Yesterday afternoon, I arrived in Seattle a few days prior to the 2015 International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC). When I attended the IFBC two years ago, I had the time of my life, I made tons of new friends, my blog got a lot of exposure, I learned so many new things, and I acquired the fondest memories of my life. Naturally, I wanted to keep returning year after year. Last year, I could not return due to a new job and not having enough vacation hours accumulated. This year, I finally saved up enough vacation hours to allow myself to return to Seattle not only for the conference, but extra days to allow myself time to explore the city and its outskirts in search of the best of the local flavor, in terms of eats and sips. So while in town and awaiting the IFBC, I planned to have a ball and experience as much as I can of the local life.

After dropping off my belongings at my “home for the next few days,” I contacted a friend from the last IFBC for food and drinks. She suggested Von’s 1000SPIRITS, a restaurant that coins itself as a GustoBistro. While their food menu looks terrific, they do not have a great craft beer offering, since they focus on their spirits for mixed drinks, martinis, etc. Most importantly, Von’s produces their own fresh sourdough pasta right at the front of their restaurant. Considering that they place this front & center, everyone should try the pasta. I went during Happy Hour, and the Happy Hour menu contains no pasta, so I opted to get the Happy Hour burger (just a burger, no toppings) and some Pulled Pork Poutine. My friend ordered a Salmon Cake.

Following our late lunch, I took a stroll through the Pike Place Market, visiting businesses such as Pike Brewing Company, the first Starbucks, Rachel’s Ginger Beer, and Cupcake Royale.

Following this mini excursion, I took a bus over to Ballard to start exploring the local breweries. My first stop brought me through a bunch of motorcycles to land me at NW Peaks Brewery, a tasting room that gets their beer from an off-site brewing facility.

As mentioned above, I wandered through a slew of motorcycles to arrive at NW Peaks. I had absolutely no clue what I walked through, but eventually discovered that every third Wednesday, an event called Backfire Motorcycle Night took place, inviting local motorcycle owners and enthusiasts to come out and share interests.

Continuing on with my self-guided beer tour, I landed at Hilliard’s Beer right around the corner from NW Peaks. As one of the breweries recommended to me to visit, I walked in with increased expectations. They sure have the space to accommodate a large crowd. However, Hilliard’s does not offer beer flights – you either order pints or a 10oz goblet of beer. Thankfully, the gal working at the time kindly offered me samples of their beers at no charge. Talk about customer service! I ended up ordering a full beer plus ample gratuity to show my appreciation instead of just walking away after the samples.

Right across the street from Hilliard’s, we have Peddler Brewing Company. Like Hilliard’s, they have a great amount of space to accommodate a large amount of people. However, on this night, they did not see the same volume as Hilliard’s, despite a better location on a larger street. I like their theme of placing bikes inside, as it reminds me of the concept behind Peddler’s Creamery in Los Angeles.

By the time I finished at Peddler’s, 9pm had already passed, meaning that most of the other breweries in the area had closed. Alas, I shall return later today! However, I do have all of Fremont to hit, and a handful of IFBC attendees have some other plans that I want to participate in. Will I get a chance to get to all these other breweries? Only time will tell. Hopefully I have the time to do so before I head back home on Monday!

  1. Paula Thomas says:

    Welcome to Seattle! You’ve been pretty busy since you got here and found some good looking food! See ya soon.

  2. Alina says:

    It was fun hanging out tonight!

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