Being a new Seattlite (Seattlan? Seattlanite? San Diagan?) I decided to go to The Pike Brewing Company as I figured any brewpub named after Pike's Place must be worth its weight in...... Salmon.
The first thing I really enjoyed about The Pike was the fact that it had to be in the 'classiest' of neighborhoods in Seattle. The neon sign pointing the way into the brewery was right in line with the multiple Gentleman's clubs sitting within ogling distance of the Pub. Once in the pub all fears of being recruited to work the corner that night swiftly floated away as the Pike itself felt like a good ole' American brewpub.
With two bars and posters and wall hangings paying homage to American brewing history from Shlitz to Budweiser it seemed like the Pike was a place that respected the past as well as Beer, a good start in my book.
After sitting down and having a few tasty pints, I quickly forgot that I was simply a block away from Pike's Place Market and a one eyed dancer named Gezabelle. The Pike is a very friendly pub and it felt more like a local hangout in the midwest than a brewery in downtown Seattle. It seemed everyone was loving the Pike from the two out of towner conventioneers next to me raving about the Hefeweizen to the mother and daughter catching up over a pint and a salad. I was quickly brought back to Seattle though, as I noticed the crazy man with a missing front tooth and sporting an outfit of 'H.O.B.O.' brand denim chatting up the bartender (while drinking their very good IPA, so maybe he was not as crazy as he looked) which all in all just added to the character of this great downtown pub.
The Beer was quite good and while they didn't have many offerings, 6-8 depending on the season, two Beers out-shined the rest and really made an impression.
The first was the Pike Naughty Nellie, an organic golden ale. As far as organic Beers go this one is at the top of my list, with none of the grassy or earthy flavors that I usually associate with organic beer (or dirty hippies for that matter). This Beer was a great suprise as it is labeled as a light drinking golden ale but really tastes like an easy drinking American Pale Ale. If I had to choose one Beer at Pike to drink for the rest of my life, Nellie would be my choice.
The second outstanding offering from the Pike was Pike Tandem, a double ale that can only be described as an A-Rod Brown. The Beer was Pike's juiced up MVP, with deep molasses notes and a sweet candy sugar taste that was well balanced by bittering hops and coriander. While it was heavy enough to make you get dizzy after a few yet it was still light enough to make you order a second, which made this Beer a dangerous one. If you are a fan of Browns this is a must try in my book.
Ken Griffey Jr.-
Pike Naughty Nellie, after having a couple you will eventually have to return for some more.
An angry Leprechaun-
Pike XXXXX, an Extra Stout that will make anyone with a hint of Irish decent wear Green on St. Patrick's day.
Your Fancy Aunt Nancy-
Pike Tandem, anyone with such sophisticated tastes should drink well, and this Brown is as good as they come.
Gezabelle the one eyed stripper-
Pike Kilt Lifter, no explanation needed.
Overall the Pike was a good choice and makes some fine Beer. If you are a Beer lover and visiting from out of town or a local who loves to check out Pike's Place on a sunny day I would highly recommend stopping by and enjoying a good pint at the Pike. Just make sure you double check that you are walking into the place with the right neon lit sign.