Seattle Beer News Top 10 Beer Spots – #7 The Noble Fir

July 12th, 2012 · 12 Comments · Bar Reviews

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 #8.

#7 Beer Spot in Seattle: The Noble Fir

Noble Fir during the Fresh Hop Throwdown. Thanks to +Russ for the image.

When owners Rick Weersing and Ellen Kelly decided to combine their love of the great outdoors and good craft beer, The Noble Fir was born. Located in the heart of Ballard, this popular bar has become a staple for many locals. It’s a perfect place to just grab an after work beer, but they also put on some great special events, like their recent IPA Challenge and last year’s Fresh Hop Throwdown (coming again this year).

The Beer: The focus is on NW craft beer, with many offerings from both WA and OR. They seem to get more than their share of beer from two of my favorite Oregon breweries, Double Mountain and Boneyard, including some special releases I haven’t seen anywhere else. The prices can seem a bit on the expensive side, but sessionable beers are served in imperial pints, and the selection and quality is worth the price. They also have a bottle list with some gems to choose from, as well as a nice selection of cider and wine.

The Food: The food menu is limited but offers a well-chosen selection of meat, cheeses, and vegetables. You can choose from 3, 5 or 7 items, and your selections come with baguette from Macrina and garnishes. It’s nice to have a good quality snack to go along with your beers.

The Atmosphere: It’s just a great place to hang out. A large front window lets the sun shine in, while big booths at the back wall allow for groups to congregate. I typically belly up to the bar, but I also love their back nook that includes a treasure trove of outdoor resources, including travel guides, hiking books, and maps. My wife and I have planned a couple hikes in there over beers.

Overall: The Noble Fir makes me wish I live in Ballard. The friendly atmosphere combined with the great beer is really a winning combination. Rick and Ellen are two of the nicest people in the industry, and it’s always a pleasure to visit.

The Noble Fir
5316 Ballard Ave. NW
Seattle, WA 98107


12 Comments so far ↓

  • beerveer

    What time does this place normally close? I like that the Urban Family Public House is across the street.

  • Scott

    Why is it called Urban Family Public House if families aren’t allowed?

  • Family Guy

    What Scott said…

  • SteveE

    I love the Fir. Tad expensive. Got a growler fill once for $18. Rick and Ellen though are two great people. They always say Hi to me when they see me at festivals or around town. Always great beer there too.

  • Jason

    Upvote for Rick, Ellen, and The Noble Fir! One of the best rotating tap selections in town, served by the friendliest staff. Parked the bike there last night to take the Pepsi Challenge: Double-wide vs. Ace of Spaces.


    Calling places public houses without letting kids in is a joke, adding family to the name is stupid imo.
    do you agree?

  • Dean Ruffner

    Having a raging sense of entitlement that allows you to expect the world to be as enamored of your children as you are makes one sound like a real tool-bag. Anyone agree?

  • Scott

    No Dean, having the guts to call yourself “Urban Family Public House” and cater only to hipsters is what I would call a tool-bag (whatever that means).

  • beerveer

    Didn’t give the UFPH name much thought and can see some of your points but still like the fact that if I go to Ballard to have a great beer, I have the choices of Noble Fir and Urban Family Pub House and the Old Town Ale house.

    Recently I made my trek to Ballard to have some great IPAs at the Noble Fir and it was just too crowded. I walked across the street to UFPH and to my pleasant surprise STONE had taken over all of their taps. I am just glad Ballard has these great beer bar choices.

  • john

    #1 in my book.
    Ellen, Rick, Elliot, Shea, beer, clean tap lines, beautiful glassware, light, flowers, maps, books, hand dryers, casks, pints for parks, sierra cups, carabiners.

  • Brian

    I love how everyone makes everything about themselves. The Urban Family part of the name refers to the owners and how they consider themselves to be an urban family. Also families will be allowed when they start brewing in September.

  • gcm

    Come on, don’t you people know the only acceptable version of a family is one man and one woman procreating to make children? If we start accepting these ‘urban families’, it’s a slippery slope until we have dolphins and monkeys marrying each other. And their offspring would be smart like dolphins and have opposable thumbs like monkeys. Then we’re fucked.

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