Pike Brewing joins a team of iconic Northwest businesses
Seattle’s iconic brewery continues to focus on the future with new investments from Seattle Hospitality Group and Ethan Stowell Restaurants
When Charles and Rose Ann Finkel started Pike Brewing Company in 1989, they imagined creating a brewery that would last for a century. They sought to create an iconic brand that would endure across generations, like some of the European breweries with which they’d worked as beer importers. Today, Pike Brewing announced a new partnership that will help the company advance that mission.
Seattle’s venerable Pike Brewing has reached terms with Seattle Hospitality Group, joining a team of iconic Northwest businesses and brands. The partnership is the result of conversations that began in 2019 and is not simply a response to the challenges of the past, pandemic-impacted year. The conversations grew more serious following the June 2020 passing of Charles’ wife and Pike Brewing co-founder, Rose Ann Finkel.
Seattle Hospitality Group is a privately held company that owns or holds interest in hospitality, tourism, and transportation companies across the Pacific Northwest. The portfolio includes iconic businesses like Kenmore Air, the Space Needle, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Semiahmoo Resort, Cedarbrook Lodge, and others. SHG has now taken a stake in Seattle’s Pike Brewing Company. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.
“One of our motivations for working with SHG is the potential for symbiotic relationships with other SHG companies,” said Drew Gillespie, President of Pike Brewing. “That’s part of what makes this a very exciting partnership for us.”
According to Gillespie, the partnership with SHG offers Pike a number of advantages beyond the obvious one of more beer sales. He points to the value of having the brain trust of his new partners and looks forward to learning more about business from them as he leads Pike Brewing into the future.
“SHG’s experience operating best-in-class hospitality businesses offers us new tools,” said Gillespie. “Their CFO, Glenn Corey, has already introduced us to aspects of finance that we didn’t have access to as a smaller business.”
“Along with more opportunities to sell beer, being part of a group provides more stability,” said Gillespie. “Over the last year, we’ve all learned how important it is to be able to weather a storm. It’s great that things are now getting back to normal and we’re all moving forward, but Pike intends to be around for a long time and no doubt there will be other storms.”
Pike Brewing was founded by Charles and Rose Ann Finkel in 1989. In 2015, the Finkels expanded the brewery’s ownership group to include three longtime employees, including Gillespie, who’s worked for Pike Brewing for more than 25 years. Adding Gillespie and the others to the ownership team helped ensure the brewery would endure, so too does this new partnership with SHG.
“I designed Pike Brewing to be a hundred-year-old brewery like those I worked with in Europe years ago,” said Charles Finkel, founder and owner at Pike Brewing. “I’m 77-years-old, and I was looking for the right partner to help Pike’s legacy live on. SHG’s focus on iconic businesses and understanding of the Pacific Northwest experience made them the perfect partner to achieve that 100-year goal and beyond.”
Finkel and Gillespie, along with the rest of the executive team, will continue in their roles at Pike Brewing moving forward.
“Pike Brewing Company embodies everything SHG seeks in an investment,” said SHG Chair and Founder Howard Wright. “The company’s unique, high-quality products have helped define life in the Pacific Northwest for more than 30 years. Charles and Pike President Drew Gillespie are forward-looking and committed to securing and expanding their company’s future for generations to come. We can help them realize that dream.”
“Pike Brewing’s rise to iconic status and enduring success are directly attributable to its talented management team,” said Wright. “Pike’s leadership commitment to quality and innovation is reflected not only by Pike’s bottom line but in the recognition and honors earned by their beers and restaurants. We look forward to working with and learning from Charles, Drew and their colleagues.”
Ethan Stowell Restaurants, which is part of Seattle Hospitality Group, is also investing in Pike Brewing Company to help grow the iconic beer brand.
“Pike Brewing’s products are among the Pacific Northwest’s signature beverage offerings,” said Ethan Stowell, the CEO and Founder of Ethan Stowell Restaurants. “We look forward to working with the Pike team to grow the brand and help get their excellent beers in front of even more people.”
In today’s press release, Pike Brewing and SHG said that they both expect the new relationship to boost the ongoing efforts to thoughtfully expand Pike Brewing’s presence in the Puget Sound region, Washington in State, and beyond — including Oregon, California, and Japan. A Japanese company currently operates a Pike Pub under license in Chubu Centrair International Airport, located outside Nagoya in central Japan.
Founded in 2002 by Howard Wright, SHG is a privately held company that invests in iconic Pacific Northwest brands to unlock their next generation of success. SHG owns or has interests in hospitality, tourism, and transportation companies in Washington, Oregon, and California.
SHG Chair & Founder Howard Wright is an executive and entrepreneur with deep business experience in the hospitality, transportation, and tourism industries. He is widely recognized for his civic leadership and ability to bring together groups on all sides of an issue.
ABOUT PIKE BREWING COMPANY
Pike Brewing Company is an independent craft brewery founded in 1989 by craft beer pioneers Charles and Rose Ann Finkel. Located in Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Public Market neighborhood, Pike Brewing Company is home to two restaurants, The Pike Pub and Tankard & Tun.