Located in the heart of Belltown, on the corner of 2nd & Bell, Belltown Brewing strives to connect with the neighborhood and bring people together with familiar offerings such as beer, burgers, and pizzas. Previously Bell & Whete, a European inspired restaurant, the owners decided to pivot and start brewing beer, due to a lack of breweries in the area. They opened on St. Patrick’s Day with ambitions to be a neighborhood gathering place that’s a bit more upscale than your regular neighborhood pub.
The restaurant is large and anchored around a large, center bar, with plenty of room for groups or large parties. There’s tables and booths throughout, and one side of the space is reserved for brewing their beers. It’s very industrial-chic, with dark woods and exposed pipes running across the ceiling. There’s also an outdoor patio, which is perfect for warm summer days.
Photos by: foodolish.com
Belltown Brewing really wants to establish themselves in Belltown and menu item names, along with their beers, are named to be reflective of the neighborhood. We started with a beer flight of their signature beers, all brewed on site. From lightest to darkest:
Local Lager – A light, easy to drink lager.
Speakeasy IPA – We’re not huge IPA fans in general, and that made us not fans of this, but hey, if you like IPAs, you’ll probably enjoy this one! What do we know?
Watermain Amber – Another easily drinkable beer we enjoyed. This was one of our favorites in the flight.
Lemongrass Ginger Saison – A mix between a sour and a farmhouse beer. Belltown Brewing rotates their season beer every few weeks. The saison was our other favorite, as it was refreshing and reminiscent of a ginger beer, with subtle lemongrass notes.
Coffee Brown – Strong, and coffee forward. Definitely heavy and would be great during those cold winter months.
If you’re looking for a snack to pair with your beer, the garlic knots with parmesan & marinara may be your best bet, provided you hold the marinara. The garlic knots were heavy on the garlic salt, but paired with a beer, it likely would’ve balanced out. We found the marinara sauce odd, as it was less of a sauce, and more of a thick tomato paste. It lacked salt, and obviously had been sitting out a while, due to the layer that had started forming on top.
The pizzas we tried fared a lot better. All pizzas are fired in their refurbished 1970s gas and brick oven, using dough that incorporates grain from their Watermain Amber beer. The Bell Street pizza (pepperoni, sausage, olives, & mozzarella) was good, with the right topping to crust ratio, while we found the Supreme pizza (sausage, pepperoni, salami, peppers, onion, mushrooms, and mozzarella) just that, supreme. In fact, it was borderline too much, as the sheer amount of toppings overwhelmed the thin crust. Because they didn’t skimp on the toppings here, this pizza had to be eaten with a knife and fork. The artichoke pizza (artichokes, creamed kale, parmesan, and mozzarella) was hands down our favorite of the night. The combination of artichoke and creamed kale was surprisingly delicious and it had the perfect topping to crust ratio.
Overall, we enjoyed the pizzas, as the dough was on the thinner side, with nice crisp edges and a good chew, but the marinara sauce suffered from the same under-seasoning issue as the marinara that accompanied the garlic knots.
In addition to the pizzas, we thought things would be amiss if we didn’t try the burger with fries, made with a blend of brisket, chuck, and tri-tip, bibb lettuce, tomato, shaved onions, and garlic mayo on a ciabatta bun. Bacon and cheese are optional, but we obviously did it up. Named “the burger,” because they wanted it to be every burger lover’s dream, it arrived with hand-cut fries and a side of ketchup. Served on a cutting board with a knife through the center of the burger, this was visually appealing and we were excited to eat it.
The sign of a great burger is messiness. If it’s not messy, you’re doing it wrong. Juices should be dripping out and down your hands, and this burger did just that. While the burger was beefy and juicy, it was underseasoned, which was it’s only downfall. All the condiments married together perfectly, and the fries were so amazing, we could’ve demolished them all.
Overall, we found Belltown Brewing to be pretty solid. The pizzas are quite large and two pizzas would comfortably feed 4-5 hungry adults. The vibe is casual, and the location is awesome if you’re hankering for pizza and beer.
Belltown Brewing | 200 Bell St, Seattle, WA 98121 | Open 7 days a week