Charles ”Charlie” Finkel is the co-founder of Pike Brewing, a pioneer in craft beer and a Seattle icon since 1989. Found next to Pike Place Market, Pike Brewing first brewed IPA in 1990; today, it offers a half dozen different IPAs. Learn about Charlie Finkel…
Hometown: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
First job: When I turned 16, I got a job driving a powder-blue Renault Dauphine, picking up and delivering two-day photo development to drug and convenience stores all over Tulsa County. Greenwood, once known as “Black Wall Street,” was on my route. I learned of the Tulsa massacre before most people had. I remain committed to human rights to this day.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: Painting.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: To convert my passion into a successful business that has inspired others and brought great pleasure to thousands of beer lovers.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Explaining to people why I switched from wine to beer. I graduated!
Someone who inspires you and why: Franz Inselkammer, the Brau von Aying, a role model. His family opened their Bavarian brewery in 1868, acquiring Brauereigasthof Aying, operating since 1370. His pride, knowledge, enthusiasm and curiosity about beer and food; his professional and friendly demeanor; and his humility, are all inspirational. I am proud that Franz, at the time the president of the Bavarian Brewing Association, tapped the first keg of Pike Place Ale.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: I recommend becoming knowledgeable about beer; it’s history, taste, agronomy and microbiology.
Favorite quote: “People in Oklahoma stumble to the polls to vote dry!” –Will Rogers (Oklahoma repealed prohibition in1959 when I was in high school.)
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: One of my hobbies is propagating plants.
What makes someone fabulous: Having a good sense of humor and, no matter how successful, not taking yourself too seriously!