Yakima Craft Brewing
August 29, 2012 - 10:49 AM-- by Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog --
After a high stress career in the frantic world of high technology, Jeff Winn wanted to do something that he could control. Namely, he wanted to make beer. Like many of his fellow Washington brewmasters, Jeff began dabbling in zymurgy in his garage. His hobby grew into a passion and eventually a profession. Recognizing Yakima to be an under-served craft beer market, he relocated from Portland to open Yakima Craft Brewing Company (YCBC). That was in December of 2007.
Jeff teamed up with Chris Swedin, who brewed at Bert Grant’s brew pub back in the day. To appreciate the story, you must understand that in 1982 Bert Grant opened the first post-Prohibition brewpub in the United States. He decided to open his brewpub in Yakima because he wanted to brew his beers smack-dab in the middle of the nation's most prolific hop-growing region. Not only is Yakima Craft Brewing using one of Bert’s old brewers, they’re using Bert’s original brew kettle. Yakima Craft Brewing is a bit like a living museum. It’s easy to imagine Bert scratching his chin and peering into the boil as he conjured up the Washington craft beer revolution back in the early 1980s. The old copper kettle is still pumping out world-class ales 3.5 barrels at a time. In fact, back in March of 2009 one of the nation’s leading beer publications, the Beer Advocate, awarded Yakima Craft Brewing IPA a rating of A+ for its IPA. (Very few beers get that grade.) Bert Grant passed away some years ago. He would be proud to know that his old brew kettle is still pumping out great beer.
The equipment may be historic, but the beers Jeff Win produces are not. Using Bert's old kettle, he pumps out delicious, original ales. You can find Yakima Craft Brewing beers on the shelves in bottleshops around the state, but you'll be hard-pressed to find it on tap west of the Cascades. Only rarely is the Seattle-area blessed with a keg. The brewery is located in an industrial area in Yakima and welcomes visitors to its tap room. It is just a tap room, so don't expect a brew pub. Do, however, expect to drink some outstanding beers. In addition to the highly-vaunted IPA, don't be afraid of beers like Bad Monkey, one of YCBC's Belgian-inspired creations (seasonal release, limited availability.) Also, take a trip in the time machine and sample the 1982 (an amber ale). This hoppy amber ale is an homage to the beers brewed by craft beer pioneers like Bert Grant back when the craft beer revolution was in its infancy.
Yakima Craft Brewing
2920 River Road #6
Yakima, WA 98902
The Taproom at the Brewery hours:
Monday - Thursday, 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday, 3:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Saturday, 1:00 pm - 10:00 pm