Edmonds’ Gallaghers’ Where-U-Brew closes

Gallaghers’ Where-U-Brew, the popular do-it-yourself brewery and taproom in Edmonds, announced Friday morning that it will be closing its doors. In an email to subscribers, owners Tom and Marcie Kretzler acknowledged that the current COVID-19 pandemic played a role in the brewery’s closure.

“It is with great sadness that Gallaghers’ Where-U-Brew is having to permanently close it’s doors,” the Kretzlers said in the email. “The past few years have been a struggle, and the recent pandemic has made it impossible for us to continue. We have agonized over this decision and we are forced to accept this as reality.”

Gallaghers, located near the Edmonds waterfront, boasted all the equipment and ingredients necessary to brew a batch of your own beer. Customers could choose a recipe, make the beer and then come back in a couple weeks to bottle the beer and take it home. There were also options to brew cider, root beer or wine, as well as a taproom for customers to come try a variety of homemade beers on tap.

In the email, Tom and Marcie Kretzler thanked their customers and told anyone interested in buying a brewery to give them a call.

“From the bottom of our hearts, we thank each of you for your support these past years and wish you all health and happiness,” the Kretzlers wrote. “You have touched our lives and we will miss you dearly.”

Skookum releases Chuck’s Hop Shop collaboration Enjoyable Distraction Wednesday

For brewers, creating the official beer for the annual Seattle Beer Week is quite an honor. This year that job was supposed to fall to the brewers at Skookum Brewery and Old Schoolhouse Brewery.

Of course, we know what happened to all that. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, Seattle Beer Week was canceled, the official beer was scuttled and Skookum’s head brewer Hollis Wood and the folks at Old Schoolhouse were left holding the bag on a 1,000 pounds of experimental HBC-630 hops.

But when life gives you lemons … apparently you make delicious beer. 

Wood took the hops that were once destined for the collaboration with Old Schoolhouse and spun it into another beer collaboration, this one with Chuck’s Hop Shop. Enjoyable Distraction is a tropical IPA made with spelt and oats and a whole mess of hops, including the Yakma Chief experimental hops HBC-630, 

“We had these hops, so I figured let’s do something fun,” Wood said. “This was a perfect chance. I’m really liking the beer.”

Skookum canned the beer on Tuesday and will be delivering 50 cases to each of Chuck’s Hop Shop locations, Greenwood and Central District. The brewery will also be selling cans of the beer starting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 20.

This is Skookum’s second collaboration with Chuck’s after brewing Chucklehead, a double IPA made with Amarillo, Mosaic and Southern Star hops, for the 2017 Seattle Beer Week. The connection between brewery and bottleshop goes back to when Chuck’s became a gateway for Skookum into the competitive Seattle market.

“Chuck’s was one of the first accounts to take our beer in Seattle,” Wood said. “They helped get us established in Seattle and I’ve always felt we owe them a bit for having given us a chance.” 

As for the beer, Wood said it’s tropical with a hint of stone fruit like apricot and peach from the HBC-630. The other hops are Citra, Vic’s Secret and Azacca.

On Monday, Skookum released 16-ounce cans of its IPA Southern Glow and Parlor Trick, an imperial oatmeal milk stout brewed with cocoa powder and finished on strawberries. Along with Tuesday’s canning of Enjoyable Distraction, it’s a second major canning session for a brewery that had only canned its beers once before the pandemic. Wood said the brewery is planning to do more canning in the coming weeks.

The additional canning runs comes on the heels of Skookum digging through its cellar to sell the final bottles and kegs of crowd favorites like Heavy is the Head That Wears the Crown, a blend of barleywine and wheatwine, releasing a four-way barleywine blend called Quarantine and #BIL in crowlers and even selling kegs retail.

“We’ve had to bob and weave and change up our plans,” Wood said. “We decided early on we would do what we could to survive. We’re adapting to the current market.”

Look for more goodies from Skookum coming out soon. In the meantime, the Arlington brewery plans to return to its normal hours of operation June 1. Currently the brewery is open 3 to 7 p.m. every day. 

Enjoyable Distraction

Artwork for the Enjoyable Distraction cans was created by Alyson Osborn of Handsome Meatball.

Skookum Brewery/Chuck’s Hop Shop
A tropical IPA from Skookum Brewery and made in collaboration with Seattle bottleshop Chuck’s Hop Shop. Brewed with spelt and oat and Citra, Vic’s Secret, Azacca and HBC-630 hops.

From the brewery: In these dark times we’re all grasping for a semblance of normalcy. We brewed this collaboration IPA to remind you of better times, and that we’re all in this together.

Available at Skookum Brewery, and Chuck’s Hop Shop Greenwood and Central District locations

| GET THIS BEER

| Photo courtesy of Skookum Brewery.

DRINK THIS | From gin to hand sanitizer

Originally posted in Everett Herald HOPS AND SIPS | March 31, 2020

The past two weeks have thrown all of our lives into chaos. Most of us are staying home all day and all night, working from our dining room tables and teaching our children in our living rooms.

Brewers and distillers are no different. March has brought with it a number of surprises, with most beertenders now serving customers curbside instead of barside.

For some, the changes have been dramatic. 


From gin to hand sanitizer

Slowly business began to shut down for Lynnwood’s Temple Distilling as the quarantine ramped up. Then AJ Temple, owner and distiller for Temple Distilling, began seeing other distillers changing operations to make hand sanitizers. Finally, phone calls began asking if Temple was making the alcohol-based cleaner.

Lynnwood’s Temple Distilling is now making the alcohol-based cleaner — but you can still order spirits.

“Our energy level is through the roof fright now,” Temple said. “The community response from customers and organizations have been great. We’re excited to be doing this.”

“We’re also looking forward to getting back to normal.”

Temple is following the World Health Organization and Federal Drug Administration standards in producing the hand sanitizer. After denaturing the alcohol with isopropyl alcohol, Temple adds hydrogen peroxide and glycerin. 

“I talked to a woman who worked in the ER who was splashing Everclear on her hands,” said Temple. “Whatever they need, they’re using it.”

Temple is still selling its gins, including its new Constant Reader gin and Co-Authored Vol. 2 gin, in its online store at chapteronegin.com and offering free delivery within 30 miles of the distillery. 

From brewer to delivery man

Dick Mergens is used to spending his days in the brewhouse wrestling with a recipe and mixing and matching hops, malt and yeast. He’s not used to being a door-to-door delivery guy.

Since the Governor’s stay-at-home edict, Mergens, owner and head brewer of Crucible Brewing, has been delivering his beers as part of Crucible’s curbside and delivery program.

“People has been really generous,” Mergens said. “They’re excited to see the owner delivering beer, but honestly I think they’d rather see someone else — another employee — doing it.”

Laying off most of his staff has been the hardest part for Mergens, who said he’s been mostly completing cleaning projects during the quarantine. The brewery has cut hours down to five per day for the entire staff. Meanwhile, delivery, curbside pickup and to-go options have all been extended.

“We’re doing OK,” said Mergens, who equated the current situation to a slow January week. “My main goal is that on the other side of this all of our people will have their jobs back.”

Crucible has set up an online store and is offering delivery, curbside and pickup to-go options via text message. Check out cruciblebrewing.com for more information. 

From kegs to cans

When the quarantine began, SnoTown Brewing’s Frank Sandoval could only fill growlers to go. A phone call from a friend changed everything.

Scuttlebutt head brewer Eric Nord rang Sandoval and offered up the brewery’s unused crowler. It was a friendly gesture that Sandoval saw as a lifeline for his business.

Sandoval ran over to Scuttlebutt’s brewery on March 20 and got a crash course on filling and seaming the cans. He then brought the crowler to SnoTown and started an assembly line of filling cans. He created 24 four packs of 16-ounce cans and started selling them last weekend. SnoTown sold out quickly and had repeated success this past weekend.

Next weekend — SnoTown is only open Fridays through Sundays currently — Sandoval plans to have a dark beer and IPA four-pack.

Notes

For 5 Rights, the imperial IPA that was originally slated to be the brewery’s anniversary beer, is now Essential Business IPA. 5 Rights owner R.J. Whitlow said that the anniversary party has been put off indefinitely, but the brewery remains open for to-go orders Tuesday through Saturday.

Arlington’s Bad Dog Distillery recently released its BD Quad whiskey. Made from equal parts rye, corn, wheat and barley, the unique whiskey is available at the distillery, which is open for to-go sales Friday and Saturday. Like Temple, Bad Dog Distilling is also making hand sanitizer.