SEATTLE — Washington state's first Black-owned brewery has expanded in a location that feels like a homecoming to co-founder Rodney Hines.
Métier Brewing first opened in Woodinville back in 2018.
"Our mission is to brew damn good beer and build stronger community to inspire bigger dreams for all,” Hines said.
He can’t hide his pride for the new flagship taproom on East Cherry Street in Seattle’s Central District.
“We wanted to be in the heart of a residential walking community and we care about the central district, I’m from the C-D just a few blocks away” said Hines.
The new space is still under the final stages of construction, but it’s open for business because Hines said they heard the customers calling.
“The community has been asking for a while ‘when are you gonna open?’ and we’re like now.”
Hines said the dream of opening a location in the Central District adds to a cultural revival in the area. Building community is a focus for Métier. Hines believes that is achieved through representation and hiring a staff that reflects the neighborhood.
“When we launched our brewery there were less than 20 women-owned breweries in the country and at that time there were less than 50 African American-owned breweries in the country,” Hines said.
That number has grown, but is still lopsided compared to the estimated 9,000 craft breweries in America.
“Even our new logo was designed by Conflare, a local Black-female-owned agency,” Hines said.
The Taproom is a true melting pot of culture and diversity. The space was designed by Greene Home Redesign, a Black-and-veteran-owned company.
“The artwork on the cans was done by by women and people of color,” said Hines.
Metier is currently working to develop the most diverse supply chain possible.
“There’s only one minority-owned hop farmer in Eastern Washington so we are working on that.”
Hines said when it came to food, he knew the popular Japanese street food guests in Woodinville enjoyed would be a perfect fit. Umami Kushi is known for okazu pan — a fried bread stuffed with a savory filling. BBQ pork, jerk chicken, black eye pea and salmon are just a few of the popular options.
Taproom manager Mercedes Robinson doesn’t just invite friends to the taproom, she invites them to be a part of history.
“Being able to say that we came home, like to the central, where this community was and is kind of going through a renaissance period and we’re gonna be here to stay really means something to me and the people that work here and my community,” Robinson said.
Métier Brewing hopes the new community space will provide a reflection of the diverse neighborhood and its customers. The opening weekend resulted in hundreds of guests waiting in lines down the block.
“It kinda caught us off guard,” laughed Hines. “We had Black, brown, white, young and old all sharing in something new.”
Hines said the community turnout and support for this new space validates their mission to boost the community and play a role in reviving the area's cultural scene.
“What we saw was that the community showed up and embraced us. They said ‘Yes, you’re home and it feels like home.”
Métier wants guests to see themselves when they walk into the new 2,000-square-foot space and that’s why there’s a long mirror behind the bar.
“One of the first things you’ll see when you walk in is our 'beer it forward' wall where people buy a beer for someone and post it on the board. Teachers, firefighters and notes like that are pretty common.”
The current drinks waiting to be claimed belong to a new parent and an ER nurse. One tribute even offers a drink for anyone who lost someone to COVID-19.
Métier Brewing’s Flagship Taproom is now open at 2616 E Cherry Street in Seattle.