Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg, WA

Irish Death

Created by the brewery’s founder, Quilter’s Irish Death is what we call a dark, smooth, ale. Any attempt at classifying it just ends up sending beer geeks into a style guidelines diatribe. So forget style guidelines. Is your pursuit of micro beer about tasting copies of a style that fit guidelines anyways? (Neither is ours) We lovingly refer to it as beer candy. While tempting to session this beer, the name is a necessary reminder that despite the surprising approachability, this beer weighs in at a hefty 7.8% ABV.


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87 Responses

  1. Lisa says:

    I love this brew! I am not a dark beer fan so I didn’t think I would like it, but oh man, it’s soo good!!!

  2. Bo says:

    My landlady wants to know why Irish Death is called “quilter’s” Irish Death.

    • Tim Johnson says:

      The beer was originally developed by Jim Quilter then assistant brewmaster at Sierra Nevada as a 13.5% barleywine. Jim later moved on to Butte Creek, Mad River and Winthrop Brewery (now Old Schoolhouse) before opening Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg. Jim later sold Iron Horse and was working for the Bighorn Brewing (Ram) chain in Seattle when he passed away in 2009. Kudos to the present Iron Horse owners to give much deserved credit to Jim Quilter to this present fine beer. Raise a glass of this fine brew to Jim Quilter.

      • J. Sean Manion says:

        So sad to hear about the passing of James Quilter and so many years removed. I had many a good belly laugh with James in grade school. I’d been wondering for a long time where he went after Butte Creek. I saw “Quilter’s” Irish Death in my local store in Montana and right away thought, “That’s got to be James!” It’s the kind of name he’d give such a product. I’d see his pop all the time walking past the ball fields where my kids played, walking his dog with a shellailagh and sporting his “Paddy cap.” A parting glass to me ole bud…….

  3. Eli says:

    This is an AMAZING beer. Deep, complex, and with a fantastic finish! Smooth and very well balanced, Irish Death is one of my favorites. Thanks Iron Horse for making something so GOOD!

  4. DJ the Kaay says:

    Congratulations Gentlemen/Ladies

    You have managed to brew the finest
    beer I ever quaffed. I found it in
    Cheylan and was immediately taken by it. I live in Issaquah and have looked for it but nobody has
    it. Where is the closest place I
    can find it (I want several cases.

    • Brian scholten says:

      If you are ever in Tacoma, I have Irish death on tap and in 22oz. bottles, or you can prchase a 64oz growler and take it home with you to enjoy.Or if you prefer, we can order a couple cases for you. Fosters Tavern 6316 Mckinley Ave.

    • Mike says:

      Anyone who’s looking for the “Irish Death” can find it at “The Yuppie Tavern/ Pawnshop” in the Kirkland area at Totem Lake. It is, truly, some fine brew!

    • Mikel Olsson says:

      Both Safeway and Fred Meyer carry it in 22oz bottles.

  5. Alun says:

    I have to say from a true irishman, it is a pleasure to have our Irish “name” on this brew. One of the finest brews this side of Dublin. Rich, complex, a beautiful thing. Like i have always said, “Don’t be afraid of the dark” Dark beers arent always the “soup” people think they are. Try it, you may just like it.

  6. Jerry says:

    Quilter’s Irish Death on tap is available at Curly’s II in Kittitas. Curly’s is a fun place to gather, free pool, & friendly folks exploring all the big issues of the day (rain, wind, sunshine, happy stuff).

    • Bill Warren says:

      I used to be a Guinness fan. Irish Death has spoiled me forever. Everything else from now on will just be beer. (But the occasional Double Rainbow is a welcome change of pace, when they’re out of The Good Stuff.)

  7. Jerry says:

    OK, here’s the deal! I just sent an eMail to my “old” college buddy (we were at Central about 50 years ago) with a link to the brewery and to Irish Death. My “old buddy” lives in Oregon & he needs to understand we have the brew up here.

    Good products are appreciated.

  8. Mike says:

    I tried this at a local bottle shop and it instantly became my favorite beer. The problem is they only had a case of it which was gone in a couple days. For goodness sake please start distributing to the Portland area!

  9. Kathy says:

    Hey guys the only thing my son asked for today on his 24th Birthday was that I get him some “Irish Death” Microbrew and have it sent to him in Fort Meyers, FLA…. How could I make work for him??? Thanks, K~

  10. MaddDawg Hughes says:

    OMG !! Irish Death…….
    Best OMG !!!!!! Irish Death ……from Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensberg, WA …… BEST DAMN DARK BEER EVER!! Baptized in it and now I have seen the Dark, at TOMMY C’s in Port Orchard, WA, go there and be Baptized in the DARK ‘CANDY’ ALE!!
    Doyle “MaddDawg” Hughes
    PS – Hey, where’s the bottles ????? `;o#}<=<

  11. Davepcoug says:

    I discovered this beer in Chelan. Unfortunately I am back in Phoenix. This beer is not even distributed outside of Washington. Wassup with that!! I’m looking for a second career – how about local sales rep for the Phoenix area? A lot of WA folks show up here for vacation, spring training, golf. And they won’t be able to find your great dark beer.

  12. Drew LaBerge says:

    I have only been introduced to this delicious and fine ale… Kudos to Iron Horse. I have trouble naming a Number 1 favorite beer between the Irish Death and Silver City Ridgetop Red… though both are different they are both very much the best beers ever!!!

  13. Ann Harris says:

    I’ve had the good fortune to have sampled more British brews than I could count. The best of the best is right here at home. From my first sip of this magical complex brew, I knew I had found The One True Brew!!! Thank You Jim! And Thank You Iron Horse! And Thank You Fred Meyer in Olympia for selling it! Ahhhh yum!

    Where can I get a Growler in Oly? I have a friend in Oregon who loves it too.

  14. JP says:

    Just had this the other night in Tri-Cities. Holy Friggin’ Crap! What a great beer!!! You guys just got yourselves a HUGE fan! I’ve been spreading the good word to all my friends…and already have several requests for it from my friends back in Jersey. Truly excellent brew, guys. Keep up the great work.

  15. Felecia Eby says:

    We need The Irish Death in Astoria Oregon!!!

  16. ever since I left Spokane,WA I can not find Irish Death and it makes me very sad!!!

  17. Bill Warren says:

    There is nothing for it, I am permanently spoiled. I used to be a Guinness fan, I used to get a black-n-tan, but if I have Irish Death available I will take it before any contenders. Anywhere in the world. You can’t quantify it or qualify it … it’s not a stout, it’s not an ale, it’s beer-candy. People who don’t like dark beer love the stuff, people who did like dark beer get like me … spoiled. Nothing else will do. Greg and Natalia, you have created a monster … I will wear a rubber suit and smash cardboard buildings and trample toy tanks to have my Irish Death! (And before you or one of your wonderful staff spouts “You’re Welcome!”, let me at least say “Thank You!”) Awesome beer, whatever you call it. “Death To Us All!” (an apropos toast!)

  18. Mike says:

    I wish there was a way to get this out to Colorado. It’s the best beer I’ve ever had, and I need to come up with a reason to go to Washington and get a few cases to bring out here.

  19. Scott says:

    I’d claim that I’m really at a loss to explain how good Irish Death is, but the facts disprove this notion. I have single-handedly converted about 6 people to Irish Death. I convinced my wife to try it, and she has since converted many of her friends. (Come to think of it, maybe my wife deserves most of the credit…) Many of these new converts were the kind of people who tended to drink truly terrible beers (think mass-produced lite American beers from the heartland). I can heap no higher praise upon Irish Death.

    My question is: Have I earned some free swag with all of my evangelism? Regardless of the answer, I don’t intend to stop spreading my love of (Irish) Death.

  20. Half Pints Brewing says:

    Damn, this is a fine beer. Drinking it right now in Winnipeg at Phil’s house! We’ll call it smoot (smooth for you laymen out there) and leave it at that.

  21. Half Pints Brewing says:

    Damn, this is a fine beer. Drinking it right now in Winnipeg at Phil’s house! We’ll call it smoot (smooth for you laymen out there) and leave it at that.

  22. Lisa Stewart says:

    Its on tap at the R Place in Mattawa, WA. So I am so in love with Irush Death. What is that material that is loaded at the bottom of my bottle. This last glass have serious debris throughout. Is that a hop? Not stopping to pour it out though.

  23. alex says:

    i used to live in wa and this is the thing i miss most!!!!….best beer ever hands down….can they ship it to me in ca…i will pay hefty for it!!!!

  24. Don says:

    Not a bad dark ale – sweet and smooth.
    I like a little more hop in my beer but this was very tasty – picked up a pint of it at a local grocery store – glad I chose this one.

  25. Great tasting beer, very smooth . I never really like dark beers but this is amazing. To bad i can’t get it in Boise. Had a friend give me a bottle to.try . If somebody would get it down here that would be amazing.

  26. C Kronvall says:

    Had an Irish Death for the first time at Hill’s Resort in Northern Odaho last night. I really enjoyed and the brew and have a new beer on my list of brews to look for. Even my hefe loving wife and Coors Light brother-in-law found it approachable. Thanks for a job well done.

  27. Don says:

    Mick Kelly’s has the Irish Stout on tap

  28. Meg says:

    I grabbed this one in a grocery store in Federal Way to try. The flavor is great but my bottle was completely flat! From reading others’ comments, I think something must have happened to the bottle. Any comments?

  29. Marnel says:

    They have Irish Death on tap at my local tavern (Harry’s Place in Toledo, Wa) but when I asked the owner if he sells growlers, he asked “what’s a growler?” Really? Maybe he needs an education!

  30. amanda biles says:

    Found the Irish Death at the Round Up in Graham WA and tonight at Ferrelli’s in Parkland. Here is to Jim Quilter, Cheers and Thanks!

  31. Tom says:

    Went to two stores today Fred Meyer and Safeway. NO IRISH DEATH!!!

  32. katrina friedt says:

    Enjoying irish death in mott north dakota at 2 above with good friends!!

  33. Scott says:

    A beer this strong has no business being so smooth! A fantastic brew that I would recommend to anyone! Nice work Iron Horse.

  34. Bryan Balkwill says:

    Visited Washington for the first time this past week and had an amazing time. Irish Death was one of the first beers I tasted during my trip and was so impressed with the taste and quality of it; its all I drank the rest of my time in the state. I truly feel in love with this brew. Wished I could get it here in Florida, may just have to move!

  35. Bryan Balkwill says:

    I visited Washington for the first time this past week. This was one of the first beers I tried. I was so impressed by the flavor and quality that it was all I drank the rest of my time there. I wish I could find it in Florida, may just have to move up to enjoy it more.

  36. Rick says:

    Just had Irish Death last night at A Terrible Beauty in West Seattle. SO glad I ordered it instead of a Guinness. It is now my new favorite winter beer. Now if I could get a little help figuring out how to get some at a local store, that would be fantastic. Think ya could fix the web page? Help me to help you, ok?

  37. Bernie says:

    Can I get this in Vancouver BC??

  38. Forrest says:

    oh yummy just tryed the brew waiting for corned beef and cabbage sorry to say the growler is gone. damn now it is corned beef and cabbage with no irish death

  39. Mike Gorry says:

    This is my all time fave Dark. I’m getting married in two weeks and had to hunt down the cases I needed for the reception (Thank You Total Wines) and thank you folks at Iron Horse for such a Fabulous Brew.

  40. Allen says:

    Best beer around right now. Would love to buy in bulk. is that possible?

  41. Jeffrey K Cooley says:

    I had the opportunity to work with the creator of this beer, Jim Quilter, at Mad River Brewing Co. He was an amazing man and a gentle soul. His presence in the brewing community is sorely missed. I’m ecstatic to see you are honoring his memory by continuing to offer this equally amazing brew, Cheers!

  42. Robert Pratt says:

    Is Irish Death brew distributed anywhere in the Mid-Valley region of Oregon?

  43. Matt says:

    I left WA last year to move to the east coast. The biggest thing I miss about WA…Irish Death! I first tried it at a Enumclaw Oktoberfest. I was hooked. What an amazing beer! Out here in MD, the stores only seem to sell crap beer (coors, bud, corona…uugghhh). I miss your wonderful beer!

  44. Creagh Breuner says:

    Would you all ever sell Quilter’s Irish Death in Missoula MT? I would buy it regularly!

    I’m heading to Portland for Christmas. Do you have it in stores or on tap anywhere there?


  45. Delaney Van Ne says:

    This is my favorite beer, ever! Creamy, dark, smooth, the perfect mix of sweet and bitter. Like chocolaty woody heaven! Please sell in six packs! And sell it everywhere!

  46. Mikel Olsson says:

    Available on tap at McNamara’s Irish Pub in DuPont, WA!

  47. Tonja Jackson says:

    I tried this up at Stevens Pass after a day of sledding and snowboarding and I’ve been buying up ever bottle that I find ever since. You guys rock!

  48. Paul Barnes Black Diamond says:

    Absolutely my favorite brew. My only misgiving is that after finishing the 22 oz bottle I don’t feel comfortable about getting behind the wheel for about an hour. Any possibility of making it available in a 12 oz 6 pack?

  49. Jesse says:

    I sang karaoke for the first time last night. Thanks Irish Death

  50. Jeff Isherwood says:

    OMG I really could use a growler of this super fine brew. Where can I find a growler of it in Western Montana. Does it come bottled?

  51. […] by the brewery’s founder, Quilter’s Irish Death is what we call a dark, smooth, ale. Any attempt at classifying it just ends up sending beer geeks […]

  52. […] once with a cute little hometown pub crawl on Saturday. I had the obligatory Guinness, some Irish death (best beer ever) and my first Harp! Holly is on a hefe kick so that’s all she drinks these […]

  53. Greg Smith says:

    I had this brew tonight at an event in Tumwater. Since it was St Patty’s, how could I refuse a brew with a name like Irish Death? I was very pleasantly surprised by the smoothness and easy drinking quality of the beer. Not as heavy as most dark brews, and with a nice malt flavor and no sharp bite like some dark brews. Well done!

  54. I was looking for a beer to pour in the pot with the corned beef and cabbage yesterday and came across a 22-ounce bottle of pure magic. Somehow I’d never heard of Iron Horse or Quilter’s Irish Death, but I was game. I poured about a pint into the bubbling pot. It’s a damned good thing it was already in there when I tasted it, because if I’d tasted it first I doubt that there would have been much beer in the traditional dinner!

    I’ll be grabbing another couple of these right soon now.


  55. Anne says:

    Just tried Irish Death at the St Patrick’s Day celebration at McGinley’s in Anchorage, Ak. I have to admit I was quite surprised at how smooth & thirst quenching it was. I will look for it again!

  56. Matt says:

    Your explanations of each beer, specifically the dark ale, tell me nothing about the beer except ABV. “beer candy”? Tell me about the brew!

  57. Randi Pettit says:

    Mmmmmmmm mmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm good, better than campbell soup. Delicious

  58. George says:

    Irish Death is awesome!! As a Guiness man myself, I gladly pay the extra cash for this delicious beer

  59. Stella lydon says:

    Are your beers available in Maine? We are visiting in Spokane for the holiday and have enjoyed Irish Death.

  60. Robert says:

    I have tried your Irish death for the first time and just love it. I am in colorado not available here!!! What and how is it made?

  61. Poor description says:

    The coffee in my beer was annoying, especially since the description said nothing about that.

  62. Roberto says:

    I want to say this beer is the best beer I have ever had. Had it in WA when I was working for the railroad. Unfortunatly I live in California and cant get it out here or else I’d order a case a month!

  63. A friend and I went to Read Tequila in Anacortes for dinner and we had a bottle of your Irish Death. The beer was very good. I finally finished mine, but my friend almost finished hers. Someday we will find some of your other beers and try them out.

  64. […] Iron Horse Brewery – Quilter’s Irish Death […]

  65. Lucas Dailey says:

    Irish Death… Enough Said!

  66. Eric says:

    Just took my first sip and I’m very impressed! I enjoy darks/stouts, but often fine the coffee or smokiness a bit much for my palate. This beauty doesn’t hammer my tongue like some do. Just put a visit to your brewery on my bucket list!

  67. […] a $1 off your first pint. Their beer selection is not as good as some places, but they usually have Irish Death on tap and at a $1 off you can’t go wrong. Since it hadn’t been very long since […]

  68. Brian Hegstad says:

    I Like

  69. Vaughn meier says:

    When will you have growlers available at “Total Wine” in Tukwilla, wa?

  70. Vaughn meier says:

    When will you be selling growlers ar “total wine” in tukwilla, wa. Also, what restraunts and bars, Tavers do you serve Irish Death near Kent washington?

  71. Aaron says:

    My favorite beer hands down.

  72. Jack says:

    Love this ale. I’ll make all the searchers jealous with the news that my local (Caldwell,ID) Maverick has a Growler Fill station that reliably has Irish Death.

  73. […] is cooked out, but the rich flavor stays behind. I made beef stew in the crockpot last night with Quilter’s Irish Death, and it was […]

  74. Nicole says:

    Going through withdrawals since Smokey Mountain Pizza here in Boise Idaho ran out of Irish Death. I checked a website and the closest bar that has it is 389 miles away. Looks like I am going on a road trip this weekend.

  75. Lieren says:

    This heady brew is the smoothest, tastiest dark beer I’ve ever encountered. Paired great with a burger and onion rings. If this is Irish Death in a pint glass, I’ve died and gone to heaven.

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.