In The Shadow Brewing is ready to emerge from the darkness.
After being out of the beer business for longer than three years, In The Shadow Brewing, or ITS Brewing, has reopened its doors in Arlington. Like the old brewery in Granite Falls, the couple behind ITS Brewing, Cole and Sarah Rinehardt, have established the brewery in an outbuilding on their property off Old Burn Road in Arlington.
“It’s like we never left the beer community,” said Cole. “We’ve just been on hiatus.”
The Rinehardts sold their home in Granite Falls three years ago. The brewery there — in a 240-square-foot outbuilding — was tiny.
“The capacity was only three people, so if I was brewing and a couple visited, we’d have to turn away anyone else,” Cole Rinehardt said. “It wasn’t ideal.”
The new taproom, which the Rinehardts built to house the brewery, is much larger at nearly 900 square feet. With ample seating outdoors under some tall evergreen trees, the brewery has plenty of room to welcome old and new fans alike.
The taproom’s aesthetic is purposefully chill. The rafters are exposed, the wooden tables unvarnished and chairs and stools mismatched.
“We wanted people to feel like they were going over to a friend’s house for a beer,” Sarah Rinehardt said. “We wanted it to be comfortable.”
Cole is brewing off the same two-barrel system he had in Granite Falls. Without it a couple of years, Cole had to hunt down much of the equipment he’d lent out, including a brite tank at 5 Rights Brewing and a mash tun and number of kegs at SnoTown Brewing.
“Frank (Sandoval, SnoTown owner) is not happy,” said Cole Rinehardt, laughing.
In terms of beers, Cole plans to stick to the staples. He recently had a blonde, IPA and porter on tap, with plans to make a hazy IPA and pumpkin beer in the future.
Plans are to have one tap dedicated to a homebrewer’s recipe. Cole is a member of the Stilly Mashers homebrewing club and hopes to have members bring recipes to club events. He’ll pick one, recreate the recipe and then put it on tap for a month.
During their time away from the craft beer business, the Rinehardts have learned from other brewers like Aaron Wight and Sean Wallner at Whitewall Brewing, recognizing how they not only brew but how they make a taproom run effectively.
“Just watching Sean and Aaron work behind the bar has helped us realize we know what we’re doing,” Sarah Rinehardt said.
As for brewing, Cole has learned from his mistakes.
“My mentality has changed,” Cole Rinehardt said. I’ve learned you can’t skimp on ingredients. My plan is to go for it every time I make a beer.”
Operating a brewery in a rural area can be tricky in regards to neighbors and traffic. The Rinehardts had a few complaints in Granite Falls and both are well aware of the problems Skookum Brewery owner Ron Walcher had at his rural location in Arlington before he moved the brewery to nearby the Arlington airport.
Proactively, Cole and Sarah reached out to their neighbors to see if there was any apprehension to them opening a small brewery.
“We didn’t want any issues, so we tried not to hide anything,” Cole Rinehardt said.
The brewery’s limited hours will help limit complaints. It will be open Fridays only and the first Saturday of each month.
Just like Arlington’s Super Saturdays, ITS’s Saturday opening will be its own ITS Super Saturday fundraiser, with some of the proceeds from beer sales that day going to a local charity. The first Super Saturday will be Oct. 5.
After a few soft openings, the Rinehardts are feeling more confident.
“I had heart palpitations the whole first day,” said Sarah Rinehardt, who estimated nearly 40 visitors.
“It was a relief,” Cole Rinehardt said of serving that first beer. “All the planning, all the permitting was over. We could finally just serve beer.”
If you go
In The Shadow Brewing, 19731 Old Burn Road, Arlington, is open 3 to 9 p.m. Friday and noon to 9 p.m. the first Saturday of each month. Call 425-876-9253 or go to www.itsbrewing.com for more information.