Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg, WA
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New Hire: Dane Williams

Jared Vallejo
POSTED BY
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.

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MAD-Alfred-E-Neuman-Halloween-Mask

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.

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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
POSTED BY
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, http://www.brewersassociation.org/government-affairs/excise-taxes/small-brew-act-vs-beer-act/ )

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
Greg

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

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Eastern Washington Brewfest 2015

Jared Vallejo
POSTED BY
Jared Vallejo April 14th 2015

May. A wonderful time of year.
Beer. A wonderful kind of cheer.
Fest. Better than the rest.

That’s it. That’s all I got for rhyming.

Read the press release then proceed.
Or skip it and head on over to… www.easternwashingtonbrewfest.com

EWBFBANNER

For Immediate Release

Iron Horse Brewery Announces 3rd Annual, Second Consecutive Eastern Washington Brewfest in Central Washington on May 15th from 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
Giving a Chest Bump to Washington Craft Breweries in the 509.

ELLENSBURG, Wash. (April 14, ,2015) – Iron Horse Brewery is announcing, almost the same exact thing as last year except different, which is that they plan to host the Eastern Washington Brewfest in Central Washington which most Westsiders refer to as Eastern Washington on Friday, May 15th from 5:00pm to 10pm. That’s 5.15.15 5:00pm to (5:00pm + 5 hours) The brewfest will take place in and around Iron Horse’s downtown location, [the pub] with tastings offered from 9.5 different breweries located within the 509 area code.

“Eastern Washington has mostly small craft brewers and finding their products in your home market can be hard at times. Unless you live in Ellensburg on May 15th, because then you will be able to find those rare beers, and in case you were wondering, it’s not just a coincidence, they will be found at our E WA Brewfest,” said Greg Parker, general manager of Iron Horse Brewery.

The Brewfest, Itself.
This brewfest is targeted towards craft beer enthusiasts as well as those who believe that being lame is never an option. The 4-5 o’clock hour will host area restaurant and bar reps allowing for participating craft breweries to showcase their product. “Our goal is to help connect Eastern Washington craft brewers with local bars and restaurants so that, hopefully, there is even more craft beer flowing from the taps. Kind of like Tinder, but without the awkwardness and rejection”, said Jared Vallejo, director of marketing for Iron Horse Brewery. ‘I have been to a lot of festivals, and I can tell you this is my favorite one,“ said Ross Chalstrom, Interloper of Press Release Quotes.

The event opens to the public at 5:00pm. Advanced tickets can be purchased at [The Pub] 412 N Main Street, Iron Horse Coffee, 1617 Vantage Hwy or online at : http://www.easternwashingtonbrewfest.com for $15 and include 6 tastings and a keepsake glass. After May 1st, single ticket prices are $20.00. Additional tastings can be purchased onsite. There will be food available for purchase from Tacos Chalitos, Earthquake Empanada, and Pizza Colin. Or you can bring a bag of Funyuns in.

About Iron Horse Brewery
Iron Horse Brewery, centrally located in Ellensburg, Wash., has been producing hand crafted ales since 2007. Iron Horse is owned by father-son team Greg and Gary Parker. With 34 employees and a recent expansion, enabling IHB to double its brewing capacity, they plan to produced over 19,000 barrels of beer in 2015. To learn more about the brewery or to simply take a break from SnapChat, go to www.ironhorsebrewery.com; you’ll probably be sorry you did.

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Beer Release: Gary IPA

Rikki Welz
POSTED BY
Rikki Welz April 2nd 2015

Who doesn’t love a Family Reunion?  Perhaps you have a family like mine,  awkwardly stacked into Great Aunt Petunia’s parlor,  smells of roasted ham, wind song perfume, and moist earth from the muddy boots stacked by the door.  The kitchen bustling with activity as Magpie the ancient black lab salivates with excitement as your cousin lunges towards the counter filled with every imaginable flavor of Jello Salad.   Old Uncle Bart, beer in hand, coveting the recliner chair and blasting the T.V.  has forgot to turn his hearing aids on so everyone shouts at each other in the most loving way, and laughter shakes the whole house.  After the traditional meet and greet, activity simmers down and the T.V. turned to a dull hum while Uncle Bart enjoys a deep sleep.   Card games start, the young folk trot off to terrorize Petunia’s cats in the vegetable garden and dig for treasure while a few of us gather in the kitchen enjoying a beer and each others company.

Everyone has that one family member they gravitate to during these events.  Gary Parker is the best thing about a family reunion.  Everyone has a Gary in their life.  Gary is the guy who can spin a true story into something truly out-of-this-world.  He blows your mind with the way he can make you laugh, think, and learn from his strange and mind boggling adventures.  Gary can dispense the fatherly-est wisdom on the same breath as a joke that would make even a sailor blush.  He brings flowers to the ladies of the family and fireworks for the kids.  Gary makes everyone’s day just a little bit fuller.  Gary Parker, Iron Horse Brewery’s patriarch is like Bill Brasky, the man who sold a ladder to Paul Bunyan.  Gary Parker is like the Majestic Jakelope, everyone has a story with him in it, he will be there for just a moment too short, then with a flash he is off into the wind onto his next adventure, perhaps on a snowmobile.

Because Gary is so gosh darn awesome, we are bringing back the Imperial IPA that was named for him!  For a limited time, in only the 22oz bottle, you will find Gary near you, ready to help you start your next story, entertain your senses and advise you with great wisdom on your way to greatness.

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More Bottles of Beer on the Wall

Jared Vallejo
POSTED BY
Jared Vallejo March 25th 2015

2015 is proving to be a ridiculous year for Iron Horse Brewery. Not only are we releasing a second six-pack can called Finger Gun, we are also introducing a second seasonal bottle only track offering to the marketplace. We are calling this the Fresh-To-Death series, because 1) it is a hip phrase used by millennials 2)it has an entry in urban dictionary and 3) it most accurately reflects the beer in the bottle – freshly made, delicious and inexplicably good.

Here’s the planned release schedule.
April, May, June = GARY, Imperial IPA. Yes, GARY wants to be back in your mouth.
July, August, September = we’re still deciding.
October, November, December = Cozy Sweater – you bet your sweet arse it’s coming back to bottles.

You can read the press release here or you can kick your computer/phone and have conversations with real people. We suggest both.

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Iron Horse Brewery Presents: The Fresh-To-Death Bottle Only Series
A seasonal series starting with GARY, an Imperial IPA.

ELLENSBURG, WA (March 25th, 2015) Iron Horse Brewery is introducing a brand-spankin’-new bottle only beer series entitled Fresh-To-Death. They are kicking-off the series with GARY, an Imperial IPA of insurmountable hoppiness. Gary is a busy man, but he will make his face available to you from April until June, and then he will be away on some exotic vacation. Gary in a bottle is much like prince albert in a can, except in beer form, and much better. “Gary feels really good on your lips and in your mouth, you should definitely experience this at least once in your life, or more, because it’s good. So why would you limit yourself?” said Greg Parker, Owner and GM of Iron Horse Brewery. “Gary made the cut for the Fresh-To-Death track because this beer defines what it means to be ‘fresh-to-death’ which is a term that describes something ‘that is so good it is unexplainable’, according to UrbanDictionary, which is why it is impossible to explain how good it is, obviously.” commented Parker.

Release and Availability
As the first in the Fresh-To-Death series, Iron Horse Brewery will release Gary Imperial IPA exclusively in 22oz glass bottles sometime around the first week of April and it will be available until June. The beer will be released in select markets around Washington state.
Following GARY, will be either a Fresh Hop Red or an Imperial Amber or maybe none of those. Quarter 4, however will bring back Cozy Sweater, Iron Horse Brewery’s vanilla milk stout, which had limited production in 2014.

Hoppy and you know it
Gary Imperial IPA is sure to be a charmer, the hops provide a citrus flavor with pine and grapefruit swagger. It brags a clean malt profile with a honey and grassy flavor which balances the bitterness. “This beer is warm and fuzzy just like Gary; this beer also delivers a strong aroma and a good punch–just like Gary,” said Tyson Read, Head Brewer of Iron Horse Brewery. “This is true, my nose and taste buds confirmed it,” quipped Ross Chalstrom, Interloper of Press Release Quotes.

Beer Nerd Details
Name: Gary
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 7.999%
IBU: Theoretical 120
Hops: Simcoe, Centennial and Chinook
Package: 22 oz Bottles
Other: Bitterness balanced by Malts, full bodied, just like Gary.

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 the 22oz Bottles, can use Iron Horse Brewery’s Beer finder for exact locations. The Beer Finder can be found here: http://ihor.se/beerfinder

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The Half K Recap That is Longer Than The Race

Jared Vallejo
POSTED BY
Jared Vallejo March 18th 2015

On March 14th, 2015 over 230 of you blood circulating humans descended on ellensburg, wa and walked/jogged/ran/sprinted in the first annual Iron Horse Brewery St. Paddy Day .5 K.

Ummm. What were you thinking?
halfkrace-16

Whatever it was, I like it. You are bad ass people.

When the idea came up in January we were mostly joking about putting on a race of such minuscule distance. We had such fanciful ideas where a harpist would strum chariots of fire, three marching bands would play eye of the tiger throughout the race and there would be an elephant to ride. What transpired was even better.

Somehow we lucked out and had the help and support of  the Air Force ROTC Color Guard,  The Sparrow Singers, The Rodeo City Roller Girls, CWU Football Team,  IHB Hockey Team,  IHB Softball Team, Pulse Magazine, CWU Lifeguards, Monster, Hugh – the amazing balloon man, FISH volunteers, and Taco’s Chalitos.   I’m sure I’m missing someone really important. Please ridicule me for being absent minded at jared@ironhorsebrewery.com

And of course the st.paddy day half k race would have been infinitely more boring without the help of these people. (companies are people)

Shirtworks did an incredible job printing the Half-K Shirts, plus they helped offset the costs. Go get 3 shirts from them to say thanks.
Pizza Colin, as usual, contributed great tasting pizzas and ran in the race. Visit often and ask for “Jessie’s Beard” you won’t regret it. Unless, you don’t eat meat. Then you will regret it.
The Daily Record kicked in on promotions. Everyone should be a subscriber to the best local newspaper in Kittitas County.
Hidden Treasures tried to hide out, but they couldn’t.  Because they were right on Main Street.  Check out their new digs, right next to the Daily Record.
Borton Fruit – provided Apples.  A plethora of delicious apples.  Go find a Borton apple at grocer near you and thank it, by eating it.
The ReCycle Shop hosted our mono a mono bike fight along the race course.  Bikes are RAD.  RAD is a great a movie.
KIND bar gave us a bunch of tasty packaged goods to refuel along the route
RoadID provided our BIBs and made us look legit.
RufusTech provided virtual tech Support for our iWatch.
The Hair Cellar made sure we were all well groomed. As Greg said. The Hair Cellar is not where you go to store hair. It’s where you go to RESTORE hair. Boom.
Sara Jean Sweet’s gave us so many cupcakes and we didn’t share with any of you. It’s not true, but were wishing it was true. In any case. They are great. Go eat their food.
The Soup Bowl – I know some of you ate there, which is awesome, because those guys can rock the food.
The CWU Foundation emailed and called us all 5 times to renew our Alumni subscription. No they didn’t. And that’s a win. Just kidding.
The Gym provided us with rock-hard abs. Check them out. (the gym, not our abs)
The Carl’s Jr. mascot was in attendance.
88.1 the ‘burg – came out and played Danny Boy 42 times and also allowed Greg and Ross to talk…a lot.
Troutwater Flyshop – handed out lucky charms and also manned the front door. Overachievers, really.
Umpqua Bank allowed us to use their parking lot as a finish line.  Go deposit and withdraw money from them like the champ you are.
halfkrace

ALL of this activity for a .31576 Mile Race to raise money for FISH Food Bank

If you remember the goal was to raise $1000 in 2 hours.
We did that and more.
In fact, we, err… YOU beat that goal by 280%.

$2,800 dollars raised for FISH.   The entire event lasted from 1:40pm to 3:40pm, with some stragglers just hanging out.
This works out to be $1400 an hour.
OR better yet, $8400 per mile.
If only we made this a 1.6k.  Next year maybe. Probably not.

Again, on behalf of ALF fans and buttered popcorn everywhere, thank you for making this a great event.

Oh, and I am starting a rumor that there might be a Halloween Half-K in Seattle.  We can neither confirm or deny this.

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.