Optimism Brewing is Seattle’s top drinking destination


For the second year in a row, a brewery tasting room ranks number one as Seattle’s top drinking destination, a distinction that sets Seattle apart from other cities.

One way to determine a cities’ most popular destinations is to track ride-share deliveries. That is, where are services like Lyft most-frequently dropping off passengers. One way to effectively measure a city’s love of beer is by tracking where people choose to drink alcohol. Obviously, if brewery taprooms are the most popular drinking destinations, it speaks volumes about the voracity of the city’s appetite for beer.

Each year Lyft announces the winners of the Lyftie awards, which recognize the most popular destinations in a number of categories (restaurants, bars, concert venues, and so on). For the second year in a row, a brewery tasting room won the Seattle Lyftie for Most Visited Bar.

And the 2018 Seattle Lyftie for Most Visited Bar goes to… Optimism Brewing.

“The Lyftie is a big accolade for us considering the number of great bars and breweries in this city,” says Gay Gilmore, co-founder of Optimism Brewing. “We are not only honored by the result, but also very pleased that our customers are making liberal use of Lyft to drink responsibly. We are fortunate to live in a city and era with the convenience and safety of ride-sharing.”

Last year, Fremont Brewing won the award (see our story). Seattle beer lovers probably aren’t surprised to learn that brewery tasting rooms are very popular drinking destinations, but Seattle holds a special distinction in this regard. In other notable beer-focused cities like Portland, San Diego and Denver the Lyftie for Most Visited Bar was not awarded to brewery taprooms (based on the 2017 and 2018 Lyfties).

In those cities, the award went to traditional drinking establishments, like bars and nightclubs. Portland’s White Owl Social Club won the Lyfie for the second year in a row. In San Diego, Mavericks Beach Club earned top honors and in Denver the award went to Avanti Food and Beverage.

“That two breweries have won this honor back-to-back reflects a larger change in the culture: the most popular bar isn’t what people think of as a bar,” says Gilmore. “What Seattle likes to drink is craft beer at locally-owned, independent establishments who provide a community, family-oriented experience. Cheers to that!”

“Lyft helps Seattle residents experience and connect with their city in new and interesting ways,” said Todd Kelsey, General Manager, Lyft Pacific Northwest. “We’re proud to support the local Seattle community through convenient, affordable rides and by providing a flexible earning opportunity. The Lyfties are a way for us to recognize the places that truly make Seattle unique and to say thank you for sharing a ride with us to places like Optimism Brewing Company.”

Of course ride-share tracking is, at best, an indirect way of measuring a community’s enthusiasm for craft beer, but there’s no doubt that Seattle’s 60+ breweries are among the city’s most popular drinking destinations. Visit an always-busy Optimism Brewing on an Friday night, or a usually packed Fremont Brewing on a Saturday afternoon, and you’ll witness Seattle’s love of beer and breweries firsthand.