Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ronde Van Palouse

Last weekend included a couple of long, hard races.  One is reasonably well known, called Paris-Roubaix.  It no longer starts in Paris, as the name suggests, but it's still a nice little race.  There is, however, a lot of coverage on that race already, so if you want the details, use the googlinator and discover who Nicki Terpstra is and how Fabian Cancellara continues to build his reputation as "The" hard man of the classics.

A bit closer to home was a race known as Ronde Van Palouse.  Like the european classics, this one features some hills, some wind, some dirt and some very hard racing.  Here is a brief recap from Brad, one of the stalwarts of the team:

Jed, Richie and I  represented RCR in the Cat 3s. We were very happy to be grouped with the 1/2s since they always chill the first half of the race--yeah right!

Bike racing - It's glamorous!
The race's first 10 miles saw some folks try to get away, but the field caught all attacks in short order.  At some point prior to the gravel a couple guys got away and the group decided to get them back at a pace too fast for me!  Holy shit it was only 15 miles into a 65 mile race and I am dropped--I thought, "why am I out here racing with these dudes?"  Richie was the next to go, but I bridged up and we start picking folks off and end up in a pack of about 15 following the gravel section.  Jed was still up with the lead group!

BTW, portions of the gravel were crazy loose.  It felt like you were just skimming across a lake on trick skis.
Anyway, we worked together and continued to pick up riders.  In the gravel on the final lap we caught Jed who had given one hell of an effort, but he was blown and could not stay with us.  We came off the gravel in group of about 10.  I told Richie I'd go with 1k so he could grab Nigel's wheel.  As it turned out I went for only about 10 cranks of the pedals and then I watched most of the field roll by!  Richie hung on to finish 3rd in the group behind Andy Anderson and Nigel.  We assumed we were racing for 5th, but only one guy was still ahead of us.

Overall, like any race it hurt!  Thank goodness there was a beer waiting for me after the finish.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Gorge Roubaix

This last weekend, a few of the River City Red Cycling Team went to The Dalles to participate in a very hard race.  Maybe that should be stated, VERY HARD race.  But let me let them tell you about it.  Riders who participated included: Jed Barden, Travis Coleman, Richie Frahm, Brad Hamby and Paul Main.  Brad, Jed and Travis contributed some comments on the two days of racing.

Jed, Paul, Brad, Travis - Thanks for pics, Brad!

Day One - Brad:
We rolled on into The Dalles a couple hours prior to the race where it was a balmy 55 and sunny with a light breeze.  The first race was 50ish miles with 4000' of climbing and 6 miles of dirt/gravel.  The peloton rolled into the first climb at 15 miles and folks started slipping off the back.  I was the first from River City to slide off the rear as we entered the dirt climb and turned into a brutal headwind.  All I could do was hold tempo and hope to pickup stragglers along the way.  The race continued to splinter down to a group of about 15 to include Bardon.  At some point I'm told Travis had a rear wheel change; unfortunately, I was in no position to see any of this as I was off the back deep in the pain cave. The wind picked up to 20-25 knots on the second lap and the temp dropped about 10 degrees with some isolated showers.  The final several miles were dead into the wind, I've never been so happy to see the 10K banner.  I was able to share the last several miles of suffering with a few other guys.  I don't race just to finish, but today finishing was an accomplishment as 25% of the field abandoned.  Jed did more than just finish and stayed with the lead group all the way to the end!  (Jed 13, Paul 23, Travis 24, Richie 27, Brad 31)

Day One - Jed:
Our predetermined goal for the day was to lead Travis out on the sprint to the line.  Except for a few climbs, gale force winds, and a flat tire, it would have worked out as planned.  The weather was impossible to predict pre-race, oh well, sunscreen on and rain jacket in the back pocket.  (My last ride in this area included torrential rain and sunbreaks. 

After the neutral rollout, 15 miles of cruising warmup.  Then the suffering commenced.  After a right hand turn onto the first gravel sector, a mini-tornado lurked around the second corner whipping up dust and tumbleweeds.  A collective swearing and downshifting in the peloton.  After cresting the first gravel climb, a fast and twisty descent on the gravel.  I now know that my eyewear can handle a rock kicked up at 35+mph.  As for the rest of my body--ouch.  Like being shot with a paintball gun. 
Another gravel climb, descent, then back on the pavement to go start the gravel again.  The front group was too big to work together, even though the field was fairly separated by this point.  We hit the gravel for the second time with about half the field.  Up the gravel, down the gravel, more rock missiles.  I tried to join an attack on the second gravel climb, but it was really windy, so faded back to the dwindling bunch. 
Back on the pavement heading towards the finish, there were several break attempts.  But there was such a strong headwind that nothing could get away.  The lead group sprinted up the final climb together for the finish.      

Day One - Travis:
As expected putting in massive mileage with absolutely no intensity tends to make you fit without being fast.  After slow boiling up the first climb I had to back off when we hit the dirt in order to not totally detonate.  Unfortunately as a previous email mentioned this coincided with an uptick in the wind speed to something that could likely be rated on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale.  I hooked up with a couple of guys and we started picking our way through the carnage.  Just before the second gravel climb we picked up Richie.  Somewhere towards the top there was an acceleration, a detonation and general nonsense with the end result being that I came across the top with just one guy.  And no I wasn’t the one who accelerated.  On the way down we picked up a few more guys resulting in a group of 6 or 7 when we hit the pavement.  A short time later we picked up Paul and we could see the main group in front of us and getting closer.  I redlined again and came of the back.  At that point I was resigned to a long ride home without company.  Paul’s group caught the field, and strangely enough after a little recovery and some renewed effort I came around a bend and saw that the pack was pretty close.  I buried myself and caught the field at the exact moment they started the long paved climb for the second time.  This precisely corresponded with me immediately falling off the back of the group again!  About 200m later I saw that Paul had drifted off the back.  I rode within earshot and screamed and waved until he understood that it would be much more pleasant riding in together.  About that time Richie came dieseling by saying he couldn’t slow down and proceeded to ride away...  We proceeded up the climb, up the 1st gravel climb, and then at the start of the 2nd gravel climb I had a low tire.  Paul asked me if it was the front or rear although neither of us knew why.  Maybe he only had a front tube?  Turns out he had neither, but through a kind twist of fate one of the follow cars had lost his course map (blew out of the window- see previous wind statement) and was just making his way back on course as I flatted.  I was able to get a wheel change to finish.  Paul and I started picking up riders including Richie in the last 10-15k.  At this point we were laughing at the wind since the alternative was just to cry.  We made our way in to the finish and called it training.

For those who are into power here are a few stats from the ride: My normalized power for 2 hours was 292W then I had a rear wheel change and lost my powertap.  When I slow boiled off the back at the top of the first climb I had gone 385W for 5min, and 356W for 10 min at heart rate over 180bpm.  The 5 and 10 min numbers are not huge for me, but this is where it really shows that I lacked race intensity.  For 2 hrs I was able to ride at ~82% of the 10 min number.  Like I said fit, but not fast...yet!  

Day Two - Brad:
Day 2 was sunny andbreezy with a beautiful lollipop course from The Dalles along Old Hwy 30 to Mosier and where we did a couple loops in the hills.  (50ish miles with 4500' and 6 miles of gravel) We rolled out of The Dalles at a gentlemanly pace which continued until part way up the Rowan pass switchbacks where someone went off the front.  The group chased and folks started falling off the back.  Travis was the first to go followed by me.  Paul continued to dangle just off the back and I had him in my sights hoping to catch.  Unfortunately, when the pack caught the break there was another attack which did us in.  Richie made that small group and Jed was in the second group.  I had a couple guys still with me and we worked together until they fell off about halfway up the climb out of Mosier.  It was a nice steady 3-4% for several miles.  I could see Paul on the switch backs, but could not close the gap.  Travis and a couple other guys caught me on the descent where we saw our ex-bike mechanic Paul Main on the side of the road hand tightening his cassette.  He hooked up with us and we rode in together pick off stragglers along the way.  (Richie 23, Jed 27, Travis 28, Brad 30, Main 31)

Overall--nothing to write home about, but that was not the point.  We went down to get some race intensity and have some fun leading up to RvP.  Mission accomplished!  We also got a sweet pint glass.

Mmmm, beer.
Day Two - Jed:
The goal for the day was survival, and hoping there was some recovery from the day before.  My bold prediction that there would be no attacks on the first climb did not account for all the guys who did not race the day before.  Wimps.  
On the first climb, I am thinking this really hurts and I should not have ordered that second breakfast at the Cousins Country Inn.  On the second climb (first gravel climb), I am looking for the team car with those sticky water bottles.  On the third climb (second gravel), I am looking for the sag wagon.   

Although this was one of the more brutal days on the bike, the Gorge is awesome place to ride.  Even when I was dropped and dragging solo to the finish line, the sightseeing was a great diversion.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fool's Day

Speaking of jumping the shark, the whole "funny" April Fool's Day trend from media and tech companies is getting a wee bit tiresome.  I know it's no fun being late to the party, but really, it's time for some of these folks to look around and recognize that it's time to move on.

That said, when an April Fool's Day bit comes along that combines two of our most favoritest things, how can we resist?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Fat Bike Gone Too Far

I would say that Fat Bikes have officially jumped the shark with this latest iteration, but the likelihood of this thing jumping even a pine cone without a rocket attached to it is impossible to conceive.  Nonetheless, I present to you - the day the Fat Bike craze became just Fat Bike crazy.

Just because you "can", doesn't mean you "should".

Monday, March 3, 2014

On Tap List - Sorta

With the usual caveat that can't guarantee which beers are waiting to be tapped and which have already blown, here is a list of places to find our beer around here.  As usual, if you want to get some samples of our brews, stop by the Tap Room, but if you want a beer and a meal, stop in one of these places and thank them for being part of Drink Local.

JJ’s Grill
Left Bank Wine Bar
Shakey’s Pizza Parlor
The Lantern Tap House
MacKenzie River Pizza – 57th
Total Wine and More (Valley and North)
Central Food
Bowlaway Lanes
The Butcher Bar (Sante)
Fire Artisan Pizza
Italia Trattoria
Webster’s Saloon
Casper Fry Public House
Post Street Alehouse
Steelhead Bar and Grille
The Onion Downtown

Waddell’s Brewpub and Grill
Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub
Black Diamond
Brix Elevage

Imbibe Wine Shop (Moses Lake)
Pacific Avenue Pizza
Total Wine and More (Valley and North)
The Lantern Tap House
Evergreen Bistro
Fox Bear Public House
Lilac Lanes
Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub
Red Lion River Inn
The Growler Guys
MckKay’s Taphouse (Richland)
South Perry Pizza
Webster’s Saloon

Paper Street Alehouse (Kennewick)
The Basement
Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub
The Moscow Alehouse
Evergreen Bistro
Total Wine and More (Valley)
Jacksons Sports Bar (Yakima)
McKay’s Taphouse (Richland)
Checkerboard Bar
Evergreen Bistro
Spencer’s Steakhouse
Somewhere Bar and Grill
Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub
Shakey’s Pizza Parlor
Taps at Schweitzer
Vintage Vine
Herbal Essence Café
Italia Trattoria
O’Doherty’s Irish Pub
Total Wine and More (Valley)
Black Diamond
Boiler Room
McKay’s Taphouse (Richland)
The Viking Tavern

Wild Dawgs
Checkerboard Bar
Vintage Vines
Mogul’s (Silver Mountain)
Post Street Alehouse
Safari Room
Greenbriar Foods
McKay’s Taphouse (Richland)
Fox Bear Public House
Rocket Market

Left Bank Wine Bar
Sapphire Lounge
The Lion’s Lair
Vintage Vine
Fire Artisan Pizza (Kennewick)
Lilac Lanes
Mackenzie River Pizza (Downtown)
Seasons of CdA
The Moscow Alehouse
The Growler Guys (Richland)
Red Robin (Valley)
Saranac Public House
Tomato Street (N. Division)
Eau De Vie
McKay’s Taphouse (Richland)
Mirabeau Park Hotel
Mogul’s (Silver Mountain
Red Lion at the Park
Safari Room
Wolf Lodge Inn
Zany’s Hollywood Grill
Brix Elevage
El Sombrero
JJ’s Grill
Latah Bistro
Pacific Avenue Pizza
Sunset Mart
The Basement

Wild Sage
The Onion (North)
Tomato Street (N. Division)
Total Wine and More (Valley)
Beverly’s Restaurant

Friday, February 28, 2014

Inlander Restaurant Week

Emily here with an update on Inlander Restaurant Week.  We are mostly through the second annual Inlander Restaurant Week and the reports we hear are amazing! In case you don't know, though, or, gosh forbid, haven’t heard of Restaurant Week, or you have but are still not sure what’s going on and why everyone is walking around like they just had Thanksgiving dinner? Well let us explain, and then break out your fat pants and get ready to eat, because you don’t want to miss this week!

Inlander Restaurant Week is your opportunity to try as many restaurants as your schedule will allow, for affordable, fixed prices. Restaurant week is held once a year, this year being held February 21 to March 2. The 2014 Inlander Restaurant Week has 74 restaurant participants along with 11 drink local participants. 

How it works is you pick which restaurant you want to go to. We recommend checking out the menus either online or in the Inlander before you head out. This helps you plan ahead for your night out since each restaurant has prix fixe prices (fixed prices) of either $18 per person, or $28 per person. Another reason for looking at the menus beforehand, is it will get you hungry, and that’s a good thing for what you’re about to experience!

Each restaurant has a 3-course menu pre-selected. All you have to do is pick one of the three options for each of the three courses, and then be prepared to be amazed! The restaurants that participate in Restaurant Week use the week as an opportunity to introduce themselves to both locals and visitors who may have never dined there. The chefs use this as a chance to showcase what they do best in a creative (and delicious) manner!

As if all the amazing food is not enough, this year Restaurant Week has placed a huge emphasis on the regions libation industry. Each restaurant that is participating is featuring different Drink Local options, either on tap to be enjoyed side by side with your hand crafted meal, or right in the meal itself! (You MUST check out Saranac Public House and try their Vanilla Bourbon Stout Pudding made with our VB Stout.. it’s to die for!)

We have put together a list for you of some of the amazing Restaurant Week participants that have been some of River City Brewing’s best Drink Local supporters:

Fire Artisan (Spokane and Coeur d’Alene
Herbal Essence
Italia Trattoria
MacKenzie River Pizza (both the downtown location and up on the South Hill
O’Doherty’s Irish Grill
Post Street Alehouse
Ripples Riverside Grill
Saranac Public House
Spencer’s Steaks and Chops
Steelhead Bar and Grille
Windows of the Seasons
Tomato Street
Webster’s Saloon
Casper Fry
Lantern Tap House
Latah Bistro
Manito Tap House
Max at Mirabeau
315 Martinis and Tapas

Thanks to everyone for their involvement in Restaurant Week!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Best Craigslist Used Car Ad Ever

This guy deserves to sell his car, or get a book deal, you decide: http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/4341560204.html.  Go to the ad to see the rest of the pictures, which is worth the time, or to buy the car.  And thanks to SS for sending this along.

Mercedes Benz 560 SEL

You have found the most epic Mercedes-Benz from the 1980's. The Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL sedan -- featured in Car & Driver, Motor Trend and named "Car of the Year' from Wheels Magazine -- it was the top of the line luxury vehicle that re-defined European automobiles. Oh, and I may as well add that it won the "Safest Car of the Year" in 1987.

Yes, it was awesome. . . and this one still is. Why? Because it is a 27-year old vintage road-treasure that has seen four presidents, the invention of Al Gore's Internet and the rise, fall and death of Kurt Cobain. It's old enough to vote, get an MBA and Botox, travel around Europe and move out of its parents' garage. It also has about 237,000 original miles. I say 'about' since the speedometer stopped working at 222,060 miles -- but why should you care? Because that's the mother-fucking distance to the MOON! Yes. This car has basically been driven to and PAST the freaking moon -- THE ONE IN SPACE. Why do you need to even count mileage past that point? It's pointless. Because the point is, this car has courage, tenacity, power and balls. . . balls of steel; German steel that is.

It also has the world-renown 8-cyclinder, Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection steel German-built engine under its massive hood. It is huge and was created to provide the kind of power it takes to propel this fortress on wheels to 155 MPH. Haven't been that fast? Yes you have, and you were in a JET PLANE THAT FLEW IN THE AIR.

I have personally driven this car from San Diego to Dallas on an almost non-stop road trip. The steering wheel is big, fluid and offers just enough resistance and connection to the road to give you the impression that you are not only in charge of the car, but also of your entire life's destiny. Driving it for any distance is empowering and can make you feel you can go anywhere. In fact, this car has plowed effortlessly through Death Valley, dodged falling rocks in Arizona, stared into the depth's of the Grand Canyon and climbed mountainous icy hills in Colorado.

It also has spontaneously raced against a 2008-ish 7-series BMW one very late night somewhere along the North Dallas Toll Road. Neither car received a ticket but one car and driver received an embarrassing loss and lesson in total emasculation avoidance: spoiler alert. . . it wasn't the Mercedes.

As for its recent history, this 560 was treated for minor dents and flawlessly re-painted with the classic factory 'Mercedes Blue' in 2011. The body is tight and doors, windows and the trunk all shut solid. The tires were also replaced and aligned in 2013 with 205/65R Pro Continental. It has the original stunning chrome wheels as bright, stylish and reflective as Justin Bieber after a week in rehab. The gaskets, hoses, and belts have been replaced along with a full tune up, including plugs, and new head gasket. The radiator has been flushed, sealed and re-filled along with a fresh injection of Mercedes engine oil. In 2011, the universal lock system was repaired along with the brake pads and lights. Up to this writing, it has been stowed away safely in the VIP section of a basement-parking garage.

One of the most outstanding features of this car is that it starts -- anytime, anywhere. Whether it's 105* or -5*, F the car's engine turns over and roars to life with one simple twist of the key. There's no fumbling, cranking, pumping the pedal, stalling or waiting for the zombies to come and kill you. Fact: This car would NEVER be featured as a get-away-car in a zombie horror film because it would get you away from whatever is trying to eat, dissolve, melt, vaporize, mate, shoot or kill you.

Speaking of films, this model shares a heritage of fame and well-deserved celebrity. It is no accident that the 560 SEL was featured in "Lethal Weapon 2" because it IS A LETHAL WEAPON of power and timeless style. This may also be a good time to point out the car made its appearance in "Die Hard: With a Vengeance" because that's exactly what this automobile does... it DIES HARD, which is why it showed up AGAIN in "LETHAL WEAPON 3". Are you getting it yet?? This is all to explain why the 560 SEL was more likely to be fitted with after-market bulletproof glass and armored body panels than ANY OTHER CAR IN THE WORLD. Oh, Did I mention the back seat has a RELCINE mode? Well, grab a Cuban cigar and glass of Macallan 25-year old scotch because IT DOES.

Does the 560 use a bit of gas when you hit the pedal? Does Mayor Rob Ford do heroin?! Of course it does! Highway mileage may hit 15 MPG if you're lucky and not towing an 18-wheeler, an ESPN Satellite truck or small house (WHICH IT CAN DO). But the trade-off for drinking premium gas like an SMU sorority pledge who just lost her promise ring at a keg party, is the acceleration and speed you'll feel as you leave a carbon footprint the SIZE OF COWBOYS STADIUM!

Now, the argument against that Leo DiCaprio Greenhouse gas nightmare is the redesign of the S-class and that it gave this model a drag coefficient of 0.36 increasing its aerodynamics by 10%. You probably don't know what any of that means and I really don't either but it sounds AWESOME. And with you, your kid, your wife and a mid-sized dog, and a full tank of gas, you'll weigh in over 4,200 lbs. That's 2.5 Mazda2's, 17 Vespas or one white adult male Rhino. Here are other facts you'll want to memorize and throw out to the multitude of gawkers gazing at your remarkably handsome vehicle as you fill up at gas stations around the planet. . .

- 5,160 mm in length -- because size matters
- 5.5 litre, 5547 cm engine -- dude, that's heavy
- 300 PS / 295.5 bhp / 220 kW @ 5000 rmp -- this means intense power
- 455 Nm / 336 ft. lb / 46.4 kgm @ 3750 rpm -- this means serious torque
- 0 -- 60 mph in 7.10 seconds -- faster than a Smart Car zipping down the Double Black Diamond slopes in Vail, Colorado in the middle of an avalanche.

At this point, I'd like to mention that 'torque' has nothing to do with the 'urban definition' as frequently referenced in Comedy Central's "Workaholics"... although racing 130 MPH down a car-less, and careless highway at 3:00AM may give you a hard-on.

The car also has the world's first seatbelt 'pretensioners'. What the hell is that, you ask? It was the first-ever seatbelt device that kept pretentious occupants from flying through the windshield in case of an accident. Come on. It was the premiere S-Class car. "S" as in "shit-kicker" and "stallion" and any other "s" word you can think of that giveS thiS car the reSpect it damn well deServeS!

On this particular model, the AC works as long as you fill it with Freon each and every freaking summer. Alternatively, I'd suggest dressing cool and opening up the huge sunroof to let God's air cool you down. Seersucker is a very cool fabric and a dripping of timeless style AND it looks smashing with this car. During the winter, prepare to warm the flesh off your buns with the seat warmers, which are tucked underneath the blue, aged leather seats. Yes, the leather is worn, old and cracked. But so was James Coburn's face when he won a FUCKING ACADEMY AWARD in 1997 for 'Affliction'!

I almost forgot! The 560 SEL was designed by Bruno Sacco -- classified as one of the greatest designers in automotive history! Look at his face and you'll see sheer genius that instilled FEAR in other European car manufactures.

This particular car even comes with its own German mechanic who knows the car as intimately as Tommy Lee knows Pamela Anderson. He's also handsome and speaks with an accent that is hard-to-place but would charm the DKNY pantsuit off your mother. His number and contact will be made available after purchase. What transpires between he and your mother is out of my control. Just be prepared to accept a giggly collect call from Milan or Dubai.

Still not convinced you need to own this magnificent piece of highly refined German machinery? For less than the price of a new iMac, you could be cruising down (or up) I-35 with the windows down and cranking Starship's "Nothing's Going to Stop Us Now" track (BTW: #5 on Billboard's Top 100 List in 1987) as the dusty wind from the 635 construction project whips through your hair. Oh and as long as it's on your iPod or iPhone because the original Becker Stereo doesn't work. In fact, it needs work on the interior and some other minor odds and ends. If I were to keep it, I'd immediately get back to restoring it. But I'm out of room for cars and I'm having a fight with my wife.

One of the LAST reasons you should own this car is that famed actor / director John Frankenheimer (who personally drove John F. Kennedy to the Ambassador Hotel on that fateful day AND screen tested to play James Bond in "Dr. No.") owned, loved, washed and raced the 560 SEL.

I've driven this car with untold delight and it has been unbelievably reliable and a conversation piece that has led to and even developed into new friendships. As for you... You now have now been presented the gift to write the next chapter. Be the envy of young and old, rich and poor, drug dealers and web developers. This amazing road yacht can be yours for the small price of $2,750 in cash, Bitcoins or Gold medallions. Don't wait because someone WILL buy this car and drive it PAST the Moon and onto MARS.

If you've read this far, then call me to view and purchase. You won't regret it. I'll even throw in a pair of Brook's Brothers Seersucker shorts.
  • Location: north dallas

Monday, February 24, 2014

New Post - New Order

What do you say when you pull a page out of your memory and plaster it in the world.  Not sure, but dedicated to TW.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Brewery Open House

This is the first year that breweries on this side of the state have participated in the Washington Beer Commission sponsored Open House day, so today we are doing tours at 4 pm, 5 pm and 6 pm.  Please stop in, have a beer and get a tour of the brewery.

For more info, our FB event post: https://www.facebook.com/events/809911229022972/.

This is a unique / once-a-year opportunity provided by the Washington Beer Commission to:
-GRAB YOUR FRIENDS and make a day of it
-HEAD OUT to a new neighborhood or town you’ve never visited
-LOOK AROUND your local brew house
-SNEAK a PEEK at the cellar tanks
-MEET the BREWERS behind some of your favorite WA brews
-SAMPLE their unique fermented creations
-TWEET your trip > #WAbeerOH or > @RiverCityRed

River City Brewing will be doing brewery tours at 4pm, 5pm and 6pm where you can meet the brewer, learn about the beer making process, and try out one of our upcoming beers before anyone else!

The Washington Beer Commission and River City Brewing remind you to drink responsibly.  Designate a driver or take public transportation.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wanna a Keg for an Event? Emily Will Tell 'Ya How.

It is a known fact that a large portion of the population like to drink beer. Beer has also been known to be a great icebreaker in a number of different situations. It brings people together and usually helps make for interesting conversations and evenings.  Being producers of this delicious and sought after beverage, we are constantly being asked about donating beer, and occasionally about selling beer, to a variety of events in our community. In the last year, we have been happy to supply a number of kegs to different functions ranging from fundraisers for pregnant teens and life saving blood drives, to larger community events like the Inland Northwest Craft Beer Festival and Powderkeg Inlander Brew Festival, and we have sold many kegs to individuals who are having a wedding, a party or just want to have a good weekend with friends.

 Every time we are approached about kegs for events, there are always a number of questions that we have to ask regarding the event to decide which route to take in the way we supply the keg. As time has gone by, we’ve come to realize that not everybody knows the all the details regarding the legalities of beer. What? You mean you haven’t read the entire Washington State Liquor Control Board website outlining all of Washington liquor and tobacco laws and regulations? Get with the program people! Well if you don’t have the 2 years, 7 months, 11 days, and 18 hours it takes to completely read and understand all of the different regulations surrounding beer, wine, spirits and tobacco in the State of Washington (or in our case, have a part-time lawyer on the team who is relatively up to date on most of these things), we thought we might be able to help out a little. What we are about to explain pertains to only us (we’re selfish like that) and about the ways to go about getting a keg from us. We’ll use four different scenarios that are the most common.
The first is a fundraiser for a non-profit organization. The key word there for us is “non-profit”. The only time we are allowed to 100% donate a beer to a fundraiser is if it is backed by a 501(c)(3) or a 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation or association. Even though that sounds extremely specific, there are actually a large number of non-profits that are doing different fundraisers and they are all looking for a way to involve more of the community. Something that has been used to draw more people in has been by including beer in their events. For these events, the organization must acquire a Special Occasion License from the liquor control board (http://liq.wa.gov/licensing/special-occasion-licenses), which allows the sale of drinks by the glass, but is only offered to non-profits.  We donate kegs to some events and we sell kegs to others at a non-profit rate.  The non-profit then has the choice of offering drink tickets as part of the admission/ticket price or selling beer by the glass to raise funds.

The second scenario that comes up for us regarding our kegs is an event where an organization wants to buy the beer and then turn around and sell it to the public. Unless the venue that these events are being held currently hold a liquor license (more specifically, a liquor license that allows draft beer to be poured), the organization would need to hire a caterer who is licensed to sell alcohol at events. The proceeds must go directly to the caterer, not the sponsoring organization. The only way to not involve a caterer is to get a Banquet Permit from the Liquor Control Board (which we’ll talk about next). Our involvement in this situation is minimal. Because the event isn’t backed by a non-profit organization, we are not allowed to donate the beer or participate in the event unless it is a beer-tasting event.

We already started to mention the third situation when we talked about getting a Banquet Permit instead of a caterer for an event. A Banquet Permit does not allow an organization to sell alcohol for their event, but instead is for a private function where alcohol is provided to the guest for free or as part of the admission. A banquet permit is not available for events that include alcohol sales to the public or are advertised to the public.  In other words, if you have having an event at a private venue, your office building, etc., this is the permit available for you. So for this third scenario, you need to purchase a Banquet License as well as the kegs.
Last but not least, the fourth scenario, which is most common, is keg-to-go sales. That would be you and your friends having a group of friends together for a wedding, at your house for a football game, a birthday party, or just a great Saturday night. In this instance, you’d just call us to reserve a keg, come in and fill out a “Keg Registration Declaration and Receipt” sticker that we get from the Liquor Control Board, fill out a “Keg Contract” ensuring us you will prevent underage drinking, prevent over-service, and return the keg and any other equipment in the same condition as you got it. After that, you’re good to go!

Every situation is a little different, and there are tons of rules that apply to each scenario, but hopefully this helped shine some light on the in-depth, often confusing, sometimes irritating, world of beer to go.