The number of Fremont and Ballard breweries has been growing and has created a diverse mix of stops along the Seattle Ale Trail. The neighborhoods of Ballard and Fremont are filled with history, great shops and restaurants, parks and other cool finds.
Craft beer has had a long history in this area. Some of the big name Seattle breweries got their start here - Redhook, Hale's Ales and Maritime Pacific. These breweries paved the way and define the craft beer culture of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest
There are many breweries to discover here, so use our map to help plan your trip - they are all worth checking out, just like the neighborhoods they call home.
Click on the map location icons for more information on each brewery!
Scroll down for further descriptions from our experiences at each.
Weekends are ideal for making a tour of the Ballard breweries since all of them are open then.
Ballard is a fun neighborhood just north of Seattle with a rich history. There is a big seafaring heritage here being bordered by Puget Sound and the ship canal, so there are some great maritime sites to explore like the Chittenden Ballard Locks, the Fisherman's Terminal and Golden Gardens Park. Scandinavian culture is also strong here.
Ballard has a multitude of trendy shops, salons, cafes and restaurants. The Farmers Market takes over Ballard Ave on the weekends and is one of the best in the area.
But we are here for the beer, so here are the options for Ballard's Breweries:
Reuben's Brews opened their taproom in 2012 and they are already kicking butt and taking home medals from tasting competitions all over the land. The taproom is in the heart of the Ballard brewery which has been expanded to a 7 BBL brewing system. Reuben's Brews should not be missed on the Ballard Ale Trail.
Kid friendly, snacks available, patio seating, growler and 20 oz bottles available to-go.
Check out AleTrailMaps' Reuben's Brews page for more info!
Three friends from DC headed to the Northwest in search of fine craft beer and decided to open their own place in 2012 on the hip and trendy Ballard Ave. The family friendly taproom is a beautiful combination of brick, wood and metal.
15 taps flow up to 5 house beers brewed right in the back, plus 10 guest taps from choice breweries around the Northwest. Growler fills to-go.
Check out AleTrailMaps' Urban Family Brewing page for more info!
Located in a small warehouse shop, this is one of the newer Ballard breweries. NW Peaks is a nano-brewery brewing on a 1 BBL system. The tasting room is open Thursday, Friday and Saturdays.
Owner/brewer Kevin Klein is an avid mountaineer and climber, so the beers are named after the peaks surrounding Seattle. The focus at NW Peaks is on quality, not quantity and they celebrate the more flavorful varieties in the beer world.
NW Peaks is getting some attention in the area - and that's saying something given all the competition around. We will be checking them out soon and posting a review!
Hilliard’s small tasting room opened in late 2011 in the heart of their brewery with tall ceilings, big windows. Said to be home to perhaps the most comfortable bar stool in Seattle!
Food trucks are usually on site Saturdays and the taproom is kid friendly!
Hilliard’s is currently canning select varieties of their beers in 16 oz. tallboys. Amber and Saison are their first ones off the canning line. Growler fills/exchanges are available.
Haley Woods and David Keller have combined their passions for cycling and beer in this Ballard brewery which opened in 2013. No food, but the tasting room is kid friendly plus there is a corn-hole game court inside!
This is a hot spot for cyclists on the Ballard Ale Trial as it is on a popular bike route. Peddler Brewing features an outdoor patio and huge bike rack, indoor bike parking, and a work stand with tools.
Peddler Brewing runs a 7 BBL brewing system to fill out 8 taps. Growler fills available.
Click here for AleTrailMaps' Peddler Brewing page.
Ballard’s Maritime Pacific was founded in 1990 by George and Jane Hancock, so these guys were one of the original Ballard breweries. Their pub, the Jolly Roger Taproom, is named after their crowd pleasing holiday beer.
Dressed with plenty of maritime décor
that befits the seafaring area, the family friendly pub serves good food
to match their fine beers. I love the sliders!
Growler fills and kegs to-go.
Check out AleTrailMaps' Maritime Pacific page for more info!
The latest brewery taproom arrival to the Ballard Brewing District is Stoup Brewing. The driving forces behind this endeavor are Brad
Benson and Lara Zahaba, along with Robyn Schumacher who is a certified
Cicerone, meaning she knows how good beer should taste and which one to
A Stoup is Scotish drinking mug and these guys are filling them with delicious craft brews. They host food trucks to satisfy your hunger too! Growlers available to go!
This is an upstart nano-brewery on the Fremont side of Ballard. The family friendly establishment is somewhat small, but with a nice mix of wood and concrete inside. The small interior is balanced with one of the best beer gardens of the Ballard breweries featuring a corn-hole court and live music on occasion!
The 1.5 BBL brew system at Populuxe is bringing the goods to Ballard. Kid friendly, growler fills available.
Look for a full review of Populuxe Brewing at AleTrailMaps.com in the near future.
Bad Jimmy’s is a recent addition to the Ballard Ale Trail opening in December of 2013. The taproom is tucked behind Dish café and The Leary Traveler in a black warehouse building, just a stone's throw from Hale's Ales.
Their mission is to reinvent intensity as it exists in the craft beer world. Bold, highly hopped beers is their focus.
That's big talk from Bad Jimmy with all good beer flowing from the other Ballard breweries. Fortunately their beers deliver in spades and are worth a look.
A full write up on Bad Jimmy's is coming soon, so stay tuned.
Hale's Ales was started back in 1983 by Mike Hale in Central Washington and joined the Ballard breweries in 1995. They were the first craft brewery in the region to introduce seasonal, cask conditioned, and nitrogen conditioned ales.
The cool building starts with an impressive view of the brewhouse with it's open fermentation tanks right when you walk in. The family friendly brewpub serves up great food.
Special events are held in the Palladium too! Check out the annual Moisture Festival variety style show. Growler fills and kegs to-go.
Check out AleTrailMaps' Hale's Ales page for more info!
The Ale Trail continues east into Fremont and includes several more breweries worth checking out: Fremont Brewing, Odin Brewing's Asgard Taproom, and the Outlander Pub.
Other stops include Theo Chocolate who has ties to the Seattle craft beer scene, plus they offer tours of their factory. The infamous Fremont Troll shouldn't be missed either!
Click here for the
Below are the locations and hours for each of the
Ballard breweries (accurate as of September 2013).
NW 53rd St., Suite 1A
– Fri 3 PM – 8 PM
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Urban Family Brewing
Ballard Ave NW
5 PM - Midnight
Check out AleTrailMaps'
Northwest Peaks Brewing
17th Ave NW, Ste B.
Thur - Fri 4 PM - 8 PM
NW 49th St.
- Fri 3 PM - 11 PM
NW Leary Way
4 PM - 9 PM
Click here for AleTrailMaps'
Maritime Pacific &
NW Ballard Way
– Wed 11 AM - 10 PM
Check out AleTrailMaps'
1108 NW 52nd Street
Wed & Thurs 4 PM – 8 PM
NW 49th Street, Ste. B
- Fri 4:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Bad Jimmy's Brewing
- Thurs Noon – Midnight
Hale's Ales &
Leary Way NW
Check out AleTrailMaps' Hale's Ales page
Nearly all of the Ballard Breweries are kid friendly and some are dog friendly too - call ahead to make sure!
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99 Bottles is a cool beer tasting notebook and makes a perfect gift. 3 booklets with room to record tasting notes of 33 beers in each.