Tacoma, Washington is a city sat 30 miles south of Seattle on the banks of the Puget Sound. It’s the third largest city in the state, after Seattle and Spokane. The city is named after the original name of Mount Rainier, Tacoma or sometimes Tahoma.
One linguist supports the translation of this word from its native language to mean “mother of waters” in English. If this is the case, it’s a very appropriate name for the city: sat on the water’s edge and home to many a must-visit watering hole.
Here are some breweries and craft beer shops worth checking out in Tacoma:
Sig Brewing Company
New kid on the block Sig Brewing is a micro-brewpub that opened in Tacoma in 2020. They are dedicated to making both good beer and good food.
They’re dedicated to their craft and the consumption of their products, so much so that they’re not afraid to underline the fact that Sig Brewing’s taproom isn’t strictly 21+, but isn’t family friendly either.
Some of their beers are aged, just like the palettes of their average customer.
Their taproom on Tacoma Ave S. is classic and streamlined. Here they offer 13 beers on draft, alcoholic frozen slushies, wine on draft, and craft soft drinks.
Their food is also highly sought-after. Without reservations, you’ll have to show up and hope you can get a table to indulge in their OG Meatballs or one of their homemade pizzas – while supplies last.
They also serve brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
The Beer So Good It Doesn’t Need a Name – 6.7% ABV DDH Hazy IPA – Need we say more?
MG2020 – 6.4% ABV Smoothie-Style Tart Ale with Mango and Guava – Their most popular brew, dedicated to the year they opened.
Right on the waterfront, Narrows Brewing is located in the marina it is named for. A nautical theme throughout, the focus on brewing IPAs, stouts, porters, and blonde ales.
They also age their beers in barrels that fill over 20,000 square feet. Narrows Brewing likes to get involved in the community.
They charge $1 for all tasters, which might seem like a pain, but all those dollars are donated each month to a charity of their choice. The more indecisive you are, the more charitable you can be!
The taproom is genuinely right on the marina. Drive your car or your boat up and imbibe (responsibly, of course).
There are fourteen rotating taps of their own brews, plus cider and wine. Enjoy a pint or a flight of six beers with views over the marina.
You can bring your own snacks or order take out from any of the nearby restaurants. Unfortunately dogs or kids aren’t allowed.
Octo IPA – 6% ABV IPA – Their flagship beer.
Peanut Butter Cookie – 5.2% ABV Blonde Ale – Believe it not, you can put peanut butter in much more than stouts.
Odd Otter Brewing dates back to 2013 when five friends joined together to open a brewery. Since their founding, they have won not one, but three gold medals from the Washington Brewer’s Association Beer Awards.
This may sound serious, but they’re a company based on fun. They have a kooky otter mascot to represent the brand and even offer homebrew kits with how-to videos.
The brewery taproom is a long, high-ceilinged space to enjoy their brews that come from equipment right at the back of the shop – you can see their brew kit and aging barrels right there!
There’s loads to do at Odd Otter outside of drinking beer. They have regular events like yoga sessions, stand up comedy, karaoke, and more.
Screeching Otter Double IPA – 8% ABV DIPA – Gold medal winner at the Washington Beer Fest 2017.
Notteronsense IPA – 6.5% ABV IPA – Their flagship IPA.
7 Seas Brewery and Taproom
Win big at 7 Seas Brewery and Taproom. They brew with a focus on pales in the core range, but branching out through their limited series, sour series, and taproom reserve.
They set up their business in the historic Heidelberg Brewery in Tacoma, the first brewery to can beer in the Pacific Northwest. 7 Seas followed suit and brought canning back in 2009. As their logo promises, “You’ll like it.”
The taproom sprawls across the renovated warehouse, offering a wide range of seating in a well-lit, sunny room.
There’s a large, wrap-around bar you can sit at or couches to curl up on. Don’t forget to visit the deli counter or their merch shop, full of Heidelberg memorabilia.
You can order upscale bar food thanks to 3uilt Tacoma. Choose from assorted charcuterie boards, a bavarian pretzel, local oysters, or artisanal sandwiches.
Heidelberg Beer – 4% ABV Premium Lager – A testament to the original brewery.
Cutt’s Amber Ale – 6.2% ABV Amber – Part of their taproom reserve line-up.
Founded in 2015, Wet Coast Brewing Company is dedicated to the long history of beer in the Pacific Northwest.
They’re inspired by the infamous Volstead Act that instated Prohibition – or, more specifically, the breweries, bars, and venues that remained open in spite of the Volstead Act, keeping Washington staters sated.
Their taproom is across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, in Gig Harbor. They have 10 beer taps behind a relatively small bar.
Despite their size, they don’t leave a single detail out. From their Washington state-shaped coasters to their perfectly placed windows allowing for a peek at the brew deck, Wet Coast is a full experience. Try all their beers thanks to flights of six.
Sneak Thief Milk Stout – 5.2% ABV Stout – Brewed with lactose and chocolate malt.
Wet Coast Cream Ale – 5% ABV Cream Ale – A quaffable comparison to the popular highly-hopped IPA scene.
Edison City Alehouse
Edison City Alehouse is another conglomerate of great beer. Less bottle shop and more craft beer bar, there are sixteen beers on draft to choose from, rotating regularly.
They also have four ciders on tap. Styles range from the wide array of IPAs to pilsners to porters to new smoothie-style beers. Choose from two sizes for drinking in, or order a 32 oz. growler to take home.
You can of course shop their can fridges, or drink in at their saloon-style high tables.
They’re open every day of the week and have a regularly updated tap list on their website.
Every Friday they host BBQ2U with other guest food trucks other days of the week.
With endless options, we’d recommend trying small. Edison City Alehouse offers 10 oz. pours and even 5 oz. (in the event of very high ABVs), letting you sip an array of flavors and make the most of your visit.
Pint Defiance live up to their name, with their bold slogan of advice: “Be Defiant. Demand Great Beer.” Good thing is, they serve great beer.
While not a brewery themselves, Pint Defiance stocks a wide range of beers from across the country in both can and on tap.
You can drink in from 10 taps or take away specialty and hard-to-find brews. There are thirteen doors behind which an array of IPAs, stouts, saisons, and more in the shop.
Pint Defiance is both a shop and a taproom. You can go in to shop with plenty of room to browse the fridges without getting in the way of those drinking in.
Meanwhile, drinking in isn’t limited to their tap selection (although it is very good and changes regularly). See something in the fridge that peaks your interest? Open a can or bottle to enjoy in the shop – but see if you can stop yourself from buying even more to take home.
We can’t nail down a certain recommendation, as Pint Defiance has regularly shifting stock from a large range of breweries.
Our best recommendation is to go down and work your way through the fridges – perhaps not all in one visit.
Peaks and Pints
Another craft beer shop where the choices are limitless, Peaks and Pints brings every flavor you can imagine from around the world to their humble Tacoma taproom.
Though they maintain a mountain theme for their store and bar, they stock beers from Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and more – including, of course, breweries from across America.
What they refer to as basecamp is Peaks and Pints’ taproom – a place where wilderness lodge and tavern meets industrial craft beer space.
The place is kitted out in everything mountainscape: wood-paneled walls, a cobbled stone fireplace, taxidermic guardians, and taps coming out of a rough hewn wood log.
You can pair your pint with a delicious Tacoma Sandwich made in-house, served with chips and pickles.
Like Pint Defiance, Peaks and Pints has a seemingly unending selection of beers from across the globe to choose from. Perhaps the best place to get started would be picking a sandwich and then a recommended beer pairing.