Organic beer is a natural fit for Elliott Bay Brewing
Seattle finally has an organic beer to call its own. Elliott Bay Brewing, which has breweries and pubs in West Seattle and Burien, learned...
Seattle Times business reporters
Seattle finally has an organic beer to call its own. Elliott Bay Brewing, which has breweries and pubs in West Seattle and Burien, learned last week that a dozen of its beers have been certified organic by the state Department of Agriculture.
It's taken awhile.
Oregon has at least a dozen breweries making organic beer, but the only other one in Washington is Fish Brewing in Olympia. Martin Bills, general manager of the brewery that makes Fish Tale Ales, said demand has grown rapidly since its first organic beer was certified in 2000.
Almost immediately, two grocery chains asked Fish to add more organic styles, and organic IPA has become its biggest seller by far.
The brewery's sales have grown faster since it launched the organic beers, at about 15 percent a year. Fish sells about 400,000 gallons of beer a year, sold on draft and in bottles mostly in the Western U.S.
Elliott Bay Brewing is far smaller, brewing about 46,500 gallons a year. It has been in West Seattle since 1997 and opened in Burien in March 2007.
Organic beer costs at least 30 percent more to make because the ingredients are more expensive, said Doug Hindman, head brewer at Elliott Bay. The price for customers isn't that much higher, he said, because the brewery doesn't pay much for distribution. It sells most of its beer at its two pubs.
Elliott Bay has used organic grain in its beers for about four years, and sometimes it takes significantly less organic grain than regular grain to achieve the same sugar content in a beer, Hindman said.
Making organic beer is part of a broader green effort at Elliott Bay, which also serves organic tea and locally roasted organic coffee in its pubs; composts all of its food waste; recycles waste fry oil into biodiesel; and reuses spent grain from the brewing process as an ingredient in its hamburger buns and as a feed supplement for livestock.
"These steps came out of the core value of being a responsible company," Hindman said.
— Melissa AllisonTidbits
Vulcan Real Estate will distribute about 8,000 new "SLU" cards to people who live or work in its buildings in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood in the next week.
The cards entitle them to discounts and other rewards at some 50 neighborhood businesses, including Opal Boutique, Portage Bay Café, Tottini, Urban Beast and Vida Spa.
The goal, says Vulcan market-research manager Lori Mason Curran, is to "foster a sense of community" as more people live and work in South Lake Union. "Things have changed here so rapidly that a lot of people haven't gotten to know each other yet," she said. — AM
State alcohol regulators still need to approve the acquisition of Seattle's Pyramid Breweries by Magic Hat Brewing Company & Performing Arts Center before the deal can go through, the Vermont company said Thursday. Magic Hat's parent company extended its offer until midnight tonight. — MA
Olympic Cellars Winery near Port Angeles reached an agreement with the U.S. Olympic Committee allowing the winery to keep its name and maintain its Web site as long as wine sales east of the Cascade Mountains are not "substantial."
The agreement comes nine months after Olympic Cellars was cited for violation of the 1998 Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, which gives the committee commercial control of the word "Olympic."
The act has been amended to allow businesses on the Olympic Peninsula to use the word in marketing west of the Cascade Mountains. Co-owner Kathy Charlton is calling for Congress to amend the law again to account for changes in electronic commerce and the global economy. — MA
Oiselle Running, a Seattle-based women's running apparel company, is entering the political fray with T-shirts inspired by this year's U.S. presidential election.
One of two styles features Barack Obama's last name and the message "running the good race." The other displays John McCain's last name above the words, "kicking butt in my age group." The shirts will be available at www.oisellerunning.com in mid-August for $30. — AM
Zavida Gemstones, a Mercer Island jewelry business founded in 2004 by former Starbucks executives Lee Gelb and Shelley Milano, announced a donation worth $23,000 for silversmiths in India who make some of its products. The money will go toward jewelry training, tools and microfinance programs. — AM
Frozen-yogurt chain Cefiore will open its second Seattle area location today in Tukwila. The first store opened in Kirkland last October, and a third store is planned for Bellevue in August. Started two years ago in Los Angeles, Cefiore now has more than 25 locations and sells unusual flavors like raspberry pomegranate, green tea and acai berry. — MA
FruFru, a new Seattle company founded by former Microsoft manager-turned-stay-at-home mom Sheila Wyatt, hopes to capitalize on a citywide effort to discourage shoppers from using disposable paper and plastic bags.
FruFru sells reusable cotton canvas totes with eight different designs, each for about $20, at www.cafepress.com/frufru. This week, Seattle's City Council approved a 20-cent fee for each paper or plastic bag used at grocery, drug and convenience stores starting in January. — AM
Seattle fashion designer Carolina Sadowski launched a shoe line Thursday evening at the Pacini Lubel Gallery in Pioneer Square. The new line, called Carolina Pagano, includes 18 styles of shoes expected to sell for $300 to $500 at boutiques and other targeted retail outlets. — AM
MillerCoors has launched a marketing campaign in Seattle and Portland to draw women to its new low-calorie Miller MGD 64 beer. It is putting its message on EcoHangers, recycled and recyclable hangers being given out by dry cleaners to replace wire hangers.
Other companies that have used EcoHangers for their messages include Revlon, Staples and Hershey's. MillerCoors' hanger message for Northwest dry cleaning customers will be "64 Calories in a Light Beer — A Perfect Fit." The beer is available in some parts of the country now and will go national this fall. — MA
Retail Report appears Fridays. Melissa Allison covers the food and beverage industry. She can be reached at 206-464-3312 or email@example.com. Amy Martinez covers goods, services and online retail. She can be reached at 206-464-2923 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.
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