Four decades ago, the food and craft beer landscape in America was as different from today's, as Bologna from baloney!
In 1976, my wife, Rose Ann Finkel and two friends made plans to open Truffles, a gourmet grocery in our Seattle neighborhood. To prepare for their entrepreneurship, the women flew south to "the city by the bay" for the 1st Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. Like botanist's hunting rare orchids in the Amazon, they searched for the best of artisan food.
Soon their store was packed with beers, wines, cheese, 80 mustards, vinegar, oil, honey, preserves, pickles, coffee, tea, cured meats, not yet called "charcuterie", high cocoa content chocolate and multiple other confections, and yes fresh tartufo. Most of the goodies were imported; very few were produced locally.
Last month, 41 years and a myriad of visits later, we traveled to the Bay Area to accept a coveted Good Food Award for Pike Wood Aged Kilt Lifter and to enjoy the Fancy Food Show. It was a moment of glory and pride in Pike when Alice Waters hung the bottle-shaped Good Food Award with red white and blue ribbon around my neck. Rose Ann described the comparison to the 1st show, as apples to marrons glacé! We now live in a Garden of Eaten and Drinken, with over 4,000 craft brewers and daily staples like heirlooms vegetables and whole grains, artisan salami, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and artisan bread which were once regarded as sophisticated and reserved for special occasions.
At Pike Brewing we devote our energies to the 'slow' philosophy in all things, other than service. We brew our own liquid bread (beer) in our gravity flow, steam brewery, bake spent grain pretzels, make beer mustard, slice only local breads, spread only local cheeses, ferment kim chi, smoke wild salmon, steam Whidbey Island clams and mussels, cut only the best grass-fed beef and charcuterie, and tout local spirits, wines, ciders, and in addition to Pike, other local craft beers. What Pike does to be good and local, would not have been possible in Truffle's time.
Read more about our time in San Francisco and how the craft beer and food world has changed on Medium.
Rose Ann & Charles Finkel