Friday, June 17, 2011

A Crown For The Undisputed King Of 50 Beers!!

The race for 1st if officially over.  The rules of the Mug Club were simple.  Purchase 50 beers and get a mug with your name etched on it.  Sounds innocent enough, right?  Well, that changed quickly.  Instead on a community creating offering to get personalized mugs for our regulars it turned into a Death Race 2000 style free for all to see who could get there 1st.

At first it seemed that Colin would take the prize easily.  This is, indeed his home turf and he has been applying pressure to the barstools since the taps were installed a year and a half ago.  About a week into the competition, Colin had a commanding lead at 29 drafts to the next competitor with 19.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, Matt shows up on a Wednesday and kills 13 beers. (to be honest, he did buy some for friends and did not drink that many in one sitting. but he could)

With the pressure on, Colin realized that his lead was, under no circumstances, safe.  So he did what any proud regular would do.  he took off work early and came to the Pub.  Like a man on a mission he downed everything he could get his lips on.  It was like a pie eating contest but not gross.  When I left work at 6:30 he had upped his tally to 33 or 34 and, with eyes as focused as a high-wire-walker working without a net, he continued.

I went home, showered, ate and went to my other job.  All the while wondering what was happening back at the B.A. had Matt returned to add to his total?  Were the two simply staring across the table from each other, pounding beer after beer like Karen Allen and the giant freak in "Raiders Of The Lost Ark"?  Would it be a sprint to the finish?

In the end, I received text message around 10pm yesterday saying he had reached the goal!  50 pints!  Not all drank by Colin, but all purchased and all consumed.  So here's to the King!  And for the King, a Crown!

Cheer, Colin!


..and here he is the next day.  Still in one piece...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Airway Brewing is Really Taking Off!

Alex Dittmar and his wife have successfully beaten the odds.  They built a ground up business in a remote location (Kent, Wa.) during the worst recession in modern history.  In a recent conversation, he told me that they started out with a year lease on a business space in order to cut bait should the brewery fail.  This is a very realistic view of the market as so many bars and restaurants don't last a single year.  I am happy to report that they have passed the year mark and are now looking at a 5 year lease.  Airways is also adding a bistro to the mix.  Here is an email interview Alex was kind enough to grant The Beer Authority.

Phil- Beside your own delicious beverages, what is your current favorite beer?

Alex- It depends on the day, time of year and location. If I'm in the mood for something light, I'll go for a Chuckanut or Bitburger Pilsner. Darker, a Diamond Knot Possession Porter. Hoppier, you can't beat a local, Washington IPA. Elysian is the brewery that always has something pleasing for me. Same with Silver City.

Phil- How long has Airways been producing beer. How did you get into this industry?

Alex- We moved into our current location in October of 2009, brewed our first batch on January 31, 2010 and opened our doors on March 4, 2010. I started as a home brewer, won some nice awards for my beer, and decided I could produce a product just as good, if not better, than some of what was out there. It took a couple of years of planning before we finally decided to do it.

Phil- Checking your website, it seems there is some remodeling going on in the tap room? I did notice a date of June 9 as the ready date. I just happened to notice it is June 9. Are you on schedule or do drinkers have to bring protective eye wear?

Alex- We did open the tap room on June 9th on schedule. That doesn't mean we're done. I'd say it's about 90% done, with most of the remaining items purely cosmetic. The only big thing left is to install the new draft system, which has to wait for the new walk-in cooler to arrive. We hope to have everything in place by July 9th, when we have our expansion party. As far as protective eyewear, that's always a good idea. And, bring power tools too.

Phil- There seems to be no lack of young, craft breweries in the Northwest. Have you found the climate to competitive or is it more like a large family?

Alex- I come from two very competitive industries - radio broadcasting and the airlines. The collaborative nature of the brewing industry has taken some getting used to. I'm still a little shy about asking for help. But, when I do, my fellow brewers come through with flying colors. For example, we don't brew our Starliner Stout in 7-barrel batches that often, so to spend a couple hundred bucks for yeast that will get thrown out impacts  our costs in a significant way. The nice folks at Big Al's have given me a spare pitch of that yeast twice now. They don't have to, but they're really genuinely nice people and have been happy to help.

Phil- What are the most challenging aspects of running a business like yours? What are the best parts?

Alex- Our biggest challenge right now is how to balance our tap room needs vs.. our distribution desires. We don't distribute a lot, but when we do, we like to keep our customers happy and stocked with our beer. Until our new 10-barrel system gets here in August, that balancing act gets really tricky. The best part of this business is our customers. We've been blessed with a really nice group of regulars in our Kent tap room. And, it's always fun to welcome new people as well.

Phil- How many employees do you have?  Which employee would you say is the weakest?  If he/she were to get fired can I have their job?

Alex- By the end of the month, Including myself, we'll have two full-time and three part-time employees. When we open our Bistro in downtown Kent in mid-summer, we'll add more than a dozen new folks. We fire tap room favorite Greg daily - sometimes multiple times - and sometimes even the customers get in on wielding the hatchet. If you hang out at the tap room long enough, I'm sure you can have his job for the five minute intervals he remains fired until we rehire him.

Phil- It seems that, if you were not a brewer, you would be an aviation collector.  Can you share with us some of the airplane parts that you have procured for the brewery?  Also, why the airline theme?

Alex- We have a 747 nose cone hanging on the wall in the brewery. That's my prize eBay find. Soon, we'll add a spiral staircase from an old 747. Haven't decided where to put that yet. Then, there are the various small airliner parts - 727 flap sections, 707 posters, etc. Classic airliners is our theme, and I love finding decorative items to support it.

The airline theme came about because I've always been a big jet guy. In addition to my Farrah Fawcett Majors orange swimsuit poster, as a kid, I had posters of airliners on my bedroom wall. Big planes have always fascinated me and still do.


Here is a list of Airways' regular taps.  They also carry many special and seasonal Brews.

    * T-Tail Blonde Ale™
    * Jet City ESB™
    * First Class IPA™
    * Starliner Stout™
    * Sky Hag IPA™

Stop by and check it out.  Here is their address:

And be sure to check out the web site:

Thanks, Alex, for taking the time to correspond with me.  See you soon.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Leaked Documents!

Yesterday, pre-noon, a volume of text messages began between a local (very local) business owner and an employee.  The texts appear to be a list of non-existent books and authors whose name pronunciations reference said books. You may remember the old standards like, "Yellow River" by I. P. Freely etc.

The messages have been leaked to me and I would like to share them with you, the reader/drinker.  Many of these texts are graphic in nature.  Parental guidance is advised.  It should also be known that reading these texts could lead to unexpected groaning and grimacing.

The following is an excerpt from the correspondence.  Here you go....

Sunday June 12
10:07 a.m.- BA  Another book title: "The Rainbow Connection" by Amanda Hugginkiss

10:09 a.m.-PP  "Today I Sit" by Stan Tamara

10:15 a.m. BA  "Home Alone" by Jack Goff

10:17 a.m. PP  "Great Expectations" by Anne T. Sepation

10:39 a.m. BA  "Near Miss" by Sully D. Pants

11:08 a.m. PP  "Naughty Girl" by Lucinda Kaboose

11:09 a.m. BA “Social Butterfly” by Greg Arious

11:20 a.m. BA “Home Alone 2  by Rosie Palm. Ok, that was too easy
11:24 a.m. BA “Reagan Democrats: A New Congress.” by Eileen Wright

11:26 a.m. PP “Asian Republican” by Irene Wright

11:26 a.m. BA “My Life As An Asian Republican.” by Irene Wright

11:26 a.m. BA You were quicker than me

11:27 a.m. PP  Ha            

11:28 a.m. BA “A Life In Crime” by Jimmy Delocke

11:31 a.m. BA “1001 Bad Gay Jokes” by Peter N. Butts.  Illustrated by Rich A. Round

11:33 a.m. BA “American Gigalo” by I. B. Hoeing

11:37 a.m. BA  ”Urban Hipsters” by Anne Droge-Innis

11:45 a.m. BA “Stash the Cash” by Barry D. Monet

----Then a long break

1:16 p.m. PP “Life in the Post-Modern World” by Cashious King

3:00 p.m. PP “It’s Not Gay if it’s a 3 Way” by Sharon Moorhead

----Then another break

8:35 p.m. PP “Shaking Apart” by Grant Malsey-Shure

8:46 p.m. BA “What I learned In Prison” by Rob A. Banks

9:01 p.m. BA “Plumbing Problems” by Aretha Trickle

9:03 p.m. PP Alright  You finally made me laugh out loud......“The 1 Thing I Love” by Cory Moshun

9:05 p.m. PP Btw. This all goes on the blog.

9:06 p.m. BA Sweet, Made for a good Sunday afternoon too.

9:09 p.m. PP “You Got That Right ” by Thad Fodam-Schure

9:19 p.m. PP You are definitely my favorite Blossoun Shinopy-Hearaz

10:22 p.m. PP “It Could Happen” by Dray Gonulong

10:41 p.m. BA “Identity Problems of the Elderly” by Graham E. Tranny

10:49 p.m. BA “Dude Looked Like a Lady” by Jenn DerBender

11:10 p.m. BA “A Boy’s Fantasy” by Les B. Anne.  Too easy?

Then, without warning, as someone was trying to sleep Monday morning...

7:31 a.m. BA “How LeBron James Became a Superstar” by B. A. D’Bagge

Friday, June 10, 2011

Who Will Be the First Customer to Reach 50?

This picture courtesy of Mark, one of our regulars.  So far Colin is in the lead with 12 beers AND is expected to make an appearance tonight.  I can not stress enough the importance of getting your mug before Colin.  It's just going to go to his head.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hey! That's My Beer!

"Oh, yeah? Well, I don't see your name on it!"

How many times has this happened to you? Never? Well, that's not the damn point. The point is, it could happen. It is physically possible for someone to drink your beer claiming it is their own. What's worse? Outside CSI style DNA testing, there is no way of proving it. . . .


That's right people. You can PROVE that beer belongs to you because it is in YOUR mug with YOUR name etched into the glass. Starting right now you can sign up for the mug club. It costs no money but returns so much satisfaction! Simply stop into the Beer Authority, order a beer, fill out a card with your name and play the waiting game.

This next part it a bit tricky so pay attention. You will receive your mug after you finish 50 pints. (10 oz. pours and cracked bottles count but not schooners) You will not, under any circumstances, be allowed to drink 50 pints on your 1st visit. That's not a club. That's a suicide mission and all together bad for repeat business.

Your boss may have his name on his office door but he does NOT have it etched on a mug at the Beer Authority. So, sir, he does not. That privilege is reserved for you and you alone.**

So come on in and be a part of something great!

Your Pal,


** Your boss is not excluded from this offer provided he is a customer of B.A. in which case he or she will have their name printed both on their office door AND our Mug. This will likely suck for you if you hate him/her. Or it could be fine, really, I'm not your career counselor. I'm just a guy who loves beer.

and chicken.