Although it had the tallest smokestack, The Pike Brewing Company remained one of the country’s smallest breweries. With small details and stories similar to this fact, Pike Brewing boasts a prestigious background. Historically loaded with awards, community members as well as visitors to the area seek the time-honored specialty beers and wines from this well known Seattle brewery.
Founded by Charles Finkel in 1989, the brewery first opened in Pike’s Place Market in a location beneath the La Salle Hotel. Full-bodied pilsners of beer that paired well with piping hot homemade entrees were the beginning of what became a business lifestyle for the Finkel family.
Brew master Finkel has quite a unique history himself for someone so interested in beer. He was born in New York City and then moved with his family to Oklahoma City, then a “dry” state in which alcohol manufacture or sale was prohibited or tightly restricted. Whether these restrictions played a role in his promotion of the beverage, readers can decide for themselves. Later in life, Finkel traveled to Europe and learned about ales and fruit beers, kindling his passion for crafting fine beverages.
Finkel launched Cold Spring Export from one of only two remaining Minnesota breweries as an initial project leading up to the opening of the Pike. Reasons for Finkel’s move to Seattle have yet to be documented, but Northwest beer enthusiasts don’t need a reason – they’re just grateful for the occurrence. The Pike has earned many awards and commendations, including one from Bill Owners, acclaimed beer writer and artist who heralded the Pike’s beers as "the finest in the Northwest.” The British Independent Newspaper featured the Pike in an article written by singer Michael Jackson about food tourism in Seattle. To show gratitude for Jackson’s positive review, the Pike created a specialty beer “Old Companion” to commemorate the singer’s 50th birthday.
Milestones and accolades continued for the company when Pike Brewing won a platinum and two gold medals at the 1997 World Beer Championships. The company also won awards at The North American Beer Awards in 2007, including silver medals for Pike XXXXX Extra Stout and Pike Indian Pale Ale, which was said to be full-bodied with a citrus flavor. It also landed a gold medal for Pike Old Bawdy 2006 in the American Barley Wine category. The popular, fruity wine is available only seasonally and is always in high demand.
Along with its top-notch beverages, the Pike features an array of food choices. The menu offers appetizers, sandwiches, and a variety of entrees from salmon and lamb chops all the way to comforting mac ‘n’ cheese.
- Open daily, 11am to midnight
- Location: 1415 First Avenue, Seattle, WA
- Phone: 206-622-6044
- Website: www.pikebrewing.com