Smithsonian Brewing History Initiative at Pikes Place Market

On December 8, the American Brewing History Initiative of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History hosted a panel discussion at the Pike Place Market, focusing on Seattle’s small and independent craft brewing history. The conversation explored the stories and history of craft brewing in the city and featured an expert panel from perspectives of craft brewing, home brewing, and malting.

Brewing history speakers included:

  • Moderator: Theresa McCulla, Ph.D. Historian, American Brewing History Initiative
  • Dick Cantwell, Brewer/Co-Founder of Elysian Brewing Co.
  • Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, Founders of Pike Brewing Co.
  • Annie Johnson, Master Brewer-in-Residence at PicoBrew
  • Dave Green, President/CEO at Skagit Valley Malting

The panel spoke to the history of the Seattle, how Seattle breweries contributed to the growth of the community, and how they define small and independent craft brewers. Their stories provided a well-rounded and educational story into the history of the area—from the deeply rooted homebrewing community in Seattle, including the storied Boeing homebrew club, to the close proximity to regions producing malt and hops

Smithsonian Pike Market

(Visit: Find a U.S. Brewery)

Over the course of two hours guests mixed and mingled with the speakers and local brewers while sampling beer from Old Stove Brewing Company and Pike Brewing Company, both located at the market. The chef for the Atrium at the Market prepared some iconic dishes that represented the Seattle area.

This event takes place on the heels of the Smithsonian Food History Weekend, hosted at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. These events are both part of the American Brewing History Initiative, a three year project to collect, document, and preserve the history of brewing, craft brewers, and the beer industry. This project was made possible in part through a donation from the Brewers Association. Project updates can be found at Smithsonian website.