Monday, June 18, 2012

Updates: Kulshan, Horse Heaven, Yakima Craft Br

    Kulshan Brewing, here in Bellingham, has been open two and a half months now and continues to draw good crowds.  The unique feature here is their growler exchange plan.  Inside a refrigerated shelf space they stock growlers filled with their four principal ales, filled by counter-pressure.  This method, also used on a bottling line, means the beer remains fresh in the growler until you open the cap at home.   A conventional growler fill,  from tap to your growler via a hose, begins losing its freshness right then. 
Jim the barman cites this as one of several advantages of the growler exchange program.  Another is the assurance that the customer is buying beer in a sterilized jug.  How often does a beer lover grab a dusty growler out of the trunk of the car, give it a quick rinse in the brewpub, and watch the brew flow into his growler of dubious cleanliness? 
    Assuming you have entered with an empty Kulshan growler, you choose a full one from the cooler, put both on the bar, and $10 plus the empty buys you the filled growler.  Now, they will fill growlers from other establishments in the conventional way, for $12.  Jim told me they sold 252 filled growlers the first week, ran out of new ones to fill, had to wait some time for a reorder to arrive, and then began adding more customers to the exchange plan.  He said that on one day in mid-June they rang up sixty-odd growler sales, including 22 first-time sales.  This looks like a solid sales plan!
(Revisted 6/14/12)

   I stopped off at Horse Heaven Hills Brewing in Prosser on the way back west a couple weeks ago. Last year, I saw another customer enjoying a stout float and thought "that looks tasty."  So this time, I tried one.  A scoop of vanilla in a sundae cup of their dark cherry stout, 4.9% abv.  Have a look:
(Revisted 6/2/12)

   That same day, I pushed on to Yakima for the evening and stopped by Yakima Craft Brewing to see what was new.  Their interesting Belgian brews, Good Monkey and Bad Monkey, were not on tap, so I had to

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