Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg, WA

Posts Tagged ‘brewery’

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Eastern Washington Brewfest 2015

Jared Vallejo
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…


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 : 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; you’ll probably be sorry you did.

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Washington Beer Lovers Open House and IHB Make a Baby Named Rikki

Rikki Welz
Rikki Welz February 18th 2014

Greetings Fellow Beer Lovers!

We are proud to join the Washington Beer Open House, happening this very soon to be weekend! We don’t procrastinate on advertising or anything….

Iron Horse Brewery is proud to open it’s doors and welcome you to tour the brewery this Saturday Feb 22nd. Our handsomest bravest brewers have gotten together to help plan a beer-tacular almost hour-ish of time just for you and those other people who want to come too. Bring Grandma!
We will be hosting 3 guided tours, at 12ish, 1ish, and 2ish. These will happen at our production facility, located at 1621 Vantage Hwy**
**this is very important. you can tell because there are two asterisks and not just one. your livelihood depends on this. If you are using the google or your GPS to find us you need to enter 1619 Vantage Hwy. This should take you to our facility that is behind the Iron Horse Coffee Company stand, and also behind the Phoenix Truss company. If you put in our true address it will take you to an abandoned shed in the middle of a field. If you hear faint banjos in the distance, run. your in a zone affiliated with danger. 1619 Vantage Hwy will get you to us. so just do that.**
Our 12ish tour will be geared to home brewers, the 1ish to everyone who loves beer, and 2ish will be for those who want to become more beer savy.
Each tour will include chances to win prizes, learn more about the brewery, the beginners guide to beer pairing, and free highfives for everyone. Maybe there will be beer, maybe not….cough cough… And this is all FREE!
This is open to all ages, but please bring a valid ID if you plan to have a beverage. The brewery will be in full operation, so wear closed toed shoes, and dress like its winter… since it is. Protective eye wear will be provided, and dangerous hijinx will be prohibited. Please, no pets. Space will be limited so please email me at how many people are in your group and when you would like to attend, by Friday afternoon, so that we may best serve you.
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The Cozy Community Spectacular Extravaganza Gift-Times for All

Rikki Welz
Rikki Welz November 7th 2013

Hey Y’all! Rikki here again!

    Ellensburg is a super-rad-tastic town, as most of you already know. When someone needs a helping hand, we have proven time and again how teamwork can make a difference. In the past, Iron Horse Brewery has teamed up with other local businesses  with the intent of  making an impact on our community, by finding one or two or three families who need extra help during the holiday season…and then aiming big to try to make a difference. We have paid utilities, fixed cars, and helped to furnish a home. The biggest year we have had raised $4500 in goods and services for the families. As a slightly competitive person (go #teamhighfive!), I think we can beat that! And we have already begun. Remember getting squished into the new pub on Saturday the 2nd? That day alone, we raised $549 for the Cozy Community Fund. Boom. And we auctioned the Cozy Sweater Cozy Koozies. You can see the making of the Koozies here on YouTube!

  We think we can make this year bigger and better, with your help. If you’re a business owner, contact me ( so we can get you on board. If you want to help, donate at [ the pub ] to have funds go directly to the families selected. If you know someone who needs a hand, nominate them here, or in person at the pub. If you have items you would like to donate to the families, contact me! Want some cozy koozies for your beer? Contact me, we can work something out!  If you have a theory about 6 foot tall lizard men ruling the world, contact Big Cat (, he loves that stuff.

So far we have had businesses donate cash, gift cards for groceries, volunteer efforts, and advertising for our cause. And its only the 6th! The deadline for donations and nominations is December 16th, when we sit down and figure out who can benefit the most from our efforts. The following week, we will disperse those items, and have a big cozy celebration in our hearts (maybe the pub too), and collectively high five each other. Want a free high five? Please join us, and we’ll make it happen.


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We all get a medal, congratulations

Greg Parker
Greg Parker November 1st 2013

Many wonder why IHB doesn’t enter beer in competitions, here’s why:

It probably started with BeerAdvocate. I appreciate that their motto is respect beer. Which makes sense. Kind of like when I want to respect women, I gather a bunch of them up and have them stand there while me and a bunch of my creepy online friends stare at them, categorize them, assign them numbers based on what I like or dislike about them, and make a bunch of comments based on what my friends said. Respect.

As you can probably guess, we have taken some beatings on BeerAdvocate, which isn’t entirely unrelated to the fact that Irish Death was first placed in the Irish Stout category. Judge a book by its cover much? As you can probably guess, Irish Death is about as close to an Irish stout as a coconut.

This instigated my disinterest in attempting to win awards. “How is it all our customers love Irish Death, yet every troll on BeerAdvocate thinks it is a piece of shit, unfit to clean a toilet with?”  Something was amiss here. Who are these ‘Judges’ and what do they know?’

So, I thought about it. Here is what I came up with.

To win an award you have to do two things:

1) Make good beer

2) Be the best at copying an existing style. Wow, that’s inspiring.

What happens when you win an award?

1) You get a medal or something

2) You are confirmed to be an excellent brewer by a panel of your peers.

I can’t decide which of those two things I would most want you to kill me for valuing. Um, last I checked, my peers make their own beer and [insert cliche about all the medals being doled out in American society right here]. People’s Choice awards being the exception.

Do I care that you like our beer? Yes. Do I care that the beer industry insiders like our beer? Who were we talking about again? Not to diminish all the hard work of all the brewers out there honing their craft and their recipes. It just isn’t Iron Horse Brewery’s priority. Could we win a medal? I have no doubt in my mind. Do we want to set out to make a textbook perfect amber ale? I don’t even have a soul and I feel a little part of it sneaking out to haunt children, undermine their dreams and scare them into a mediocre existence just thinking about it.

You know why else I don’t care about awards? It focuses Iron Horse on our competition. How do we make it better than a, b, or c brewery? What a destructive thing to focus your energy on; comparison. We do everything we do with the intent of providing a quality, obnoxious, and differentiated experience to our customers, that is our obsession. You provide us the only award we want when you pick up a bottle or glass of our beer, confirmation that you like what we do and support us in doing it. Thanks, that little piece of my soul just came back. And it was like ‘wtf, there is nothing here to come back to.’

Hugs and Kisses


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Sometimes One Beer Turns Into Many, But That’s Okay IF You Are Running to Each Location.

Regan Rinker
Regan Rinker September 3rd 2013

Have you ever had a 4 day hangover? Me neither, until last Friday.

My cousin came into town and we had this grand idea to do a pub run, which consists of running (actually running, in your jogging gear, to every bar). We thought it fitting to start with the First and Last Chance Tavern? Seeing as how they just recently put two Iron horse beers on tap, I couldn’t have been more excited to consume a pint there. After jogging a mile or two – The day really started off right as we eagerly greeted our bartenders with sweaty hands and dripping brows, thirsty for a delicious Iron Horse Brewery ale. We laughed about life, planned our next bar location on the IPA Chauncy coasters with bic Pens, and left the FNL with high fives for all.

I will skip all the sordid details but I will tell you that we made it to 9 bars: 301, Shooters, The Tav, etc to name a few and some of them twice. The coolest part of it all, I got to swing dance for about 30 minutes at the Fairgrounds, and someone thought I was doing the chicken dance instead. Yes, I’m that good.

As result of this pub run night, I realized I am better at selling beer than drinking it, at least I hope. I capped the night off at the FNL with a sip of Boones (thanks to the man in the yellow hat) and of course an Irish Death.

I share this story not to make light of my beverage mixing, nor to encourage overconsumption but to point out all the wonderful establishments we have here in the ‘Burg, and maybe to ease my ego a little. I was having so much fun, I never wanted to go home, in fact I think I actually said 9.375 times, “ this is so fun, I never want to go home.” This day and experience just reiterated my love for this town, it’s bars and restaurants, and its ability to tolerate me, on a Friday night from 11:59 am to 11:03 pm.

Side note: don’t mix Irish Death, Boones, Manhattans, and Fireball. Not ever, not once. Stick to delicious craft beer, and in this case, more is not better:)

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Crochet. It’s like beer, but not really, but sort of.

Rikki Welz
Rikki Welz June 7th 2013

Hi, y’all!

I’m Rikki. You may remember me from such incarnations as a bank teller, waitress, student, geriatric activities assistant, candy fiend, and muppet fanatic. Recently I joined the Iron Horse family, to begin yet another story in my journey through life. Also, I’m teaching myself to Crochet.

Why should you care that I’m learning something new? You shouldn’t. *Unless you’re my husband, then you may want to check and see if I need more yarn and candy.* But I can tell you that crocheting isn’t the only skill im learning right now. Here at the brewery, a culture of self motivation is one of the keys to our success. As a long time follower, I’ve been now presented with challenges and support from my coworkers, with the understanding that I take the reigns. What a ride! Ownership, accountability, and responsibility are the drivers to our own success.

At our meeting/potluck/beerfest on Sunday, Greg pointed out efficiency should be our next big focus in the self improvement department. I sure as shit am definitely needing to improve my efficiency at home, and I’m thinking at work as well.

I have a buttload of projects at home (Knitting and sewing for the win!) that need to be finished, rather than my usual habit of ditching them in a plastic bag in the guest room. Ive already taken Ownership of this. i call that room the place where my projects go to hibernate. Now I have to hold myself accountable for this problem. No more candy ’till I finished! Haha just kidding, just no more shopping for new projects! For the responsibility part, I guess I can no long blame the damn cat for my UFO’s (you’re learning crafty jargon!). So what is my solution? Finish that stuff, so I can buy more projects! And finish it quickly, so I don’t get bored with it halfway through. That’ll improve my crafting efficiency!

Why am I learning to crochet then? I’m thinking outside of my regular habits, and finding a new way around my problem. Crocheting is another way to finish my fiber projects and bust my stash of yarn, and fabric strips! Plus, I feel cool when I take my knitting/crocheting to the bar. Everyone loves a person who can handmake a beer cozy!

Thinking outside the box has become my new hobby, and new working style, and I hope you try it too. And to relate this back to the retail part of iron horse… If you always drink the same beer, think outside the box and try something new. If you like it drink it, if you don’t, don’t, but high five yourself, because you tried something new. *see what I did there?!*

I love you all, thanks for reading!

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The Iron Horse IPA Horse.

Jared Vallejo
Jared Vallejo May 13th 2013

One day, several weeks ago, Natalia and I were having one of our impromptu note taking sessions in the beer room. (we talk to each other about marketing related stuff, take notes, then dare each other to be in charge of that thing we just noted)

One of our discussions led to Iron Horse IPA and rebranding it.

The iron horse brewery cousins are usually pretty unified regarding beer labels, beer names and overall branding, however when it comes to the Iron Horse IPA label, there is a rogue group among us that doesn’t really like the label at all. I confess to being one of that group.

However, given the fact that rebranding an existing product that is presently in the market requires a good deal of effort as well as the potential to lead to brand confusion, we decided to not touch the label.

We did come to a pretty strong conclusion that we needed to do “something” with the IPA brand. The beer is delicious and amazing – everyone should go buy 42 bottles right now – that’s not the issue.
We had already done some work on the descriptions: dry-hopped, tongue-friendly, danktastic. These will be making their way on to the beer bottle labels shortly. (note to self, change IPA labels)

But, something was still missing.

What to do with the damn horse?

Then, we had a revelation. I’m not sure if it was Natalia or I, but we asked the question:

What do you do when you can’t change something you don’t like?
You embrace it.
Lenny style. You hug it out, squeeze it so much until you love it.

So that’s what we decided.
We’d love the horse, with it’s upright stature and prissy hooves.

But if we were going to love the horse, the horse had to have a name and personality.

The personality was a no brainer. Sarcastic Asshole. Boom. Done.

The name took a few seconds longer, but ultimately we only ever came up with one name, because it was so perfect and amazing and wrong.


Yep, Chauncy the sarcastic asshole of a horse.

That’s his name.

Chauncy the IPA Horse

You are going to be seeing a lot more of Chauncy very soon.

New Iron Horse IPA Glassware

For the first time ever, you will soon be able to drink out of an Iron Horse IPA pint glass

New Interactive Iron Horse IPA Coasters
We thought we’d have a little fun with these.
Coasters are generally so boring. So we thought we’d make them interactive. And by interactive we mean, you can write on them.
We left a space for you to “make Chauncy talk”. You can even email Chauncy, and you’ll probably get a (delayed) snarky reply back. Because, more email isn’t boring right?


This post is too long, so I’m cutting it off now.

If you have any strong or indifferent feelings on this non-change-change I’d love to hear them.

Next week: high five.

Oh, and here’s a bonus clip of Tess talking about Chauncy.

– Jared

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Customer is King

Suzanne Vargas
Suzanne Vargas May 9th 2013

A person or thing regarded as the finest or most important in its sphere or group.

or from Urban Dictionary
awesome, above the rest, the bomb. etc used when refering to something

As our handbook states, “the customer is king. every employee of the brewery is expected to make every reasonable effort to serve and help customers in a friendly manner. high-fiving must be done with a customer at least once a week.” and no, for those of you wondering, I did not make the high-fiving part up.

Customers are our biggest asset. Our decisions are made with you at the forefront of our mind. Of course, we want to make money, increase revenue, and all that boring stuff. But rest assured it will never be at the expense lowering our standards for things such as kick-ass customer service or premium beer ingredients.

So this is where the tables turn, instead of rambling on aimlessly (as I often do) I want you to tell me-

How are we exceeding your needs as a customer?
How could we do better?

Email me:

And as always (okay fine it’s only the second time) I want to leave you with a picture.

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My Thought Process When Posting on Facebook

Jared Vallejo
Jared Vallejo May 7th 2013

Exactly zero people are interested in this subject, which makes the point of this post worthless and probably one of your biggest wastes of time. After you finish reading this, you will come to the conclusion that you are less of a human being for having spent the 2.375 minutes it takes to read. You’re welcome for that.
Given that fact, here is my general thought flow when posting stuff on Facebook.


Damn it. I need to post something on Facebook.

(open Facebook, look at time-wasting memes, ideate on how to mock them. ignore those ideas)

I should really promote the event that Ross is doing this week.

Gah. I hate just always promoting stuff; it feels so narcissistic. Of course that is the point of a Facebook page. How else would people learn about things if you don’t promote them.

(I’m not sure If I’m talking to me or you the reader right now)

We should just promote something random like “drink beer and also stop eating bald eagle meat”, because that’s funny and no one eats bald eagles. or do they?

(open new tab, go to google, not bing, because f*&^ bing specifically because of those Hulu commercials, look up phrase “do people eat bald eagles”, learn that people generally frown on this sort of thing and that even when clearly joking, people get quite offended. close tab)

Okay. So I’ll just write that Ross is doing an event and that he’ll give the first person to say “bald eagle meat is bad” a t-shirt.

Nah, that’s stupid.

I could just do what I normally do and write a bunch of words.

Ross. Event. Total.Wine.&.More….

blech. I just wrote a post like that last week.

(get up, make some coffee, talk to whoever else is in the office, realize they don’t want to talk to me. go back to amazing pallet desk in the cave office)

Regan has a bunch of events. So does Lorne. It’s Cornhole tonight too..

(recalling earlier conversation with Greg)

Oh snap!. I got it. (I don’t really think “oh snap” in my head. I just thought some exaggeration was necessary to illustrate the point that I know what the post will be about.)

This was the actual resulting post:

The end of thinking.

As you can see, my thought process is all over the place. Let me explain, briefly.

We make a very concerted effort to not “filter” ourselves at iron horse brewery. That doesn’t mean being rude or an A-Hole, but rather being truthful and direct in all aspects of our communication. I try to apply this same unfiltered approach when posting stuff on Facebook. Which is why working at Iron Horse Brewery is such treat, and I’d imagine pretty much any local craft brewery is similar; the culture is one of openness, directness, and playful sarcasm.

Also, I hate being boring. Sometimes writing facts like “Event at This Great Place at 6pm” bores me, which makes me think it probably bores you too, oh Facebook fan. (assuming you are fan of iron horse brewery on facebook. why wouldn’t you be?) So, when I do finally post something it usually follows a stream of consciousness that is only loosely tied to the matter at hand, but amuses me and may or may not contain information of any real value.

In conclusion, even though it may not seem like it, I take this one aspect of the job quite seriously. Probably too seriously, but I feel it’s important, since the average person spends 6-17 hours (desktop and mobile ) on Facebook per month, so the content should have at least some “interesting-ness” to it. At least that is what I tell myself when I re-read posts 447 times.

Next week’s blog post will introduce you to some new material we have coming out. Hint: you can put your beer in and on them.

Until next time.


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Double Rainbow Chili: It’s Really Happening

Natalia Parker
Natalia Parker February 2nd 2012

Since it is still reasonably cold, although the roads are turning to slush pits similar to mini ponds, I thought I would toss in one more awesome winter warmer recipe, this one featuring our Seasonal Malty Red Ale just released: The Double Rainbow. I wanted to make this recipe nice and simple and hand crafted it using ingredients from my kitchen last year, on a day where going to the store seemed like a major task. Please note that ingredient measurements are never exact, so taste test often, even if your housemate accuses you of eating all the Chili before it is finished… Here it goes:

1 lb lean hamburger meat
1 white onion, or 2 shallots
2 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, or more
1 can stewed tomatoes
2 cups tomato juice, or 1 can tomato paste mixed with 1 cup water
2 cans kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 Red pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced, or less depending on heat preferences

4-6 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
⅔ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. Worcestershire
1 bay leaf (take out at end of cooking)
1 tbs salt (kosher)
1 tbs pepper
½ c- 1 cup double rainbow beer, I usually add about 1 -2 hours into slow cooking
6 big dashes hot sauce
2tbs. dry mustard, or liquid if you don’t have dry

Brown the hamburger and saute with finely chopped onion,garlic cloves, red pepper, and jalapeno in E.V.O.O until meat cooked and onions and vegetables tender ( you can use shallot also if you prefer smaller chunks of onion). Put those ingredients in slow cooker or Dutch Oven on low, plan on giving it 4 hours plus to cook, allowing the ingredients to really bind together and marry… Add beans, tomatoes, tomato juice and all seasonings except beer ( or you can add ⅓ c beer now and ⅓ cup later). Add more tomato juice if you want a sightly thinner consistency, or less if you like thicker Chili. After all spices added, taste for flavor… I keep adding Chili powder, brown sugar, hot sauce and spices until I have that perfect mix of sweet and spicy, so delicious! If you want extra garlic and the garlic cloves weren’t enough, add garlic powder or salt to mixture. “Taste testing” is key here- I really want to stress that point, mostly because it is more fun if you do. During last hour of cooking after taste testing for spice level ( assuming you have more Chili left) add remaining ⅓ cup of beer, or up to a cup depending on consistency desired. Let simmer for one more hour.

Hopefully this goes without saying but you should drink the rest of the Double Rainbow while you are waiting for this to finish, please, or give it to your Grandma or whomever.

Serve in large bowls with cheese, tortilla chips, and sour cream and green onion to garnish, or add extra hot sauce for even more insane heat like my boyfriend does.

Drink with the malty hoppy richness of The Double Rainbow, a full bodied red ale, coming in around 7.5% ABV. The biscuity flavors in the beer soothe the palate while the hoppy kick from the generous amount of hops added, stands up to the rich spice of the Chili and the beer flavors cooked with in. This is really an amazing, rich and spice laden Chili, the perfect accompaniment for an amazing beer such as Double Rainbow. Since Natalia couldn’t cook this particular recipe with me, we were forced to eat most of the Chili and drink all the Double Rainbow, rough life, I know! Cheers, happy eating and drinking!

As with any recipe of ours you cook from our food blog, bring in an ingredient receipt anytime in February or March (until Double Rainbow is gone) and receive $2 off a growler of Double Rainbow at either location, or if not on tap, get a $3 22 oz. bottle of it. You’re Welcome.

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Good Beer Citizen

Greg Parker
Greg Parker December 7th 2011

Good Beer Citizen: Why do so many beer line ups look largely the same? Or, doing your part for craft beer.

If you are like me… never mind, by this time in my life I have realized that, thankfully, there are not many people like me.  Thankfully for society I mean.  But, if we do share one thing in common, I hope it is a love of craft beer.

While the measures of growth and availability indicate a golden age for small producers of craft beer there is still a long way to go.  Are you aware that all craft beer consumed in America, which includes relatively large producers such as Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada (great breweries by the way) only accounts for 7% of total American beer consumption?  Not even one of every ten pints is a craft beer.

So what? Good question. While I have nothing in particular against the mega breweries, I do favor small producers and local businesses.  I won’t drone on about job creation, community involvement, connection to citizenry and the multitude of other less tangible benefits of local ownership, but I will implore you to consider these points when making your buying decisions.

Now to the point. Why is craft beer at a mere 7% of the market?  Well, without getting too in-depth about prohibition, quasi-monopolies, and other clear disadvantages that small producers face, in a word, Choice.  It is about the choice of the supply chain, starting with the citizen. If a retailer gets no push back, or sees no loss by choosing cheap faux-craft, cheap domestic or simply limiting craft beer line up because of cost, convenience, relationships, or laziness, the share of the market available to craft will always be a minority.

Really, to the point now, I promise.  What should you do if you agree with me? Drink Iron Horse Beer. Or don’t, but don’t walk in to a place, lament the line up of beers, and then plunk down your money.  Tell the management their line up sucks (or isn’t to your liking if you are a more classy individual) and you want to see some Northern Lights, Roslyn, Snipes, Yakima Craft, Lost Falls, Ice Harbor, Rattlesnake Hills, Whitstran, Old Schoolhouse, Alpine, Horse Heaven or any other of the more than 1500 craft breweries of the country that are not Eastern Washington breweries. Yeah, that’s right, all of the above are Eastern Washington breweries and I am sure I overlooked a few.  At that point if you are feeling like a real badass, after you tell them their line up sucks, walk out.  Then do that every week or month, or whatever you are comfortable with.  Or if you are not ready for total badass status leave it at that, but tell that retailer every single time you are in there, you want real craft beer and tell them you will stop coming in, even if it is an idle threat.

You know what happens next?  The pressure builds, they cave and put on more craft beer, new citizens get exposed to craft beer, more craft beer becomes available at your favorite retailer and next thing we know, fizzy yellow beer is relegated to 7% of the market and we save the economy and the world, or maybe just the working class of America, but hey, that ain’t so bad.  Even if the option to choose true craft beer, or the craft beer that you desire is not available to you, let everyone know that you would choose it if you could and your loyalty could be won by some enterprising establishment that chooses to offer you that opportunity. Brewers across the country thank you for your consideration.

Hugs and Kisses,
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Brewery Expansion, AKA What the hell is Iron Horse Brewery doing?!

Greg Parker
Greg Parker November 7th 2011
Or, when are you going to move?
How soon?
What is the purpose?
….and other questions.

The loyal employees of Iron Horse are faced with these types of questions on an ongoing basis. So, instead of actually answering them directly I’m forcing them to refer people to this blog post, because 1) I can, 2) I’m a jerk because of point #1, and 3) because I probably haven’t told them as much as I’m about to reveal here because of point #2.

1. The Big Deal
Currently we have a contract on a building located on the Vantage highway. 1621 is the address. While things look pretty damn good, nothing is certain until the t crossing, i dotting, micro managing, intrusively investigating, bankers have signed off on the deal. This building is a beauty, actually from the outside it is as ugly as your sister, but from a brewing standpoint it doesn’t get much better. 12,000 square feet is the building footprint, nice huh? That is only the beginning. The ceiling is almost 30 feet high which gives us 360,000 cubic feet. Which is almost enough air to keep Ross, Iron Horse sales master, talking for 15 minutes. It also allows us to put in tanks that tower over our previous fermenters and conditioning tanks, saving precious floor area. This facility is situated on just under 3 acres, which in conjunction with the existing building gives us opportunity to grow by some significant multiplier which I will spare you from because I don’t want to blow your mind!

2. The Guts
Now if you are wondering, “what form will the expansion take?” I will answer that question. If you are wondering something else, why haven’t you submitted a question to “ask the brewer”? Phase 1 Expansion, as I am calling it, utilizes an obscure method of beer transport called “tankering” (actually I just made that up, which I just Trademarked for future litigious use). We are going to continue to produce wort and ferment that wort at our existing facility on Prospect street. Then we will pump that beer into a specially designed tank that sits on a not specially designed truck. This “tanker”, if you will, will then take the fermented beer over to the new facility, we will call it Vantage for now, and pump the beer into conditioning tanks. Once conditioning is complete, we will package the beer into kegs, bottles or my face, and divide it into orders to be shipped. Hmm, it doesn’t sound that amazing when I put it onto paper, but if you see a brewer, you should ask them what Phase 1 Expansion means to them and they will tell you how much better it will make their working lives.

3. Fruit – (Or how this deal bears it)
How is this helpful? Well, I am glad you asked. By getting packaging operations out of Prospect and into Vantage we don’t have scheduling conflicts which currently inhibits our ability to brew at least one day a week. Moving the cellaring operations to Vantage will also allow us to add some more fermenters and conditioning tanks which means more beer, whoooooooo!!! It also means we won’t have to load trucks in the snow with the beer delivery van pushing the forklift around in 6” of the slippery curse. Doing that sucks, it looks ridiculous, and as you might imagine is incredibly inefficient. The extra space will also allow us to take on special projects such as a barrel aging program, pilot brews, and high gravity brewing. Booyah!

4. What’s Next
Eventually we will move the entirety of our brewing and retail operations from Prospect to Vantage, save for our presence downtown. At some point we will order in a new brewhouse with a larger capacity and greater extract and labor efficiency. There are lots of exciting things to consider with the expansion and Phase 2 as I just now dubbed it. Beer garden? perhaps. Tasting room overlooking brewery operations from the second floor mezzanine? You bet your sweet ass! (ok, its not that certain, but I love that saying) Iron horse thrillbillie obstacle course? Pretty unlikely, but who knows, we will have almost 3 acres.

5. Summary
We are attempting to bite off more than we can chew, but we figure with the aid of Irish Death, we can just wash it down the gullet and get on with things. For those of you who have visited the brewery, you can attest to how badly we need this breathing room. To be on the cusp of breaking ground, well, words can’t explain the excitement of what is to come.  Until we have Phase 1 complete (with any luck by February of 2012) we will continue to short customers on their orders, trip over each other, have a tangle of hoses, and fight over forklift access. In other words, business as usual.

In consideration of all this, I would like to say thank you, to all our supporters. It probably sounds contrived, because businesses always do this, but it has been a lot of fun getting here and it wouldn’t have been fun, nor would we have gotten here, if it weren’t for all of the Iron Horse evangelists out there.

Hugs and Kisses,
Greg Parker

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A Lesson on Foam

Tyson Read
Tyson Read June 21st 2011

Answer Your Foam

Nobody has asked me anything specific lately, so I decided to lecture everybody about beer foam. As a brewer, nothing gets me riled up like when people demand beer liquid right up to the brim of a glass, it’s only a half ounce more beer people and you are missing the best part of the experience. We work hard to get that foam there and it should be appreciated. Think of the creamy head on a newly poured beer as a key, a key that unlocks the aroma door and allows you to smell and taste all complex flavors that inhabit your glass.

Foam 101 (Skip if bored easily)

I’ll apologize in advance for throwing out terms like coalescence and disproportionation but foam gets me all excited and I can’t help myself. Foam is formed by the breakout of CO2 due to mechanical input (i.e. pouring, or some jackass shaking your beer up). This provides the bubbles and the energy. The other half of the emulsion is the liquid. The liquid is what forms the bubble walls and is made up of bridges formed by the interactions of hydrophobic proteins from the malt, metal ions, and iso-alpha acids. These are the same alpha acids that we get from hops that impart the bitter flavor in beer and that is why the foam always tastes more bitter that the beer itself.

There are five separate processes (bubble formation, beading, drainage/evaporation, coalescence, and disproportionation) and many more attributes within the beer that affect its formation and stability. Bubble formation is obvious, although the size and consistency of that size will play a role in how lasting the foam is. This is why nitrogen dispensed beers have such creamy head because the size of the bubbles is small. Beading is the constant replenishment of foam through gas breakout. Drainage and evaporation is the loss of liquid and therefore the thinning of the bubble walls. This leads to coalescence and diproportionation. These are the collapse of a bubble into another and gas diffusion from one bubble to another, respectively. The process, recipe, and even the cleanliness of your glassware can affect all these factors, oh and mustaches are foam negative (I know the ladies like them but think of the beer).

More than a Feeling

Now that you all know that the head is an integral part of the beer experience and how much we care about it, the next time you order a pint you’ll demand at least a fingers worth of head and if you order a bottle, tell your server to pour it straight down the middle and leave the bottle. Enjoy its aroma, feel and taste and know it is meant to be there.

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News? I guess this website is new.

Jared Vallejo
Jared Vallejo March 3rd 2011

Welcome to our revamped website.
We’ve turned things upside down, so if you encounter any issues please email

Now, go drink a beer.

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.