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Pike Brewing – Seattle, WA

January 12, 2010

On Saturday we made a trip to downtown Seattle to do a little retail therapy.  After working up a nice hunger and quite a thirst we went to Pike Brewery to refuel; a must stop for any beer lover when in Seattle.

We had a bit of luck on this visit.  Charles Finkel, the owner and founder, made a stop at our table to drop off a flower for the table.  Lush C chatted him up, asking where he got the lovely Tulip.  Meanwhile I worked up the courage to introduce myself and give him my GoodBeerTrip card.  He then invited us on a FREE tour of the brewery, where we learned a little bit more about the history of Pike.  After the tour he introduced us to his wife, Rose Ann, who encouraged us to check out some of their upcoming events.

Established in 1989 as the Pike Place Brewery; it was originally located below the Market on Western Ave.  Looking to expand they moved to their current location at 1415 1st Ave in 1996.  With the move came a change of name, to Pike Brewery, and the addition of a Pub and Restaurant.  What a cool location! The brewery literally goes right through the building from the top floor down to the bottom. The Mash Tun is located between the floors above the pub, the Brew Kettle sits between the pub floor, and the Fermenters and Bright Tanks sit on the floor  below.  Here is a schematic, but you really just have to see it for yourself.  Other than getting the Beer to the serving tanks behind the bar it is a gravity flow system with out pumps to get the wort (beer) from one stage to another.  With a steam plant right across the street, they utilize steam to heat the kettle, the only brewery that does so in the US. (per Charles)  We also got glimpse of their Belgianfest beer (a Trippel with Cherries) aging in its oak barrels.

As you come down the stairs to the pub, you are immediately greeted by the host station.  Straight ahead lays an overflow bar, for those busy times.  Off to the right is the U-shaped oak bar with the stainless serving vessels behind it.  The bar fills up quickly, so you may have to venture off to the Seattle Microbrew Museum, with its wall of Beer History, to find a seat (to the left if you are looking at the bar) or ask the hostess for a table in the dining area.  No matter where you sit you will see their great collection of beer memorabilia.

The menu is Northwest pub fare with a focus on seasonal, local, and sustainable ingredients. It is full of recommendations for which Pike Beer will go best with the dish.  We find the food to be good, but it is a little spendy.  On this visit I had their Ruben  and the  recommended IPA pairing. I was not disappointed.

We also joined the Pike  Pub Club.  We are now are on a quest to see how soon we can enjoy all 37  beer the Pike serves. We both knocked off our first two. I’ll be be either updating this post as we work down their beer list, or creating new posts. Stay tuned…

Beer Sampler

IPA–  Clear golden, thin white head,  and peppery floral aroma. Light bodied and carbonated with a hint of malt. Mostly  I noticed the tingle of the hops and a strong floral hop finish.

Kilt Lifter (Scotch) – Ruby in color, thin white head, and a sweet smoky aroma. Very well balanced, medium bodied, that has a sweet start followed by a crisp finish that diffuses the heaviness.  A hint of smoky peat is there, but it is not to smoky.  Lush C really enjoyed it.

Pale Ale – Amber in color, full bodied, well balanced malt and hop flavor. At 5% ABV this is a good session beer,

Tandem (Double Ale) – Dark brown, cream head, and a sweet and spicy aroma. The flavor is complex, sweet upfront and then finishes with a bready Belgian yeast and over tones of coriander. This is Lush C’s favorite pike beer, “Nice smoky sweet, from my head down to my feet, smoke me, smoke me…” (great classic rock medley)

FTC Disclaimer: is not affiliated with the Pike Brewery.  All food, beverages, and merchandise was purchased by  We did receive a free tour.

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