Ahhh…Family Bicycle Day! The fresh air, camaraderie, sense of adventure and … beer? Why not? Seattle is full of family-friendly breweries, and many of them are bike-accessible. What better way to end an afternoon of bicycling than with lemonade for the kids and a frosty pint for mom and dad?
Here are eight kid-and-bike-friendly breweries worth checking out. Note: five of these breweries are located in the Ballard/Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, in close proximity to the Burke-Gilman Trail. Since these particular spots of the trail are usually congested with experienced cyclists, be sure your kiddos are old enough (and skilled enough) to bike in that situation. (For those with itty-bitty bikers, check out our list of best bike paths for younger kids.)
Tip: Many of the breweries noted are a perfect pit stop for a pint, but be sure to pack water or snacks, as many don’t have kitchens. But if you’re stopping at Hale’s Ales, Redhook Brewery or Snoqualmie Brewery, take off your helmets and stay a while; all offer full menus.
Browse all eight bike-friendly breweries, or skip to your favorite:
Owners Haley Woods and Dave Keller combined their love of beer, biking and Ballard, coming up with Peddler Brewing Company, which opened in March of 2013 just two blocks from the Burke-Gilman Trail.
Housed in the former Maritime Pacific Brewing space, the laid-back, open-plan brewery has a decided bicycle theme, evident from the large indoor bike rack and bike repair station to the hand brake-faucet handles in the restrooms and gears in the concrete bar countertop.
Mom and dad will enjoy the eight taps, friendly service and growlers to go; the kiddos will enjoy parking their Schwinns next to big-time bicyclists.
Food? Though the Peddler serves up great brews, they don’t do food, but patrons are welcome to bring or order in their own grub, from homemade snacks to delivery pizza.
When to go: Thursday 5–9 p.m., Friday 5–10 p.m., Saturday 4–10 p.m.
Get to it: Two blocks from the Burke-Gilman Trail, just west of the Ballard Bridge. 1514 NW Leary Way, Seattle
Next: Hilliard’s Beer
One of the newer breweries in Ballard’s blossoming Brewery District, Hilliard’s Beer is an airy, light-filled respite for bicyclists, beer-lovers and neighborhood locals toting toddlers and four-legged friends. The brewery’s décor tastefully reflects the industrial area, with concrete floors, high, white-paneled ceilings and electric utility wooden spools repurposed as giant tables; however the atmosphere is incredibly welcoming and comfortable. Hilliard’s is one of the few Seattle breweries to produce canned beer.
To some, the thought of “popping a top” may conjure up country songs and Bud Light (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), but canning is a process that increasing numbers of microbreweries are catching on to. Aluminum fends off oxygen and sunlight better than glass (plus it’s easier to recycle). The service at Hilliard's is spectacular (the bartender will happily present tastings and talk shop), and the crowd is friendly.
Food? Nope, but you’re free to bring your own or order some, plus there are often food trucks in the vicinity.
When to go: Beer to go available Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Taproom hours: Thursday–Friday 3–11 p.m., Saturday noon–11 p.m., Sunday noon–7 p.m.
Get to it: Walking distance from the Peddler, Hilliard’s is near the corner of 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 49th Street. 1550 N.W. 49th St., Seattle
It all started with a home-brewing kit, gifted from one-year-old Reuben to dad Adam. Following his love of beer-brewing, Adam Robbings eventually opened Reuben’s Brews in Ballard, just blocks from the other Ballard breweries. Family-owned and operated, Reuben’s features a cozy taproom and frequently changing brews.
The Robbings are also environmentally conscious, using recycled material for furniture, recycled caps, as well as using hops from a local farmer.
Food? No, but feel free to bring your own grub, plus there are usually traveling food trucks in the area.
When to go: Thursday–Friday 3–8 p.m., Saturday noon–8 p.m., Sunday noon-5 p.m.
Get to it: Reuben's Brews is located just a block away from both N.W. Market St. and Gilman Playground. 1406 NW 53rd St., between N 15th Ave. and N. 14th Ave., Seattle
Next: Hale’s Ales
Situated on Leary Way in the Ballard-Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, steps from the Burke Gilman and smack between the Fremont and Ballard neighborhoods, Hale's Ales is a favorite watering hole for families. English-style brewing affords the ales that bubbly, creamy “head” with each pour. Hales Cream Ale and the Mongoose IPA are local favorites.
Food? Yes. Hales offers up a large menu featuring local companies like Tim’s Cascade Chips. Olympic Mountain Ice Cream and The Essential Baking Company, plus an impressive weekend breakfast menu.
When to go: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday 9:30 a.m.–10 p.m.. **Happy Hour is Monday-Friday 3–6 p.m.
Get to it: Literally, steps from the Burke-Gilman Trail between Fremont and Ballard. 4301 Leary Way NW Seattle
Next: Fremont Brewing Company
The Fremont Brewing Company’s Urban Beer garden is the place to be. On most days it’s filled with locals, young professionals, families and anyone else looking for great brews and good conversation. Just a few blocks down from the Fremont Troll, the Beer Garden features rustic tables, recycled red leather banquettes and an 18 foot-long community table.
Among the brews: Interurban India Pale Ale (named after the Fremont statue, "Waiting for the Interurban"), the refreshing Fremont Summer Ale and its flagship beer, Universal Pale Ale, crafted with old-world malts and Northwest hops.
Food? No, but there are plenty of local eateries to order in from (menus with phone numbers are provided by Fremont Brewing Co.)
When to go: Monday-Wednesday 11 a.m–7 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Get to it: It’s not on the Burke-Gilman trail, but it’s close, easily accessible (by bike) from Stone Way or along the Fremont Cut. 3409 Woodland Park Ave. N., Seattle.
Next: Redhook Ale Brewery
Possibly one of the most family-friendly breweries around (with summer concerts and kid-friendly brewery tours to prove it), Woodinville’s Redhook Brewery is a favorite on the Eastside. Located right off the Sammamish River Trail, it’s the perfect place for a pit stop and cold drink. The menu is large, the patio is fantastic and the beer is renowned.
Food? A full menu plus happy hour weekdays 3-6 p.m. The menu is large, so there’s something for everyone.
When to go: Monday–Thursday 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Friday–Saturday 11 a.m.–midnight, Sunday 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
Get to it: Heading south on the Sammamish River Trail, you’ll see the massive brewery from the bike path. One recommended route is to park at Bothell Landing (which has a great playground) and then bike two miles or so to the brewery from there. 14300 NE 145th St., Woodinville
Next: Two Beers Brewery
Canned beer infused with fruit? It may sound odd, but SoDo’s Two Beers Brewery has been making headlines since 2009. One of Seattle’s first craft breweries to start canning, Two Beer’s invites locals to visit the Woods Tasting Room and watch the magic happen.
The brewery is spacious, with growler-filling stations and two HD TVs. If it’s sunny, head out to the large dock to sample any of the 12 beers.
Food? Two Beers doesn’t have a kitchen, but it offers pretzels and personal-sized pizzas for purchase and encourages people to bring in their own snacks.
Specials: Tuesdays: $6 growler fills on all of Two Beers Brewing’s year-round offerings. Wednesdays: Hump Day happy hour from 3–6 pm ($3 pints). Also: Food Truck Fridays beginning June 1. Check website for more details.
When to go: Tuesday–Friday 3–8 p.m., Saturday 1–6 p.m.
Get to it: It’s a block off E. Marginal Way in the part of Seattle where SoDo transitions into Georgetown. The Duwamish River trail, a terrific bike trail is nearby (starting in Tukwila) and connects to the Alki Trail under the West Seattle Bridge. 4700 Ohio Ave S, Seattle
Snoqualmie Brewery combines great food, great beer and a charming ambience in the heart of historic downtown Snoqualmie. The menu is full of burgers, pizza, salads, sandwiches and more. Kiddos can sip on Snoqualmie Falls Brewing root beer (on tap!) while mom and dad nurse a pint.
Food? Yes. Ongoing specials like “Kids Eat Free” and “Pitcher and Pizza Night” make this a family-favorite.
When to go: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Friday–Saturday 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
Get to it: This one doesn’t have a main bike route, but the nearby (and beautiful) Preston-Snoqualmie Trail runs to and from Fall City Road, (with a great view of Snoqualmie Falls). Also, the Snoqualmie Train Depot is right near the Brewery, so if you go on a weekend, book a train ride while you’re at it! 8032 Falls Avenue SE Snoqualmie
Where are some of your favorite kid-friendly, bike-able breweries? We’d love to hear!
About the author: A born and raised Seattle girl, Allison spent her “early years” satisfying her wanderlust and now lives in Kirkland with her husband, 3-year-old son and (most would say) too many pets. A freelance writer, serious coffee lover (who isn’t?) and jogging stroller enthusiast, Allison loves to get out and explore her city, especially through the eyes of her child. Find more of her stories on her blog, Seattle Travel Mom. She took all the photos for this article.