It had been a long flight into Seattle, and
I was ready for some rest and relaxation. My first stop (of course): a
brewpub. But which one? Seattle has so many, after all, and they all have
worthy reputations for great food and beer. I puzzled and puzzled over the
dilemma, and in the end, decided to hit The Pike Pub and Brewery
And I think I made a great decision. After all, it would be very difficult indeed for any beer enthusiast not to find something he or she didn’t like at Pike. In addition to their own beers, Pike offers a selection of favorites from the Merchant du Vin collection of fine imported brews. You might know these better as Ayinger, Samuel Smith’s, and Lindeman’s.
Pike also offers their own brews, which you may have seen in bottled form, too. And of course, the pub is famous for great food and fun. I hear the place can get packed at times, and that occasionally on Tuesdays cask or other special beers are offered for $1.50 a draft. The brewer often attends. If you live in the area, those nights should not be missed.
Pike is located directly off of First Avenue downtown, a stone’s throw from the famous Pike Place Market. As you enter, you go through a small collection of shops to get to the brewpub proper. Once inside, though, it’s all pub from there.
The place oozes beery atmosphere, from the display cases proudly brimming with six-packs, beer glasses, and T-Shirts for sale, to the beer signs scattered prominently about to the multi-level brewhouse sitting in the middle of the pub.
There were a lot of signs, as you might expect, for Merchant du Vin beers. I saw plenty for Samuel Smith’s, some for Ayinger, and others for old classics like Lucky 33 and Erlanger. In the back, there’s an interesting mural of monk’s making beer.
Pike has a game room complete with pool tables and video machines, and a cigar smoking section. There are big comfy chairs where you can park yourself and enjoy a game with friends or just read a book while enjoying a brew.
Surprisingly, the bar is rather small, but there is a mini-bar where you can walk up and order a draft.
Of course, I was here mostly for the beer. I was a bit disappointed that there were no “special” beers from Samuel Smith or Ayinger that might not be available elsewhere, but this was not the case. Still, there were more than enough brews from these breweries to placate me.
One of the beers that I enjoyed here was:
Naughty Nellie Ale
The lightest of the lot. Every brewpub usually offers something on the lighter side to mollify the non-craft beer drinker, but this offering still has plenty of character. Bursting with toasty fresh malt flavor. A light touch of fruit. Balanced hoppiness. Drinkable at 4.7% alcohol by volume.
Pike provides the following information of this beer on their website:
MALT VARIETIES: Organic
Pale, Munich, Carastan Aromatic
HOP VARIETIES: Centennial, Cascade
IBU (BITTER UNIT): 24
YEAST: English ale
FLAVOR PROFILE: Crisp & refreshing with mild fruity esters & soft malt character.
HISTORY: Named for Nellie Curtis, madam of the LaSalle Hotel, where Pike was founded.
Pike offers traditional pub fare like burgers, nachos, and wings. Of course, they’ll usually add a touch of flare (the wings, for example, are served with Danish Blue Cheese). Most items will run you about $9 to $10, entrees go from about $12 to $17.
Halibut and Chips ($11.95) is made with fresh Alaskan halibut. Portobello Wellington ($11.95) gives the Wellington batter treatment to a huge stuffed Portobello cap. Spicy Stuffed King Salmon ($13.95) looked interesting, stuffed with shrimp and crabmeat, topped with spicy sweet sauce and served with spinach.
Whatever you do, don’t miss the Dungeness Crab Chowder ($4.95 cup, $6.95 bowl). I got the bowl, and trust me, you’ll want the larger portion. It’s smooth and creamy, loaded with fresh crabmeat, peppers, potatoes, and celery. It’s made with a bit of Pike Pale Ale and served with fresh rolls and butter. A sheer delight match with a pint of Pike Pale Ale, and a meal in itself.
I stopped by on a Monday afternoon, so the place wasn’t exceptionally busy. But my server was great, she was happy to chat about the beer and Seattle in general. I was very pleased with my service, and my glass was never empty.
Pike is a no-brainer. If you’re in the area, it really is worth a stop here. And if you aren’t in the area, it’s worth the trip from wherever you’re coming.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.