Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Craft Beer Crosscut 4.18.19: A Flight of Pike

Ron Swarner


Beer-Flights-Logo-no-wordsOct. 17, 1989, the Pike Place Brewery, as it was then known, officially opened in the old Liberty Malt Supply space under the Pike Place Market on Western Avenue in downtown Seattle. At the time there were only three other craft brewers in Washington state and IPAs were hard to find on tap or in bottle. A lot transpired at the brewery since, including a name change to the Pike Brewing Company, but Charles and Rose Ann still proudly own the brewery and the history of beer museum that doubles as their restaurant and taproom. Tonight,

Peaks and Pints celebrates Pike’s 30th anniversary, inviting in the brewery’s first head brewer, Jason Parker, as well as the Seattle brewery’s current head brewer, Art Dixon. But, we can’t wait until tonight. We’re offering five Pike beers as our daily beer flight: Craft Beer Crosscut 4.18.19: A Flight of Pike.

Craft Beer Crosscut 4.18.19: A Flight of Pike

Pike Kilt Lifter Scotch Style Ale

6.7% ABV, 27 IBU

Pike’s best-selling Pike Kilt Lifter Scotch Style Ale is a ruby-colored, low-bittered malty ale that will transports us to 19th century Scotland, where this style has its roots. There’s a subtle underlying smokiness from the addition of a small amount of peated Scotch whisky malt, which adds complexity. Warm fermentation produces fruity esters and balances the sweet malt character, as well as oaky vanilla and light tobacco. Layers of rich, sweet, powerful earthy malt — like freshly baked bread — makes Kilt Lifter great by itself or with food.

Pike-Monks-Uncle-TripelPike Monk’s Uncle

9% ABV, 34 IBU

Pike Brewing Company’s founders and owners, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, introduced American beer drinkers to Belgian beers in the 1980s through their craft beer importing company, Merchant du Vin. Pike Monk’s Uncle is their only year-round Belgian style beer and continues the tradition of introducing American palates to the joys of Belgian style beers. This Belgian-style tripel pours traditional golden straw color of the style together with a solid lacy head that remains throughout. There is an overall fruity background flavor to this brew, with just a hint of honey and a touch of spice.

Pike-Tripel-Kriek-TacomaPike Tripel Kriek

9.2% ABV

Pike Brewing head brewer Art Dixon second-fermented Pike Monk’s Uncle, the Seattle brewery’s Belgian-style tripel, on tart cherries in Chateau Ste. Michelle chardonnay barrels. Pike Tripel Kriek is a mixed fermentation sour ale featuring two strains of Brettanomyces, one strain of Saccharomyces, and one strain of Lactobacillus, aged for more than six months. Aroma of cherries and sugar are all over this one. Flavors go oak, wine and yeast — all big and tough. Huge flavors.

Pike Bitter Lake IPA

6.5% ABV, 65 IBU

Pike Bitter Lake IPA is named for the Bitter Lake neighborhood in North Seattle. The name also references the beer’s lingering pine finish, reminiscent of the forest that once stood where Bitter Lake is now. Ah, lovely. Ekuanot hops take the leaf with aroma and flavor of citrus, dark berry, and pine. Whole-leaf Centennial, and Cascade hops also take a swim for notes of mandarin orange, lime, strong fruit, and all the pine.

Pike-Entire-TacomaPike Entire

9.9% ABV, 85 IBU

Pike Brewing’s robust stout is aged for six months in Woodinville Whiskey bourbon barrels and then blended with Pike’s XXXXX Stout to create a complex, rich beer — reminiscent of small-batch bourbon with its vanilla and wood overtones. A smoky and slightly sour component initially grips the nose, before opening up to chocolaty malt, cinnamon, dark raisins, and earthy oak once the beer warms.