Beer is my livelihood. It’s my social lubricant of choice. There are things that drive me to drink beer. There are things that I celebrate with beer in hand. Last year we toasted friends’ father lost. Beer is part of the fabric of my life.
Since we opened our beer shop, I’ve had a beer nearly every night. You have to know your product to sell it. All day long we talk beer. I have beer moments every day, all day. There have been so many beer moments that it’s hard to count them all.
Since a photo’s worth 1,000 words, this will be a photo blogpost from me, featuring some of those more memorable beer moments. We’ll begin with photos of us starting
our little beer shop…
2006: We just signed a 5-year lease. Here's our beer store!
It's all ours...and it's totally empty. Lots to do!
Planning the store's inside look, with paper, over beer.
Planning the store's look, with PhotoShop, inspired by colors of beer.
It's beginning to take shape! Our first logo-wear; framing is underway.
OMG! 7 days 'til the Grand Opening ...and we're still in construction!
2 days to opening. Cooler...check! Shelves & counter...check! Beer...check!
1 day to opening. The exterior sign just got installed. Looking good!
1/20/2007: Grand Opening Day! I haven't slept in 2-1/2 days with all the prep work. Though we're not 100% ready, this store's gonna open on schedule.
The artwork isn't done yet, but we have beer! Starting with a selection of 250 different kinds...and lots of room to grow! 80 customers on our first day!!
The artwork is done! Thanks Sven!! 99 bottles over the cooler wall.
2/21/2007: Finally, not so bare! Our first multi-case floor display.
5/26/2007: Destruction hits! The great sushi flood of 2007
It's called the "R&D budget" — and it means you have to remember what you drink, so you can talk to customers about it.
1/20/2008: 1 Year Anniversary ... yeah!! Craig & I. 5 beers paired with cake. 100 folks came out to celebrate with us!
1/20/2009: 2nd Anniversary beer & cake celebration. Peter & I serving. He's our first customer and a great friend.
2009: I kick off a "Dish 'n Beer" tasting series at the store. Homework is essential to find the ideal pairings! Stuffed mushrooms with Kolsch
Beer has officially taken over my fridge. It's around the condiments, in the crisper, behind the milk...
Valentines Day 2010. Customers answered a dozen questions, we made the selections and packaged 'em up for their sweethearts.
We have the best customers! They voted our beer store #1 in KING 5's Best of Western Washington. Me, my beer belly, and Meeghan Black.
12/10/2010: Arrgh matey! Good times at 99 Bottles. Things we do to promote beer when Craig's away. Arrr!
If you're a friend on facebook or untappd, it's likely you're familiar with "Jimmy Mac's Wednesday." It's all about the lunch special, draft beer, and reading about beer. Friend me on untappd
I met the BrewDog stoat at the 2010 Beer Bloggers Conference in Boulder, Colo.
I wish it were all mine. But when you own a specialty beer store, it means you have to sell nearly all of it. Goodbye, my love. We sold out in three hours.
We've met some really cool people through our beer store — and see several every Wednesday as we serve beer samples.
April 2011: Pimpin' my beers on KOMO Newsradio
I swear I must've drank a case of this beer by myself. Sad it's gone.
It's rare that I can get away from the store to attend events, but this one was delicious. Thanks Widmer Brothers! (And thanks to Craig for covering for me at the store.)
The best way to chill a beer, weather permitting.
I love Father's Day. It's all about great beer and great people at the Washington Brewers Festival.
Not all amazing beer comes to us. Sometimes travel or trade is necessary. This one's well worth it.
A balloonist, clown, and high school friend made me "beer balloons." LOL! Thanks Tater Tot! Meet T. Tater Tot
Room Service: A top 10 reason for me to attend the annual Beer Bloggers Conference. Starting the day out right before drinking a sh*tload of beer.
Dish 'n Beer: Showing folks it's easy to entertain with beer and easy-to-prepare food.
Mama's Little Yella Pils: "Take two and call me in the morning." Brewery tours: another reason for BBC!
I get to drink beer with people like this. Total awesomeness! #BBC10 @ErikBoles, @TheBeerWench, @AlesFrmTheCrypt
Visiting a friend's deli in Tacoma. Nothing "STINKs" about this place. Wish it were closer to our store. The food was delicious.
Tacoma aroma? Check out STINK
Discovering a big ugly spider in the beer cellar. Creep factor: High! This led to a thorough taping of all boxes.
Our first line outside the store. This, for Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA. We got just a case, so it was a strict 1 per household limit and sold out in 6 minutes.
Why I need a coaster.
More fun at the store when Craig's away doing will-call pickups of beer.
If I had a dollar for every time I was asked, "Do you have Pliny?" I'd be a very rich woman. This limited beer arrives every 5 weeks and we sell out within 2 days, at 1 per person limit.
Another delicious beer.
The Washington State Legislature legalizes growler fills for bottle shops in 2011. Unwrapping our just-arrived new kegerator!
We chose the Pegas CrafTap for filling growlers. These Russian-made fillers offer fresher beer, with less waste.
Learn about Pegas beer innovations
9/5/11: First guy to write a bad review online about my customer service. He arrived early, paced in front of the store for 25 minutes, was short with me... *sigh*
Photo observations of running a retail shop
WTF?! Trying to keep a clean store and someone tagged us. One of the many woes of being a shopkeeper and things that drive me to drink.
Sometimes I've just got to pause and admire the head.
Some labels make me smile every time I see them.
A day off! Kicking back with a can of beer in the backyard.
My favorite beer? The one in my hand. Unless it's empty.
Yes, I drank this. It was given to me. It was cold and refreshing.
On draft at home: Fat Woody. You are what you drink.
If it's got a monkey on it, you know it's gonna be good.
Beer & Duct Tape: The solution to life's little problems.
Sometimes I get to doodle at work. It's a Woodchuck, not a Beaver.
It's a wonderful thing to have talented friends. Margo's "PinkaBella Cupcakes" for the store's 4th anniversary beer & cake celebration.
Visit PinkaBella Cupcakes
Got to pull my own draft at Midnight Sun Brewing, Boulder Colo. #BBC10 Visit Midnight Sun Brewing
I made this Beer Can Crown, and gave it to The Beer Goddess, Lisa Morrison.
Visit the Beer Goddess
A day off! Chillin' in the backyard with a beer and the Dutchie.
I'm still the mayor of Blue Island Sushi. Sometimes I have a beer with lunch.
Thursday is IPA & salad for lunch day. This was Craig's beer. I drank it. Justification: IPAs aren't his thing.
Thursday lunch salad. Sometimes there's no IPAs in the fridge. Then it's time for a wheat beer.
Tour of Goschie Hop Farms at the 2011 Beer Bloggers Conference, Oregon. The spicy aroma in the air was amazing.
Darth Vader loves Ninkasi beer. I have photographic proof.
The Cascade Barrel House in Portland. Yum!
Visit the Cascade Barrel House
One of my Top 10 favorite things about the Beer Bloggers Conference: The night of many bottles.
Another of my Top 10 favorite things about the Beer Bloggers Conference: Speed dating beer. Meeting the beer of your dreams
Lunch at Belmont Station in Portland. Delicious. Visit Belmont Station
There's hops in them there brownies! #BBC11
I get to work around beer, with my best friend & husband.
Growing the beer selection to over 1,200 in stock ...and nearly 4,000 on the books, in just five years!
Thanks for coming with me on this little trip down beer memory lane.