Woodinville’s Metiér Brewing Company is doing big things.
The suds producer, which is one of the only Black-owned breweries in the region, has announced a new partnership as part of its work to grow and diversify the state of craft beer brewing in the Seattle area. As such, Metiér and the Seattle Mariners baseball team have declared a new long-term relationship in which Metiér will take over the old Pyramid Alehouse, which is next door to the baseball stadium and, for many years, was a popular pre-game destination for fans until 2020 when Pyramid vacated.
The Mariners, which recently signed a long lease for the building on 1st Avenue in SODO, are excited to work with Metiér in the refurbished space. The brewery says it is set to move in and run the joint in 2022. The new location will feature game-day broadcasts inside and plenty of pints for fans. Other amenities include a restaurant with upwards of 250 seats.
We caught up with Rodney Hines, CEO and co-founder of Metiér Brewing Company, to ask him four questions about his partnership with the Mariners, the best beers to drink at the ballpark, and the impact that black-owned can have on not just the brewing industry, but the community at large.
How did the partnership with the Mariners manifest with Metiér Brewing Company (MBC), and what are you most excited about?
In my previous life, I led philanthropic and community engagement efforts at companies like Microsoft and Starbucks.
When the Mariners made a set of commitments to social justice and racial equity in the summer of 2020, I was part of strategy discussions with Mariners Executive Vice President Fred Rivera about how these commitments come to life for real impact in the region. Metiér Brewing’s partnership with the Mariners grew out of those conversations with Fred and the team.
The lens of equity and access baked into smart, thoughtful, and creative design for preservation of a cool old building, in an industrial neighborhood adjacent to our downtown, aimed to spark more revitalization is pretty damn exciting. I think all of us at MBC are excited. This is grounded in aligned missions, shared values and shared will to try and — dare I say — BELIEVE. It has been fun to imagine with the Mariners how this space can inspire and engage.
What is the perfect beer for a baseball game?
With the season from April through October (ideally) — the unthawing into spring through the return of fall — our brewer Michael Daly suggests starting the season with lighter refreshing beers like hop-forward pale ales and crisp lagers. Then continue the trend of refreshing beers through the summer and into fall, diving into richer flavorful styles like imperial stouts, and seasonal brews like fresh hops, dunkelweizens and Octoberfests. His professional opinion is to consider maintaining your tempo through the season with a consistent supply of easy drinking, refreshing lagers. I’d also say a NW style IPA all year long is always a good option. Baseball and pints seem a perfect long term, perennial relationship.
How does working out of the old Pyramid Brewery hit you, what’s the significance of that?
It’s exciting to be part of re-envisioning this historic building that’s right in the middle of SODO.
SODO and our entire city are changing all the time. It’s important for all of us to be part of this change. BIPOC-owned businesses are integral to the continually evolving cultural texture of our community, our neighborhoods. And we need to have fair access for business growth and development. The rich imprint of BIPOC business is evident with businesses like The Station on Beacon Hill, Boon Boona, Island Soul, Marjorie’s, Communion, Jerk Shack, Musang, Central Café and Juice Bar, Raised Doughnuts, Seattle Cinnamon Roll Company, Poco Wines, Plum Bistro and The Intentionalist. I get excited imagining how our region grows with diverse businesses and business owners. The prominence of Steelheads Alley and MBC in this next iteration of the Pyramid Building is a highlight for the critical role Black/BIPOC folks play in Seattle — past, present and future.
When will your bar open and what is the impact of this partnership in terms of your larger goal of bringing diversity to the arena of beer brewing?
We’re aiming to start brewing on site in spring and the plan is to open by August 2022. I’m thrilled about the partnership with the Mariners and look forward to welcoming fans, tourists and neighborhood folks into our brewery. MBC has always been about brewing damn good beer. It’s important for more people in our community to see that everyone — regardless of race, gender or physical ability — can make and sell great beer. And we can certainly all enjoy great beer together. The new brewery in the Pyramid Building will bring that idea to life. With the recent launch of Mosaic State Brewers Collective (MSBC) by us and Reuben’s (along with friends at other local breweries) and our aim to inspire and empower underrepresented people to build careers in the beer industry, we will welcome MSBC mentees into the new space to participate in the brewing.