Seattle, WA – Word has gotten out via an email from Drew Cluley, that he will stepping down as head brewer at Pikes in Downtown. As one person put it, “things always happen in threes”. In this case this is now the fourth brewer to move on form their post a well known brewery in the past month. The others in case you haven’t heard were Janelle Pritchard (Trade Route), Chris Miller (Snipes Mountain), Bill Jenkins (Big Time), and now Drew Cluley.
Drew Cluley has announced that he is leaving the Head Brewer and Production Manager Position at Pike Brewing Company effective April 18, 2011 to take the Head Brewer position at Big Time Brewery. This move will allow him to return to his craft brewing roots and provide him with the opportunity to brew unique beers on a smaller scale. –source, Pike Brewing
What does this mean for Pike? Currently no one is saying. Our personal guess is that current Assistant brewer Dean Mochizuki would fill the void. But as we learned in the past sometimes it’s not about the person you think is best, but instead what the owner thinks.
Regardless of Pike’s future, Drew is both introspective and looking forward to his post as head brewer at one of the oldest Brewpubs in Seattle.
It is with a bit of sadness that I made the decision to leave the Pike Brewing Co after nearly 10 years of employment, “ Drew said. “I wish my former co-workers and the whole Pike family great success. I am extremely excited however, to return to The Big Time and explore craft brewing on a smaller scale. The Big Time has only had four head brewers in its twenty two year history, and I am elated to have been chosen as the fifth brewer to head up production at this iconic university district brewpub. –source Drew Cluley on his departure from Pike Brewing
What this story even more interesting is the relationship that both Pike and Big Time share since the early 90’s. At one point brewers Kevin Forhan (Elysian & The Ram “Northgate), Fal Allen (Anderson Valley), Skip Madsen (American Brewing, Boundary Bay) and even Janelle Pritchard visited the University Way brewery.
For Drew the relationship to Big Time goes much deeper since Bill (Jenkins) is his brother-in-law (married to Drew's Sister Cheryl Cluley). Multiply this with the fact that Drew met his wife Debbie Olsen there and you have the makings of a cyclical relationship with one of the oldest brewpubs in Seattle.
Congratulations to Drew and a special thanks for keeping in the family, matrimonially speaking.
About the photo’s author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.
About the photo’s author
+Russ is a photo blogger and an avid beer fan who got immersed in beer and the Seattle beer culture through homebrewing and the thirsty pursuit of new craft ales to sample.
*not to be confused with Northwest Brewing News