When you think of the state of Washington and craft beer, what do you think of first? Seattle? Me, too! But unbeknownst to many there are other places in Washington that have some great craft breweries. Places such as Snoqualmie, that infamous pass that you must go over when heading into Seattle from the east. At least it’s infamous from over-the-road-trucker perspectives, which my brother is. And a bit infamous from our perspective, too, when heading over it dealing with a torrential downpour of rain while all the truckers are also on this infamous pass. And with around 170 days a year of measurable precipitation, over 100 inches of rain and 400 inches of snow every year – infamous.
What’s Snoqualmie, Washington, known for?
Infamous or not, Snoqualmie’s summit while not impressive when it comes to thousands of feet – it clocks in at just over 3,000 feet – is still quite impressive when it comes to craft breweries. I mean, craft breweries in the Cascade Mountain Range, when you are a mere 30 miles from Seattle proper, but a lifetime away from the craziness of the city? This is the place to go, either for a quick getaway or as a destination.
In the spring and summer, you’ll find quaint mountain towns such as Snoqualmie, North Bend, and Snoqualmie Pass, lush with the recent late winter and springs rains. You’ll hear the roar of the Snoqualmie River as it rushes through the neighboring forests. Less than five miles from I-90 you can experience Washington’s extremely popular and stunning 270 foot waterfall, Snoqualmie Falls. And in the winter, you can go swoosh swooshing down the mountain at Summit at Snoqualmie (which, by the way you can spend the night at in your RV. Click here to learn more.)
Breweries Around Snoqualmie, Washington
But we’re not here to tell you what forests to bathe in, what mountains to ride down (well, we are, just not in this post), or what waterfall to get sprayed by. We’re here to tell you what breweries to visit. And with three of them within six miles of each and three more less than a 30 minute drive away, this is a bit of craft beer heaven that I bet many Seattle-ites (Is that what you call them?) don’t even know about. So, when it’s time to enjoy a Seattle craft beer scene without the boisterousness of Seattle itself, head on up the pass to the Snoqualmie region.
No Boat Brewing
If you are familiar with us, we have been stationary for the past couple of months in Montana working at Flathead Lake Resort. Our youngest had just moved to Seattle, a mere eight hour drive away from us. He doesn’t drink, so we didn’t hit up any breweries this time around, so heading out on a mini brewery tour outside of Seattle on the way back to Montana was a given.
Our tour of the Snoqualmie area breweries started at No Boat. And we were excited to be back on the brewery hunt again. Raining, as it so often does in Washington, we decided to skip their patio, which when you visit you should not skip this patio. It is massive, with plenty of greenery and space to sit off in a corner by your lonesome or amongst the many other beer loving patrons here.
With a boating and water themed space in a huge warehouse, grabbing a beer here is like hanging out on the water on a boat with your favorite peeps. In all honesty, I don’t remember what we had (I do remember it was good) because what we really had was a kid trying to find a lost dog and a mom dealing with pneumonia, equalling a lot of stress. Our kid found his dog. (We had just left his place to head back home, and we were prepared to drive back to help him search.) Mom is much better. (We were prepared to fly home if things got worse.) Beer was a needed distraction at this time, and tears did flow a bit along with the beer.
At any rate, whatever you try here is good. We do remember that. The ambiance is a breath of fresh air (as though you’re far away from shore). I mean, with beer names and flavors such as: Saisonward and Upward (Dry Hopped Saison), Illuminaughty (Simcoe Double IPA), Kingmaker (Sour Dark Lager), just to name a few, they’re going to be good. And we would have stayed for more, but we had two more breweries to hit up, and it was already five o’clock!
No Boat Brewing
35214 SE Center St. #2
Snoqualmie Falls Brewery
Moving on from lost dogs that were thankfully found and scary sicknesses (Mom was in our thoughts for days, but she was on the mend), we made our way a mere three miles east to Snoqualmie Falls Brewery. What really made this brewery one to remember, besides the beer of course, was its location right alongside Snoqualmie River. And they know damn well how to take advantage of their location. While it was raining when we were there, making the patio not quite the destination you’d want in a downpour, on any other day, this would be the place to be. Lush green trees frame both the patio and the river view. Combine that with the outside central bar, all located in historic downtown Snoqualmie…location, location, location.
And their beer is quite tasty, too. Which is a must, because while the patio is great, we do like the breweries for the beer. Can you really have bad beer and a great patio and stay in business? Not for long. There’s no worries about that here. Opening their doors in 1997, their focus has always been about the beer, and while they don’t go crazy with their recipes, their quality is high on the list. Plus, any brewery that offers a saison…I’m in!
We tried their Solar Crush Blood Orange Hefeweizen, their Meadow brook Farmhouse Saison Ale, and Ken, of course, had to have an IPA, hence the Wildcat IPA. Whatever you drink here, you’ll also have to pair it with some food. They have a full kitchen and are one of the rare places that do both food and beer well. I’m a sucker for fries every time I drink, and let me tell you, their fries are salty, crispy, and just plain friggin’ great!
Snoqualmie Falls Brewery
8032 Falls Ave., S.E.
Volition Brewing Co.
Moving right along, rain or shine (still raining on this Snolquamie brewery tour), we paid tribute to our last brewery of the region, before we headed out on our seven hour overnight drive back to Montana. But Volition could not be missed. Plus, it’s only three miles away from the last brewery and heading in the right direction for our travels over the Pass. Focused on quality beer and impressive ambiance just like Snoqualmie Falls and No Boat, Snoqualmie’s newest brewery, Volition, also focuses on creative recipes, bringing unique flavors to many of their beers.
Beers like farmhouse ales (You know I’m in!), and mixed culture beers. Beers that are hop forward and beers that focus on herbs, spices, and botanicals. Instead of having flagship beers alongside a few seasonals, the folks here are always mixing it up. Now that’s our kind of brewery. Even down to its small town neighborhood vibe the second you walk in the door.
And while there’s not a kitchen onsite, there are plenty of rotating food trucks serving up all kinds of deliciousness. And a patio. We’re always on the hunt for breweries with outdoor space, and while Volition really can’t hold a candle to Snoqualmie Falls or No Boat’s patio space, they still have a beautiful one. And it’s a worthy space to enjoy a beer.
Volition Brewing Co.
112 W. North Bend Wy.
North Bend, WA
Nearby Snoqualmie Breweries
We really wanted to go to all of the nearby breweries, but hitting up three of the Snoqualmie breweries and one just outside of Seattle before heading up the Pass is already pushing it when we still have yet to drive over the pass (and through the woods and across the highway and over the fields we go) to Montana. At any rate, we did visit Formula – another great place to rest your weary bones after dealing with the hustle and bustle of Seattle’s craft beer scene – where you can enjoy both great beer and great pizza.
But as we all know, there are many breweries, so depending upon the direction of your craft beer travel adventure plans, we’ve got a couple more breweries listed for you to check out. If I did the math correctly, they are all less than 30 miles from our Snoqualmie brewery tour, as well as around 30 miles from Seattle’s craft beer scene. You better check that liver. There’s a lot going on in this little corner of Washington. And we haven’t even scratched the surface of the entire state!
- Dru Bru (Snoqualmie Pass, WA) This brewery is technically the only brewery on Snoqualmie Pass. The three mentioned above were all within six miles of each other before we went over the Pass. If we had more time, we would have loved to visit here, too. So, on your Snoqualmie brewery tour, be sure to stop and check out Dru Bru and their 15 taps, onsite food truck, and stunning mountain views. We’d love to know what you think.
- Formula Brewing (Issaquah, WA) This local neighborhood brewery is one of the newest in the region, serving up quality beers and pizza pies. It was a great middle point in between Seattle and heading towards Snoqualmie. It was where we decided to embark upon our Snoqualmie brewery tour.
- Remlinger Brewery (Carnation, WA) Located on Remlinger Farms, we were sorry to have missed this farm brewery. It just wasn’t in the cards for us to visit them that day. So, when you all are in the area, please, we beg of you, check out this farm brewery, and let us know what you think. And a bonus? You can pick your own raspberries and strawberries!
Drinking Our Way Over Snoqualmie Pass
While that is what we did…sort of, it’s not what it really sounds like. Hence, why I feel the need to post a disclaimer here, something about how we’re not driving while drinking. And we’re not. So, ok, to appease folks and not make people worry too much about our safety, we drink sample sizes, and small pours and fully partake in the food. We love food! And then we hang out for a bit, either taking walks, working at coffee shops, etc. You know, all the things that don’t involve beer. Yes, there are things that don’t involve beer, even for us.
When you embark upon your Seattle craft beer day trip or whatever craft beer day trip you have created, find other things that don’t involve beer. Things like hiking, mountain biking, coffee shops, bookstores, distilleries (wait, no, those still involve alcohol). Find the adventure within the craft beer lifestyle!
Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship, yet she sailed softly too. Sweetly, sweetly blew The breeze – on me alone it blew.No Boat Brewing
Where to Drink Craft Beer in Seattle
We spent a couple of days in Seattle and hit up a lot of breweries while there. Two days does not do the Seattle beer scene justice, but we can at least get you started!
Coastal Brewery Tour of Washington and Oregon
Washington’s coastal beer scene is just as great (maybe better, because they’re on the coast) as Seattle’s craft beer scene. So we’ve got a guide to those, too. Along with Oregon’s coastal breweries. If you’re looking for a unique brewery tour, this is a great one!