Craving an ice-cold local brew? Lucky for you, we’ve scoured Tacoma far and wide to track down the top 10 spots for craft beer lovers—yes, a whopping 10!!! Tacoma is packed with opportunities to imbibe whether you crave the industrial feel of a small brewery, creative gourmet eats along with your brews, or menus with literally dozens of local beers.
We present to you, the 10 best places in Tacoma to get craft beer:
1.Tacoma Brewing Company
Tacoma Brewing Company’s unique, imaginative lineup of hand-crafted small batch brews is sure to impress even the pickiest of beer aficionados—Creamsicle IPA? Cheap-Ass American Brew? Pour us another, please and thank you! Challenge your friends to the slew of board games they keep on-hand and devour your takeout from any number of delicious nearby eateries—Tacoma Brewing Company doesn’t have a kitchen, but welcomes outside food. Be sure to try their Hard Ginger Ale, a nice change of pace from the cider takeover. It’s made with fresh ginger root and molasses, so you can kiss that syrupy-sweet flavor goodbye.
- TIP: Check out their Facebook page for daily tap lists, upcoming events, and chuckle-worthy drunk jokes.
Tacoma Brewing Company / 625 St Helens Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402 / Open Thursday 4:20-8pm; Friday 4:20-9pm; Saturday 2-9pm
2. The Red Hot
This hot dog joint serves gourmet concoctions (including multiple veggie and vegan dog options!) at fast food prices and boasts a huge, rotating tap list full of local favorites. Their kosher franks and sausages are served on soft, fluffy sesame seed buns and loaded with high-quality ingredients along playful, imaginative themes. Fan favorites include the Rainier Rueben, the Gangsta Mac, Tacoma Boys BLT, and the Hound Dog (peanut butter and bacon!). Enjoy specials each day of the week, including Test Kitchen Thursday, where you can try out the chef’s latest experiments!
- TIP: Red Hots is great for groups but is a 21+ only establishment.
The Red Hot / 2914 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98406 / Open Monday-Thursday 11am-11pm; Friday 11am-midnight; Saturday 9am-midnight; Sunday 9am-11pm
3. The Parkway
A friendly, neighborhood tavern with one of the most extensive local tap lists in Tacoma, The Parkway serves as a home away from home for beer lovers across the city. They serve beer and wine only and offer a menu full of delicious bar foods – both the burger and burger dip come highly recommended! Challenge other patrons to (free!) games of pool, darts, pinball, or shuffleboard in the back, or snack on $1.50 popcorn while admiring their vintage tap handle collection, which adorns the ceiling. If you seek a laid back jaunt to throw back a few beers and unwind with friends, look no further.
- TIP: Cozy up by their fireplace on a snowy day and enjoy expansive patio seating in the warmer months!
Parkway Tavern / 313 N I St, Tacoma, WA 98403 / Open Monday-Sunday 11am-2am
4. Top of Tacoma Bar
Voted “Best Bar in Tacoma” in 2010 and known for their excellent food and high-quality service, Top of Tacoma’s extensive menu features fan favorites like the pork belly tacos and BBQ nachos, plus a plethora of options for vegans, vegetarians, and the gluten free among us. They a wide variety of local beers (and Kombucha!) on tap, and boast 7 weekly specials, including Taylor Shellfish Fridays, which includes mussels, clams, and oysters from Puget Sound’s premier Shellfish purveyor.
- TIP: This place is known for its prompt and friendly service, but be prepared to wait if you come for brunch or on a weekend evening.
Check out our interview with Top of Tacoma’s bar owner JaimeKay Jones here!
Top of Tacoma Bar / 3529 McKinley Ave, Tacoma, WA 98438 / Open 11am-2am daily
5. Pint Defiance
Perfect for the bonafide beer-obsessed; those crestfallen to discover that a tavern boasting “craft beer” offers only PBR and a handful of meager alternatives. Pint Defiance features 12 frequently-rotating taps, plus 16 ceiling-to-floor coolers full of specialty, hard-to-find beers, ciders, and meads in both cans and bottles. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff has carefully curated their selections and is eager to help you find just what you’re looking for. Enjoy a few pints of your new favorite brew at the bar, then take a growler to go!
- TIP: Pint Defiance serves delicious soft pretzels but if you’re hungry for more, you’re welcome to order food from other establishments.
Pint Defiance / 2049 N Mildred St. West, Tacoma, WA 98466 / Open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-11pm; Sunday & Monday 11am-10pm
6. The Copper Door
If you live in north Tacoma or near downtown, The Copper Door is poised to become your favorite local haunt. They boast an excellent selection of craft brews on tap, a wide array of ciders and gluten free beers, dozens of other options in coolers that line the walls, and a friendly staff eager to share their beer knowledge. The Copper Door considers itself a Brewmunity (community of beer lovers), so grab a beer (or four), a board game, and some new friends!
7. Doyle’s Public House
On the hunt for a perfectly-poured Guinness and unbeatable Irish comfort food? Doyle’s, a classic-style Irish pub in downtown Tacoma, is a great place to knock back a few pints, watch the game with the regulars, or catch some great live music. Their spacious dining room easily can accommodate groups, multiple flat-screens will appease sports fans, and the menu is full of European favorites—scotch eggs, corned beef and cabbage, bangers and mash, and shepherd’s pie.
- TIP: Check in on social media to receive their happy hour prices anytime!
Doyle’s Public House // 208 St. Helen’s Ave South, Tacoma, WA 98402 // Open Monday-Friday 9am-2am; Saturday & Sunday 7am-2am
8. Dirty Oscar’s Annex
Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and infamous for their weekend brunch, Dirty Oscar’s offers a dive bar vibe without any of the actual dive bar nonsense. They’ve got a pool table, impressive tap list, full bar, and specialty cocktails featuring moonshine…for the more adventurous among us.
Customers rave about their food, which takes a unique approach to diner faves—chicken in a biscuit, braised elk hash, candied bacon trio, parmesan-encrusted tater tots…need we say more?
- TIP: This place is great—and everyone knows it. Be prepared to wait for a table, especially if you come on a weekend!
Dirty Oscar’s Annex // 2309 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98403 // Open Monday-Thursday noon-2am; Friday-Sunday 8am-2am
9. The Forum
Located inside the historic Olympus Hotel in downtown Tacoma, The Forum offers a warm, cozy atmosphere, killer food menu, and extensive offering of local brews. This is a great place to sit and stay awhile; they have board games, couches near a gas fireplace, and an overall inviting atmosphere, perfect for a romantic evening.
They offer happy hour deals from 2-6pm on weekdays and are notorious for their Juicy Lucy burger (where the cheese inside the burger), macaroni and cheese balls, and plethora of dipping sauces for fries. If you’re not in the mood for a brew, try out a specialty cocktail, which can be made from an array of their deliciously- and artfully-infused spirits.
- TIP: For just $8, you can sample their flight of four local brews!
The Forum // 815 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA, 98402 // Open Monday-Thursday 11am-midnight; Friday & Saturday 11am-2am; Sunday 11:30am-midnight
10. Engine House No. 9
Established in 1995, Engine House takes the cake as Tacoma’s first craft brewery. Operating inside an old firehouse, it thrives today thanks to its unique interior (antique firefighting gear and relics adorn the walls), expansive menu of delicious, gastropub-style eats, and impressive tap list of Washington-area brews. Challenge your friends to arcade games, a bout of shuffleboard, or a round of darts!
- TIP: Saturdays are karaoke nights. Get hyped! (Or beware—whichever’s your thing).
Engine House // 611 N Pine St // Open Monday-Wednesday 11am-midnight; Thursday 11am-1am, Friday 11am-2am; Saturday 8am-2am; Sunday 8am-10pm