Tonight, join the folks from Merchant du Vin at four Seattle bars for a salute to the Samuel Smith Brewery and the beers that helped birth the American craft beer revolution.
It’s hard to imagine a time when craft beer was essentially non-existent in the United States, or a time when “good beer” referred to stuff like Lowenbrau, Michelob, and Heineken. In 1978, when beers from Samuel Smith Brewery in Tadcaster, England first reached America’s shores, homebrewing was not yet legal in the United States. Megabreweries were all we had. The term microbrewery had yet to be introduced to the American vocabulary. The beer scene was bleak.
In 1978 Charles and Rose Ann Finkel started a company called Merchant Du Vin with a plan to import great beer from overseas to the United States. Long before the Finkels moved on to start Pike Brewing Company, they were responsible for importing the first craft beers from Belgium, Germany and England. Among those beers, the good stuff from the old Samuel Smith brewery in Tadcaster, Yorkshire.
On a personal note, I was a budding, underage beer drinker back in the early-to-mid 1980s, back when craft beer existed but was still exceedingly rare and unknown. Somewhere between a Rainier Beer and a Miller High Life, I stumbled across a beer called Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout. It blew my mind and completely altered my perception of how beer could taste. That beer started a lifelong love affair with good beer.
Tonight, Merchant du Vin and four Seattle bars celebrate one of the breweries that helped introduced America to good beer. Join them for the whole crawl, or any part of it.
Tuesday, January 26th. It’s a pub crawl. A wandering salute to Samuel Smith Brewery.
The Samuel Smith Salute in Seattle:
5:50 – 6:20: The Central Saloon, 207 1st Ave So.
6:30 – 7:20: The Whisky Bar, 2122 2nd Ave.
7:30 – 8:30: The White Horse, 1908 Post Alley.
8:30 – ?: The Pike Pub, 1415 1st Ave.