netherlands that was on tap recently. Like any NW beer bar, they have the hopheads covered, but they make sure to include an array of styles, including saisons, sour beers, stouts/porters and various strong ales.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of their tap lineup is their Randall tap. They have a contraption called a Randall built into their bar that allows them to stuff it full of hops, coffee, chocolate, or whatever else, and then run a beer through it into your glass. Using a Randall to pour beer occasionally is nothing new. But, having a full-time Randall in your tap lineup might be a first.
To top it off, they have two flat screen televisions hung above the bar where you can see the list of beers on tap. It’s updated each time a keg is changed, and their website is updated simultaneously. Ah, technology.
The Food: The focus is on a selection of wood-fired pizzas for dinner, including unique combos like pulled pork and kimchi, arugula and walnut pesto, and Manilla clams with caramelized onions and pancetta. They also do brunch, offering frittatas, steak and eggs and a few breakfast pizzas.
The Atmosphere: Yeah, it is kind of a unique building for a bar. Located in a building that used to house the Butterworth Funeral Home, The Pine Box is situated in a grand room with the feel of a beer hall mixed with a cathedral. High ceilings give the appearance of more room than there actually is, and reclaimed church pews were refinished by co-owner Dean Hudgins to use as seats for some of their tables. In addition to the main downstairs room with the bar, there is an upstairs loft area with tables, and a covered patio out the side door. It’s really a pretty beautiful place.
Overall: Not even open six months yet, and The Pine Box is already squarely entrenched in my Top 5 Beer Spots. The combination of amazing beer and a cool space make it worth a visit. Here is hoping that more ex-beer bar managers open up amazing places.
The Pine Box
1600 Melrose Ave