4765 NE Fremont St., 460-9025, alamedabrewing.com. 11 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, Friday-Saturday 11 am-11 pm.
On the surface, Alameda seems safe—easily confused with the quaint little shops and restaurants on this Rockwellian stretch of Fremont. Despite the Polo-shirted bridge-and-tunnel clientele—or, hell, maybe because of them—Alameda has spent 20 years quietly honing some truly inventive beers. One of the OG's of the micro-boom, the brewery won't challenge you with the Klickitat Pale Ale or the P-Town Pilsner lawnmower beer. But another flagship, Black Bear XX Stout, has garnered two Great American Beer Festival medals for managing the alchemical feat of being a jet-black, coffee-tinged stout that's nonetheless chuggable. Then there are the seasonals, which seem to get better and ballsier each year. Winter's Papa Noel's Olde Ale is reliable on tap or in bottles, though it oddly loses its kick on nitro. Then there's the Bad Bunny Cream Ale, a gnarly imperial cream ale that amps the ABV up to 8.2 percent with candi sugar. You won't know what hit you. That's Alameda's MO: Keep it safe with the atmosphere, then throw a sucker punch. AP KRYZA.
DRINK THIS: Yellow Wolf Imperial IPA, which beat the rapper to the scene by more than a decade and has some serious teeth courtesy of its 103 IBUs and 8.2-percent ABV. When people bitch about Northwest IPAs being too hoppy, this is what they're thinking of. And it's delicious.