No visit to Seattle is complete without a stop by the iconic Pike Pub & Brewery, located right down in Pike Place Market. Pike is one of Seattle’s oldest breweries and has churned out an impressive number of alumni brewers that I won’t even try to list here. Dean Mochizuki is the current Head Brewer at Pike, and he was kind enough to take the time to answer 5 questions.
1) You’ve been head brewer at Pike now since you took over from Drew Cluley in 2011. How’s everything going? What’s changed over that time?
Everything here is going great. Like many other breweries we are VERY busy. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up the pace, but we’re getting better at it. Since I’ve taken over as head brewer, we’ve expanded the fermentation capacity twice and we will add two more fermenters early in December. The biggest change really came when the Finkel’s bought the brewery back. Their overall philosophy and love for beer has by far caused the biggest change for the better.
2) Pike has started releasing more seasonal/special release beers over the past couple of years. Any favorites?
As far as seasonal or specialty beers, I’ve fortunately been able to tweak some older recipes and create new recipes also. Being somewhat of a hophead I like Space Needle IPA, Octopus Ink (our black IPA). Pike Entire is also pretty good this year and more recently Harlot’s Harvest our pumpkin beer. This past week we brewed our first fresh hop beer; “Wolf in the Woods” which is a literal translation of Humulus Lupulus. It uses fresh Citra hops from Loftus Ranch. We also have worked with Tom Douglas to brew beers for the Bravehorse Tavern and Tanakasan, his Asian inspired restaurant.
3) What does the future hold for Pike? Anything exciting coming up that we should know about?
In the near future you’ll probably be seeing more barrel aged beers and beers with different ingredients in them. We have reached capacity in the brewery so a production facility is probably in our future, just not quite sure when.
4) Will you guys be at GABF this year? If so, what beers did you enter and what will be poured on the floor?
We were fortunate to be able to get into GABF this year. Many breweries did not get in as all the spots on the server were taken in a matter of minutes.
This year we entered 5X Stout, Pike Pale, Naughty Nellie, Space Needle IPA, and Harlot’s Harvest. All of those beers will also be on the floor.
5) What do you do for fun when you aren’t working?
Before I became head brewer, I really enjoyed playing the saxophone as I studied music at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Now however, I don’t really have the time to practice and keep my “chops” up. Otherwise, I enjoy cooking, gardening, and traveling. Whenever my wife and I travel, we always like to check out other breweries and wineries wherever we go…