Seattle Neighborhood Beer Crawl: Green Lake

May 2nd, 2011 · 1 Comment · Beer Travels, Washington Breweries

Doors open at Elysian Tangletown. Click on photo to see the rest of the set.

Seattle has a lot of walkable neighborhoods that are perfect for exploring beer spots. A couple of weekends ago a group of friends joined Jeanne and I as we set our sights on the area around Green Lake. With a stash of bars and restaurants in the Tangletown neighborhood to the south, and then a strip of bars on Aurora Avenue just to the north, as well as some places in-between, there are plenty of options for liquid enjoyment after experiencing the sights and sounds around the popular lake. In fact, this walk brought us to an impressive total of three spots listed on the Seattle Beer News list of Top 10 Beer Spots in the city. We could not have planned the timing better, as we lucked out with one of those fantastic April Saturdays that allowed us to enjoy sun and warmer temperatures while walking.

The Tangletown area gets its name from the tangle of backstreets that run around it, and that’s where we began this adventure at the Elysian Tangletown brewpub. I used to live in the area, and this Elysian location was always a solid bet for great beer, good food, and friendly conversation. On this beautiful day, their garage door windows were wide open and patrons were basking in the sun while sipping their beers and finishing their lunches. There is a small brew system at this location which allows them to brew some experimental beers and seasonals, but they also serve the main lineup from Elysian as well as seasonals from the other locations. Once Jeanne and I finished our glasses of Men’s Room Red and Avatar Jasmine IPA, it was time to move on.

After walking past one of our favorite restaurants in Seattle, Eva (mmm…lamb burger), it was just a short ten minute walk down to our next stop at the Latona Pub. Listed at #9 on the list of SBN Top 10 Beer Spots, this visit to Latona was a perfect example of why I love the place. At 3pm on a Saturday, it was busy but not packed, and the sun streaming in through the huge windows made it a perfect place to sit at the bar or table and enjoy a beer without feeling like you were missing out on the weather. We visited on Earth Day weekend, when the bar was only pouring beer from kegs that were hand delivered without the use of motorized transportation. Pretty impressive to say the least, and we’d like to think that we enjoyed that pitcher of Fremont Interurban IPA a little more knowing the effort that went into getting it there.

Kangaroo & Kiwi

After a 30 minute walk around Green Lake, with a rest stop for a bit of indulgence at Ben & Jerry’s, we arrived at our first stop on the strip of bars on Aurora. Kangaroo & Kiwi happened to be celebrating its 10th anniversary this day, and it was already getting crowded in advance of the full celebration later that night. This watering hole popular with expats from NZ and AU was a welcome sight for Jeanne and I, as we recently spent our honeymoon visiting the two countries. With rugby on TV, Vegemite toasties, and aussie/kiwi stuff all over the walls, I can see why expats might want to hang out here. The beer selection was just fine for a typical bar, and it included a few solid local craft beers, as well as a few selections from AU/NZ. I enjoyed a bottle of James Boags lager from Tasmania more than I had expected. The atmosphere was inviting and the bartender was friendly and commented that we should make sure we come back in for some of the sausages they’d be grilling up later that evening. Tempting as it was, we had places to get to, and more beer to drink.

Just a couple storefronts north we stepped into the Duck Island Ale House, #10 on the list of SBN Top 10 Beer Spots. Duck Island has that special quality of being able to provide a beer-geek-like tap list, with none of the beer geek attitude. The place doesn’t qualify as a dive, but it isn’t shiny and welcoming like many other spots around town. On our visit, the bar seats were full with regulars, and we grabbed beers and sat at a table. While I really enjoyed my Anacortes Peppercorn Saison (I think that is what it was), a couple people in our party sadly received beers whose quality were well below par. This isn’t a problem I have had here in the past, and I hope it was just an anomaly. Overall, the Duck is more of a place to belly up to the bar for a few, and just popping in for a single beer didn’t really do it justice this time around. Also noteworthy is that Jeanne kicked ass with the Indiana Jones pinball. Who would have known she’s a pinball wizard?

Next up was a trip up the block and across the street to St. Andrews Bar & Grill. Another place I had never before visited, St. Andrews seems like your typical neighborhood corner bar for the most part, but with an expansive scotch list (over 100?). They had a couple of solid IPAs on tap, including Schooner Exact 3-Grid, as well as a few other local selections to go along with imports such as “The Official Beer of St. Andrews, Carlsberg.” The menu is full of Scottish references, such as the Robert the Bruce Burger, the Long Shanks Sausage Sandwich, and the Loch Ness Fish N Chips. I went with the Braveheart Burger, which is a cheeseburger topped with a fried egg. Billed as “William Wallace’s last meal before losing the battle of Falkirk in 1295,” it was a worthy final meal for sure.

Fittingly, we planned Uber Tavern as our last stop for the evening. One of my favorite bars in the city and #4 on the SBN Top 10 Beer Spots list, Uber may look like a cozy neighborhood bar, but it packs in as much good beer as possible into such a tiny space. This visit was no different than most. I started off with a glass of the Firestone Walker Double Jack, and then we started busting out bottles to share with the group. Gems like Firestone Walker 14, Silver City Fat Woody, and Great Divide Espresso Yeti were the perfect way to end such a great day of exploring, drinking, and hanging out with friends.

Another note is that if you’re looking for late night food in the area after getting crazy at Uber, Beth’s Café offers a solid breakfast menu. Located right next to Duck Island Ale House, the restaurant is open 24 hours.

At Uber Tavern. Click photo to see the rest of the photo set.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Brian

    “After a 30 minute walk around Green Lake”–Wow – Very Fast!! Inner path = 2.81miles.
    8.26ft/sec!! = 5.63mph!!
    Otherwise – Thanks for all the Good Info!!

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