Category Archive: The Beer Business

Notes on running a small business, a specialty bottle shop, and navigating the regulated industry of alcohol sales.

Jul 23

Beer as a controlled substance (aka, Can you get me this beer?)

“Can I see your I.D.?” is a common request from the checker when you’re buying beer. Nearly everyone knows that you’ve got to be at least 21 years old to buy beer in America. Surprisingly, few know that there are other controls on beer in our country. Control isn’t just about ID checking. There are …

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Jun 26

Endings and beginnings

This month we started offering a Flight of Four at the beer store. Folks can order it almost anytime during business hours: Monday thru Saturday opening to 7:30; Sunday to 4:30 p.m. Flights departing anytime, nearly sixty hours of serving the public in a new way. I was worried; I still am worried about how …

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Jun 12

Spidey Sense

Um, yeah. This happened today: A guy just brought his growler in for fill with a spider in it. Does this mean I should post: “We will fill your growler jug if it’s semi-transparent glass, clean, and free of spiders & mold.” The fellow watched the Beer Clerk put it in the fill station, which …

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May 01

Do you really want to be a pro brewer?

I confess, I harbor no secret dream of becoming a professional brewer. In fact, I’ve never even concocted a homebrew. I have, however, been to a class on homebrewing, and I drink commercially available craft beers on a daily basis. May 2013′s beer blogging session is about “The Business of Brewing.” The Session, a.k.a. Beer …

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May 01

Mean people suck.

I always imagined the craft beer industry to be filled with cool people. We all love the same delicious, handcraft product and want to share it with others. I guess my personal views may be a bit Utopian. Now, just over six years into the business, I find myself growing a bit weary, tired, frustrated, …

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Apr 29

MM: Beer Wars (on so many levels)

I keep things. They’re like little bits of memories all over the place, stuffed in drawers and boxes and in the bottom of my purse. This morning I was clearing out an old box of papers and came across these: Movie tickets from April 16, 2009. The movie? Beer Wars. …and it was playing LIVE! …

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Apr 25

Selling rare beers in Washington State

Some of our customers are really into beer. They follow us on facebook to see what’s coming in daily. Many of these beer lovers seek out craft beer that’s got such limited production that bottles sell out within hours of arrival. It’s like Trekkies only their hobby (or “geekery” you may say) is beer, not Star …

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Apr 12

A new generation of beer retailers, indeed

Yesterday a fellow came into my beer store not to buy beer, but to ask me to assist him in opening his own bottle shop. I asked if his shop would be in Washington State. “Yes, but we won’t be competition for you,” he responded. I attempted to courteously explain that I couldn’t help him; …

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Apr 05

Beer lifestyle imbalance

The Sessions happens every first Friday. It’s when beer bloggers and share their thoughts on the same topic. April 2013: Finding Beer Balance, chosen by This is Why I’m Drunk. It’s obvious I’m living imbalance. Just look at me. The figure of a British Pepper Pot, belly as far out as the boobs. Second chin …

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Apr 01

Want to buy & sample spirits at your local bottle shop?

If you’d like to buy & sample spirits at your local bottle shop, please contact Rep. Steve Kirby and request that he support amending SHB 1332 to allow Beer/Wine Shops to sell & sample craft spirits. Here’s my letter: Dear Representative Kirby, I am writing to ask your support in amending SHB 1332 to allow …

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