The Independent Beer Bar’s Jeff Sadighi and Doug Hall recently celebrated their third anniversary with a party at their bar on Hewitt Avenue in Everett. The two have kept their promise to serve unpretentious beer and be a watering hole for anyone who lives, works or plays in the burgeoning city.
The Hops & Sips blog recently checked in with Sadighi and Hall to find out how they’ve made it this far, the future of Everett’s craft and the beer that started it all.
Q: What have been the biggest obstacles you’ve faced since opening?
DH: Moving in to an old building and some issues that come along with that. We’ve dealt with a few unique situations, including our neighbor’s bathroom above us flooding and leaving our ceiling ugly and bubbled. Dealing with the things you never thought about before.
JS: I think the hardest part about running a business is finding the right people to work with you. We are absolutely blessed that (bartender) Tasha (Riedman) found us after only being open for a few months. Having someone you can rely on, trust, and really enjoy working with gives us peace of mind that not all bars are lucky to have.
Q: How about most surprising part of owning a bar in downtown Everett?
DH: In downtown Everett, very little is surprising. Every city has its own absurd people and Everett is no exception.
Q: How different is the reality of being a taproom owner compared to your dreams?
JS: There is a lot more time spent on the behind-the-scenes work than I had originally expected. There are many hours spent with accounting, scouring beer lists to find the right beer, and waiting for deliveries.
Q: What are some of your favorite memories from the past three years?
DH: We have had the privilege of hosting two world champions at the bar: We got to hang out with the U.S. gold medal winning curling team for eight days when they qualified to for the Olympics in Everett, and more recently, Jon Ryan the former Seahawks punter, stopped by for a drink and shared some Seahawks stories with us.
JS: All the Everett vs. Seattle hockey game nights are always a lot of fun. The night Donald Trump was in town was quite the experience that can’t be forgotten.
Q: How has Everett’s craft beer scene changed over the past three years?
JS: If my memory serves me correctly, we have only gained one brewery in the past three years: At Large. We are lucky to have them so close to us, they’ve bailed us out a few times when the big distributors couldn’t come through with our orders. I think that there is always room for great breweries whether it be downtown or on the south side of the city.
DH: Everett’s craft beer scene is relatively small and I think could incorporate more breweries. Over the past three years, Everett’s beer scene has improved, but just slowly.
Q: How do you see craft beer evolving over the next three years?
JS: I am hoping that sours and gose styles become even more popular and that there will be more quality sessionable IPAs brewed.
Q: From a couple of experienced bartenders, what’s the key to having a good time without getting, well … thrown out?
DH: Be nice. Don’t sleep, don’t puke, don’t fight.
Q: Finally, what was your gateway beer? What do you remember about it?
DH: I don’t remember my first, as I’ve been very promiscuous. I do know that I fell for the tropical, juicy, floral, piney, hoppy bitterness that IPAs bring to the table.
JS: It took me a long time to really develop a taste for beer. I would say that the early Redhook beers were the gateway for me. I remember drinking first liking the ESB. It is definitely not my style anymore, I tend to enjoy West Coast IPAs the best, followed closely by big barrel-aged stouts.