New pairing at Capitol Hill’s Redhook Brewlab as Chef Shota brings Kōbo and its Detroit+Osaka pizzas to E Pike

The Flat Earther (Image: Kōbo)

(Image: Redhook Brewlab)

Shota Nakajima is ready to help out his neighbor, bringing pizza with Detroit and Osaka roots to the kitchen of Capitol Hill’s Redhook Brewlab.

Kōbo will debut this weekend, taking over the menu of the E Pike microbrewery with Nakajima’s take on pizza pie and providing new energy that could help fill the beer maker’s tables and big street-side patio.

“I was fascinated the first time I saw Detroit-style pizza. Having trained in Osaka, which is known as the ‘starch city’ of Japan, I was inspired by things like Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki, which employ a starch base that is generally cooked over high heat in cast iron or black steel, with a signature crispy exterior and chewy interior,” Nakajima said in a press release on the new link-up.

“It was a natural step to utilize this similar ideology, and staying true to my culinary roots and training, employ the use of koji, nori, and mochiko flour to achieve both umami and a heavenly texture for our dough.” Continue reading

More Black ownership — and more Black-made beer — in the CD as 23rd Ave Brewery takes shape

The 23rd Ave Brewery guys in R&D mode (Image: 23rd Ave Brewery)

(Image: 23rd Ave Brewery)

There will be more Black ownership — and more Black-made beer — in the Central District. 23rd Ave Brewery is on its way to opening later this year with a small production and filling shop at 23rd and Jackson.

“It’s really dope that we are kinda back home,” Mario Savage tells CHS. “We grew up on that block.”

Savage and his three brothers — “it’s a family affair,” he says — now have a place to take their beer making to the next level, selling bottles and cans, filling kegs, and keeping fans supplied with 23rd Ave merch from the new brew shop being set up as part of the retail spaces added to the Jackson Apartments outside the neighborhood’s Amazon Fresh.

For now, the new space will be a grab and go operation with no seating or bar service. Future growth is hoped to eventually add elements like a taproom and increased production in the neighborhood.

CHS reported here on the smaller, more affordable commercial spaces and efforts to include small businesses in the new development as part of a ripple of new Black ownership including Simply Soulful and Catfish Corner in this core of the Central District.

Savage said in about three weeks, new brewing equipment will arrive and be installed as 23rd Ave Brewery ramps up its small-scale production with more trials and testing. Continue reading

Métier Brewing Company will bring Black-owned beer — and Japanese street food — to new Central District taproom in 2022

A 20-year resident of the Central District will open a new flagship taproom for one of the few Black-owned beer breweries in the nation early next year on E Cherry.

Rodney Hines calls Métier Brewing Company “purpose-driven” and said he chose expanding the brewery with a taproom and Japanese street food in the Central Area with the intent of recognizing the history of the communities there while also being present as a Black business owner in the neighborhood.

“A moment of tension for me is when I walk around my neighborhood and when I think of whether new people who see the street signs honoring Rev. McKinney at Mt. Zion Baptist have taken a moment to know who he was. I fear that there’s a lot of new energy, a lot of new people… that can be good. It can be better if people can pause and look at history of who was here and give some respect for that.”

Métier debuted in 2018 in a business partnership with Hines and Todd Herriott, owner of E Union’s bike shop/cafe/training facility Metier Seattle. It shares a name with the bike venture and has based its production at a bike-friendly spot along the riding trail in Woodinville but Métier Brewing is all about Hines and the beer.

2022 will be a massive year for the company. By the end of next summer, Métier and the Seattle Mariners will open the former stadium district Pyramid Alehouse as Steelhead’s Alley, a new beer-focused pre-game hangout honoring the Seattle Steelheads Negro League team that once played its games at Sick’s Stadium on Rainier Ave.

But before it looks back with nostalgia, Métier will push forward with the new E Cherry taproom and microbrewery slated to open in early 2022. CHS first reported here in October on early plans for the E Cherry property formerly used as an auto garage and blacksmith studio.

Now the project is taking shape as a 2,000-square-foot “community gathering space featuring rotating taps of the brewery’s award-winning brews” in the new commercial development from Capitol Hill-based developer Liz Dunn. Continue reading

Two ‘mystery’ projects take shape with planned beer-y future in the Central District, new basement restaurant on Capitol Hill

Construction underway this summer at the Heath Printers building on Capitol Hill (Image: CHS)

Sometimes it’s a secret. Sometimes nobody knows. And sometimes you just haven’t asked the right person.

While the pace of new food and drink openings has understandably slowed, two Capitol Hill and Central District “mystery restaurant” projects continue to take shape. As the industry continues its work at recovery, the projects represent bright — and intriguing — lights on the horizon.

On Capitol Hill, work has been underway for months in a full transformation of the interior of Boylston Ave’s Heath Printers building with a planned change of use to “eating & drinking establishment” and construction of “substantial alterations for tenant improvements of restaurant and office spaces throughout existing commercial structure,” according to plans filed with the city. The property just around the corner off E Pine is part of the near block snapped up by developer Asana Partners and was the home to Capitol Hill-born coworking company Office Nomads before that venture went fully virtual during the pandemic.

Asana has brought on Capitol Hill-based Graham Baba Architects, the prolific firm behind many of the neighborhood and city’s most ambitious recent food and drink construction projects, to design the space. Continue reading

‘Seattle’s first microbrewery’ wasn’t born on Capitol Hill — but it will celebrate 40 years of beer here

The original Ballard brewery (Image: Redhook)

The Redhook Brewlab is the last physical vestige of Seattle’s “first microbrewery” (Image: Redhook)

Marking 40 years will be a bittersweet journey for a beer maker that helped usher in the microbrewery era but now finds itself seemingly without a home after decades of change in the industry and being swallowed up by “the world’s largest beer company.” But the Redhook Brewery does have a home, surviving right here on Capitol Hill and still part of the Pacific Northwest beer scene thanks to one of the most uniquely densely-packed brewing facilities you’ll find.

This weekend, the Redhook Brewlab — the last brewery and pub in the Redhook line — is setting out to celebrate those 40 years with a party showcasing the beer it brews here on E Pike, favorites from the past, and “Seattle’s first microbrewery” role in the history of Washington and Oregon beer. There will also be baby goats. Continue reading

Elysian Brewing marks 25 years on Capitol Hill

Elysian Brewing, a grandfather of the Seattle brewery scene, is beginning the celebration of the 25th anniversary of its Capitol Hill birth with a pack of beer including some of its signature creations over the last quarter century.

“Elysian was built from a love of subversive music, artistic rebellion, and great beer,” Elysian’s co-founder Joe Bisacca said. “By staying true to our DNA, being unafraid to experiment, and keeping consumers at the forefront of everything we do, we’ve been able to stand the test of time and deliver the beers our fans want for 25 remarkable years.”

Bisacca, along with David Buhler, and Dick Cantwell started Elysian in May, 1996 where its E Pike brewery and brewpub still make their home in the overhauled 1919-era Packard storage building. Continue reading

Miss Little Uncle? Chef Wiley Frank is back in kitchen at Central District’s Standard Brewing

Crispy Duck Wrap and Dip with 5-Spice Broth now at Standard Brewing (Image: Standard Brewing)

The flavors and spirit of Little Uncle, probably one of the most missed neighborhood food and drink venues to leave us in recent years, are back on the menu with the chef behind the much-missed E Madison restaurant now pairing his work with Central District-crafted beer.

For eight years, the Central District’s Standard Brewing has maintained a far above standard food menu to pair with its S Jackson-made beers. New chef Wiley Frank is continuing that run with some surprises and flavors from the Little Uncle past. Continue reading

A pandemic habit that could stick: Capitol Hill to-go cocktails and beer delivery until 2023

The Tipsy Cat at Cook Weaver (Image: Cook Weaver)

Masks in crowded public places. Working on your couch. And cocktails to go.

It’s hard to say what habits of the pandemic will stay with us but Capitol Hill bars, breweries, and restaurants that invested in takeout cocktails and beer delivery will be happy to know they can continue to offer off-premises booze into 2023.

The new law passed in the just completed session in Olympia gives state liquor license holders a two year window to adjust as the new habits set in after months of COVID-19 restrictions reshaped the way we dine out. Continue reading

Return of the Capitol Hill newsstand: Big Little News planned for Pike/Pine

It’s been a decade since Capitol Hill last had a newsstand. The news? Well, it’s changed a bit in the meantime but the appetite for newspapers and magazines has somehow survived the explosive growth of online information and smartphones.

CHS has learned a new project coming to Pike/Pine from some familiar faces in the neighborhood will celebrate that appetite for the printed page — and the bottleshop. Continue reading

Watch out White Claw? A small part of $321M beer deal, Redhook Brewlab plans to add ‘domestic winery’ production on Capitol Hill

(Image: Redhook Brewlab)

Capitol Hill’s “Big Beer” siblings are about to become full-on brothers. Monday, the world’s largest beer maker Anheuser-Busch InBev announced its plans to acquire the remaining 68.8% of Redhook parent Craft Brew Alliance it doesn’t already own.

The move ends a short period of independence for CBA and Redhook after the international behemoth let a deadline pass for an option to fully purchase the Portland-based alliance and its brands including Kona Brewing, Omission Brewing, Square Mile Cider Co., Widmer Brothers Brewing, and, of course, Redhook and that Pacific Northwest-born brewer’s last real-world vestige, Capitol Hill nano-brewery, the Redhook Brewlab.

It’s not clear what if any near term impacts the deal could have on E Pike. The takeover is subject to regulatory approval and won’t close until 2020. Continue reading