Pike Brewing

It had been a long time since I last visited the Pike Pub and Brewery. I’m not even going to try and remember when that was. I don’t think I liked the food all that much, and over time that kind of spread to my view of their beer. Or something like that. Anyway, I walked down to the Market on a surprisingly non-rainy afternoon, and decided to pop in and finally do an “official” visit. The beers turned out to be pretty solid, but after sipping from all six, taking notes, and nibbling on a tasty hummus plate (so maybe I was wrong about the food…), I went back through the samplers, and two of them, after warming up, didn’t taste so good anymore. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do about them: keep them on the Pick list but with a warning that they’re better cold, or drop them down to The Rest because they don’t hold up if you drink them slowly? It was too hard of a decision, as it turned out, so I just put them on both lists. Oh well.

Update: 14 April 2014 – I’ve had several more visits to Pike in the two years (!) since my original post, as well as trying a few of their one-off brews at other establishments, but I somehow missed their recent triple IPA Hopulus Erectus that they made for the Hop Mob Triple IPA Road Show. I must be getting lazy in my old age. Anyway, I’m adding five beer entries below and crossing a brewery off my “To Update” list. Progress!

Pike tasters

Taster tray at the Pike Pub and Brewery — Seattle, WA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Wolf of the Woods – 5.5% – 2013 fresh hop pale ale. Smooth floral and citrus hop flavors with solid caramel, honey, and slight bready maltiness. Nice light grassiness throughout, and a bit of bitterness on the finish.
  • Morning After Pale Ale – 5% – Piney/citrus aroma. Good piney and citrus hop flavors on the start to smooth biscuity malt finish, with a touch of sugary sweetness, too. Light bitterness at the end. Quite drinkable.
  • Harlot’s Harvest 2012 – 8.5% – Pike’s pumpkin beer. I was nervous at first because pumpkin beers aren’t usually my thing, but I was pleasantly surprise by this. Definite pumpkin aroma. Good dark, somewhat caramel-y,  malt start to pumpkin finish. Chewy mouthfeel. It was not a pumpkin pie spice beer, but just a pumpkin beer, and that worked for me.
  • Space Needle Golden Anniversary 2012 IPA – 6.5% – Official beer of the Space Needle’s 50th Anniversary. Nice citrus aroma.  Sweet citrus blast.  Smooth to a slight bitter finish, with good underlying maltiness to tie it together.
  • Olympic Honey Ale – 5.2% – Seasonal.  Sweet (honey/caramel mix), crisp, and light with banana/clove flavor.  Pretty nice balance of elements. Quite drinkable.
  • Naughty Nellie – 4.7% – Golden organic artisan ale. Nice light mix of floral hoppiness and breadiness. Crisp, bubbly. Hoppier than I expected.
  • Pale Ale (cold) – 5% – “Heirloom amber.” Good mix of big bready maltiness and underlying hoppiness. Sort of a cross between a pale ale and an amber.
  • Kilt Lifter – 6.5% – Great sweet maltiness. Very full bodied. Just enough hops to balance sweetness but not stand out. Yum.
  • XXXXX Extra Stout (cold) – 7% – Great coffee/chocolate aroma. Great rich coffee/chocolate/bit of smoky flavors that linger. Extremely drinkable.
  • Monk’s Uncle – 9% – Tripel. Banana/clove and slight alcohol aroma. Banana/clove flavor but balanced nicely with some sweetness, some spiciness, touch of alcohol, slight breadiness. Pretty darn good.
  • Doubble Troubble IPA – 8% – Strong floral aroma. Very crisp with strong floral and citrus hops. Light but strong.
  • Post Alley Porter – seasonal – Similar coffee/chocolate/smoky flavors as XXXXX but has a dry instead of a rich mouthfeel. Yay, I used “mouthfeel!”
    The Rest

  • Space Needle Golden IPA – 6.5% – Pike has since made this a year-round addition to their line-up, and when I had it in January 2014 it was way more bitter than the original Anniversary batch. Too bitter for me. Oh well.
  • Octopus Ink CDA – 8.2% – Definitely inky in color, with floral aroma. Sharp roasty maltiness with some floral and catty hop undertones. Slight alcohol sharpness and lightly bitter finish.
  • IPA – 6.3% – lots of floral hops but nice malty base. Good hoppy bite but too floral for me.
  • Pale Ale (warm) – 5% – For some reason, after this beer warmed up a bit, it just tasted bad. Weird.
  • XXXXX Extra Stout (warm) – 7% – Just like the Pale Ale, when the Stout warmed up a bit, it just didn’t taste all that great.

Since my last post, I found out there are three more breweries in and around Seattle that are churning through the federal licensing process and planning to open this year. Plus, I forgot about three other existing local breweries I have yet to officially visit (or five, if I count Pyramid and Redhook). And then there are a couple I’ve been meaning to re-visit. So, plenty to keep me busy, without even having to bike very far from home.

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