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Behind the Bar: A Skookum Saga

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7/1/15

Beer Fest

Welcome back Skoobs! I hope all of you are staying hydrated with plenty of Skookum during this hot weather, I know I am with all the new summer brews on tap! But we are not here to listen to my sales pitch, we are here to be informed about Skookum’s awesome time at the Washington Beer Festival at Marymoor Park.

First and foremost: Skookum brought home silver medals for both Amber’s Hot Friend and the Rye Porter! We couldn’t be more proud of our product and it’s always awesome to be recognized for it.

Second, while I was not able to attend all three marvelous days of beer drinking, I heard from very reliable and a somewhat sober source that Skookum Brewery had a line the entire festival. On tap, we featured Pecan Pie Porter, Cameo Saison, Murder and Breakfast of Crows, Cont(r)act High and Three-Six-Oh!. For those of you who have never been, you are given a small glass and for one token, you are given a 3 ounce pour. Want to hear something awesome? We went through a lot of kegs. That means we sent out a plethora of 3 ounce glasses of beer and accumulated a lot of tokens.

During my time there, we had people try a variation, even having one stop and try all four that we had on tap in one go. His drinking ability was impressive. When I grow up, I want to be just like him. Anyways, aside from my aspirations, there were also a plethora of other activities at beer fest.

One highlight for myself was the keg toss. Let me tell you this wonderful story:

Here I am, pouring beer after beer and Ron comes back to the booth and announces that Tami will be doing the keg toss. Tami proceeds to shrug him off and throw me to the wolves. “Sam will do it!” I kind of look at her like, haha good one. But no, I had to do it. I ask Ron when it is and he says, 1:30 and that I should be there at 1:20. I then ask what time it currently is. “1:17”. Oh, perfect. I have very little time to prepare.

I meander about the grounds, trying to figure out who to sign up with. I find our lovely co-worker Angel, who had done the keg toss the previous day; he gave me a glass and tokens and then told me where to go. I then consumed a few tasty delights from our brewery neighbor Whitewall and went and signed up. Here is little me, next to the guy from Odin, who is about 3 times the size of me. I think he might be Thor’s long lost cousin, but I was too afraid to ask. As I sign up, the man in charge seems excited that a girl has entered.

When it comes time for the ultimate keg tossing competition, it turns out that two other ladies also signed up. I am not intimidated, for I am from Skookum and I am Big, Bold and Strong! (I’m not really that big, but I had to throw that in there). That was until they announced that I would going first. I didn’t feel quite as tough then.

11156129_10204096401601754_6083605975046299131_nAnywho, I step up and am my usual ham of a self. I tried to get the crowd into it and threw my kegs with the greatest of ease. I brought home a couple points for Skookum, aiming for the furthest pool, but it was not enough. I have put pictures below so you all can marvel at my impeccable form. Regardless, it was a ton of a fun and I had various people stop me throughout the rest of the day and tell me that they enjoyed my performance.

For those of you who didn’t attend the festival, go next year! The food is great, the people are even better and of course the beer is fantastic. Though, at the end of day, I still wanted to go home and have a Skookum beer. Cheers until next time!


6/11/15

The Patrons

Welcome to the first installment of my new blog, Behind the Bar: A Skookum Saga. These will be the
tales of a semi-anonymous waitress, bartender, beerista and relative of the illustrious Ron Walcher. If you can guess who I am, you can reward yourself by throwing an extra dollar in the tip jar on your next visit.

While working at Skookum Brewery, I have found that we have three types of patrons. While it is difficult to really categorize all of the individual people we see from day-to-day, because we get some real characters, here is how I would broadly classify them.

First, THE REGULAR.

There are a few ways to pick out who the Skookum regular could be. But first, if you are one, I probably know your name, what you drink, where you’re from and what you do for a living. You know all of the other regulars by name, but don’t know them outside of the brewery walls. If I don’t see your shining face at one of our tables for more than a couple days, I become worried that you either hate me or you have died. There is no logical explanation for why you are not sipping on your jackass/amber/olde tom/insert delicious beer title here, otherwise. It’s an added bonus if you used to come to the old place and remember me as your parking attendant, and if you do, you can reward yourself again by throwing another dollar in the tip jar.

But the regulars of Skookum are more than just familiar faces, they’ve basically become family. Without the overwhelming support of each and every one of you, Skookum wouldn’t be quite as big, bold or strong as it has become. I tip my glass to you, Regulars! You’re the real MVP! (Disclaimer, I would generally tip my glass of Mule to you, but we are currently out of Mule and I am heartbroken about that. At the end of this blog will be a petition for you to cordially sign to convince Hollis to make Mule again. Thank you for your support.)

Second, THE SEMI-REGULAR.

You’ve been to Skookum before, but it’s not a weekly thing. Maybe a growler fill here, a pint or two with some friends there. I definitely remember your dog’s name and I should know your name, but I probably don’t. You’re in the same boat as me when you come in and see that Mule/Woody’s/Brown & Scary no longer adorn the chalkboard and silently weep to yourself. All you want to do is start a tab and reminisce of the old days in the woods/farm/barn where you used to drink. You’re in awe of how the brewing equipment magically made it across the freeway and into the old Bayliner complex.

The great thing about the semi-regular, even though we don’t see you day-to-day or week-to-week, you still come and wave your Skookum growler proud. You keep supporting us and bringing friends with you to keep us growing. We appreciate the smile and stories that Skookum has given you. Here’s to you, the semi-regular, I promise I will at least try to remember your name.

And last, THE SKOOB.

First, let me define The Skoob. This is a Skookum Noob, a true first timer. Whether you read about us in the paper, came in to get a W.A.B.L. stamp, saw it randomly on a drive-by or heard about us from a friend, you all have the same look in your eye as you pass through the open garage door. I like to call it, “the deer in the headlights.” You have a decision to make as you walk in, do you go to the bar with the tall, burly, bearded man or do you take a seat and hope for one of the fast footed ladies to hit your table? For a hot minute, you do neither; you just stand there. But once you decide, it all rolls from there. Whether you find a table donning a random plastic animal or brave the large looming chalkboard adorned by taps, you will get the same spiel from any of us.

“Welcome to Skookum! Is this your first time? Great!” Then, it happens, “Just so you know, we are cash only.” It hits like a bomb. “CASH ONLY?!” you exclaim! We smile at you and explain we have an ATM in the back as you slide your card back into your wallet, reeling from shock. Once you have recovered from that blow, the fun starts. We set you up with a taster tray, a pint and some nachos and from there on out, you are good to go. All the service dogs running around are a bit of a shock, as well as the large bison protruding from the wall, but all-in-all, you really enjoy the atmosphere and hope to come back. Or at least, that is what I would like to think you are hoping.

One last cheers to you, The Skoob! Even The Regulars were once Skoobs, without you, there would be no Skookum!

That’s all I have folks! I know some of you fall in between these categories and I know all of you fall into a category of your own, but I hope you had fun trying to figure out just where you stand! Just like our beers, each of you is an individual and we thank you for your continued support. Cheers!!