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How To Drink When You're: In Seattle

I dearly love my rainy Emerald City. It's a very 21st century kind of place thanks to its mix of tech industry modernity and localism in the food department. Of course, I also love Seattle because it's one of the best drinking towns in America. It doesn't have that reputation, though it deserves it as much as any berg big or small in these United States. Seattle may not party like New Orleans or stay open as late as Las Vegas, but it has some incredible booze cred as far as my lushy little liver is concerned. Of course, visitors and newcomers may not know this, so here's the how-to for Seattle neophytes.

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Seriously. Beer. The Pacific Northwest in general has some of the most impressive craft brews in the world. Hops grow in this climate remarkably well, we have thriving grain production on both sides of the Cascades and, most importantly, the region is replete with people who emotionally and financially support local, small batch endeavors with a fervor unmatched elsewhere. A lush could make a week of just visiting local breweries, each of which will have at least a half dozen craft beers ready for consumption. India Pale Ale, that light, floral brew, is popular here, but you also won't be short on porters, stouts and hefeweizen. Grab a pint of your favorite along with a slice of fresh fish and you'll begin to understand the beauty of the city.


Become a cocktail snob

Fancy mixed drinks are in the middle of a huge comeback right now and Seattle is at the center of the trend. These days, the speakeasy-style bar is pretty popular, but I don't see that fad sticking around for more than another couple of years. What will endure is the craft cocktail. Washington state has been booming with locally produced liquors for several years now thanks to some relaxed production and sales laws, so the localism food trend has reached the hard stuff along with meat, bread and produce. There are some ridiculously talented mixologists working in Seattle and they're thriving both creatively and financially. Get a bead on the best cocktail lounges around town and let these artists shake something up for you that isn't on any menu. You won't be disappointed.


Get thee to a wine bar

Washington wines are getting better every year while Oregon and California are doing a bang-up job already. Wine bars are another rising trend in Seattle and they're great places to get to know your local grapes. They all have delicious small plates, generous flights and knowledgeable staff, not to mention some great atmosphere. Wine bars make excellent dates, if drinking alone isn't your thing.