So why did a bunch of wine bloggers on the WBC or Bust road trip stop for beer at Pike Brewing Company? Most wine makers will tell you that:
It takes a lot of beer to make a great wine!
Wine makers will tell how they keep a keg stocked during crush, how they like a cold brew after being out in the vineyards or how they use beer to refresh their palates after a day of blending trials. But on the consumer side, many feel claim allegiance to only one beverage. Although he says that he graduated from wine to beer, Charles Finkel, owner of Pike Brewing Company encourages people to break out from thinking it is one or the other.
Beer and wine aren’t like political parties. It isn’t like the Democrats vs the Republicans when it comes to beer and wine. Wine and beer can get along. We recently did a pairing dinner with Hedges winery to prove it!
Charles points out his own history of working with Chateau Ste Michelle, before it was a Chateau. In those early days, Charles and Rose Anne owned a boutique wine distributing company, promoting Ste Michelle wines. He helped design the Chateau back in the early 70s when Ste Michelle decided to settle into Woodinville. In 1978 the Finkels started their second import business because of the lack of quality beers here in the US. Only 40 breweries were operating in the US and only one was operating according to Reinheitsgebot the oldest food purity laws at that time. They set about on a mission to educate American beer drinkers about the magical mysteries of the great beer styles and quality available in the world. In 1989, they started a brewery of their own, Pike Brewing Company.
At the WBC or Bust stop, Charles took the opportunity to discuss the shared history of beer and wine through out the ages. He led the wine bloggers through a beer tasting, starting with sound- “Cheers!” and moving through aromatics and taste. Filled with fun facts and lots of beer, Charles explained the different beer styles at Pike Brewing. The wine bloggers were treated to a brewery tour and some cases of Pike Beer magically appeared on their bus!
Two totally different beers seemed to be the favorites of the afternoon. Wine bloggers were really enjoying the Pike Brewery Dry Wit, a belgian white, and the Pike Brewery XXXXX Extra Stout (Bonus points to bloggers who remember what the Xs stand for). I have to admit it is hard to go wrong with the Dry Wit on the rare sunny day in Seattle.
A big thanks to Pike Brewery for being one of the sponsors of WBC or Bust Road trip to introduce out of state bloggers to Washington wine (and beer!)
*A growler of the Pike Brewery Tandem Double Ale made its way into my car for WBC10 where it was enjoyed by wine lovers seeking a wine break. The malty richness was a nice contrast to some of the big tannic reds were were tasting at the conference. Randy Hall of WineBizRadio was a big fan of this malty brew.