Expansion. It's the simplest tangible goal a business establishes for itself. It can be corporeal, such as when a business ships goods or services to another part of the country or world. Or it can be the quantity of individuals who are familiar with your business. Despite its 25 years in the basement of the Pike Place Market, Pike Brewing Company has done little to physically expand its business. That all changed this July with the opening of their newest expression of beer's interoperability with food and consciousness, Tankard & Tun.
Tankard and Tun marks only the second brewery in the city of Seattle to elevate beer to the status of aperitif, cocktail, and of course dinner table companion. Those reading these words might immediately jump ahead to visions of speakeasies or men in fine attire pouring martinis, and you'd be only partially correct. Rather try to imagine drifting through a doorway on your way to enjoy a Reuben Sandwich or maybe a plate of nachos, but instead of descending a stairwell, you traverse a catwalk suspended near shining brewing tanks. If this sounds interesting then you're invited to enjoy freshly shucked oysters from Washington's coastlines. However, if raw oysters are not your thing, then how about some beef tartare, fish and chips, or maybe a light salad, all while enjoying Octopus Ink in a Teku glass. This, of course, is only half of what makes this expansion special.
With a combined seating capacity of up to 141 (including 69 in the dining room and oyster bar, 36 in the mezzanine, and 36 in the private brew deck), Tankard & Tun is as accommodating as it is visually stimulating. Sitting down in one of the dining room seats, you are treated to a beautiful view of Seattle's Elliott Bay, which will no doubt make for interesting sunsets. Seated nearby in the mezzanine, guests are occasionally distracted as brewers and cellarmen wander along an overhead catwalk, or among 6 60-barrel (120 kegs) fermentation tanks directly in front of your meal. But if sitting isn't your thing, guests can stroll along the adjoining walkway while admiring beer steins or artwork, no doubt from Pike founder Charles Finkel's collection.
If Tankard & Tun isn't the final destination, then allow it be a warm-up should the sound of chanting Mariner fans seems more welcoming. One only needs to walk to the bar and ask for one of the several beer-infused cocktails using locally distilled spirits and of course Pike's many well-known beers. During our visit, we were treated to Nellie's Night made with Copperworks Gin, tarragon simple honey, lemons, and Pike Naughty Nellie. Definitely, something we've never tried before and worth trying if you've never had a beer cocktail before either.
On the other hand, should the evening be concluding after a hard-fought victory, a night of dancing, or maybe a stroll along the waterfront, the staff and ownership hope that you will nourish your senses and stomach with chocolate pudding with XXXXX Stout caramel sauce or happy hour-priced fish and chips
Of course all of this wouldn't be possible, if not for the willingness of owners Patti Baker, Drew Gillespie, Charles Finker, Rose Ann Finkel, and Gary Marx, to not only expand the brewery but also provide Executive Chef Gabe Spiel a canvas to etch something special for those who might've overlooked this brewery in the basement.
Tankard & Tun, named after the mighty glass from which you drink and the vessel from which beer is birthed, is located at 1415 1st Avenue in downtown Seattle, just steps from the Pike Place Market. For more information, including seasonal menus and reservations, please visit them at https://www.pikebrewing.com/tankard-tun/.