Bottleshops are the way we get exposed to so many new things and they keep our eyes on the horizon for what’s new in the craft beer world. They are sort of a sudsy cornucopia for you to peruse through. Elizabeth Station is one of the region’s premiere bottleshops, with well over 1,000 different beers to choose from (don’t forget about our #snapsontap competition.) Bottleshops and breweries have a symbiosis that makes for not only good business, but as 11 regional bottleshops are showing, great fun!
Recently, Elizabeth Station joined forces with 10 other regional bottleshops to start the Bottleshop Collaboration Project (BCP). I reached out to Patrick McEvoy, owner of Elizabeth Station and a founding member of BCP, to learn more.
The mission of the Bottleshop Collaboration Project is to use our cumulative knowledge in the industry to bring unique beers to our market, by collaborating with great breweries in WA and beyond. – Patrick McEvoy
The collaboration consists of
- Elizabeth Station
- Chuck’s Hop Shop Central District
- Chuck’s Hop Shop Greenwood
- The Beer Junction
- Pint Defiance. Specialty Beers & Taproom
- TeKu Tavern
- Edison City Alehouse
- The Beer Authority, LLC
- Special Brews
- Malt and Vine
The shops have a great range of experience, from Bottleworks who’s celebrating it’s 18th year, to Teku Tavern who is in their first year. The 11 bottleshops are bringing their collective knowledge together to create beers that are influenced by their experiences and what they have learned from their customer’s preferences
There is a tremendous amount of knowledge, ideas and enthusiasm from all the people in the room. What makes it such a great group is how many conversations involved “our customers” as a key component. We often talk about “our customers,” what they want, what they are excited about, what we think would be really exciting for them. In the Pacific NW we are known for IPAs of course, and so there is a lot of talk about that, but we’re also trying to keep it diverse.
The BCP, just finished its first collaboration with Cloudburst out of Seattle. Cloudburst was named one of RateBeer’s Best New Brewers for Washington State. Like all bottleshops, McEvoy is after beers that are hard to get a hold of, which played into the decision of teaming up with Cloudburst
Steve from Cloudburst created the Space Dust and the Day Glow at Elysian, and Cloudburst has only continually improved upon those IPAs. They are a small brewery that only sells in the greater Seattle area at the moment, and so for us to be a part of that group meant that right away we were not only getting a unique beer but also a beer from a brewery never before sold in our area. – McEvoy
The collaborative is currently scheduling breweries with De Garde, Breakside, Skookum, Structures, Holy Mountain and a few others. There is no clear schedule on frequency of releases, but McEvoy says once a quarter sounds about right.
Jordan, of Seattle’s Chuck’s Hop Shop Central District, founded the BCP, so I reached out to him with some questions. Chuck’s has become a player in the Bellingham beer scene. They have become a distribution point for many of our city’s bottle and can releases, including Wander and Structures. Devon from Chuck’s Hop Shop’s second location, in Greenwood, is teaming up with Structures Brewing to brew Chuck’s Anniversary Ale. Details forthcoming!
Why did you start the BCP?
I wanted to help cultivate a spirit of community and friendship between our local beer stores.
What type of breweries do you want to team up with?
We’re looking to find the perfect balance between our favorite local breweries and some highly regarded breweries from around the country.
How far away is the BCP willing to go to work with breweries?
To me, the sky is the limit. Bringing the best possible beer to our community is the highest priority.
What do you hope to accomplish through the BCP?
I’ll be happy if we make some really great beers. My hope is that this project will enhance the already innovative craft beer scene in Washington.
What beer style will you be brewing first and with whom? When will you tap it and where?
The first beer in the series is an IPA brewed by Cloudburst. They represent both the caliber of beer we want featured in the series, and the independent spirit which drives our own businesses. It will be released at Bottleworks, Beer Junction, The Beer Authority, Malt & Vine, Edison City Alehouse, Special Brews, Chuck’s Hop Shop Greenwood, Chuck’s Hop Shop Central District, Pint Defiance, Teku Tavern, and Elizabeth Station on March 24th at 5:00 pm.