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Originally published Friday, September 6, 2013 at 5:30 AM

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Just pizza and beer, but both done well

The Masonry, on Lower Queen Anne, basically does two things: pizza and beer. But it does them both very well.

Seattle Times staff writer

The Masonry

20 Roy St., Seattle206-453-4375 www.themasonryseattle.com

Hours: 11:30 a.m.-midnight daily (snack menu only from 2-5 p.m.)

Etc: Visa and MasterCard accepted; street parking; 21 and older only; wheelchair accessible

Prices: $-$$

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The latest to open in Lower Queen Anne generated buzz before its doors even opened, thanks to the fact that the owner and the staff he hired came from the geeky beer joint Malt & Vine in Redmond

You knew there would be good beer. And it doesn’t disappoint.

The Masonry, which serves Neapolitan-style pizzas, has had to update its beer menu six times in the first three weeks since it has gone through so many kegs already.

The menu: It’s a modest food list, with Margherita, mushroom and sausage pizzas along with three seasonal or special pizzas ($11-$13). Some salads and nibbles such as charcuterie and cheeses are offered. The highlight is its stellar lineup of beers, both on tap and in bottles. The Masonry goes through so many beers that you won’t likely see the same beer a week later. But you can count on a handful of IPAs and some interesting imports on tap. On a recent visit, there was a spicy wheat ale, Sweet Heat, from Burnside Brewing Co. and an eclectic IPA list including a floral number from Epic Brewery in Utah.

What to write home about: The pizza with house-made sausage, fontina and shallots ($12) was the best of its regular pizza lineup, balanced with some pickled peppers on a charred and chewy crust. The Margherita ($11) is garlicky and aromatic, though a bit stingy on the basil. The spicy, smoky meatballs ($7.50) go well with a malty beer.

What to skip: Some topping combinations were out of balance and too salty, like the squash and ricotta pizza, and the cremini mushroom pie.

The setting: The communal table is the central seating area. There are seats along the bar and windows, and tables along one side of the wall. Background music comes from an eclectic vinyl collection, from Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic” to The Smiths’ “The Queen is Dead.” It can get crowded after 7 p.m., though service is fast. The wood-fired pizza takes only 90 seconds, and the staff just pours beers, ciders and wine from its 21 taps. It’s an efficient setup.

Summing up: Three pizzas and a side of meatballs totaled $47, enough to feed at least three. The pizzas aren’t noteworthy, though good enough to fortify you for two to three rounds of drinks. It’s one of the most exciting craft beer lineups to debut in Seattle this summer.

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle

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