A red neon sign led me into meritorious PIKE PUB & BREWERY pre-lunchtime, December ’09. Located inside the Puget Sound-sited Pike Place Market on the ground floor below 1st Avenue and within close proximity to the famed fish market, this large open space had a sportsbar atmosphere.
U-shaped bar, polished wood furnishings, black-and-white tiled dining section, and silvery brass brew tanks rising above open-air midsection to second story welcomed patrons. A highly recommended beer museum left of the bar in a separate room gave a sense of brewing history with pictures, diagrams, and writings.
I met a playful Norwegian couple who had facial caricatures drawn to describe the feeling of each Seattle-based beer tried during vacation. I joined in with my own amateurish doodlings while tasting several selections I’d never bought bottled. Mild orange-grapefruit-spiced peppery-hopped Pike Naughty Nellie Golden Ale and white-peppered banana-bruised Pike Weisse merely sufficed.
Better were funky yeast-addled banana-clove-centered black-peppered alcohol-burnt Pike Monk’s Uncle Belgian Tripel, dry banana-fig-date-soured pecan-candied grassy-hopped Pike Tandem Double Ale, and creamy chocolate-fronted black cherry-pureed hop-roasted espresso-finishing dry-body Pike XXXXX Stout. Cask-conditioned Pike Pale Ale matched sugared fig-date frontage to lemon seed run-up and bark-dried rye nuttiness. Lacking wintry wanderlust, Pike Auld Acquaintance Holiday Ale placed crystal malts atop coriander-allspice in a rather nebulous non-seasonal manner.
Anyone visiting Seattle’s downtown must make time for this gloriously ambitious watering hole.