It’s easy to fall into a rut of a routine. Dinner at your usual place, your favorite entree, off to an evening movie and then back home. The date night cycle. Thankfully, Seattle Magazine is here to save you from the same old same old with their Best Beers in Seattle roundup. Now you have an excuse to try a new bar, request a new beverage, and be your very own food critic. Or, go hunt some of these down in the 6-pack variety for a lovely autumn beer-tasting afternoon at home. What a fabulous excuse to support local.

Washington brewers produce a wide variety of delicious beers that span virtually all beer styles. Our favorite picks are from the styles that are most common around here and represent a range of beers—light, heavy, low alcohol, high alcohol, etc. For your drinking pleasure, we provide two or three suggested beers: one that is common, one that is less common, and one that is an exceptional representation of the style.

Ales

PALE ALE
Based on a traditional English style, a style of ale that has been commonly brewed in Britain for more than 100 years, pale ale describes a broad spectrum of beers that can be sweet or dry, bitter or floral, or any combination of those characteristics. Pale ales range from 5.0 to 6.0 percent alcohol content and are usually dark gold or copper colored.

Expect to find: Manny’s Pale Ale, Georgetown Brewing
Crisp, clean and smooth, with a hint of citrus and a snappy hop finish

Take it up a notch: Dick’s Pale Ale, Dick’s Brewing
A mild, lightly hopped ale with a touch of residual sweetness

Impress your bartender: Universale Pale Ale, Fremont Brewing
A hop-centered pale ale with herbal qualities and a dry, drinkable finish

IPA
According to legend, brewers in late-18th-century England created a beer specifically to endure the long and tumultuous voyage to India, increasing the alcohol and hop content to help preserve the beer. Modern IPA is strong (6.5 to 7.5 percent alcohol content) and very aggressively hopped, but otherwise has nothing to do with the legend. There is wide variation within this very popular beer style.

Expect to find: Boundary Bay IPA, Boundary Bay Brewing
Balanced floral aromas and citrus overtones

Take it up a notch: Breakaway IPA, American Brewing
A malty IPA with plenty of dry hopped flavor to balance the sweetness

Impress your bartender: Trickster IPA, Black Raven Brewing
A light fruit, citrus and piney hop aroma with a full hop flavor

PORTER
Don’t be afraid of the dark. Porter is a dark, rich and flavorful style of ale that is generally not as strong as it looks. The alcohol content is typically between 5.5 and 6 percent, putting it on par with many beers sporting a much lighter appearance. The use of darker grains, such as roasted barley and chocolate malt, lend porter its intimidating hue.

Expect to find: Profanity Hill Porter, Schooner Exact Brewing
Flavors of chocolate and walnuts, along with subtle fruity notes and a hint of cherry

Take it up a notch: Pacemaker Porter, Flyers Brewing
A robust porter with notes of roasted barley, coffee and bittersweet chocolate

Impress your bartender: Coal Creek Porter, Big Time Brewing
A light, malty porter with a slight sweetness and a higher alcohol content (6
percent)

Check out the rest of Ales (Hefeweizen, Stout, Amber Ale, and Winter Beer), Lagers, and Belgians over at the full article, and mix things up!

This is our weekly guest post from our friends at Seattle Magazine, which keeps readers on the pulse of restaurants, personalities, arts, entertainment and culture that reflect the tapestry of our dynamic landscape. We’ve teamed up for an exciting partnership to bring you a weekly dose of fantastic Date Night ideas throughout greater Seattle.