Seattle Beer News Top 10 Beer Spots – #7 Big Time Brewery & Alehouse

December 13th, 2010 · 4 Comments · Bar Reviews, Washington Breweries

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 #8.

#7 Beer Spot in Seattle: Big Time Brewery & Alehouse

Thanks to socialretard on Flickr

When I moved to Seattle a few years ago, I was renting a place near University Ave and walked by Big Time Brewery on my very first day in town, right after driving 2 days straight from Chicago. I knew very little about beer in the NW at that point, and I wandered in not knowing what to expect. They had 4 of their own IPAs on tap that first trip into this wonderful brewpub. Are you serious? 4 IPAs? For a guy from Chicago, where it’s hard to find a brewpub, this blew me away. Several pints later, I stumbled out with a huge smile on my face. So, this is what I moved to Seattle for. 

The Beer: I’ve never had a truly bad beer here. That is hard to say for any brewpub. Not everything is head over heals amazing, but most range from good to great. Just this past weekend at the Washington Winter Beer Fest, they had a special Holy Molé Chocolate Chile Ale that came together magnificently and won 2nd place in the audience favorite awards on the first night of the fest. It was definitely one of my favorites of the night. 

The Head Brewer, Bill Jenkins, is a true hop-head and this usually shows up in his beers. Whether you are having Bhagwan’s Best, Scarlet Fire, or one of their many other special hoppy elixirs, you are in for a treat with Big Time’s IPAs. One of my favorite beers ever made is their summer specialty, Old Sol Wheatwine. Most brewpubs release a summer beer that is light and good for drinking in hot weather, maybe a Kolsch. But, Big Time brews a summer barley wine style ale that packs in lots of citrus hops, sweet malt and a good dose of alcohol. 

The Food: I usually get the pizza when here. It’s pretty good, as are the sandwiches. They also do nachos, chili, baked potatoes and soup (I can’t vouch for any of these). Nothing fancy here – just a few decent options to help soak up that beer. The steal of the century is on Sunday nights when you can buy a large pizza and get a pitcher of beer for just $1. Now that’s a deal and a half. 

The Atmosphere: Relaxed. Perfect place to belly up at the bar by yourself, or come with a group of friends. There are plenty of tables to accommodate most crowds. Music is usually pretty good, and is at the whim of the current bartender’s IPOD selection. You’ll see students and professors in here with their laptops typing away over a beer. 

They have a couple of flat screen TVs, which make it nice for a game when the Mariners are on. 

The bartenders are friendly, the regulars are friendly and the beer is good. What else do you need? 

Overall: The beer and atmosphere at Big Time are tough to beat. It’s a great place to spend a Sunday afternoon, or a Friday night. Hop on in for a pint, or you can get beer to go in growlers and a limited selection of bottles. It’s worth coming in on a regular basis as the beer lineup changes fairly often. 

Keep up the good work, Big Time….you rock. 

Big Time Brewery & Alehouse
4133 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105


4 Comments so far ↓

  • Stephanie S

    There are 3 places I bring friends from out of town, the Elysian is one, this is another, so you’ve picked 2 so far…waiting for the last one and I think I know where it might land on this list. Will wait and see!

  • Yuppers

    In recent years Bill & Big Time have gained national recognition and respect, most obviously at the GABF last year. One thing I’m sad about about moving away from that part of town is that I get to Big Time significantly less often these days.

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  • Bamster

    Was hanging out with assistant brewer Bradley Zimmerman a couple of weeks ago, and he told me that Bill has 31 IPA recipes in his book. No, that is not a typo….31 IPAs. Now THAT is what I call a Pacific Northwest brewpub.

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