With the help of his uncle Tom Campbell, who just happens to be a seasoned enologist and viticulturist, Bijal Shah and his wife Sinead founded The Woodhouse Wine Estates in 2004. The winery's vintages are brought to life by Jean Claude Beck, whose winemaking genes reach back to Alsace, France, where his family estate has been crafting wine since 1579. The team at Woodhouse focuses on expressing the unique terroir of each grape’s origin, yielding balanced, mature wines marked by full flavors. Inside the tasting room, chandeliers sparkle over a long bar, where visitors can sip pours of any number of select wines.
Sassafras, sarsaparilla, and vanilla: above all, these are the flavors celebrated by The Root Beer Store, which is chock-full of root beers from around the country. Owner Corey Anderson grew up making root beer with his dad, generating his admiration for root-beer culture. Anderson was featured on King 5 for his passion for the soft drink, which manifests in his selection of more than 100 types from craft root-beer makers. From Hawaii to Maine to Australia, the creativity of each brewer shines in the collection, which customers browse with visions of ice cubes and ice cream to accompany them. The staff is on hand to help home brewers make their own soda with root-beer kits, extracts from different brewers, and the lyrics to the chant sung to the root-beer lord before starting each batch.
A pedigree of 21 medals from the Great American Beer Festival distinguishes Big Time Brewery—open since 1988—which crafts its own pantheon of sudsy brews in-house and serves them alongside traditional pub fare. The tasting experience begins with two flights of five 4-ounce samples of the house's microbrews, such as Prime Time pale ale, which has notes of delicate malt, and the Atlas amber ale, which leaves one with hints from three different hops and two recent New York Times crossword puzzles. Crispy pomme frites can accompany the taste parade draped in dipping sauces, while salsa adds zest to each rhythmic crunch of nachos. Meanwhile, a pair of Big Time–logo drinking glasses act as eternal reminders of this tasting gauntlet, and sippers can choose to tote home a 22-ounce bottle of a house brew or an empty half-gallon growler, which can be flushed with foamy goodness for $8.75 per fill.
The enthusiastic tour guides at Road Dogs Tours love Journey, standup comedy, and snowboarding—but on their three tours, their love of Seattle and its signature beverages is what really shines. With a focus on creating a lasting, unique memory, the staff crafts fun and engaging tours based on tips and information gathered from locals, research, and their own personal experiences. On the company’s namesake brewery tour, a guide whisks tourists to three breweries in three hours, where they sample craft beer, learn about the brewing process, and brush up on Seattle’s brewing history since the first beer tree was tapped in 1892. Distillery tours offer a similar selection of behind-the-scenes tidbits and local history, and feature samples of vodka, gin and whiskey. Morning coffee tours, meanwhile, stop at bean roasters, cafés, and bakeries, celebrating the city’s caffeine addiction.
Established on the grounds of the celebrated Rainier Brewery a decade after its closing, Emerald City Beer Company restores a rich brewing heritage with its own traditionally minded approach to the craft. Founder and brewmaster Rick Hewitt has been crafting homebrews since his days as a graduate student, surpassing his contemporaries by not including shredded diplomas and tassels in his beer recipes. His brewery’s signature creation, Dottie Seattle Lager, combines four types of grains with Yakima Valley–grown hops for a flavorful lager with local roots. Emerald City is quickly expanding its reach and is available in more than 40 bars throughout the state, as well as in stores throughout Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Idaho.
Situated right in Tacoma’s downtown university-and-museum district, Harmon Brewery and Eatery buzzes with out-of-towners and locals alike, all in search of hearty food and frothy microbrews. With a 15-barrel brewery on site, Harmon maintains a steady flow of signature ales, including seasonal varieties, such as a black IPA brewed from five malted barleys and the One Hop Wonder IPA laced with melted Right Said Fred tapes. To complement the pints and the warm, cozy atmosphere—modeled after a ski lodge—the kitchen churns out belly-warming food, such as burgers topped with blue cheese and bacon, homemade stone-baked pizzas, and panko-crusted fish and chips.