Winter Warmer Recognizes the Father of American Homebrewing 

The silver lining of Prohibition is that it taught people to brew –though illegally. When Jimmy Carter signed the law in 1978 making homebrewing legal, the world of beer changed forever. That was the time that Charlie Papazian started the American Homebrewer’s Association, and later, The Brewer’s Association. At the same time Charles Finkel founded Merchant du Vin, America’s first craft beer importer. The two became acquainted and remain friends more than 35 years later, even reviewing beers side-by-side every month for All About Beer magazine.

In 1989, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel opened Pike Brewing in the same space as Liberty MaltCompany, one of the oldest homebrewing shops in America. For several years Liberty Malt presented a homebrewing seminar called Home Brew U. Along with other beer luminaries, like Michael Jackson and Dr. Lewis from U.C. Davis, Charlie Papazian was one of the presenters. It was during those years that Charlie called Liberty Malt, “Perhaps the best home brew shop on America” and later cited Finkel as one of the pioneers of craft beer marketing in the introduction to his best-selling book, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing.

Pike Auld Acquaintance, Pike’s winter warmer, has been brewed since 1990. Originally the label featured Santa, but in 2014 actual auld acquaintances of Charles and Rose Ann’s, illustrated by Charles, became the centerpiece of the iconic label. Past acquaintances have included Jack Joyce of Rogue Brewery and British beer writer Michael Jackson.

In Charles’ view, Charlie Papazian is the most influential individual in the world of home brewing and craft beer in the world! It is for this and many more reasons that we dedicate the 2016 Pike Auld Acquaintance to our friend, Charlie. The 2016 Pike Auld Acquaintance is a dark, toasty brown, high gravity ale infused with spices and aromatic notes of orange. Brewed with three different Yakima Valley hops, Curacao and sweet orange peel, coriander, cassia bark and nutmeg, it drinks as a rich and gutsy, yet well-balanced, winter warmer. Pike Auld Acquaintance is available now on draft and in 22 oz. dinner bottles.

We hope you’ll raise a glass of Pike Auld Acquaintance with those that inspire you this winter, as we raise a glass to Charlie Papazian.


Way back in 1989, a tiny brewery opened just below Seattle’s Pike Place Market. As Washington State’s 5th craft brewer in the new wave of microbreweries, Pike Place Brewery, as Pike Brewing Company was then known, launched with a classic: Pike Place Ale. Since its very first batch, Pike Place Ale was brewed with only the highest quality malts available. Back in 1989 that meant importing the rarely used Maris Otter pale malt. Today we’re reintroducing an updated Pike Place Ale and continue this tradition by brewing it with the delicious local and farmer direct Skagit Valley Alba malt.

The perfect beer to pair with food, Pike Place Ale is well balanced with citrusy Yakima Valley hops and rich Skagit Valley malt. It pours a deep golden and is light on your palate finishing dry with clean malt flavors and a whisper of hops. This farm-to-tap beer helps protect local farmlands and a portion of the proceeds benefit the Pike Place Market Foundation.

Pike Place Ale’s label invokes the original design and draws inspiration from Pike Place Market’s iconic imagery. The stenciling is hand drawn by Pike Brewing Company’s Founder and Owner, Charles Finkel, who is a world famous label designer and responsible for all of Pike’s designs. The label compels you to ‘Meet the Brewer’ as the Market invites you to ‘Meet the Producer’. Pike Place Ale also wears Pike Brewing’s ‘Drink Local’ stamp, which is placed on beers where the majority of the ingredients are from local, Washington State farms.


ABV 5%

IBU 32

°Lov 6

OG 1.052



Pike Place is a registered trademark owned by the Pike Place Market PDA and is used under license.


Over 800 people gathered on the evening of Friday January, 15 to pay tribute to 176 Good Food Award Winners of 2016. By the majestic Golden Gate Bridge on the San Francisco Bay numerous farmers, chefs, journalists, and activists united to celebrate the exceptional food crafters including luminaries Alice Waters, Nell Newman and Slow Food Founder, Carlo Petrini. Pike Brewing Company Founders and Owners, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, were among the crowd and cheered when they heard Pike Wood-Aged Kilt Lifter announced as one of just 14 beers to win a 2016 Good Food Award.

According to the Good Food Awards, breweries making Good Beer are pioneers of local manufacturing, using traditional and creative brewing and fermenting methods to redefine consumer expectations for craftsmanship with their beers. These brewers aim to reshape supply chains and promote responsibility by sourcing ingredients locally and grown without synthetic inputs when possible, practicing resource conservation and supporting local communities. Pike’s brewers try to uphold these values every day and we are humbled to be nationally recognized for these efforts.

Pike Wood Aged Pike Kilt Lifter is a limited release beer and the 2015 version was aged in Westland Whiskey barrels. Each bottle of Wood Aged Kilt Lifter was hand dipped in wax, as many enthusiasts have been known to age these bottles in their beer cellars. Over 1,930 entries were submitted for the Good Food Awards and Pike Brewing Company applauds all the finalists and winners.



Angelo Pellegrini was a champion for local and slow food long before those terms were common. Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl and Mario Batali all note Angelo, or Pelle as he is fondly called, as the person who inspired their focus on sustainable and good food. The Pellegrini Foundation carries on Angelo’s legacy by recognizing people who espouse his values of using fresh, local ingredients and gathering people at the table for meals that are both healthful and delicious. This year Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, Pike Brewing Company’s Founders and Owners, are being recognized for their decades long commitment to wine and beer, and pairing these with flavorful and locally sourced foods. The Finkels will be honored at the annual Pellegrini Foundation Award dinner on Saturday, October 24 at 7 PM at the Swedish Club in Seattle.

“Charles and Rose Anne are iconic, national treasures,” notes Roy Breiman, Vice President of Pellegrini Foundation and Corporate Culinary Director of Cedarbrook Lodge. “Their commitment to their craft is unsurpassed, inspired and always delivered with a servant’s heart. They truly embody the Spirit of Angelo Pellegrini whereas sharing with others what Angelo called “The Good Life” is a natural extension of their authentic spirits. We are so blessed to have these wonderful people within our region making our community far richer because of their contributions to others.”


Charles and Rose Ann have a long history in Washington’s wine, beer & food community.

Both Charles and Rose Ann Finkel have deep roots in culinary and beverage communities. Charles was one of the first to introduce Americans to fine wines beginning back in the 1960’s. Rose Ann was born to East Coast parents in New Orleans, where she learned the pleasures of the table. To this day she still makes her Aunt Elaine’s spicy gumbo. Charles and Rose Ann’s first company, Bon-Vin was founded in 1969, and was the first to market Washington State vinifera table wines nationally under the Ste. Michelle brand. In doing so, they helped launch Washington State’s wine industry. In 1978, they founded Merchant du Vin Corporation, the pioneer U.S. craft beer importer. They were the first to import Belgian beers to America and also specialized in craft beers from England, Scotland and Germany. Included in their portfolio was beer from family-owned American breweries including D.G. Yuengling of Pottsville, PA, America’s oldest brewer. They specialized in classic brewing styles, and in partnership with multi-generational family owned breweries in Europe, re-introduced styles that were no longer being brewed like oatmeal stout, porter and peach lambic. Together the Finkels created several iconic brands for the breweries they represented, and Charles designed labels for a wide variety of these beers. Because they were receiving accolades for helping develop recipes, styles, labels. P.R. and other marketing for these breweries, as a part of Merchant du Vin, they decided to open a small brewery in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. There consumers could “meet the brewer” in The LaSalle Hotel building, once one of Seattle’s most infamous brothels. As lovers of local food they selected the Pike Place Market as the location for Pike Brewing Company because it is our country’s oldest landmarks dedicated to food.

In 1996 they moved the burgeoning brewery to its current location and opened The Pike Pub. Under their tutelage The Pike Pub has become a bastion of local producers, with a focus on pairing Pike Brewing’s handcrafted beers with seasonable, up-scale pub fare. Reading through its menu is like reading a catalog of local producers, including Penn Cove Shellfish, Grand Central Bakery, Caffé Vita Coffee, and Theo Chocolates among many, many others.

“Angelo’s life and books alongside his teaching define quite intensely the care and love of planting, of cooking, of eating and of drinking, and above all Sharing,” said Armandino Batali, a previous Pellegrini award winner and founder of Salumi. “Charles and Rose Ann are everywhere sharing these values. Charles with his profound impetus in the world’s beer scene. Through their care and love for each other, they give so much of their time and sincere care to every calling for help, the poor, to promote education, sharing their love of others and support to others concerns; all with so great smiles and joy; giving and teaching with full hearts.”


Announcement by Charles and Rose Ann Finkel and Pike Brewing Company on expanding ownership to key employees and expanding the brewery.

A  letter from Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, Founders and Owners of The Pike Brewing Company:

Today, on the eve of our 26th anniversary, we’re excited to announce that we’re ensuring that Pike Brewing remains an independent and local company by expanding ownership to three key employees plus expanding our footprint right here in Seattle.

We are proud to announce that we’ve expanded ownership of The Pike Brewing Company to include three key and long term employees. Each individual has helped us build the company. They are Drew Gillespie, Vice President Operations; Patti Baker, Vice President Controller; and Gary Marx, Executive Chef.  Collectively they have been at Pike for 45 years and we have long considered them as family in this family owned brewery. Each one has taken on key projects and responsibilities, showing the same commitment to Pike as we do. By formalizing them as owners alongside us we are ensuring that Pike Brewing remains independent and continues to grow organically.

Speaking of organic growth, we are also happy to announce that we are expanding our footprint and brewing capacity by moving up. We will occupy an additional 5,500 square feet space directly above The Pike Pub on the atrium level with direct access from First Avenue and The Pike Place Market Atrium. The entire space will be remodeled in the Pike style with antique breweriana, an extension of Pike’s Micro Brewery Museum.

If we could update Germany’s Reinheitsgebot, beer purity law, for these times we’d add independence as a fifth ingredient, right alongside malt, water, hops and yeast.  At Pike Brewing, our management team decides what to brew based on quality, taste and sustainability, not dictated from outside sources! When we founded the brewery in 1989 we dared to dream that our creativity and investment would establish a brewing company that would endure in perpetuity. Our role models were the storied European breweries that we represented as sole U.S. agents. Now, 26 years later, that dream has taken another step towards becoming a reality.

When we began our craft beer journey in 1978, the whole of America had only two craft breweries. Currently there are almost 4,000!   No matter the landscape, in almost 40 years in beer, we have never been so excited about our company’s momentum and growth potential. We love our work at Pike Brewing, our new partners: Drew, Patti and Gary; and our team of dedicated brewers, bottlers, warehouse people, sales and marketing professionals, cooks, managers, servers and front-of-the-house staff! We are ecstatic about spending the remainder of our careers as a part of this team.


Charles and Rose Ann Finkel

More About Pike Brewing Company’s Ownership and Building Expansion

The Pike Brewing Company was founded in 1989 by craft beer and wine pioneers, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel. Starting with a four barrel copper gravity flow brew house, demand exceeded supply from the very beginning and the brewery moved to its current home in 1996, adding the The Pike Pub. In 1997 their larger beer importing company, including the burgeoning brewery, was sold and the Finkels took a sabbatical. Missing their little baby, Charles and Rose Ann re-acquired Pike Brewing in 2006.

Now, 26 years after its founding, Pike Brewing continues to handcraft its beers under the tutelage of Charles and Rose Ann. As hundreds of new brewers have entered the scene and the largest brewers are either offering their own “crafty beers” or buying up independent brewers, Pike Brewing Company is formalizing its commitment to stay independent and local by expanding ownership to include three key employees.

In addition to the Finkel Family, the new owners are Drew Gillespie, Vice President Operations; Patti Baker, Vice President Controller; and Gary Marx, Executive Chef.  Drew, who has deep roots in Washington’s Okanagan valley, began as a line-cook in The Pike Pub’s kitchen in 1998 and has held more positions than anyone else at Pike. These include bartender, general manager and currently vice president operations.  Patti, born in Oak Park, IL and raised in Stanwood, WA was hired in 2006 as a bookkeeper and office manager. It soon became clear that she had the organizational and financial skills to lead all of Pike Brewing’s finances and human resources. She was promoted to Vice President Controller in January 2015. Chef Gary Marx, from Auburn, WA has been at the helm of The Pike Pub’s kitchen since shortly after it opened in 1996. He has built a culture in Pike’s kitchen that seeks out local and sustainable ingredients for its menu. Under his leadership The Pike Pub has been consistently recognized as a prime dining spot for locals and visitors alike.

Full bios and photos of Pike Brewing Company’s owners can be found here.

Moving up, Pike Brewing will occupy an additional 5,500 square feet space directly above The Pike Pub with a dedicated entrance on First Avenue and direct access from The Pike Place Market. Construction on the expanded space will begin in late 2015 with an estimated completion in the spring of 2016. Current plans for the space include six additional 60 barrel fermenters, a new bright tank and an exciting restaurant concept. This expansion will allow the brewery to meet the primary goal of supplying an ever-increasing demand from customers in the Pacific Northwest at the same time allowing Pike’s talented brewers to introduce more new beers of different styles.