Seattle Mariners pub crawl
we are in town for a convention and will be hitting a Mariners game. i have been in charge of finding some good pubs in walking distance with decent pub food and good beer selection
any help would be appreciated
Between the convention center and Safeco, the Elysian Fields (1st ave S a few blocks north of Safeco - also has an entrance on Occidental Ave S.) brewpub probably has the best beer and food - the food's a bit on the pricey side outside the happy hour $4 mussels and $2 truffle fries, but definitely a cut above the usual pub grub. Worth a stop for their beers, if nothing else. I'm a big fan of their amber and ESB - they have a pretty good Maibock on right now too. This place also has the big advantage of size. It's *huge* which means that even on a Mariners gameday or a Friday night you can get a drink and a seat if you're so inclined. (Forget about Seahawks gamedays, though; it abuts the Qwest Field north parking lot)
Other stops you might consider, depending on the atmosphere you're looking for:
Fado on 1st and Columbia has the best Guinness in town. Food has gone a bit downhill of late. There's another Irish pub on the back side of the same block called the Owl & Thistle, but I've never really dug it.
Just north of Fado on 1st Ave (I initially mis-remembered it as being south of Fado) there's a place called Contour that's a bit funky. It's a dance club at night (very popular with the local Russian community, it seems), but from 4-8 they have a respectable Happy Hour that includes $2 pints of "Driftwood Ale" (actually a renamed Rogue Half-a-Weizen) and cheap appetizers of varying quality. Avoid the $2 burger - it won't make you sick, it just doesn't taste very good. The calimari is ok as are the various meats-on-sticks (kebabs, skewers, whatever they're called.)
The J&M bar on 1st and Washington is an atmospheric kind of place during the day. I've had a decent burger here before. It's not such a great place at night when it turns into a pioneer square meat market. Beer selection is par for the area (which is to say decent).
The Collins Pub (2nd ave btw James & Yesler) has a very good rotating beer selection and decent food. I'd put this second behind Elysian for beer and food.
The place next door to Elysian, Sluggers, is a pretty generic sports bar with an okay cheesesteak that'll be less expensive than anything at Elysian. You can get pitchers of Mac & Jack's African Amber (a local brew that's only available on tap, not bottled or in stores) here at least.
Finally, the Pyramid "beer garden" (aka, temporarily-fenced-in parking lot) next to Safeco is a good place to put away some last-minute hefeweizen. (I think Pyramid's hef is the best.)
Inside Safeco, there's actually some really good beer to be had. Most stands selling beer will have a rotating micro tap or two - and they vary from stand to stand. You'll pay though ($8.25, iirc). Good garlic fries in there, too. The pub on the bottom level by the visitor's bullpen has a killer pork sandwich.
Hope this helps.
(addendum - my favorite bar in the downtown area, the Two Bells, definitely has the best burger in town, good beer, and a great vibe. It is, unfortunately, well north of the convention center, meaning it's something like 2 miles north of Safeco. But it's just a great bar, comfortable like an old pair of shoes.)