The annual event known as Piketoberfest is a sure sign that fall has arrived! The sold out event held at Pike Brewery down in Pike Place Market welcomed 250 people to celebrate the season with samples of beer, wine, mead, distilled spirits and a variety of food, including pretzels in many forms. The vendors were an intriguing mix spread out through two levels of brewery.
In the Museum room I immediately walked over to Old Stove Brewing, a new brewery in Pike Place Market just 5 months old. Not surprisingly, the reps spoke fondly of Charles and Rose Ann Finkle, owners of Pike Brewery, and how welcoming they have been to the Pike Place Market community. Old Stove Brewing may have opened its doors mere months ago but the staff has years of experience in the local craft beer movement. It showed as I sampled one of their two offerings. The beer was balanced, crisp and refreshing.
The food offerings were never far from a beverages. I liked the ratio of beverages to food. Pike Brewing really nailed that. To the left of Old Stove Brewing were duck confit sliders from The Kitchen by Delicatus and decadent German Chocolate Cheesecake bites from The Confectional. Just a few steps to the right were steamed weiners by Bavarian Meats and warm pretzels from Brave Horse Tavern.
Next to the warm pretzels was just the thing I needed after enjoying the cheesecake bite – fruit liqueurs from Sidetrack Distillery. The Black Currant liqueur was a perfect followup. The dark fragrant liquid was jam packed with flavor and very well balanced with the neutral brandy; an incredible cordial.
Downstairs in the basement of brewery – one of my favorite parts of Pike Brewery – was just as tasty as upstairs. Many more beverage and food vendors were serving the crowd with smiles and delicious samples. On the makeshift stage was a two-person band playing delightful Oktoberfest music. The garage doors were open, letting in the crisp fall air and it kept the space from feeling hot or crowded.
As always, for me, it is about finding those delightful pairings of food and beverage. Rating high on the scale of delight was Stoup Brewing’s Dunkelweizen with Chukar Cherries Dried Tart Cherries. I know, it does not sound like it would work but it does. So much so that I began telling anyone standing near to give it a try. The Dunkelweizen was delicious on its own but with the tart cherries, the coffee and chocolate notes in the beer were front and center.
A vegetarian friend of mine enjoys opportunities such as this to sample the different beverages that Washington has to offer, be it beer, cider, spirits or wine. It is always great when she can carve out time to tag along. When she does, it is my concern that food options for her will be slim or none. Hats off to Pike Brewery for including Field Roast. Between the Smoked Apple Sage sausage, the various pretzels and a few other tasty non-meat offerings, my friend would have been quite content moving from Washington beer to snack and back again to another Washington beer or Washington spirit.
PIKETOBERFEST is not just about sampling intriguing beverages and tasty morsels and the occasional polka step, it is a fundraiser for Pike Place Market Foundation to help pay for the medical services, low income housing, child care and other services provided to low income people in the Pike Place community. If only the annual flu shot was so tasty.
Happy Fall, Y’All!