Woodinville has long been recognized as a premier destination for wine lovers. But lately, several local breweries and distilleries in town have also gained notoriety.
Two specific businesses, Goose Ridge Estate Winery and Métier Brewing Company, are partnering with popular Seattle sports teams to promote their beverages.
VIDO Vodka, sourced from Goose Ridge wine grapes, was announced as the premium vodka of Climate Pledge Arena and the Seattle Kraken on Dec. 7, 2021.
Meanwhile, Métier is prepared to take over the historic space previously occupied by Pyramid Brewing across from T-Mobile Park in summer 2022.
Métier partners with the Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Steelheads, named after the salmon runs, joined the West Coast Negro Baseball League in June 1946. The professional African American baseball team existed for two months before disbanding. But the team’s impact on history remains significant.
Rodney Hines, co-founder of Métier Brewing Company (MBC) in Woodinville, aims to honor the legacy of the baseball team by opening a boutique brew pub called Steelhead’s Alley in the old Pyramid Brewing building across from T-Mobile Park.
Hines said Steelhead’s Alley will pay tribute to the perseverance of the players, despite the racism and segregation they faced. The pub is expected to open in July 2022.
“Men and women of color had to find their own way into playing professional sports,” Hines said. “This is an opportunity to help tell that story and to celebrate that story. I'm personally inspired by the fact that they existed in a time of extreme racism.”
Hines plans on hosting educational events at the pub to spotlight the lives and stories of the Seattle Steelheads era, he said. MBC is also working with staff at the Black Heritage Society of Washington State to collect artwork, stories and photos of the team.
The building itself is historic to the Seattle community. Built in 1914, the site was used as a warehouse for shipping tenants by the Oregon and Washington Railway. Pyramid Brewing occupied the space in 1995.
For many years, the old Pyramid Alehouse served as a pre-game destination for sports fans. However, the building has been sitting empty since spring 2020 due to the pandemic.
The Seattle Mariners announced a new 23-year lease of the space in October 2021. Through various partnerships, the baseball organization plans to create a multi-use venue with space for a restaurant, brewpub, event venue and more.
For Hines, brewing has been a way to create positive change and gather communities, he said. The mission statement at MBC is, “Brew damn good beer and build unity to inspire bigger dreams for all.”
“I have a lot of gratitude for the community of Woodinville and the surrounding neighboring communities that have embraced us,” Hines said.
Hines founded MBC alongside Todd Herriott, who owns the bike shop and training facility Métier Racing and Coffee, in 2018. He said there aren’t any plans to slow down.
The duo plans to open a new MBC taproom on Cherry Street in Seattle’s Central District. Hines said the location will blend Black-owned brews and Japanese street food to celebrate the history of the surrounding communities.
He said art in the taproom will reflect the historically Black community in Seattle. Hines also aims to incorporate elements that were praised from the Woodinville location like sourcing supplies from diverse businesses and live music.
“We share a passion for urban economic development in the service of social equity, preservation and local opportunity,” developer Liz Dunn said, referencing the partnership with MBC. “The space has great bones and sits on a lovely fine grained, nicely treed section of East Cherry Street where locally owned African American businesses are still prevalent, but due to the building’s size might have otherwise sat neglected or been demolished to make way for a couple of pricy townhouses.”
The 2,000-square-foot space plans to open in winter 2022. It will offer brews such as Coconut Porter, Belgian Golden, Kolsch and Belgian Wit.
Hines is also partnering with Harold Fields, and owner of Umami Kushi, to serve Japanese street food. He specializes in okazu pan – a fried bread stuffed with a savory filling – and other classic foods like yakitori.
“The principles of what was born for us in Woodinville will come to life and reflect the community we're coming to in Seattle at Cherry Street,” Hines said.
VIDO Vodka partners with the Seattle Kraken
For generations, the Monson family has carefully crafted their signature blends of wine for Goose Ridge Estate Vineyard and Winery.
VIDO Vodka, an offshoot of Goose Ridge, is a reminder of the legacy left by the family’s patriarch Arvid “Vido” Monson. According to a news release from the company, Arvid would spend his evenings winding down with a vodka cocktail while dreaming of creating his own businesses someday.
“We started VIDO Vodka as a way to fulfill one of my dad’s dreams,” said Molly Stutesman-Monson, vice president of sales and marketing for VIDO Vodka.
In December 2021, the company announced its partnership with Climate Pledge Arena and Seattle Kraken as the official premium vodka brand. Stutesman-Monson said this collaboration allows VIDO Vodka to offer its spirits in the arena for all the Kraken games as well as other events.
“We’re excited to have more people try our product in the arena, and then go out and purchase it at their local retailer,” she said.
Seattle Kraken, the newest addition to the National Hockey League, began its first season at Climate Pledge Arena last fall, according to a news release from the organization. The arena debuted in October 2021 with plans to host over 100 nights of live entertainment and music each year.
“From the beginning of this journey, it was important for us to partner with local Washington companies that supported our vision,” Seattle Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke said. “VIDO Vodka is a fantastic example of just that, made from wine grapes grown right here in our backyard by a local Washington family.”
VIDO Vodka plans to introduce a limited-edition bottle and label in theme with the Kraken hockey team in January 2022. The bottle will be available for purchase at the Goose Ridge tasting room in Woodinville, 14450 Woodinville Redmond Road NE.
“With our home base in Washington, VIDO Vodka has a strong presence in the Pacific Northwest,” said Will Wright, vice president of national sales and marketing for Destination Brands. “This partnership to be the official premium vodka of Climate Pledge Arena and the Seattle Kraken solidifies our position in the market.”