Local Breweries Pay it Forward

Several companies across the country have started to offer free or discounted services to recognize and thank health-care workers. Here in the Puget Sound, several local breweries have joined the effort.

Everett breweries Crucible Brewing and Lazy Boy Brewing, and Kirkland’s Chainline Brewing have all held, or are currently offering, events that promote free beers for health-care workers in the area. 

Crucible Brewing

At Crucible Brewing in Everett, a beertender read about a brewery in Florida that had started a pay-it-forward service where customers could buy beers for medical staff. Owners Shawn Dowling and Dick Mergens loved the idea, especially since one of their employees is currently a nursing student. The pair decided that any health-care worker that showed their badge at the brewery could get a free 32-ounce crowler, and a flat 25% off any beer purchase.

“We have some of the most amazing, compassionate, giving customers and it feels incredible to be able to give back to the hard-working men and women on the front lines.”

Crucible Brewing
Shawn Dowling + Dick Mergens

“We have some of the most amazing, compassionate, giving customers and it feels incredible to be able to give back to the hard-working men and women on the front lines,” Shawn and Dick said in an email. “The word is getting out and we feel lucky to get to be the bearer of some good news with the current state of events. Most of the health-care workers that come in do look tired, but determined, and each has left with a smile on their face(mask) after picking up their beer. We are just happy to be able to at least bring a small amount of joy to their day and are thankful that our community has stepped up and delivered.”

Within the first hour of the service, Crucible had raised over $50 for the fund, which currently sits at about $130. Customers can add whatever amount they’d like to their bill. Shawn and Dick estimate the community has raised about $250 so far. Crucible Brewing is currently offering curbside pickup and delivery options.


Chainline + Lazy Boy Brewing

Chainline Brewing, which is located near EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland, began a similar program and, according to its Facebook page, raised over $3,000 in gift cards for local health-care workers to give them access to a free brew. Lazy Boy Brewing in Everett also had an anonymous donor last weekend that wanted to pay for a 4-pack or growler fill for health-care employees.

Burke-Gilman + Narrows + Bale Breaker

Several other breweries around the state have also offered pay-it-forward programs for health-care workers, including Burke-Gilman Brewing in Seattle, where you can buy a crowler for healthcare workers online, Tacoma’s Narrows Brewing Company and Yakima’s Bale Breaker Brewing Company.


‘Brewery-ing’ Pros in Quarantine

We all miss breweries. We all miss meeting up with friends over a freshly poured pint. We all miss those seven magic words:

“Would you like to start a tab?”

While I know it’s not remotely the most important thing going on in the world right now, I really miss going to breweries. If you read my “official” Spilt Pint bio, roughly 95% of it is about how much I enjoy pulling up to the bar top at a brewery.

The brewery experience is a little different now than it was a month ago. But there are a few pros that have come out of the recent craziness. So, in an effort to keep positive, here are five (and a half) benefits of brewery-ing under quarantine.

Efficient beer runs

If I’m heading out to Ballard or going up north to see family, I like to make it worth finding a parking spot and hop into a few breweries along the way. The problem is, I’d also have to sip a pint (or two) or flight (or two) at said breweries. Usually by the third one, it was either time to go home or we were an hour late to my mom’s house. Now, I can swing by five or six different spots and stock up in under an hour. My beer runs are much more efficient. They also fill the backseat of my car now, which has brought an unprecedented influx of beer into my apartment.

Feel good helping local small businesses out

Everyone’s seen the hashtags and posts on social media. In these crazy times a lot of businesses —including breweries — are, unfortunately, struggling. It feels good to use my hard-earned stimulus check to support these places of business that take such good care of us and do an amazing job of supporting their communities. It feels like it’s our turn to return the favor.

Breweries are innovating

Whether it’s an earlier-than-planned foray into canning or experimenting with crowlers and new beers to support local organizations, breweries are getting innovative in the time of coronavirus. Some are also releasing hard-to-find beers to-go (Hello Holy Mountain and Skookum!) that are normally only available in the taproom. To-go orders have morphed from 6-packs and growlers to online ordering and curbside pickup. It’s almost too convenient to load up.

Visiting breweries now feels like an event

When I do break the stay-at-home order — albeit, for what I would vehemently argue is “essential travel” — it’s exciting to pull up to a familiar location and see, well, people. While maintaining a 6-foot safety barrier, it’s fun to catch up with employees and see how they’re doing. Same with the people in line who are probably as excited as I am to be there. My apologies to a man stuck behind me in line at Reuben’s a few weeks ago who very patiently waited as I chatted an employee’s ear off. In my defense, he was the only human, besides my wife, that I was going to talk to in person that week.

Don’t have to worry about driving

It’s a pretty safe walk from my couch to the bedroom. I have no comment on if I’ve ever needed assistance getting from one to the other.

Saving money — maybe?

I’d like to say I’m saving money because when I’d go to breweries and have a couple beers I always buy to-go beer anyway. But the amount of to-go beer I’m buying now to get through quarantine has increased significantly and, honestly, this one might be a stretch. David

Meet David

I’ve been drinking beer since legally allowed and not a day before — probably. I can still taste that first sip of Rainier. My beer tastes have evolved significantly since then, and I was honored to be invited to The Spilt Pint to talk (bottle) shop with all of you!

I don’t have quite the extensive beer knowledge — or cellar space — as my fellow co-writers, but I did recently complete a successful attempt to buy B4K … so I’m getting there. My area of expertise is outings. I love the brewery experience. Sitting down at the bar, chatting with whomever will talk to me and trying every. Damn. Beer. On. The. Menu. (On a related note, my wife won’t go to breweries with me anymore.)

I’m also referred to as ‘Tin Man’ by Brian and Aaron because of my affinity for tin beer signs, which are currently hanging up all over our tiny apartment. (On another related note, my wife won’t let me decorate anymore.)

I used to be a journalist, but gave that up for a career in real estate. So, I am looking forward to writing, talking and interacting with all of you about where I’ve been and where I should have my wife drop me off next.David


Fresh hop


Bavaria in the fall.


An incredibly pale ale. Like, the palest of ales.