This has to be my favorite time of year.
Yeah, the days are getting stupidly short and the heating bill is growing another digit, but it's also when we get an oh so brief taste of foliage and a hopefully less brief taste of great seasonal beers. Stout and porter season is officially here. (Actually, I enjoy dark beer all year, but it's just more comforting when the weather is shitty or threatening to be shitty.)
Bundle up, pack some ponchos, and psyche yourself up for another long, but rewarding hike. None of the three pubs we're going to allow dogs, but each has visible -- but not covered -- space outside to hitch him/her/it up.
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I'll call this one "Watering Holes" since we'll be walking around a big hole of water and visiting three of the city's best, well, ...you know. You can begin anywhere around Green Lake -- I've chosen to start on the south side near the baseball fields. There is a good amount of parking and it's convenient to several Metro bus lines. Another good option is to start on the west side near the tennis courts and the dog park. It adds a little distance to the total, but there is lots of free parking. (*groan*)
From your starting point, head east -- we'll need to beer up before we start hiking in earnest. TangleTown is not only the name of Elysian's little pub, but also the surrounding area. It'll be obvious why when you see how all of the streets sort of, well... tangle. Hitch the dog up outside and sit in the bar area -- you should be able to see him/her out the windows while you imbibe. Feel free to check out the menu -- it's been great every time I've been here. The next pub has good food, too, but we won't get there for an hour and a half or so.
After you're fucked up -- sorry, I mean FUELED up (*phew* thanks, spell check!), head northwest, to Green Lake. There is a walking/biking trail the whole way around. Go clockwise around the lake and enjoy the changing leaves, if there are any left by the time you go. Even if there aren't, there is plenty else to take in. If it's windy, Green Lake will have whitecaps. If it's nice out, there will be lots of hottie-hots jogging around (male, female, and neutered).
You are going to come very close to the Duck Island Ale House and Über Tavern on Aurora Ave. N. These are two more of my favorite places, but I'm saving them for a different UBH. If you're more manly than me, then by all means, have at it. We've still got a lot of ground to cover, though and the sun isn't as high in the sky as you think it is, Lushy McLusherson.
Eventually, about 3/4 of the way around, depart the trail and head up to N 65th St. and the blissfully geeky (beer geeky, that is) Latona Pub. They've always got 4 or 5 beers on tap that I want. Good luck deciding. Good food, good knowledgeable service, and plenty of visible space outside to hitch the dog (or the kid -- 21 and over!)
If you're feeling foggy by this point, don't worry. The next leg of the hike is pretty straight forward and follows main roads. You'll go out the door, take a right and head SSE toward the University of Washington and The Ave.
Rap with a few Ave Rats if you want and then arrive at one of Seattle's oldest and (I think) best breweries, Big Time. You can hitch the dog up out front, but the sidewalk is not very wide, so keep that in mind. If you brought a growler, fill it up here. If you didn't, buy one and fill it up here. If you're still hungry, there is a modest kitchen that makes decent pizza and sandwiches. There's always a lively crowd here, so if you choose to end here, I forgive you. You are close to NE 45th St. where you can easily find a cab or the #44 bus that takes you back to very near my starting point on the south side of Green Lake.
Enjoy and let me know how it goes. Cheers!