The Finkels talked of creating their own brewery for years. Working with the world's greatest brewers was inspiring. Wanting a location in the famous Pike Place Farmers Market, they convinced John Farias, the owner of Liberty Malt Supply Company, to sell them the business with the idea of creating a microbrewery as a way to show home brewers how beer is brewed. Liberty, founded in 1921, was originally upstairs in the main section of the market, but had moved to the LaSalle Hotel Building after the space had been vacated by a small winery.
StarThe Finkels opened The Pike Place Brewery in the Pike Place Public Market. Well, not exactly "in" the market, but “under" the market in the La Salle Hotel at 1432 Western Avenue. It was one of the country’s smallest breweries with the tallest smoke stack. A four barrel copper kettle was custom made by Seattle's Alaska Copper and Bass Company and though tiny, the brewery was state of the art. From the beginning the goal was to brew world class ale to accompany great food. The Finkels wanted the beers of Pike to be the equal or better, and in better condition than any that they represented from Europe. Charles and Rose Ann favored beers that went well with food, especially the classic British brewing styles like Ales, Porters, Stouts, Scotch Ales and Barley Wines. There was great anticipation among the Seattle brewing community as a little red and white tile brewery in the lobby of a former bawdy house took shape. Articles appeared in newspapers and posters announcing the brewery opening and inviting friends and beer lovers to participate in the "World's Shortest Non-Motorized Uphill Parade", from the brewery to Cutter’s Bay House at the corner of Pike Place and Western Avenue were distributed to local pubs and retailers. The opening day weather was as good as the beer. Leading the parade was John Farias pushing a keg in a silver two wheeled hand truck. Following were the Finkels, Franz and Angela Inselkammer from Bavaria's Ayinger Brewery, Pike brewer, Jason Parker, a host of TV and newspaper photographers and writers, and almost 100 beer lovers. Joining the group was a llama from The Herb Farm, a walking geoduck from the Seattle Sheraton Hotel, dogs, a cat and an oyster. Everyone ) perhaps not the oyster, which was eaten, and the llama) sensed that they were making history. The premier pint of Pike Pale was tapped by Braü Franz Inselkammer, Braü Von Aying. In the weeks and months that followed, Pike gained a following among the growing rank of beer lovers, became available at some of the finest restaurants, hotels and pubs in Washington and developed a loyal following. In addition to draft, Pike Pale and XXXXX Stout were offered in beautiful swing top bottles which required a deposit. They were so popular that consumers didn't return them and for practical reasons, the brewery switched to 12 and 22oz. bottles. The labels were created by Charles, inspired by views of the entrance to the art deco market. The original logo was cut out of a stencil. He later switched to a computer to do the designs, but always retained the stenciled look. As soon as the brewery opened, the bottles were featured in a full page color photograph in Beer, a Connoisseur’s Guide to the World's Best, Beer by Christopher Finch. The beautiful coffee (beer) table book was published in 1989 by Abbeyville, the country’s finest art book publishers.
Pike Brewing Company
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