Chuck's 85th St. Market, soon to be officially called Chuck's Hop Shop, offers patrons 23 craft beers on tap and 850 different bottles. The owner's goal is to have 1,000 different beers available.
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Chuck’s Hop Shop is a mecca for beer geeks. If you plan to visit, you’re going to need a little help, a little explainer.
The shop is officially called Chuck’s 85th St. Market, though beer geeks don’t call it that. It’s a convenience store in Greenwood, with jars of ChapSticks, stacks of Marlboros and a cooler with Rock Star energy drink. Keep walking to the back, voilà — 850 different beer bottles and counting and 23 craft beers on tap, including lots of IPAs.
The locals hang in the back after work, beer fanatics too, throwing down a pint or three. It’s a mish mash of beer cooler meets Southern general store, with folks grabbing one of the chairs to cozy up to the tables to shoot the breeze.
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Store owner Chuck Shin opened this shop three years ago this month. “It was a convenience store with a great beer selection,” about 300 beers then, he said. “Now we’re a beer store with convenience built into it.”
Hence, he has adopted Chuck’s Hop Shop as the moniker and will make it the store’s official name soon. He will add seven more tap handles by the end of March.
His goal: total domination. Shin plans to stock more than 1,000 different bottles by December to “become the largest beer store in Seattle.”
The store is light on food, though. A serviceable bratwurst ($3.50) marinated in IPA is your best hot food option. Scour the aisles if you want more — the pistachios on aisle two, the Tim’s Chips near the counter. (I prefer the bags of Uncle Bud’s Cajun deep-fried peanuts that you eat with the shells on.)
That beer tap list can hang with the best pubs in the ‘hood. The usual favorites are here, some nice varieties too, including a barley wine from 21st Amendment Brewery and a bourbon barrel-aged beer from Black Diamond Brewing, with hints of molasses and dry fruit. And for the nonbeer drinker you cajoled or finagled to tag along, there’s Ace Berry Cider, jammy and fruity, that goes down easy, like a spiked punch.
Chuck’s Hop Shop, 656 N.W. 85th St., sells beers on draft for $4-$8 a pint (206-297-6212 or chucks85th.com).
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @tanvinhseattle.