Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg, WA

Archive for November, 2011

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Regan’s famous spaghetti paired with 509 or BDG

Regan Rinker
Regan Rinker November 30th 2011

Spaghetti Blog

My mom helped me develop this recipe years ago, and since then I have added multiple ingredients, taken away others, and adapted the flavors into a rich and robust pasta sauce that can be tweaked to your individual likings. This recipe is delicious and complex and sure to warm up your mouth and soul (well most souls anyway). To top it all off, It pairs quite well with the Beire De Garde because of the herbal tomato notes in the sauce, or the 509, because of some of the light sweetness the sauce imparts and the way the 509 mellows and integrates with the flavors. Bring in a receipt showing you purchased some of these ingredients and you’ll get a $6 growler fill or a $3 22 oz bottle of the beer of your choice, so you can create the pairing at home.


6 cloves crushed garlic
2 shallots minced
10 sliced, sauteed mushrooms
Sautee all the above in 3 tablespoons olive oil

Remove and set aside above ingredients
In same pan, add 1lb Italian Sausage and 1 lb lean ground beef
Brown in pan until no pink shows in center, dicing up in small pieces
Add garlic, mushroom, shallot mixture back to meat in pan

Over medium heat- add the following
1 can Organic Tomato Paste
2 cans stewed tomatoes
1 can Hunt’s Roasted Garlic Sauce
Or instead of the above, add your own canned tomato sauce like I do, with fresh roasted garlic, peppers, and peeled stewed tomatoes and herbs. If you don’t have that, a mixture of the top 3 works perfectly.
½ cup robust red wine, like Shiraz
½ cup Brown sugar
1 Bay leaf
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped basil
1 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp dried Italian Herb mixture
1 tsp sweet basil, dried
If too thick, a little water to thin out sauce

Let this mixture sit and simmer for about 45 minutes in large dutch oven, add extra garlic salt, pepper, chilli flakes or red wine to get sauce to your liking, tasting as you go.

Cook Spaghetti noodles and toast up some baguette brushed with olive oil and fresh garlic under the broiler to sop up extra sauce. Grate some fresh parmesan cheese over pasta and Voila (it’s much more impressive when I say that), you’re meal is ready, and a bomb as* one at that.

In my house, this meal lasts about 1 day or less. We eat some that night then Alex takes the rest to work whether I like it or not. Sometimes though, I accidentally eat half of it before I am even done through what I call “taste testing” so I can’t judge, and if Natalia comes over, she sneaks bites when I am not looking.



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Brewery Expansion, AKA What the hell is Iron Horse Brewery doing?!

Greg Parker
Greg Parker November 7th 2011
Or, when are you going to move?
How soon?
What is the purpose?
….and other questions.

The loyal employees of Iron Horse are faced with these types of questions on an ongoing basis. So, instead of actually answering them directly I’m forcing them to refer people to this blog post, because 1) I can, 2) I’m a jerk because of point #1, and 3) because I probably haven’t told them as much as I’m about to reveal here because of point #2.

1. The Big Deal
Currently we have a contract on a building located on the Vantage highway. 1621 is the address. While things look pretty damn good, nothing is certain until the t crossing, i dotting, micro managing, intrusively investigating, bankers have signed off on the deal. This building is a beauty, actually from the outside it is as ugly as your sister, but from a brewing standpoint it doesn’t get much better. 12,000 square feet is the building footprint, nice huh? That is only the beginning. The ceiling is almost 30 feet high which gives us 360,000 cubic feet. Which is almost enough air to keep Ross, Iron Horse sales master, talking for 15 minutes. It also allows us to put in tanks that tower over our previous fermenters and conditioning tanks, saving precious floor area. This facility is situated on just under 3 acres, which in conjunction with the existing building gives us opportunity to grow by some significant multiplier which I will spare you from because I don’t want to blow your mind!

2. The Guts
Now if you are wondering, “what form will the expansion take?” I will answer that question. If you are wondering something else, why haven’t you submitted a question to “ask the brewer”? Phase 1 Expansion, as I am calling it, utilizes an obscure method of beer transport called “tankering” (actually I just made that up, which I just Trademarked for future litigious use). We are going to continue to produce wort and ferment that wort at our existing facility on Prospect street. Then we will pump that beer into a specially designed tank that sits on a not specially designed truck. This “tanker”, if you will, will then take the fermented beer over to the new facility, we will call it Vantage for now, and pump the beer into conditioning tanks. Once conditioning is complete, we will package the beer into kegs, bottles or my face, and divide it into orders to be shipped. Hmm, it doesn’t sound that amazing when I put it onto paper, but if you see a brewer, you should ask them what Phase 1 Expansion means to them and they will tell you how much better it will make their working lives.

3. Fruit – (Or how this deal bears it)
How is this helpful? Well, I am glad you asked. By getting packaging operations out of Prospect and into Vantage we don’t have scheduling conflicts which currently inhibits our ability to brew at least one day a week. Moving the cellaring operations to Vantage will also allow us to add some more fermenters and conditioning tanks which means more beer, whoooooooo!!! It also means we won’t have to load trucks in the snow with the beer delivery van pushing the forklift around in 6” of the slippery curse. Doing that sucks, it looks ridiculous, and as you might imagine is incredibly inefficient. The extra space will also allow us to take on special projects such as a barrel aging program, pilot brews, and high gravity brewing. Booyah!

4. What’s Next
Eventually we will move the entirety of our brewing and retail operations from Prospect to Vantage, save for our presence downtown. At some point we will order in a new brewhouse with a larger capacity and greater extract and labor efficiency. There are lots of exciting things to consider with the expansion and Phase 2 as I just now dubbed it. Beer garden? perhaps. Tasting room overlooking brewery operations from the second floor mezzanine? You bet your sweet ass! (ok, its not that certain, but I love that saying) Iron horse thrillbillie obstacle course? Pretty unlikely, but who knows, we will have almost 3 acres.

5. Summary
We are attempting to bite off more than we can chew, but we figure with the aid of Irish Death, we can just wash it down the gullet and get on with things. For those of you who have visited the brewery, you can attest to how badly we need this breathing room. To be on the cusp of breaking ground, well, words can’t explain the excitement of what is to come.  Until we have Phase 1 complete (with any luck by February of 2012) we will continue to short customers on their orders, trip over each other, have a tangle of hoses, and fight over forklift access. In other words, business as usual.

In consideration of all this, I would like to say thank you, to all our supporters. It probably sounds contrived, because businesses always do this, but it has been a lot of fun getting here and it wouldn’t have been fun, nor would we have gotten here, if it weren’t for all of the Iron Horse evangelists out there.

Hugs and Kisses,
Greg Parker

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Irish Death Stew paired with, well, Irish Death

Natalia Parker
Natalia Parker November 4th 2011

The freezing Ellensburg wind came out to greet us last night after a beautiful, sunny fall. And it reminded us, that while we’ve been running around in flip-flops, pretending it’s still practically summer, we won’t be able to deny the onset of winter for much longer. While winter provides some significant drawbacks for people who prefer to spend most of every day outdoors and requires significantly more effort in the shoe department,, it does offer up one sizable benefit – Irish Death stew.

This recipe came from an Iron Horse pioneer, if you will. Sarah Allen was the second person to regularly serve beer at our tasting room when it first opened. She has since gone on to much more interesting things (okay few things are more interesting than people + beer), but you get the picture. She recently sent this recipe back to us, and because we love putting our beer in our food as much as we love pairing it with food, we just had to try it. We were not disappointed.

It’s a simple recipe to shop for and make:

¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 ½ pounds lean stewing beef (cut into 1 ½ inch cubes)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 to 3 large potatoes (peeled and cut into bite sized pieces)
2 to 3 carrots (peeled and cut into bite sized pieces)
2 large yellow onions quartered (I used sweet onions…really good)
4 stalks celery (sliced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 to 2 sprigs thyme
2 cups Irish Death
1 teaspoon salt
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Place the flour in a resealable plastic bag. Add the beef to the bag, several pieces at a time, and shake to coat completely.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. In batches if necessary, add the beef and cook, turning, for 8 to 10 minutes until browned on all sides. Using tongs, transfer to paper towels to drain.
Place the beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, thyme, celery and garlic in the slow cooker and pour the beer over top. (If you prefer the vegetables with more texture, let the stew cook for 1 hour before adding the vegetables.) Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Season with salt. Remove and discard thyme.

When you sit down with a piping hot dish of this goodness, make sure you have a bottle of two of Irish Death on hand to pair with it. The sweet and roastly malt flavors in the beer round out the hearty meat and vegetable flavors of the stew perfectly. If you’re feeling really crazy, follow it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a little Mocha Death poured over the top. If you aren’t feeling that crazy after the stew, you can just curl up in a ball and go to sleep. You’ll want to. At least that’s what Regan did.

We would sign this “Hugs and Kisses”, but Greg already does that in his blog, so,
– Regan and Natalia

P.S.Remember to bring a receipt for these ingredients to the tasting room for $2.00 off a growler fill of Irish Death (as supply permits). Make this for your friends and family and then give us all the credit- actually, give it to Sarah!

Washington State Brewery, Iron Horse Brewery is the best local craft brewery located in Ellensburg, WA with Iron Horse Brewery beer being served in Seattle, Kirkland, Bellevue, Tacoma, Redmond, Spokane, Yakima, Richland, Moses Lake, Ephrata, and more Washington State cities.

As a local craft brewery, iron horse brewery believes that good tasting beer, such as, Quilters Irish Death, Mocha Death, 509 Style, Light Rale Ale, Cozy Sweater, High Five Hefe and IPA should be served throughout the pacific northwest. It can supplement meals too.