Megan Eison tries four samples at Scrappy Punk Brewery in 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Megan Eison tries four samples at Scrappy Punk Brewery in 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Last call at Scrappy Punk falls on brewery’s 4th anniversary

The owner of the Snohomish brewery is ready to say goodbye — and it has nothing to do with COVID-19.

Coming from the Portland craft beer scene, Greg Krsak knew the first beer he’d be brewing for his new brewery. Modeled after Widmer Hefeweizen, an iconic craft beer, Krsak brewed a hefeweizen as his first beer for Scrappy Punk Brewing.

It was a total flop.

“Nobody ordered it,” said Krsak, with a laugh.

Fortunately for Krsak that hefeweizen wasn’t a harbinger of things to come. Over the past four years, Scrappy Punk has become, well, one of the scrappiest breweries in Snohomish County, making experimental beers and becoming known as a quirky and fun place to hang out.

This weekend, he will be celebrating the brewery’s anniversary one last time. The brewery will be shutting its doors Dec. 20.

“We always wanted to be a brewery that made a positive impact on the community, and I think we did that,” said Krsak, owner and head brewer at Scrappy Punk Brewing. “We’ve met fabulous people and made lifelong friends.”

About two years ago, Krsak suffered a health scare that made him think of closing the brewery to spend more time with his wife, Christell, and daughter, Ada, 5. But then Elise Mattson came on board as an assistant brewer, injecting new life into the brewery, and Krsak’s health improved. He agreed to keep the brewery going for one more year.

Then, in 2019, Scrappy Punk won the top token count at that summer’s Washington Brewers Festival — a feat typically achieved by larger breweries like Fremont Brewing and Skookum Brewery — and had successful showings at beer festivals. The brewery was in a good place, so he relented again and agreed to keep the brewery going again.

“Elise’s motivation really led to the first-place token count and we had such a good party for our third anniversary that I was like, ‘All right, we can go another year,’ ” he said. “I thought, ‘Let’s end on a high note.’ ”

Then COVID-19 hit, and Mattson, who has a full-time job, a husband, Dave, and two children, Oliver, 11, and Ruby, 8, became more empathetic. It was time to call it. Scrappy Punk will host a two-day fourth anniversary party at the brewery Dec. 19 and 20.

“I was burning the wick at both ends,” said Mattson, who also acts as marketing coordinator for Scrappy Punk. “I need to spend more time with my family, too, and it became clear that now was the right time for both myself and Greg.”

Ironically, Scrappy Punk actually saw an uptick in business due to COVID. Krsak relaxed his growler-filling rules and the small outdoor space at the brewery was packed with customers this summer.

“We were flying through beers, probably four times normal,” Krsak said. “Unlike a lot of breweries, we were able to be nimble and we had inexpensive rent.”

In a cozy garage off 92nd Street in Snohomish, Krsak built a brewery known for well-crafted experimental beers that pushed the envelope and tasted great. His Coconut Blonde and Mango Champagne IPA became iconic beers in the local beer community and huge fan favorites, helping lead to the top token count at the Washington Brewers Festival.

Krsak credits a serendipitous meeting with Cascade Beer Candi owner Jim Ladd for the creation of the Coconut Blonde. Ladd gave Krsak a little coconut flavoring and told him to drop it in some blonde ale he’d just brewed. He made a small batch and put it on tap at the brewery.

“It just evaporated in a day and a half,” Krsak said of that first batch. “I realized I had to come in the next day and brew 100 gallons and spend the night in the brewery.

“We became known as a brewery that experimented with different flavors. That’s not what I set out to do, but fortunately I wasn’t stuck in my ways.”

The garage that Scrappy Punk has occupied for the past four years won’t be empty for long. Cider maker John Fleming is planning to open Hammered Dwarf Cider in the space in 2021. Recently, Fleming helped Robert Fontaine open Soundbite Cider in Everett.

For Krsak, he said he plans to “reroll his character and start over at level zero” when it comes to brewing. Mattson hopes to purchase some of the stainless steel brewing equipment Scrappy Punk will be leaving behind and keep homebrewing.

“I’d be humbled if she invited me over to brew with her,” Krsak said.

“I’d be the boss, though,” Elise said, with a laugh.

If you go

Scrappy Punk Brewing will host a two-day party for its fourth anniversary — Scrappy Punk and the Last Crusade — from noon to 8 p.m. Dec. 19 and 20 at the brewery, 9029A 112th Dr. SE, Snohomish. Growler fills and outdoor seating will be available, with all COVID rules in place. Los Tamaahles food truck will be on site from 2 to 8 p.m. Specialty beers include lemon peel kettle sour, rosemary ginger saison, chocolate banana porter and pumpkin spice ale.

Talk to us

More in Life

Kamiak alum and Harvard graduate, Michael Bervell on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 in Mill Creek, Washington. Bervell's new book, "Unlocking Unicorns",  profiles 10 founders of billion-dollar companies in India, Africa and the Middle East. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Kamiak graduate profiles the ‘Unicorns’ of the business world

Michael Bervell’s new book features 10 entrepreneurs who created billion-dollar startup companies. What do they have in common? None of them are white Western men.

School meals, like this sloppy Joe, chocolate milk, pear and baby carrots, support kids and local farmers. (Jennifer Bardsley)
School lunch: Every child deserves to eat, so let’s feed them well

Breakfast and lunch are now free for all students in the Edmonds School District. Here’s what else we can do.

Why it’s important to respect each other’s COVID-19 choices

Stay up-to-date with state and local health department recommendations so that you can make informed decisions.

“Forgive, but never forget.”
The wish of Dachau survivors: Forgive, but never forget

A solemn pilgrimage to the Nazi concentration camp, a place where ultimate evil flourished.

Where’s traveler’s refund from Air France for canceled flight?

Air France canceled Jim Shea’s flight during the pandemic. But he’s been waiting a year for a refund. Where is it?

Here’s how you can attract birds, including sparrows, to your yard. (Mike Benbow)
The gardener’s playbook for attracting birds to your yard

If you want birds to visit, you’ll need to provide four basic elements: safety, nesting spots, food and water.

Book-related events in Snohomish County.
Author events and poetry readings around Snohomish County

The listings include Third Place Books, Everett Public Library and Neverending Bookshop events.

Don Sarver, left, and Kyle James, right, snowshoe on the Skyline Lake Trail on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 in Leavenworth, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Don Sarver, left, and Kyle James, right, snowshoe on the Skyline Lake Trail on Jan. 26, 2019, in Leavenworth. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)
Outdoors classes and activities around Snohomish County

The listings include Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest updates and REI Lynnwood workshops.

Oliver Elf Army
New independent music label launches with a party in Everett

Palmer House specializes in cassette tapes. Oliver Elf Army, I Will Keep Your Ghost and FUNERALHOMES will play at the event.

Most Read