Rooftop Brewing Co. was the 64th visit on my bucket list of Washington State breweries. The weather report stated sunshine and high 60’s for the weekend, so began the search for a brewery with outdoor seating. I found Rooftop via a Google search, and assumed their name wouldn’t disappoint. A few images showed outdoor seating, which met my only criteria and just like that, I started organizing. Invites were set for that coming Saturday and in typical Seattle fashion, I received numerous “maybes” scattered about with many not replying at all. But when the suns out in April in a city with typically grey skies, it’s hard to turn down a call that gives you an excuse to enjoy the great weather with equally great beer. In total, our group consisted of 11 adults and 1 dog.
Rooftop Brewing opens at noon. I was unsure what parking would be like, but was excited to see they do offer free parking with a sizable lot in front. I arrived about 10 minutes before they opened and waited anxiously, pacing about and taking photos. I didn’t want to be that loiterer, leaving smudge-marks as she creepily presses her face against the glass. Instead, I discovered if you stand at a specific angle in the parking lot and stare across the street allowing a telephone pole to block part of the signage, the “Canal Apartments” become the “Anal Apartments.” Oh man, I crack myself up! (photo below).
Rooftop has a great venue overall. You order inside at the small bar (4-seater). There are a few pub tables and a water station complete with complimentary popcorn. Most of the seating is outside on their rooftop. Half covered and half open to the elements, with picnic tables and a bar built around the perimeter of the deck. They are pet friendly. Not sure about children as I didn’t see any during my four hour visit. The do not serve food but many patrons had pizza or other snacks brought in and a food truck pulled up outside toward the end of my visit. The best part about Rooftop is the beer and the worst part, well as soon as I find anything from them I don’t like, I’ll get back to you about that. As my usual M.O. goes, I had a flight of everything they had on tap, including a taste of their Firkin Friday brew.
- Ladro Sul Tetto – This is a coffee-infused pale ale, brewed in collaboration with Caffe Ladro Roasting. Pours a slightly hazy copper in color with a foamy white head. Expect a little sweetness of honey and a finish with a mild citrus to balance with the delicious coffee aroma and flavors. Loved it! ABV: 5.5%; IBU: 32
- PSA – This is a Pilsner Style Ale. Pours a straw yellow in color with a nice white head. I would definitely order this again. It’s not too sweet, rather expect a lot of flavors and a light hop to it. Grainy aroma and nice easy finish. Perhaps I like this so much because it’s not a true pilsner. ABV: 4.8% ; IBU: 18
- Gateway Dry-Hopped Pale – Pours a golden-orange with another foamy white head. Floral up front and citrus on the finish. I love hoppy pale ales and this was everything I expected. Grapefruit dominate on the citrus, juicy and a light bitter finish. ABV: 5.8% ; IBU: 20
- El Dorado Single Hop IPA – Pours a straw yellow color (similar to the PSA). Fruit and citrus and slightly sweet on this IPA. The initial sip and finish are about the same for me. Expect a strong tropical fruit aroma with a base of slight resinous pine. ABV: 6.9%, IBU: 42
- Stargazer IPA – Pours a copper amber in color with a white head that dissipates to leave a nice ring of lacing on the glass. Brewed with five hops and Victory malt, this IPA tasted more earthy than the El Dorado. Tastes moderately sweet, roasty malt and caramel with a nice bitter finish. I much prefer the El Dorado than this, but Stargazer is a solid piney IPA. I suggest you compare both IPAs for yourself, as they have very different flavor profiles. ABV: 6.8% ; IBU: 76
- Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA) – A black IPA that pours very dark brown in color with a medium tan head that lingers. This was an unusual IPA for me. Hoppy and roasty with a chocolate finish. Interesting. I’m still not sure what I think of all the flavors. ABV: 7.0% ; IBU: 77
- Makeda Coffee Porter – Pours a dark cola in color, almost black with a thin tan head. This beer is noted as “Featuring Zoka’s Organic Tatoosh Blend.” Definite coffee aroma and bold flavors with a mild smoke on the finish. Medium body and mouthful. I love a good coffee porter and this impressed. ABV: 5.8% ; IBU: 32
- NITRO! Oatmeal Stout – Pours a dark cola in color with a foamy tan head, typical of a Nitro brew. I love oatmeal stouts, but after trying all their other beers this was probably my least favorite solely by comparison. I do prefer a more full-bodied profile on my stouts and other than being too thin, nothing bad to say. The flavor was spot-on classic oatmeal stout: oats and mild bitterness with roasty flavor and sweetness. Expect creamy and smooth being on Nitro. ABV: 5.5% ; IBU: 34
- Belgian Quad – Pours a nice mahogany color with medium lacing on the glass. Quads tend to be sweet due to the heavy malt profile. This was a traditional quad, with the caramel malt flavors and aromas, but not too sweet. Surprisingly very easy to drink despite the high ABV. I loved this. Much better to drink cold because once it warmed up a bit in the sun, I didn’t enjoy nearly as much. ABV: 12.2% ; IBU: 22
- Firkin Friday – Double Dry Hopped El Dorado IPA – Pours a hazy yellow in color with no head. The flavor and body was very thin, almost pineapple juice like. Very refreshing from the tropical fruit flavors. Still enjoyable despite being a day-old cask. ABV: 6.9% ; IBU: 42
Rooftop Brewing Co.
Address: 122 W. Nickerson St., Seattle, WA 98119
Telephone: (206) 457-8598