Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg, WA
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11 Brews for Summer

Karina Mohan
Karina Mohan May 27th 2016

Memorial day is a day for us to celebrate those who have died while serving in our country’s armed forces. So while you are honoring those who have died, go outside, crack open a beer and appreciate what they fought to protect….But don’t crack a beer in public because that’s illegal and we don’t want you to get arrested.

With Summer upon us, the beer market is being flooded with one­-offs and seasonals. While your first instinct might be to turn to a Kolsch or a Hefe, try to step out of your comfort zone a
little this year. For those who have no imagination, I have compiled a list of good summer drinking, paired with wholesome activities. Drink responsibly.

**Disclaimer: Attempt at your own risk!

1. Big Swell IPA, ­­Maui Brewing Co. (ABV 6.2%)
Wax up your surfboard and paddle out! If you don’t live near the ocean, queue up The Endless Summer and Chasing Mavericks and sit around in your underwear.

2. Hop Nosh Tangerine IPA, ­­Uinta Brewing (ABV 7.3%)
Head to the nearest farmers market and buy the most exotic piece of fruit you can find.

3. Hop Syndrome Pils Lager­­, Epic Brewing Company (ABV 4.5%)
Go spearfishing. Do it.

4. S’More Stout, ­­Base Camp Brewing Company (ABV 7.7%)
Start a fire. Roast a marshmallow. Drop it in your beer. Repeat.

5. Cucumber Crush, ­­10 Barrel Brewing (ABV 4.0%)
Let this cucumber sour inspire your culinary prowess. Make your own pickles. Give them to your mom. Mom’s love homemade sh*t.

6. Stone Pale Ale 2.0, ­­Stone Brewing Co. (ABV 6.0%)
Go disc golfing with a new acquaintance. You will either love them or hate them by the end of the day.

7. Burton Baton, ­­Dogfish Head Brewery (ABV 10%)
Let’s face it, when drinking an oak-­aged Imperial IPA you should probably just stay home. Build a fort in your living ­room and play zombie apocalypse with whoever is around (pets work perfectly.)

8. Cucumber Saison­­, Cigar City Brewing (ABV 5.00%)
Another cucumber beer? Heck yeah! Today is the day to build your own kegerator.

9. Farmlandia, ­­Iron Horse Brewery (ABV 5.5%)
Okay, maybe this is not a Summer release, but I thoroughly enjoy drinking this beer when it’s hot. Do some yoga. It will feel amazing.

10. Maiden the Shade, ­­Ninkasi Brewing Company (ABV 6.8%)
Start a jam band with your buddies.

11. Zard­-Alu Sour Apricot Ale­­, Odell Brewing Company (ABV 6.8%)
I haven’t actually tried this one but it is being released this weekend. They come in 750ml corked bottles. Invite over a couple people you don’t hate.

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Camping Tips From a Real Dirt Bag

Adam Ransavage
Adam Ransavage May 26th 2016

I love what I do, but I love not doing what I do even more.


Don’t get me wrong, I love my job (and I’m not saying that just cause my boss is going to skim over this).  Work can be crazy at times but it’s something I enjoy.  The people here are direct, authentic, and pretty darn fun.  Basically, I’m one of those lucky jerks that is excited to go to work on Monday.  But… my dream is to buy a full size van, strap a motorcycle to the back, and go camping forever.         









Although, spending every summer traveling and camping by van as much as possible will force you to get crafty.  Here’s some tips that you might find useful this summer.  

5 Ways to Keep Your Beer Cold

The real tip here is that if you freeze all the food you can before you set off, everything will stay colder longer and require less ice.
**Bonus pro tip**

You can use a 6 pack topper to keep the lid open and air out your cooler on the way home.  How many times have you opened up a cooler after a trip and been hit in the face with a wave of musty air?

Hole in the Ground.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Dig a hole about 8-10” deep and about a foot wide, dump some ice in there (if you have it) and cover it up with a towel.  It works best if you can keep your beer clean in a plastic bag.  For the love of god, replace your divots before you leave.  


Ridiculous? Yes. But it’s better than drinking your own piss.urine jokes

Domestic Box + Ice.
Let’s say that you find yourself in the middle of nowhere and your only option for beer is a box of domestic beer from a hole-in-the-wall convenience store.  Not all is lost. The thin cardboard on those boxes is more resilient than you may think.  The trick is to take any interior cardboard out of the case and a couple beers out of each level of the box to make room for ice.  Then, just pour some ice into the box.  The box should stay intact long enough for your campfire to go out.  You could take all of the beers out, line the box with a fresh trash bag, and then repack the box with ice and beer. But…

time for that

What if that convenience store is waaaaay out in the middle of nowhere and doesn’t even have an ice machine?  Look for some kind of frozen vegetable in the store that you can chill beer with and then cook up with dinner later.  If all else fails, just pretend you’re Canadian and drink your Wildcat Strong at room temperature.

Mesh Bag in the River.
What’s the point of living in a van down by the river if you’re not utilizing the river?  You can use a mesh bag and some rocks to submerge your beers.  If you don’t have a mesh bag handy you can place rocks into the a small semi circle to make a dam for your beer.  


Just make sure you don’t pull a Damnation.  Put all the rocks back when you’re done.
**If you’re putting cans in a river make sure the rim of the can is 100% clean before you start drinking.  Giardia isn’t fun (even if it is called beaver fever).**

Case Stacker.
If you’re lucky enough to find a case or two of cans at the grocery store, you can take a second cardboard case and flip it over the create a small pocket of cold air.  Though temporary, this should keep the beers cold for up to 4 hours.  You can increase the longevity of this trick by duct taping the seam of the two boxes.     



case 2

The World is Your Bottle Opener

can opener

How many times have you had to get crafty to open a bottle of beer when no one has an opener handy?  I think most people will agree the classic move is to leverage a lighter underneath the cap. You can apply that same principle with just about anything with a square edge.


The easier route is to find something that has a hard edge that you can pop the beer cap off with.  Anything from a car hitch, to a camp spot sign will work.  Just make sure that you’re hooking the metal lip of the cap and not the glass beneath it.  Also, don’t be an idiot and ruin a sign or something with this.     

flat surface bottle opener


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A Big Package

Morgan Moran
Morgan Moran May 24th 2016

As a consumer cracking open a 12oz can of Irish Death and enjoying the dark elixir with each sip you may ponder how exactly the beer got into it’s package. I am here to tell you the untold story of your loyal packager and just what one goes through to get these wonderfully delicious brews to your mouth holes.

At Iron Horse Brewery, packagers put their blood, sweat, and tears into our beers. Let me clarify, actual blood, sweat and tears DO NOT go into the brews, even though that would be really metal! We run all of our beautiful machines; canner, kegger, and bottler to capacity. That equates to about 400 ⅙ barrels, 350 ½ barrels, 1500 cases of 22 ounce bottles, and 2000 cases of 12 ounce cans a week! With this amount of beer going through our machines we are bound to have problems. But we do not cower in the face of adversity at Iron Horse Brewery. Through patience, busting knuckles, cursing, and perseverance we not only fix the machines with the quickness of a cheetah but with the finesse of a peacock.

Problems are happening on a daily basis making packaging like fighting the Vietcong in ‘65 (thank you to all veterans for your service). The type of Packaging Technicians we hire are a special breed. Packaging that amount of beer is as monotonous as watching paint dry. It takes a strong person, not only physically but mentally and spiritually. Physically, this job will make you a barrel chested behemoth. Lifting half barrels over your head and flinging full cases of 22oz bottles to and fro would make the biggest of bodybuilders quiver in their tight show underwear. Mentally you have to be as strong as Mother Teresa and as focused as a champion chess player. With the machines being pushed to their utmost limit, vigilance is the name of the game and the game can be real, real hard. As far as spiritually, you pray to whatever deity will help you in times of intensity. Machines are broken down, orders need to be filled, truck drivers appeased, and the Head Brewer must be kept full and happy. Praying in any form, whether to God, Allah, or the Beer Lords of the ancients is always encouraged.

At the end of the day you get to wipe your brow and be proud to not only be part of one of the most kick-ass industries but one of the greatest small businesses. Packaging may put the “Iron” in Iron Horse Brewery but the sales teams, management and marketing crew all work together, drink together, curse and joke together. And when all’s said and done we are making beer and what could be more fun than that?


Morgan Moran
Packaging Aficionado

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Jared Vallejo
Jared Vallejo May 11th 2016

The fourth annual, 3rd consecutive Eastern Washington Brewfest is just around the corner…  It’s weird that it’s Eastern Washington Brewfest, event though it’s held in Central Washington.  You can get your tickets here if you don’t care about any of this banter.  We’re okay with weird, but we’re not okay with only 12% of beer sales coming from the craft ( indie ) beer segment…that’s nationwide.  Washington state is closer to 20%.

The goal for EWBF has been and will continue to be, to promote Washington, Indie Made Beer, specifically focusing on beer producers in the 509 area code.   I would love nothing more than 100% of the bars and restaurants in Kittitas county to serve 100% independently produced beer on tap, relegating “America” beer to the back of the shelf.  That’s a lofty and most likely, unattainable goal, however, it doesn’t mean we should stop trying.

While it may seem counter-intuitive to host a brewfest where we invite our local retail partners to sample the goods from other breweries; it’s all in the name of craft, err, indie made beer.   Supporting small businesses where the livelihoods are directly tied to the community it serves is more important than offering “variety” of the watered-down water kind.

Whenever I see a beer on tap that was mass produced by a multi-gajillion behemoth, I die a little inside, which is hard to do, since I’m a boring robot with no real emotion to speak of.  What’s more troubling though is that there are still far too many people that believe that are being “American” by drinking that stuff.    Readers of this blog already get it; but it’s your uncle’s brother that needs convincing, or Connie’s mom.  Come on Connie’s mom, stop drinking America.

There are a plethora of great breweries in Washington state, and while Seattle tends to get most of the media attention, the 509 has some pretty amazing producers on the dryer side of the state.  

Below is a list of breweries that will be attending EWBF on May 20th, starting at 5:00pm.

12 String Brewing, Bale Baker, Dru Bru, Top Frog Brewery, Hop Nation, Icicle Brewing, No-Li, Northern Ales, Orlison Brewing, Paradise Creek Brewery, Roslyn Brewery, Snipes Brewing, Whipsaw, Yakima Craft Brewing, Rocky Coulee Brewing and us, duh.

Hmm, crazy, but here’s a link to where you can get tickets, which you’ll want to purchase ahead of time because the price goes up the day of the event.  

(special note: if you are retailer looking to add additional indie made beer to your service offerings and would like to sample beer from the following; then email   we’ll open from 4:00-5:00 just for you)



America. The beer by AB-Inbev.

Greg Parker
Greg Parker May 10th 2016


Bahahahahaha!  Are you serious AB-Inbev, the Brazilian managed Belgian brewer? America. Please tell me in what way your product is worthy of being labeled America? Please tell me how in any way you embody what is great about America or even what is unique about America.

I doubt that you can or more likely that you will even try since that isn’t the point of this name change. “America beer” is a cheap marketing gimmick aimed at stoking patriotism filled with a cheaper lager aimed at filling guts with the least interesting flavors this side of tofu. In fact, America beer is probably made with tofu, which in my opinion might be one of the least American foods in existence. Yes.Tofu, socialism and censorship are the key ingredients in America beer. To a lesser extent, ingredients include the obligation to turn over your weapons, mandatory mass transit, 30 hour work weeks, no cheese on that burger, feeble little animals that aren’t predators, and communism. Notable exceptions to AB-Inbev’s America beer are due process, freedom of the press and democracy.

If you aren’t disgusted by this, then you aren’t American, er, a United States Citizen since technically Canadians, Mexicans and really all North, Central and South Americans live in the Americas and could therefore be called Americans.

Hmm, now that I’ve thought about that perhaps this beer is aimed at the Americas and that ingredient list might work pretty well for a few of those markets. Here’s to Venezuela!!!


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60 Seconds With…Episode I

Connie Morgan
Connie Morgan May 6th 2016

You weren’t wondering what IHB fans are like but we’re going to show you anyway. Devin Miller really likes Iron Horse Brewery. We didn’t ask him why but we did as him if he prefers Star Wars or Star Trek.

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.