The independent craft beer community is a tight-knit one. It’s what drew me to it in the first place years ago, and what continues to entice new fans today.
It’s not just that craft beer is better than macro beer (it is!) or that independent, small breweries bolster local economies (they do!), it’s that the world of craft beer is a family. Brewhouse magicians, taproom servers and Untappd scorekeepers all speak the same language and have similar desires — if different tastes.
Thanks to a generous editor, I was given a chance to start writing about craft beer nearly a decade ago. Over time, I turned the occasional puff piece on a local brewer or new brewery into a proper beat, covering every corner of the county’s craft beer scene. Even when I left The Daily Herald four years ago to take another job, the new editor asked me if I wanted to keep writing about beer.
That was an easy decision.
All joking aside, what made me want to keep covering the local craft beer scene was the people. The brewers, owners and employees at the different breweries, bottle shops and other craft beer-centric businesses were affable, charitable and creative. Basically, the kind of people you’d love to sit and share a beer with.
When chatting with Scrappy Punk owner Greg Krsak about the brewery’s upcoming third anniversary, I thought a story he told about the business’ early years was a great example of this.
Soon after Krsak launched operations in Snohomish, Raymond Ceasar, a young man from Everett who was in the Navy, began frequenting the brewery. Connecting with Krsak, a former Navy man himself, Ceasar soon was coming in nearly every day and asking Krsak how he could help around the brewery.
Ceasar soon became a super customer at Scrappy Punk, working in the brewhouse, helping at festivals and promoting as the brewery’s unofficial “hype man.” In fact, Ceasar’s passion for Scrappy Punk helped push the brewery over the top in winning top token count at the Washington Brewers Festival this year.
There’s something that attracts people to breweries and brewers. In Snohomish County, we’re blessed with a number of brewers who are not only talented and driven, but also charitable and humble.
That mindset has inspired myself and some friends to put on our own fundraiser. This Tuesday, we are partnering with Center Public House, the only nonprofit pub in Washington, to host a bottle share to raise money for a local children’s and women’s shelter. We are selling tickets for tastes from up to 50 different bottles of beer and for raffle tickets to win prizes from local breweries.
It’s the least I can do for all the joy the local brewing community has brought me — whether in a bottle or not.
If you go
The Epic Bottle Share is 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 17 at Center Public House, 115 Ave. A, Snohomish. Try beers from local giants like Fremont and Reuben’s Brews to East Coast hard-to-get gems from Adroit Theory and Side Project. All proceeds will go to Everett Women’s and Children’s Shelter, Center Public House’s charity of the month.
Tickets are $20 in advance for 15 pours and a raffle ticket, or $25 at the door for 15 pours. A $35 ticket gets you unlimited pours, first dibs on specialty releases and two raffle tickets. Bring an unwrapped gift for under the tree and receive three raffle tickets. More at tinyurl.com/CPHBottleShare.