Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg, WA
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Guten Nachmittag, y’all!

Rikki Welz
Rikki Welz October 2nd 2015

I own a for-realzies-German dirndl. This fabulous piece of clothing encouraged me (though does not legitimize my knowledge) to lecture you, dear reader, on the fabulous event and beer style called Oktoberfest.

It all started back in 1553, when Duke Albrecht the V of Bavaria decreed that no brewing shall occur between the Feast of Saint George, and the Feast of Michael the Archangel- more commonly known as April 23rd through the 29th of September. This decree was to help keep the beers from turning out terrible. You see, during the (basically) summer bavarian months, there was a much stronger chance of the brewing beers to be ruined by wild yeasts and bacteria in the air. In turn, the run up to the end of the brewing months led to a stronger (around 6%) beer to be brewed, left to “lagern”- or store-  in cellars and tunnels and other cold places during the summer months, to be enjoyed in the fall. These lagers were originally dark and roasty in flavor and color, and were referred to in general as Märzenbiers.

In October of 1810, Ludwig (the future king of Bavaria) married Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen (gesundheit). Ludwig’s dad (King Maximillian I Joseph of Bavaria), had been dealing with some shit in the Napoleonic wars, and was looking for a good way to politically keep his constituents happy. Why not celebrate his son’s wedding in a very kickass style? So, on the 13 and 14th of October 1810, there was a fest in Munich. In the Weisen (aka the meadow), there were feasts, parades, horse races, and of course, beers. This celebration was so well received by the local Münchener that they decided to hold a celebration the following year, with a few changes. This time, it would celebrate the local agriculture, more horse races, more beer, and the Weisen was now referred to Theresienweise, in honor of the blushing bride. This celebration has since continued for the next 200+ years (excluding during some wars and cholera outbreaks). The dates have migrated to the last two weeks of September through the first weekend of October, mainly due to the weather constraints October in Bavaria provides. This celebration has expanded internationally, because who doesn’t love beer and partying. Around here the most common one I can think of is Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest (where they even fly out Munich’s Oktoberfest best known performers, to the northwests own bavarian themed town), where the dirndl is as common as the Seahawks jersey.  

Now, back to the beer. The Oktoberfestbier appellation first debuted at the Oktoberfest celebration in 1872 by Spaten Brewery, applied to the Märzen style of beer. At this point, the märzen had also changed in appearance, closer to a more amber colored ale, with its distinct sweet yet crisp flavor, quite fun and delicious to glug from a 1 liter stoneware mug. The appellation of the Oktoberfest style is now a protected right in European Union regulations where only authorized large breweries of Munich are allowed to label it “Oktoberfest.” Nowadays, the Munich Oktoberfest style has been described as a golden lager, low to moderate bitterness, a malty aroma, and best paired with a large pretzel or sausage (or both!). Stateside, you can find many “Fest Biers”, Oktoberfests, and Marzens with similar flavor profiles and celebrations in mind. Because we don’t make lagers here, you won’t find it on our menu. So I suggest a tall glass of our Fresh Hopped Finger Gun Session IPA, because it’s the Yakima Fresh Hop Ale festival this weekend. See you there!

For more information, please check out the Oxford Dictionary of Beer, the Beer Bible, and the Google.


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Ridiculousness comes at a cost. That cost is your sleeves. Worth it

Marissa July 30th 2015

On August 15th the sleeves come off and the beer guts come out. We heard you’ve been dying to bust out that ACDC shirt for just the right occasion. Well, wax your T-Top because we are bringing back the 3rd not-so-annual Dirt Bag Party CARNIVAL from 6-11 p.m.

Each of you dirty birds will have the option to compete in our dirt bag carnival games. This gives the opportunity for others to take pictures and videos to instasnapbook you looking like total awesomeness. The top two competitors will win.. something. And the last place winner will also win.. something. We’re working on it. Each player will compete in five total activities, which makes this the perfect time to show off your random talent capabilities while wearing enough AquaNet to be a fire hazard for the entire Kittitas Valley. It’s a point driven system, so the more you play the greater your chances of winning.

We will provide other activities that will only enhance your dirt baggyness, such as, hot dog eating contest, cake walk, ghetto dunk tank, and beer can smash. We’ve eloquently paired these items with the most pristine music provided by Heavy Metal Mullet and Cobra Hawk. The ‘Burg (88.1 FM) will be there to ensure we have all the Poison and Motley Crue you can handle.

Food: Tacos Chalingos, Brisket BBQ, and Just Dogs (+plus hamburgers) will be there to ensure you have sustenance to keep you going through the night.

The first 150 people will receive a custom dirt bag glass, don’t wait much longer to get your tickets. or do. Sign ups are at:

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Press Release: We’re Growing….In Debt, But For Good Reason.

Jared Vallejo
Jared Vallejo July 7th 2015

Things are getting a little crazy around Iron Horse Brewery. Our staff count is growing. (not infection staff, human staff)
Finger Gun is taking off faster than we anticipated. Apparently, you all like to “pew, pew” more than we thought. This is great. But it also means the production staff is up to their eyeballs in beer. Sales is up to their elbows in notes and phone calls and marketing, well, we’re more irreverent than ever. Yes, watching cat shark riding the roomba counts as market research. So what does all of this activity mean? Good question. I’ll have our press release tell you, because I have to go read


Iron Horse Brewery Plans to Expand Production Facility, Reinforcing The Theory- Operating a Brewery is an Expensive Endeavor.

ELLENSBURG, WA (July 15, 2015)- Iron Horse Brewery announced today that it plans to expand its production facility on Vantage Hwy in Ellensburg, WA to better accommodate their insurmountable, and probably too aggressive 2016 beer production goals. “We realized that bankers were an underclass that needs help from anyone that can provide it. We decided it was a good time to jump in, take on a pile of debt and make sure bankers don’t have to dismantle their golden parachutes”, said Greg Parker, owner and gm of Iron Horse Brewery. “We also realized there is one badass group of consumers out there that like our beer and want more of it. So, that’s what we’re going do. Produce more beer”, commented Parker.

The 2015 expansion project involves site improvements and new brewing equipment. The Iron Horse Brewery production facility will add a new 2,300 sf refrigeration space and 1,600 sf warehouse space off of the east wing. On the west side of the building, a new 1,200 sf mill room and dedicated hop cooler will be added, making the total footprint of the production facility over 17,603 square feet.

New Brewhouse
Inside the production facility, Iron Horse Brewery will be installing a new 30 bbl BrauKon automated brewhouse. “Currently, we are brewing twenty-eight to thirty brews per week on a 15 barrel system, which doesn’t give a whole lot of flexibility,” said Tyson Read, head brewer of Iron Horse Brewery. “While I enjoy pushing equipment to a high efficiency level, moving to the fully automated, 30 barrel, BrauKon system will improve our material and labor efficiencies. The new system will give us a high level of consistency through the process, along with the ability to grow into the future,” commented Read, who likes butterflies and rainbows.

Even More Equipment
In addition to the new brew house, Iron Horse is adding a 90 barrel fermenter, a 120 barrel fermenter, a 60 barrel brite tank, and a 120 barrel brite tank. A new canning line has been added to their packaging station, which will allow Iron Horse to can up to 100 cases per hour.

Ideally, all of this is complete by December 30, 2015. But Iron Horse Brewery doesn’t operate on conventional terms, so chances are the project complete date will be sometime in mid January.

To learn more about project, go to their unresponsive website:


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New Beer Release, Press Release is Released.

Jared Vallejo
Jared Vallejo June 26th 2015

For Immediate Release


Iron Horse Brewery Announces the Release of Two New Beers, Coincidentally, Just In Time for the 3rd Quarter.

The seasonal offerings are new formulations of water, malt and hops.


ELLENSBURG, WA  (June 24, 2015) Iron Horse Brewery is introducing two new handcrafted, locally made craft brews to the marketplace,  Koytus, a dutch-style koyt and Disruptor, a brand new beer style, they are calling IPA.  “Both of these beer styles are very rare, in fact, we believe we might have invented a new style,” said Greg Parker, owner and gm of Iron Horse Brewery.  “You won’t believe what happens when you put a boat load of hops in the boil, after the boil, and during fermentation.  You get this rich bitterness and floral aroma the world has never known until now.  This will disrupt your mind and senses; convenient pun intended,” commented Parker.

The Anniversary Ale – Disruptor IPA
As Iron Horse Brewery’s 9th anniversary ale, they wanted to do something completely different.

“We want to alter the taste buds of craft beer drinkers everywhere. We want to reimagine the craft beer market place, which is why we are pleased to introduce to the world, a one of a kind beer style, called IPA,” said Jared Vallejo, marketing director of Iron Horse Brewery. “Based upon a relatively unknown process called dry hopping, Disruptor IPA is an intricately produced, deliciously amazing beer with just the right bitterness,  staggering aroma and is built on a solid malt backbone, giving it balance throughout the beer drinking session,” commented Vallejo.

“I agree,” commented Ross Chalstrom,  Interloper of Press Release Quotes.


What’s a Dutch-style Kuit?
According to the Brewer’s Association guidelines, “Dutch-style Kuits (Kuyt, Koyt) are gold to copper colored ale. Chill haze and other haze is allowable. The overall aroma character of this beer is grain emphasized with a grainy-bready accent. The distinctive character comes from the use of minimum 45% oat malt, minimum 20% wheat malt and the remainder pale malt.”  According to Tyson Read, head brewer at Iron Horse Brewery, “Koyt – it’s a flavorfulass beer made with oat malt.  We increase hopping over traditional standards to bitter it up a tad.  That’s what it is.”



Beer Nerd Details

Name: Koytus
Style: Dutch Kuit/Koyt
ABV: 5.8%
IBU: 22
Hops: Bravo, Centennial, Delta
Package: 22oz Bottles
Other: made with 45% oat malt, hopped up a touch, clarified with a centrifuge, and hugged by a giant platypus.

Beer Nerd Details
Name: Disruptor IPA
Style: A brand new style called IPA
ABV: 6.99%
IBU: 55
Hops: Apollo, Bravo, CTZ
Package: Draught & 22oz Bottles
Other: 5 pounds of hops per bbl of beer, this thing is loaded.  It will disrupt your senses.

Release and Availability
Both Koytus and Disruptor will hit the market in the beginning of July and will be available in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and Oregon.The release has been in the works for at least 9 days with placement secured at several of the major chain grocery retailers as well as independent grocers and beer retailers. Consumers hoping to get their hands on either beer can use Iron Horse Brewery’s Beer finder for exact locations. The Beer Finder can be found here:

About Iron Horse Brewery
Iron Horse Brewery, centrally located in Ellensburg, WA, has been producing hand crafted ales since 2007.  Iron Horse is owned by father-son team Greg and Gary Parker.   With 33 employees and a recent expansion, enabling IHB to double its brewing capacity, they plan to produced over 18,000 bbls in 2015. To learn more about the brewery or to simply take a break from really talkative co-worker go to



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New Hire: Dane Williams

Jared Vallejo
Jared Vallejo April 16th 2015

In January, we had revelation: We want to get better at things and stuff. One of those things was having a better understanding of the off premise world (note: off premise = places where you buy beer to go = grocery stores). In order to realize that goal, we had two options self-improvement or find someone who already has this knowledge. We chose the latter.

A fictitious iron horse person sat down with our new hire and asked some questions.


Full Name: Dane Williams
Official IHB Response: Correct. You’re hired.

Title: Resident Ginger (Off Premise Manager, New Business Development and MT State Manager)
IHB Response: We’re glad you used brackets. We assume that’s the equivalent of air quotes.

Years Worked at IHB: 99 glorious days.

What’s your education/work background?
Graduated from Washington State University in 2000 with a degree in Business/Economics. After a short 6-month stint of selling Radio, I was hired by Labatt USA (Interbrew) as a Canadian Sales Specialist (Labatt Blue and Kokanee On Premise Focus). Over the next 13 years, I held a variety of different positions ranging from Area Manager, District Sales Manager (AZ/NM), Executive Assistant to VP of Marketing, Bud Light Brand Promotions, Marketing, On Premise National Accounts, Wal-Mart Team and Small Format Team (7-Eleven, Rite Aid and Walgreen’s).

IHB RESPONSE: Wow, that’s a big list of words and things you did. we’re impressed with your ability to make lists that sounds listy.

What prompted you to apply for a job with IHB?
The opportunity to be a part of a really exciting portfolio of brands, with a tremendous amount of growth upside and a team committed to building the business “the right way”. It also happens to be in my hometown…

IHB RESPONSE: We don’t know what portfolio of brands is. Also, let us know when you figure out what the “right way” is.

What’s the worst part about working at the brewery?
Scale. Because of the high demand for specific goods (hops) and services (can design), the “small guy” doesn’t always have the leverage, or buying power to expedite a timeline. After being on the opposite side of the pendulum, it’s taken a little to get used too…but it’s also a great lesson in business planning. In addition to scale, I would have to say the ordering process. With a brew house extended as far as IHB, it’s absolutely critical that our Wholesale partners are forecasting product inventory accurately and in a timely manner. Not having the ability to overcome inaccuracies can be frustrating…it makes you plan ahead and cognizant of historical/seasonal trends. Other than that, we have paper towel shortage in the kitchen that needs to be addressed.

IHB RESPONSE: That’s a lot of Jargon. Also, were you trying to be funny in your last sentence?

What’s the best part about working at the brewery?
IHB has created an environment that rewards the freedom of creative thinking. After being in the industry for the past 13 years, with a very structured and pre-determined process…it’s rejuvenating to have the corporate shackles removed and the ability to think with an entrepreneurial mindset. I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity and future of IHB.

IHB RESPONSE: We also get excited by you. You know what we mean by excited.

If you could kick Greg in the groin and he didn’t know it was you, would you do it?
Absolutely! A little groin adversity never hurt anyone. “Laces out Finkle”.

IHB RESPONSE: We expect this to happen at your nearest convenience, a gorilla suit may help expedite this endeavour.

If Beer did not exist in this world, what else would you be doing?
First off, that world would suck and I wouldn’t want to be a part of it! I’ve always had a great passion for sports and traveling. If I could find a way to combine the two and make a living…that’s what I would be doing. I always thought it would be fun to write a book, or film a series on the social aspect of sports around the world…For instance; tailgating is a huge part of American Football…what’s the “tailgating” equivalent for Cricket in New Zealand or India? Really, I’m just looking for an excuse to travel, drink and watch sporting events.

IHB RESPONSE: You are right, that would be fun, but you are living in a fantasy world.


Thanks for taking the time to write this out Dane. Also thanks for NOT making this a power point presentation or referencing sharepoint.

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Top 4 Reasons to Support the Small Brew Act.

Greg Parker
Greg Parker April 16th 2015

Every so often, a bit of esoteric legislation comes along that would be a major benefit to a particular industry and people in that industry try to present the information in a way that will motivate their consumers to care. This is what I’m attempting to do right now.

If you haven’t already given up on caring, and on life, here is my pitch for the Small Brew Act (for which the good information can be found here, )

1. Craft Brewers aren’t rich, they are stupid. With the exception of the former owners of 10 BBL Brewing and Elysian Brewing (who in case you weren’t aware are owned by Anheuser-Busch Inbev, a Belgian company largely owned and operated by Brazilians) along with Jim Koch, Ken Grossman and the owners of the other 50 largest breweries in the nation, Craft Brewers accountants share at the end of every year the good news, “you have no federal income tax to pay!!” Why are small Craft Brewers not paying federal income tax and stupid? Well, because they got into a business that requires a large, and ongoing, amount of capital investment.

The refrain “I should have gotten into software” can occasionally be heard when Tyson comes to me and says we’re at capacity. Why? The difference between 30 copies of software and 30 kegs of beer. One requires a person to press CTRL+ALT+V 30 times, the other one requires a minimum of $25,000 for a new tank. (I realize I am over simplifying the software model so there is no need to point out I’m stupid, I already did). Do I really wish I was in software? Absolutely not. There is only one place I want to be and that is in Craft Beer but I wouldn’t mind a little less tax burden to help keep this baby going.

2. Lots of shitty industries get preferential treatment, why not give some to a group of businesses that for the time being appear to be good citizens? Craft Brewers, as I have pointed out in at least one other blog post are engaged members of local communities. Sure, we don’t create new and temporary communities with human sized pac man games and waterslides and live music with a bunch of disposable materials that will go into the landfill #upforwhatever. We do really boring stuff like open our doors to local charities to help raise money and awareness for hunger or helping fire victims. We employ locals and look them in the eye and say, I’ll be damned, you are a person with up to 3 names that tell a story about who you are. When that happens it is really hard to look at someone’s request for a raise as solely a burden on the Profit & Loss statement. And we craft brewers are really inefficient so we have to hire a proportionally larger amount of people than big brewers; that’s why this is referred to as a jobs bill. Why wouldn’t we want to help Craft Brewers continue to strengthen communities and create jobs?

3.Competing is hard. Yup, you read that right. I’m pretty much saying tip the playing field in our favor. Which is impossible. We are already at such a distinct disadvantage that if consumers ever stop caring about who makes their beer and what it tastes like, small Craft Brewers are dead in the water. There is absolutely not a chance in hell we could compete with the big brewers without the consumer demand for local. So, I’m hoping you will see the value in your local brewer’s company and support an attempt to use tools similar to what we might call a Handicap in golf to give us a fighting chance should tastes and tactics change.

4. Why not? You might look at my arguments and see the countless instances of faulty logic and ridiculous assertions and think, ‘screw this guy, what a moron’ to which I say ‘is that a promise?’and ‘I didn’t get to choose my genetic hardwiring’. I would also say, let’s try it. We’ve done way stupider things in an effort to support way stupider things. Let’s send a message America, and that message is ‘we f*#king love craft beer and craft brewers and we’re willing to put our money where our filthy mouths with refined palates are!’

hugs and kisses

Oh, and here are a few links for you to form your own opinion.
Brewer’s Association Info
Washington Beer Blog’s Kendall Jones
Congress House Bill

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.