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Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg, WA
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On Selling Out

Greg Parker
POSTED BY
Greg Parker January 26th 2015

When I think about the craft beer world, I think of community. When Elysian sold to Anheuser-Busch Inbev, Elysian’s community exploded. People have been spewing hate in any way they can find. I see the rebuttals from the defenders of Elysian’s actions and many of them attempt to bring the attackers rationale into question by suggesting that they are hypocrites because they have a mega-corporation cell phone, drive a mega-corporation car and fuel themselves with mega-corporation gas and coffee. I think that misses the point and it’s too cynical (which is ironic if you know how cynical I am). From what I’ve seen, the leading edge of the craft beer movement has been one of local connection with passionate people who are crafting something special for their friends and neighbors. It has been inherently anti-corporate.

Beer is not a tool of utilitarian nature. Beer is a social fuel. In 2015, beer is part of a movement of awareness about place and connection to your surroundings. I understand why people feel betrayed. I feel betrayed. There has been a death in the Washington craft beer community and it could have been avoided. If your favorite local brewery sells to a conglomerate, I don’t see how you could not be pissed. It completely undermines the revolution of investing your time and social capital in a business that brings you and your community closer; a business that if thoughtfully operated helps strengthen and define a community. Elysian was that business. Now it is a marketing tool for the largest brewer in the world. Shit!

If you think I am an idealist dipshit and your ideal future makes no differentiation between total mega-corporate control of all our markets or locally owned and operated stakeholders, then we have a very different perspective. I’m not ready to yield my world to ‘efficiencies’, ‘market share growth’, ‘standardization’ and all the other things we’ve been told are so great about the free market and consolidation. I like diversity. I like paying a cobbler to repair my shoe, even though I could get a new pair for the same money. I like getting a loaf of bread from the person who baked it, start to finish. I’m not ready for Idiocracy.

I guess what I’m saying is, Iron Horse Brewery will continue to reinvest all the social and financial capital that you all have generously invested in us over the years into really stupid stuff like local jobs, local non-profits, parties whose purpose are fun not profit, ridiculous marketing initiatives that haven’t been produced by psychologists, equipment technology that makes better beer, and countless other things that can’t be measured by shareholder dividends but rather by human happiness. We will continue to be fastidious about making locally controlled craft beer and haphazard about everything else.

Thanks for the opportunity. I might fuck it up, but I surely won’t sell out.

Hugs and Kisses
Greg

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This one trick works better than Atkins. Discover how with this click bait title.

Sarah Clark
POSTED BY
Sarah Clark January 8th 2015

New Year’s Resolutions are good, unless they are stupid. The good ones are the ones that make you feel better about yourself.
So before you jump on board with the latest diet trends consider what makes you feel good.
I know what makes me feel good: success, winning and puppies.

I think most people are really hoping for success more than anything when it comes to New Years Resolutions; which is why making a resolution to increase success is a much more practical plan.

So, why torture yourself with cutting calories? Instead resolve to increase your success thus increasing your happiness. For example, resolve to do more of the things you already do. Make a resolution to play more games, tell more jokes and drink more beer. Or, make a resolution to try every beer on tap at your favorite bar, and then successfully call a taxi, because it is not fun losing after a night of winning. Even better, have you every thought of buying a keg throwing a party and then enjoying all of the beer and bean dip to yourself because all of your friends are on diets?

If this sounds like you, you have chosen wisely.

While drinking an extreme amount of beer can have negative effects such as poor decisions, large hospital bills and death, there are many benefits to drinking a fair to moderate amount of beer that you may not know about.

For example, here is an interesting fact from the webM.D. #whoneedsadoctor.com

“beer in moderation increases good cholesterol”

Another statistic shows us that not only is beer good for you but you are good for beer.

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 1.33.18 PM

Proper interpretation of graph:
You will note that while on New Years Eve the sale of craft beer dramatically increased, in the days following beer sales dramatically fall, and then steadily climb again. This statistic clearly points to one specific and annoying issue and that is poorly made New Years resolutions. The graph also indicates that people gradually give up on these resolution as beer sales steadily increase again in the months following.

If you are still unconvinced, consider the following:

George Washington loved beer. Moral of the story: not drinking beer is un-American.
Beer is delicious. Moral: Not drinking beer is un-delicious.
Beer helps tone down spicy foods. Moral: get empanadas, then get beer.
A 12oz poor of beer has about a gram of soluble fiber. Moral: fiber good, beer good. Also, more fiber = quality time, not quantity time in the bathroom.

So for the love of beer, drop your diet resolutions, focus on success, perhaps, one beer at a time.

Sarah, the trivia host and other shenanigans

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Cozy Community Fund Update and The Giving Virus

Jared Vallejo
POSTED BY
Jared Vallejo December 29th 2014

Generosity is a curious thing. It inspires or in my case, makes me feel substandard for not living up to the expectations I created in my mind space. What’s incredible though is how giving, without expectation of return, can be infectious, like a virus, but the good kind of virus. As Greg likes to put things, we are simply the facilitators of this virus. This program could not exist without you, human that is reading this post.

We were going through the dozen or so nominations for this year’s fund, and while all had compelling stories, we had the difficult task of narrowing it down to two recipients. Every year it gets harder to do this. So we added a third recipient. Oh, that darned giving virus.

Because of your nominations and contributions – bidding on the hats and blanket that Rikki made, attending the cozy sweater release party, buying our beer throughout the year and any other contributions you made at [ the pub ] you were able to do a lot this year.

The fund covered the following:

one month rent payment
one month car payment
$100 in gas cards
one winter jacket
three hooded sweatshirts
four seahawks beanies
three family themed game for three kids
a group game
gobs of socks for one whole family
wrapping items so the families could wrap up the items
$100 in Pizza Colin bucks (thanks www.pizzacolin.com)

This all adds up to about $2000, which is great if that’s where it stopped. But there is more.

Our bff neighbors, Phoenix Truss, in hearing about this offered up their services.
We told them about another family’s need to get a front porch fixed.
So, they went out to take a look at it. They made a decision. They are going to completely rebuild this families front porch and back deck. Free. Gratis. Nada. Because as a Ken Beedle, owner of Phoenix Truss so gracefully put it. “I’m all about this kind of stuff. It’s the unknown national stuff that causes me to pause, but this local stuff. I’m all about it” Well said Ken. Also, I may have misquoted him a little bit.

We’re going to have to start earlier next year so we can get more people/services/businesses involved, but you all should feel pretty good about how your contributions helped. This means you’ve probably done your good deed for the next few weeks. So, go high five someone and have a beer or two.

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Cozy Community Fund

Jared Vallejo
POSTED BY
Jared Vallejo November 25th 2014

It’s amazing how quickly 10 months can go by. I don’t believe this whole “time is a constant” thing.

Anyhow, the holiday season – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Festivus, Hannukah, Kwanza, and Buying-Stuff-For-People-Just-Because-Time is here. For the last 5 years, Iron Horse Brewery, along with several Ellensburg, WA area businesses and community members have put together a fund to help one or two families from Kittitas county who need a little extra help for the holidays. Thus the Cozy Community Fund.

Our goal has always been to try to affect a real change in one or two lives every year. There are several great organizations that put together baskets, collect food, and serve the community at large. They excel at this and are very much needed and appreciated in our community. With the cozy community fund, we are hoping that paying off past due utility bills, providing oil changes, food, fixing a broken porch, 4 months worth of gas cards and more can help propel the recipients forward in a way that is meaningful beyond the holiday season.

While some cash is given, most of what they receive are in the form of services, goods, and credits (bills paid off).

Every year Iron Horse Brewery contributes $1,500 to the fund. Last year, just over $2,500 was given to two families in Kittitas County. Previous years it has been as high as $5000.

This year, we want to do more. But we need your help.

If you are a business, person with a skill, or just overly kind and want to contribute to the fund, please email me, jared@ironhorsebrewery.com. Again, it doesn’t have to be cash.

More importantly, we don’t know who this fund needs to go to, so please nominate a family or person in need over here. You can remain anonymous if you so choose.

Let’s do this. (that sounds oddly like the Home Depot tagline, but I swear, I’m not copying it. )

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Pre Pre Cyber Monday Sale that We Just Thought Of Right Now

Jared Vallejo
POSTED BY
Jared Vallejo November 17th 2014

What better way to celebrate the two Mondays before cyber Monday than with a random flash sale and discounted brewery merch? We can’t think of a better way.

For the next three hours, you can get a $2.00 High Five Hefe trucker hat.

It’s like a long, exposed flash sale.
http://store.ironhorsebrewery.com/collections/pre-cyber-monday-sale/products/high-five-hefe-trucker-hat

Why are we doing this? Because we needed something to let you know that for the next 27.4 hours we have a pre-cyber monday sale on our online store.

Here’s how sales work.

1. Go to this page: http://store.ironhorsebrewery.com/collections/pre-cyber-monday-sale/
2. Select any or all of these items to purchase. Add them to your cart.
2b. If you are my wife, then you will just abandon this cart after 10 minutes. That’s cool. Statistics have to come from somewhere, right?
3. When you think you are about to get hoodwinked (step 2 of the check out process) enter the promo code “Take That Amazon” without the quotes, and you’ll get 34.59% off every item that is in your cart that was on the Pre-Cyber Monday page.
4. Brag. Just brag to someone.

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Humans are good at fundraising. Here’s the proof.

Jared Vallejo
POSTED BY
Jared Vallejo November 10th 2014

As you may or may not recall, Iron Horse Brewery had two fundraising initiatives going on during the summer. High Five a Charity and Beer vs Fire.

Well, these are both done now and I’m finally get around to talking about it, because my snapchat feed is empty. Thank goodness.

High Five a Charity: This was a tricky one to gain momentum as an effective fundraising tool. Unfortunately, our rollout of High Five Hefe cans was slower than we anticipated. (we’re in good shape now) I can pick up most of the responsibility as the execution and awareness portion was not optimal. However, for the 5 week period we, and be we I mean, you, our beer drinking bff’s, managed to raise about $1000. This will be divided equally among the top 5 nominated charities. That was a lot of commas for you grammar hounds out there. Anyhow, sifting through the 20 nominated charities made me realize, there are a lot of great organizations out there doing important work. However, we had to take only the top 5.

The recipients are:
Thrive through Cancer – Seattle
Kittitas County Habitat for Humanity – Ellensburg
Disability Rights of Washington Seattle
Gallery One Ellensburg
Seattle Cancer Care Center – Seattle

It was a good effort and one we’ll probably try something new at some other vague point in time. Feel free to donate to any of these, without the beer incentive, as I’m sure they would appreciate it.

Beer vs Fire:

There is a press a release below, but in short $10,200 was raised. F*&$ Ya!.

As Greg points out, you beer drinkers made this happen. Give yourself a high five. Or Irish Death. or Crosscut Pilsner. Or 509. Or… I could keep going and going. In an effort to reduce waste, I’ll let the press release finish the details below.

I’d just like to add, so I will, you humans are amazing. This is vital, because I am generally a horrible person, which I find necessary to offset all this goodness. So keep on doing your thing.

—————-

For Immediate Release

Beer vs. Fire Fundraising Effort Concludes Because It’s Almost Winter Now.

Iron Horse Brewery and Icicle Brewing Company raise over $10,200.00

ELLENSBURG, WA (November 6, 2014)
Iron Horse Brewery of Ellensburg and Icicle Brewing Company of Leavenworth announced the conclusion of their 3 month long joint fundraising initiative called Beer vs Fire designed to help victims affected by Carlton Complex, Snag Canyon, Chiwaukum Complex and South Cle Elum Ridge fires. The goal was to raise $12,000 through beer sales of Iron Horse’s 509 Style and Icicle’s Crosscut Pilsner. The total amount raised to date is $10,200.00.

“Our wholesale and retail partners really made all of this possible” said Greg Parker, Owner of Iron Horse Brewery. “And, of course, without the beer drinkers, we would be bringing back a bunch of beer. Thanks are in order to you, beer drinker, you really helped the fire victims”, Parker added.

DONATIONS and BEER on the Shelf
The $10,200 will be split with direct donations going to Red Cross of Kittitas County and Red Cross Apple Valley, ideally in a the form of giant check.

The dollar amount raised reflects all of the beer shipped for the fundraiser. “There may be a few remaining bottles of 509 Style or Crosscut Pilsner on the shelf marked with Beer vs Fire “ commented Pamela Brulotte, Owner of Icicle Brewing Company “We anticipated that might happen so our donation reflects those bottles. We’re asking our customers to help those retailers out and get the last few bottles off the shelves if you see them” Brulotte said.

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IHB MENU
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.