Monday, September 23, 2013

Moses Lake gets on the beer map: St. Brigid's

  St. Brigid's Brewery has been running about a year now, as a three-barrel production brewery on the farm of Tom and Whitney Wytko, outside Moses Lake.  As of August 30, they are pouring pints and more in a taproom in the downtown area.  An outdoor deck in the back looks out over the lake and the setup is relaxed and comfortable.
The names all come with stories.  St. Brigid was a 5th century Irish nun who brewed beer in the nunnery,  Zone 3 Pale Ale refers to the zone of underground irrigation piping beneath the brewery.  40 Acre IPA hearkens back to when Columbia River water was first made available to area farmers in the Fifties. limit forty acres per farm.  London Calling is what they call their brown ale, which they start with a malt imported from Britain and named for the capital.  That's the pint I had, 5.4% abv, rich and malty on the tongue. TKO Amber is a play on the last three letters of their name, Wytko. And Berner Oatmeal Stout--that honors the family dog, a Bearnaise Mountain dog.
   In addition to filling growlers and mini-growlers, St. Brigid's offers pigs for beer to go.  The "pig", a large beer container with an internal bladder that expands to mainain pressure and keep air away from the beer, is more popular in this part of the state.  I first saw them at Ice Harbor in Kennewick, and heard that Rocky Coulee sells pigs, too.  Tom pulled out an empty pig to demonstrate how they do it here.
He then set the pig on a stand with four little feet and gave it a cardboard face; everything but a tail. Here are the economics of the pig: you get 2.25 gallons of beer (that's four and a half growlers) for $32 here (the initial cost is $25, so you need to be sold on the idea).  Unlike the 36-hour outside limit on fresh tasting beer from a growler once opened,the bladder keeps the beer tasting fresh for a month or more.
   These pigs are made by a company called Quoin in Boulder, CO. founded by one Mike Lowe.  Whose brother is a former mayor of Moses Lake.  Seems like Colorado is coming up with beer innovations a lot these days (thinking of the 22-oz aluminum can Base  Camp brought to Tacoma, the new ideas in cans at Oskar Blues, etc.)  Slainte', St. Brigid!
(Visited 9/20/13)

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