Alehouse Review: WA: The Yard House. Seattle makes room for another alehouse

If you were from out of town and we asked you to name a beverage synonymous with Seattle, what would you tell us? Odds are you would be pondering a cup of Starbucks, an 'expresso', or maybe a latte. But did you know that we also have some of the most sought out independent coffee roasters in the country? True Seattle is known for Starbucks (and coffee). But Seattle rests in a state with over 200+ breweries.

In fact Washington state plays host to over 300+ breweries, all competing to be the next pint you consume.

Put down the calculator and stop presuming we are talking about Washington breweries. Believe it nor not Washington state is one of the most difficult places to sell beer in the country. You only have to read our blog, or others (like Washington Beer Blog or Seattle Beer News) to see how competitive it is.

This is also a boon for the consumer since it encourages choice. From Elysian to Black Raven and from Sierra Nevada to Anchorage Brewing, the consumer always wins.

So what if you could go somewhere that had over 50 draught options? We know what you're going to say, Brouwer's Cafe. Now double that number and you’re getting closer, but we aren't talking about Tap House.

Instead we would like to introduce you to The Yard House, which just opened their doors on Friday February 7th. To the locals this name sounds familiar but this is merely a coincidence.

The Yard House’s Story

Since 1996 when the first Yard House opened (in Long Beach, California) owners Steele Platt, Harold Herrmann, and Carlito Jocson; have committed to providing one of the largest selections of draft beers paired with food fit for the United States.

The restaurant took its name from the 3-foot-tall glass containers originally designed in Great Britain and used to hand stagecoach drivers after a long journey by horse drawn carriage. Each Yard House location features a center island bar and an endless fleet of tap handles ranging from classic lagers to more obscure ales. The glass-enclosed keg room is essentially the pulse of the operation housing as much as 5,000 gallons of beer at a time. Three to five miles of individual beer lines stretch overhead from the keg room to the island bar maintaining a constant temperature of 34-36 degrees keeping the beer consistently fresh and perfectly chilled for every pint. Guests can sip their favorite draft beer from the popular half-yard, traditional pint or six pack sampler.

The award-winning and extensive menu of American fusion cuisine features more than 130 items including appetizers, salads, pastas, sandwiches, street tacos, grilled burgers, individual-size pizzas, seafood, steaks and ribs. The Kids Klub menu includes fresh-to-order favorites including a selection of healthy items for the Yard House pint-size guest. The lively environment is created by colorful abstract artwork, classic rock music and flat screens in every direction showcasing the day's news and sporting events. Yard House is the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion or gather your family for dinner.

Throughout the year Yard House participates in Special Olympics fund-raisers in the spring and fall (held in our Arizona and California locations), OC Komen Race For The Cure in September, S-O-S Thanksgiving in Costa Mesa, CA which supports local residents by providing them groceries for their Thanksgiving dinner and Kathy Ireland/911 For Kids "Kathy-Land" celebration in December which provides a day of holiday activities and celebration for deserving children.

And every day of the year, Yard House supports Round It Up America® by offering their guests the opportunity to "round up" on their check and donate that change to charity. Round It Up America® supports over 20 charities nationwide which receive funds from Yard House based on geographic location to our stores.

For this writer I couldn't resist swinging by their, newly opened, Seattle location. Located in the old Borders bookstore, on 1501 4th Avenue; I expected a quiet, reduced menu, indicative of an opening week.  What I was greeted by was samples of their appetizers along with a healthy, hop-centric, draft list.

About the beers

From the 16 light-lagers & light ales to the 30 different Pale Ales / India Pale Ales, you really don't have an excuse not finding something. Looking over the draft menu it's easy to become overwhelmed when pressed for a decision. This can also manufacture problems when it comes to coming to that decision, since it might require more time. So we took the easy choice and settled on Boneyard RPM India Pale Ale, Monk's Cafe Sour, and Rogue Mogul Madness. Bonus for the server knowing where Boneyard Brewing was from (Bend, OR).

About the food

At first glance the 5 page food menu is broken into the following sections ... [food menu]

  • Snacks
  • Appetizers
  • Starter Soups and Salads
  • Entree Salads
  • Gardin, "chicken or beef substitute made from soy, wheat, pea proteins, vegetables and ancient grains"
  • Grilled Burgers
  • Sandwiches
  • Lunch Selection
  • Street Tacos
  • Pizza
  • House Favorites
  • Steaks and Ribs
  • Seafood
  • Desserts

In the end I stuck with Snacks, Appetizers, and Pizza

  • Appetizers / Snacks. Looking over the appetizer list I realized that The Yard House put some thought into an individuals appetite. Starting with the snacks you have your choice of Truffle Fries, Deviled Eggs, Smoked Gouda & Chicken Flatbread; to name a few. In the end I elected to choose the Baja Street Tacos snacks, the Buffalo wings, and the Moo Shu Egg Rolls.
  • Pizza. Choosing from 6 different options I  chose the BBQ Chicken (with mozzarella, cilantro, red onion, smoked gouda & bbq sauce) and the Spicy Thai Chicken (with firecracker sauce, mozzarella, macadamia nuts, carrots, green onion & cilantro).

And Dessert?

Admittedly I pondered desserts, like the S'Mores Brownie (with chocolate brownie with graham cracker crust and roasted marshmallows) or Kona Coffee Ice Cream Sundae (with java chip ice cream topped with oreo cookie crumbles, macadamia nuts and chocolate sauce served with macadamia nut cookie). But ultimately I elected to wait till my next visit.

Final thoughts

Overall I can see why people enjoy the atmosphere of The Yard House. With over 100 different ales, lagers, and ciders; it's easy to see why this place will fit right in with downtown Seattle. As for this writer I look forward to stopping in again to not only take in a dessert but further explore the beer and food options that The Yard House provides.


In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me free samples that were used for research prior to writing this review.

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