Founded in Woodinville nearly four years ago, Métier Brewing has earned numerous Washington Beer Awards for its "damn good beer." Now cofounders Rodney Hines and Todd Herriott (of Capitol Hill's Métier Racing and Coffee) have expanded to a second location in the Central District—it's Seattle's first Black-owned brewery.
Behind its roll-up doors, the new taproom has Métier's usual flourishes: a roster of decorated brews and food in collaboration with fellow Black-owned business Umami Kushi. The chef behind the popular Japanese street food joint, Harold Fields, is still finalizing the menu, but for now, the crowd-drawing okazu pan, jerk chips, and Philly soft pretzels (served with coconut porter–infused mustard) are available.
Umami Kushi is just one of many Black-owned businesses Hines and his team worked with to create their new space: Contractor Marc Greene of Greene Home Redesign led the buildout, and artist LeLeita McKill supplied the large black-and-white photograph that hangs above the counter.
Enlisting BIPOC and women-owned businesses for the new location was an intentional—and essential—move, Hines explains. A year ago, Métier and Reuben’s Brews launched the Mosaic State Brewers Collective, a mentorship program designed for minorities and underrepresented groups who are interested in learning about careers in the beer industry.
Hines says it's his responsibility as a business and as a private citizen to invest in the community. And as a Central District resident for nearly 25 years, he's witnessed Black business owners and inhabitants that once filled the neighborhood get steadily pushed out.
“I feel like I'm still a newcomer. And other folks who are coming into the community, I hope as they claim it home, that they look at what's the history of the community and how do they acknowledge and respect that?”
One of the ways Métier undertook that task was by hiring staff with ties to the neighborhood. Hines hopes to do the same with musicians who perform in the taproom.
“In some ways, I think beer can taste better when you know the mission and purpose behind it.”