Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg, WA

Archive for December, 2011

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my attempt at becoming the holiday cheermeister

Greg Parker
Greg Parker December 24th 2011

This time of year I always feel like Scrooge, and often get accused of being a Scrooge. I don’t buy anything for anyone other than my wife and my kids (although last year, my kids got nothing from me). The usual question “are you ready for christmas?!” that passes for conversation causes my skin to crawl. The assumption being my response will be something like ‘oh, gosh no, i still have to shop for blah blah blah, and i don’t know what to get uncle Jack, and blah de blah”. These activities and conversations are not inherently bad or without merit, and I am sure they do bring some people true pleasure. I just can not busy myself or my mind with these holiday platitudes. Oops, the disdain is creeping back in.

It is not that I truly loathe any of this, well, actually, rampant consumerism I do kind of loathe, but I have nothing against the spirit of giving. In fact, giving can be a powerful action. On occasion, we have chosen to give to Heifer International in lieu of giving to others (my wife is not as cold-hearted as me and has to give in some way). This brings me to the point of my writing. Why do we give so much to our friends and family when, in many cases, they already have so much? This is obviously not the case with everyone who reads this, but for a great deal of Americans, actual ‘needs’ are covered and a great deal of ‘wants’ go fulfilled as well.

This year the brewery joined forces with some other local businesses and individuals and pooled our resources. Together we came up with over $4,000 in cash and services that is going to 3 different families to help them with basic necessities and hopefully a luxury or two. Without help from anyone, it would just be a cold and hard time for them. We started this last year and were joined by others this year, helping us to double the amount we were able to give. We realized that things were going pretty damn good for us. We realized that things are pretty rough for some people in our community. We realized that we would remember helping a family in tough times have a kick ass christmas, while we would most likely forget an ipod nano in a short amount of time. You know what? I remember the family we helped last year like it was yesterday, and it still breaks my heart to think about what they have been through. I don’t remember what my wife got for me last year (sorry Natalia). Natalia doesn’t remember what I got her last year (neither do I), but we still talk about the family that the brewery was able to help.

If you would like to give to this program next year, look for our call to action in November. We would love to see it continue to grow.

And Happy Holidays, even if you are getting a nano.

With Abundant Holiday Cheer,

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Good Beer Citizen

Greg Parker
Greg Parker December 7th 2011

Good Beer Citizen: Why do so many beer line ups look largely the same? Or, doing your part for craft beer.

If you are like me… never mind, by this time in my life I have realized that, thankfully, there are not many people like me.  Thankfully for society I mean.  But, if we do share one thing in common, I hope it is a love of craft beer.

While the measures of growth and availability indicate a golden age for small producers of craft beer there is still a long way to go.  Are you aware that all craft beer consumed in America, which includes relatively large producers such as Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada (great breweries by the way) only accounts for 7% of total American beer consumption?  Not even one of every ten pints is a craft beer.

So what? Good question. While I have nothing in particular against the mega breweries, I do favor small producers and local businesses.  I won’t drone on about job creation, community involvement, connection to citizenry and the multitude of other less tangible benefits of local ownership, but I will implore you to consider these points when making your buying decisions.

Now to the point. Why is craft beer at a mere 7% of the market?  Well, without getting too in-depth about prohibition, quasi-monopolies, and other clear disadvantages that small producers face, in a word, Choice.  It is about the choice of the supply chain, starting with the citizen. If a retailer gets no push back, or sees no loss by choosing cheap faux-craft, cheap domestic or simply limiting craft beer line up because of cost, convenience, relationships, or laziness, the share of the market available to craft will always be a minority.

Really, to the point now, I promise.  What should you do if you agree with me? Drink Iron Horse Beer. Or don’t, but don’t walk in to a place, lament the line up of beers, and then plunk down your money.  Tell the management their line up sucks (or isn’t to your liking if you are a more classy individual) and you want to see some Northern Lights, Roslyn, Snipes, Yakima Craft, Lost Falls, Ice Harbor, Rattlesnake Hills, Whitstran, Old Schoolhouse, Alpine, Horse Heaven or any other of the more than 1500 craft breweries of the country that are not Eastern Washington breweries. Yeah, that’s right, all of the above are Eastern Washington breweries and I am sure I overlooked a few.  At that point if you are feeling like a real badass, after you tell them their line up sucks, walk out.  Then do that every week or month, or whatever you are comfortable with.  Or if you are not ready for total badass status leave it at that, but tell that retailer every single time you are in there, you want real craft beer and tell them you will stop coming in, even if it is an idle threat.

You know what happens next?  The pressure builds, they cave and put on more craft beer, new citizens get exposed to craft beer, more craft beer becomes available at your favorite retailer and next thing we know, fizzy yellow beer is relegated to 7% of the market and we save the economy and the world, or maybe just the working class of America, but hey, that ain’t so bad.  Even if the option to choose true craft beer, or the craft beer that you desire is not available to you, let everyone know that you would choose it if you could and your loyalty could be won by some enterprising establishment that chooses to offer you that opportunity. Brewers across the country thank you for your consideration.

Hugs and Kisses,
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.