Friday, June 29, 2012

The Pike: Seattle, WA

The Pike!
This is one of the very earliest craft breweries to open in the USA, founded in 1989 by Charles Finkel.  Charles has a long history of importing beers and wines into the US and had been "in" the scene for a while before starting the brewpub on the South end of Pike Place Market, very close to where they throw the fish around...

The beers here are fantastic, with a mix of traditional UK beers like Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale and Old Bawdy Barleywine as well as newer hoppy IPA's and pale ales.  Love the Bawdy, one of my favorites!  I did not have a beer that I didn't like.  The place is tight and crowded, withevery inch of the walls and bar area covered in signage and brewerania, I could just wander around here for hours.  There are also lots of cool glasses, books, and other barware for sale.

As a side note, I have been here before and wanted to go back, so I joined a pre-conference "Beer Pairing Dinner" that carted us over by bus.  When we arrived, they directed us to a large back room with some tables set up in the back corner.  Half the room was already full of people who were not in our paid tour group, so there was almost no where to sit and it was very loud and chaotic.  There were three hot and one cold food stations each sitting next to a pitcher of beer.  One was a bowl of warm pretzel bites, one was chicken wings, one was slices of sausage and the last was crab dip.  Most of these were empty or nearly empty by the time we showed up, and didn't get filled until almost 30 minutes later.  We milled around, wondering when they would seat us for the beer pairing dinner since we hadn't had nearly enough appetizers to go around.  After about 45 minutes we realized that this was it.  Keep in mind I love this place and love the beers, but it was hard not to get crabby after paying $45 and expecting something a bit more...filling.  A couple people wandered down to Pike Place to grab some pizza, and small group of us asked to be seated in the regular restaurant and be served a "real" meal there.  The halibut fish and chips was fantastic, but added more cost to my already expensive "dinner."  Oh well, you win some, you lose some.  I still ended up having a good time hanging out with Dave and Wendy from Wisconsin, so it wasn't a complete loss!

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