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Photograph: Courtesy Ballast Point

13 West Coast breweries where the views are as good as the beer

There's no better way to explore the West Coast than to enjoy a cold one at these breweries with gorgeous views.

Written by
Sarah Medina
&
Clara Hogan
Contributor
Adam Lukach
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The West Coast has a distinct beer culture. Breweries up and down the coast win awards and loyal fans for their innovation and craft. In California alone, there are more than 1,000 breweries—with hundreds more across Washington and Oregon

Another thing the West Coast is known for: its natural beauty. So what better way to enjoy the Best Coast than sipping a cold brew while taking in a gorgeous view? From snowcapped mountains in Oregon to hop fields in Washington to waves crashing ashore in Southern California, we've rounded up the best West Coast breweries with beer as good as the scenery. 

Best West Coast breweries with a view

Solera Brewery | Parkdale, OR
Photograph: Courtesy Solera Brewery

1. Solera Brewery | Parkdale, OR

Everyone is welcome at Solera Brewery—kids, dogs and adults alike gather around the communal tables on the back patio for a spectacular view of Mt. Hood on a clear day (heads up; minors do have to head out by 8 pm). The beer menu runs the gamut from IPAs and pilsners to scotch ales and dry ciders, but perhaps the most famous menu item is the brewery's HUGE burrito served with black beans, rice and pulled pork. 

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Old Stove Brewing | Seattle, WA
Photograph: Courtesy Old Stove Brewing

2. Old Stove Brewing | Seattle, WA

Located in Seattle's iconic Pike Place Market, Old Stove offers taps of made-on-site craft beer and cider, wine, a full bar, and a menu that heavily features seasonal PNW ingredients. But you're mostly here for the view, right? The western wall of the entire space is composed of an 80-foot window, framing fantastic views of Elliot Bay, the Olympic Mountains and boats below. Come here at dusk to watch the sunset below the Pacific—now that's a sight we'd raise a glass to. 

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Faction Brewing | Alameda, CA
Photograph: Courtesy Faction Brewery

3. Faction Brewing | Alameda, CA

Alameda, a quaint island city across the bay from San Francisco, is an underrated gem in the Bay Area with an exciting food and bev scene emerging in recent years. Located along the water with sweeping views of the city and the bay, this massive facility is a great place to come with friends, kids, dogs—you name it. While Faction produces a large variety of beers within the  20-barrel brewhouse, their specialty lies in hoppy beers.

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The Pelican Pub and Brewery | Pacific City, OR
Photograph: Courtesy Pelican Brewing/Sonheim Photography

5. The Pelican Pub and Brewery | Pacific City, OR

You'll find this Oregon coast pub on every list of "breweries with a view" in the country—and for good reason. The location, literally steps from the Pacific Ocean, just can't be beaten. And the Pelican doesn't take its gorgeous spot for granted; Many of its brews are inspired by the ocean, including the West Coast Pilsner Five Fin (a portion of proceeds from every barrel goes to the Salmon SuperHwy Project). Sip a pint on the patio to literally feel the sand between your toes.

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Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. | Half Moon Bay, CA
Photograph: Courtesy Half Moon Bay Brewing

6. Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. | Half Moon Bay, CA

Beers on the bay? Don’t mind if we do. Head to Half Moon Bay Brewing, located 30 miles south of San Francisco and featuring a cozy atmosphere on the waterfront. An expansive patio opens up like a pier alongside the Cape-Cod-style taproom, allowing for plenty of seating and distance while enjoying panoramic views of the Pacific. Everyone will be able to find something attractive on draft, too, as Half Moon’s brews run a gamut of classic styles, from Kolsch to Saison to West Coast IPA.

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Ballast Point | Long Beach, CA
Photograph: Courtesy Ballast Point

7. Ballast Point | Long Beach, CA

The truth is, no matter which Ballast Point location you end up in—San Diego, Long Beach or even Downtown Disney—you're going to find good beer. But, if you want the swaying palms and seaside view that makes California what it is, head to the Long Beach location. Sip the classic Sculpin IPA—or any one of the company’s award-winning brews—from the patio for picturesque views of Catalina Island, Seal Beach and Alamitos Bay.

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8. MadeWest Brewing Company | Ventura, CA

Located on the Ventura Pier, MadeWest Brewing Company represents the spirit of the West Coast—both in the relaxed, waterfront ambiance and the easy-going style of the beers served on tap. With a food truck on site almost every day, this is a perfect spot to take in the beach views and stay awhile. 

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Buoy Beer Company | Astoria, OR
Photograph: Courtesy Buoy Beer Company

9. Buoy Beer Company | Astoria, OR

On the northernmost coast of Oregon, where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean, Buoy Beer Company crafts its brews. The taproom is housed in a 90-plus-year-old cannery and the views can't be beaten. Help yourself to a Dunkel Lager and admire the craftsmanship that went into the repair of the historic building. Looking out over the ocean truly feels like you're standing at the edge of the world. Although Buoy’s kitchen is closed for a facelift, guests are welcome to bring in outside food.

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Beach Chalet Brewery and Restaurant | San Francisco, CA
Photograph: Sanfranman59/CC

10. Beach Chalet Brewery and Restaurant | San Francisco, CA

The picture windows along the western wall of this longtime Ocean Beach fixture offer expansive views of the Pacific. From the recently remodeled second-floor dining and taproom, you can see for miles and milesthat is, when Karl the Fog is off duty. The Beach Chalet's ales and lagers are handcrafted on-site and include both traditional European and American styles like hefeweizens and red ales, as well as occasionally delving into more obscure styles like the Kentucky common. Grab a bite o go along with your drink: Beach Chalet serves a seafood-forward menu for brunch, lunch and dinner daily.

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pFriem Family Brewers | Hood River, OR
Photograph: pFriem Family Brewers

11. pFriem Family Brewers | Hood River, OR

This award-winning Oregon brewery offers a healthy selection of traditional European brews like pilsner, Kolsch and Belgian blonde, as well as contemporary favorites like West Coast and hazy IPAs. Located east of Portland in Hood River, pFriem's taproom lies along the Washington state border and across the street from the town’s Waterfront Park. Take your drink to the patio (complete with a fire pit) to see the Columbia River in all its majestic glory. If you get hungry, there’s a menu of tasty elevated bar fare to pad your belly.

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Viewpoint Brewing Company | Del Mar, CA
Photograph: Courtesy Viewpoint Brewing Company

12. Viewpoint Brewing Company | Del Mar, CA

In the chill coastal town of Del Mar, there's no better place to kick back with a cold one than Viewpoint Brewing, an expansive 7,000-square-foot indoor / outdoor brewery and restaurant that offers views of the San Dieguito Lagoon. Choose from the more than 20 beers on tap, plus an extensive food menu with shareable plates, salads, flatbreads, and hearty entrees like chicken schnitzel and a Korean steak sandwich. 

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Eppig Brewing | San Diego, CA
Photograph: Courtesy Eppig Brewing

14. Eppig Brewing | San Diego, CA

Located in a former boatyard in a private marina in America’s Cup Harbor, Eppig Brewing boasts a wraparound 2,000-square-foot patio that puts you almost on the water. Best of all, you'll be treated to panoramic views of the harbor and downtown San Diego from almost every seat in the house. Choose from up to 20 beers on draft, but if the tootie frootie sour ale (with blueberry and black currant) is on the menu, be sure to try it.

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​​Thunder Island Brewing Co. | Cascade Locks, OR
Photograph: Courtesy Thunder Island Brewing

15. ​​Thunder Island Brewing Co. | Cascade Locks, OR

Situated between mountains and the Columbia River, Thunder Island Brewing has scenery for days, particularly during the evening golden hours. The brewery also offers a vegetarian- and vegan-friendly food menu, as well as a healthy selection of beer options, which skews toward pale ale options including traditional West Coast and juicy/hazy styles.

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