Category: Ask The Brewer

Exactly what the title says. You email a question to us and one of our brewers will answer. You might not like the answer though.

Wes Cutlip

Malt: The Spirit Animal of Beer

Do you like beer? I’m going to go ahead and assume so since you’re reading this blog. Guess what? That means you like malt. I hear you; you protest saying that you’re not even completely sure what malt is so how on earth could you have such feelings for it! I must present only one… Read more »

Jake Fleming

What is an IPA?

I am sure most people have now heard or googled and seen the history behind the India Pale Ale and how it came about from shipping beer from England to India. But what constitutes a beer being called an IPA in this day and age? Well, from doing some research if you feel like calling… Read more »


Our Take On Hops-Free Beer

You may have seen the New York Times article last week about a scientist coming up with a process to brew beer without hops. Hops are one of the main ingredients in beer along with water, yeast and grain (mostly malted barley). At IHB we make an annual trip to Yakima, the hops capital of… Read more »


The Dank Knight

*Originally written by Paul Von Hagen who quit “Daaaank bro!” You may or may not have heard the term “dank” before, it probably depends on what kind of circles you run in. Personally, when I had first heard the term used it was in reference to marijuana, but the word now carries multiple meanings. In… Read more »


Sometimes Shower Dreams Do Come True

*Originally written by Paul Von Hagen who quit Have you ever heard the concept that the best ideas you have come when you’re in the shower? Woody Allen once said, “In the shower, with the hot water coming down, you’ve left the real world behind, and very frequently things open up for you.” I constantly… Read more »

Tyson Read

What the Hell is PCR and why should I care?

Kinda Non-boring Summary What does PCR mean? Well, literally what it means is Polymerase Chain Reaction. What it really means to you (the consumer) is a warm and cozy feeling, a blanket of protection if you will.  The knowledge that the beer you are about to enjoy is surely free of unwanted flavors that are… Read more »

Tyson Read

Batch #1621

There’s a new, special, fancy, unique, one-of-a-kind beer available at [ the pub ] and this is how it came to be. Three years ago, former IHB Brewer Paul Baker came to me and said, “Hey, I got this barrel that we should put some stuff in.” I said, “Okay.” Well the barrel was a… Read more »


The Not-so-Righteous Path to Making Beer for a Living

*Originally written by Paul Von Hagen I vividly remember the very first craft beer I had the pleasure of ingesting. For legal purposes, let’s say that IT WAS TOTALLY not ON MY 18TH BIRTHDAY. I HAD DEFINITELY not BEEN DRINKING complete garbage (Busch Light and Natty Ice), for a couple years now at this time…. Read more »

Tyson Read

I Don’t Believe in…..Science?

First off the title is not a reflection of my opinion as you will see in the course of this ill-written mind diarrhea of a blog.  Cue small rant: What’s the point of this rant? To steer people into a path of reason and knowledge.  To get people to quit accepting anecdotal bullshit, and more… Read more »

Jake Fleming

Top 3 Fu#$-Ups At The Brewery

So I’ve worked at Iron Horse for right around six years and I have seen some shit happen that makes you want to walk away and cry in a corner.  There is a lot that can happen when working with beer.  Spills, wrong mash-in’s, valves being left open, the wrong tank being packaged… the list… Read more »

Jake Fleming

College Dropout

Long ago I moved to Ellensburg to continue my education by acquiring a degree from a university.  Like many starving college students I needed a job and was just stupid-ass lucky enough to get one washing kegs for Iron Horse Brewery. I was pretty excited as any 20-year-old kid would be.  But, as I continued… Read more »

Jake Fleming

The Perks of Being Tall

There are very few downsides to being tall. Indeed, cars are horrible contraptions made by the jealous vertically challenged, planes are a tall person’s worst nightmare, and hobbit holes are just out of the question, but the perks of extreme height far outweigh the downsides.   Fact: when you are tall you are 62% more… Read more »

Tyson Read

Pumpkin Spice Bulls#$%

I saw a posting the other day on one of the brewers forums where somebody was asking how much rice hulls to put in the mash to solve a slow runoff problem caused by mashing with pumpkins.  I thought to myself, “I know how to solve this problem.  Start with throwing the squash in the… Read more »

Rikki Welz

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

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… Read more »

Greg Parker

Craft Beer Hits 5%! Is it Good, Bad or Both?

or, what to make of all this growth? i posted this question on facebook thinking to myself, it’s both; good because craft beer is growing it’s market share and more citizens are drinking good, american beer and bad because 5% is a painfully small amount. as evidenced by the comments on the post, others were… Read more »

Greg Parker

Part 2; This Beer Tastes Like Shit

In the initial installment, I , Greg, talked about differences in tastes and perception and other things that really have no defined correct position and therefore saved myself from having to defend my position. I left the part where we discuss the technical side of beer to Tyson. Good luck, buddy. So Tyson, as difficult… Read more »

Greg Parker

PART 1: ‘This beer tastes like shit!’

Response; “Lady, there are two things I know, one with certainty, one with near certainty. My beer does not taste like shit (certainty), and you don’t really know what shit tastes like (can’t be certain of that). This was an actual exchange I had with a person at a brewers night at one of our… Read more »

Greg Parker

my attempt at becoming the holiday cheermeister

This time of year I always feel like Scrooge, and often get accused of being a Scrooge. I don’t buy anything for anyone other than my wife and my kids (although last year, my kids got nothing from me). The usual question “are you ready for christmas?!” that passes for conversation causes my skin to… Read more »

Greg Parker

Good Beer Citizen

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… Read more »

Greg Parker

Will there be a Belgian-style golden ales in the works? You know that its kind of a tradition for Belgian golden ales to be named with either a devlish or angelic title. Perhaps a Beligian style golden ale could be called, “Irish Life.”

Not at any time in the near future. Our capacity issues have forced us to focus on our main beers. We do have an expansion in the works and if that is enough of a relief we will be getting back to playing around in the brewhouse. We like the idea and are always looking… Read more »

Greg Parker

I-1183, or why I will be voting no.

As someone who has staked his entire future on the ability to make and sell beer profitably, I am going to be voting no on I-1183. While there are many arguments stated by the “no” community (some valid and others I find inflammatory), I will be outlining issues that are lesser known and meaningful only… Read more »

Greg Parker

Not Enough Beer, WTF?! Signed, an Angry Loyal Customer

I see, not surprisingly, little, from my dumpy off-site office. Sometimes I open the blinds and see the backside of an old brick building and power lines, but often enough the sun is blaring through the window turning it into an oven so I tend to leave the blinds closed. More importantly is my lack… Read more »

Tyson Read

A Lesson on Foam

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… Read more »

Jared Vallejo

What makes beer, beer?

Good question. Here’s an answer from Tyson, one of our great brewers. As with all good beer, it all starts with malted barley (sorry Japan). The huge array of different malt varieties and the flavors and aromas they produce is like coloring with the big box of crayons. Bready, nutty, caramel, coffee, chocolate are just… Read more »