Rodney Hines (right) and head brewer Michael Daly toast the success of Métier Brewing Co. in Woodinville.

Rodney Hines (right) and head brewer Michael Daly toast the success of Métier Brewing Co. in Woodinville.

Métier Brewing Co. the only Black-owned brewery in Washington

Owner Rodney Hines, brewing in Woodinville since 2018, pushes boundaries and puts social purpose on tap

By Nick Shekeryk / Special to The Herald

The word Métier (pronounced mey-tee-yey) means one’s calling. For Rodney Hines, the owner of Métier Brewing Co. in Woodinville, just a few miles south of the Snohomish County line, a calling to unite people — and a passion for beer and bicycling — led him to open his own brewery and taproom in 2018.

“Part of my life’s calling is to create a space where introspection, community action and connection happens,” Hines said. “And I love beer.”

Currently on sabbatical from his role as an executive director of a local Fortune 500 company, Hines brewed his first beer over 30 years ago with his friends. Ever the visionary, he created Métier in the image of the lively pubs and cafes he frequented during his college days studying abroad in England.

“I was intrigued that you could have thoughtful conversation and education in a pub,” Hines said. “There’s something about a cafe or a pub that really gives people a place to plan and have discourse. It gives meaning to the brewpub experience we’ve built with Métier.”

Nestled in the popular Woodinville Warehouse Wine District, Métier has become a fixture in the area’s bustling craft beer scene. The brewery is a destination for beer fans, bicyclists and families alike because it holistically embodies its mission statement, which is “to brew damn good beer and build stronger community to inspire bigger dreams for all.”

While the emphasis on creating award-winning beer and fostering inclusivity drives its success, perhaps one of the most distinct features of Métier Brewing Co. is that it’s the first and only Black-owned brewery of the nearly 430 breweries in Washington state — and it’s one of roughly 60 in America.

“It’s not something to be celebrated,” Hines said. “Being the only one is oftentimes lonely, but there is comradery in this industry and it’s been welcoming.”

Seattle artist Damon Brown (better known as Creative Lou) designed the label art for Métier Brewing Co.’s Trail Blazer Pale Ale. (Creative Lou)

Seattle artist Damon Brown (better known as Creative Lou) designed the label art for Métier Brewing Co.’s Trail Blazer Pale Ale. (Creative Lou)

Hines is optimistic that his presence in a traditionally non-diverse industry can lead to more diversity in the local craft beer scene. He’s doing his part to increase awareness by building relationships with like-minded people — such as his business partner, Todd Herriott — and sourcing materials and ingredients from minority- and women-owned businesses whenever possible.

Métier has also participated in discussions on diversity and inclusion within the craft beer world, and its partnering with other local breweries to start a fellowship and internship program that paves the way for women and people of color looking to learn about the joys of crafting beer. Hines believes it’s his responsibility as a business owner to create opportunities for others to thrive.

“We honor and celebrate the history of brewing in some ways by pushing the boundaries and seeing where brewing can go,” Hines said.

While Métier prides itself on being a pioneer in expanding the reach of craft beer to the underrepresented and beyond, it also understands the importance of paying respects to those who blaze a trail in the Black community. The brewery immortalized the accomplishments of cyclist Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor — the first African-American athlete to win a world championship — as the inspiration for its popular Trail Blazer Pale Ale. A portion of the proceeds for this dry-hopped, citrus-tinged hazy pale ale go to the Cascade Bicycle Club’s Major Taylor Project, which empowers youth through bicycling.

“(I’m) humbled by the tenacity and the energy of the kids in this program,” Hines said. “It gives the beer a social purpose in its flavor.”

The Trail Blazer is just one of the many exciting beers on tap at Métier. Another top-gear beer in rotation is the smooth and robust Black Stripe Coconut Porter. Métier is also approaching the release of its Brut Calypso IPA and its collaboration brew with Hellbent Brewing Co. of Seattle for the Black is Beautiful initiative. Whatever style of beer you enjoy, Métier is sure to have something for you because the brewery aspires to create beer for all people.

My favorite beers on tap at Métier Brewing Co.: Trail Blazer Pale Ale and Black Stripe Coconut Porter.

Follow Métier Brewing Co. on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Check out the brewery’s beer locator to find it in stores, taprooms and bottle shops near you.

Check out Creative Lou’s colorful and introspective work on his website. You can also follow him on Facebook and Instagram to see where his work is displayed around Puget Sound.

For more information about the Cascade Bicycle Club’s Major Taylor Project, go to www.cascade.org/learn/major-taylor-project.

This article was originally published by Live in Everett at www.liveineverett.com.

This story has been modified to correct the name and title of Métier Brewing’s head brewer, Michael Daly.

If you go

Métier Brewing Co., 14125 NE 189th St., Woodinville, is open 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday, 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Reservations made before 1 p.m. are encouraged, especially on Saturdays. Email info@metierbrewing.com or go to www.metierbrewing.com for more information.

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