Aging Well – Schooner Exact Celebrate 5 Years

The Washington Beer Blog would like to extend our congratulations to Schooner EXACT Brewing. The once-diminutive brewery is about to celebrate its 5th anniversary. A party to mark the occasion takes place tomorrow night (Friday, January 20, 7:00 p.m.) at the Beveridge Place Pub (blog sponsor). The official gift for any 5th anniversary is wood. For a brewery, the “wood anniversary” is appropriately marked with barrel-aged beers. And that is exactly what Schooner EXACT has in store for you. We provide details below.

From Humble Beginnings

More than five years ago my friend Erin told me that she knew someone opening a brewery in West Seattle. I quizzed her further and eventually discovered that the brewery would be located in an ActiveSpace studio on Harbor Avenue, near Alki Beach. Back then, it was hard to imagine such a thing.

Schooner EXACT started out brewing one keg at a time in a brewery the size of a very small garage. More like a large closet, actually. In January of 2007 the Beveridge Place Pub hosted the Schooner EXACT debut party. That was the first night that I, or pretty much anyone else, ever tasted Schooner EXACT beer. The place was packed beyond belief, the beer went quickly and the atmosphere was electric. It was an auspicious occasion.

Not long after that, West 5 Lounge in West Seattle dubbed Schooner Exact 3 Grid IPA it’s house IPA. West 5 was the first regular account for Schooner Exact. In those days it was all brewer Matt McClung could do to maintain that one account and occasionally get a keg out to someone else. By the way, 3 Grid IPA is still the house IPA at West 5.

The term had yet to be invented, but Schooner EXACT was a nano-brewery. Owners Matt and Heather McClung maintained their day jobs and operated the brewery part-time along with their friend Marcus Connery. They delivered beer out of the back of a Subaru.

Last spring we brewed Beer Church Pale Ale v2.0 at Schooner Exact. That is not a nano mash tun.

Today Schooner EXACT is one of Seattle’s rising stars. The SODO brewery is now anything but nano, having undergone several rounds of expansion. There is no longer anything small or part-time about Schooner EXACT.

Here is more information about the anniversary party, from Schooner Exact:


Schooner EXACT is celebrating its 5th anniversary this Friday January, 20th. We held our inauguration at the Beveridge Place Pub, so what better location to commemorate 5 crazy years; going from a little nanobrewery in West Seattle into a full-fledged microbrewery in SODO (with a short layover in South Park along the way). The gift for a 5th Anniversary is wood, so the brewers have come up with 6 wood-inspired beers and we’ll bring along some good ole’ favorites as well.

To warm everyone up, there will be a firkin of 3-Grid IPA, dry hopped with Cascades being tapped on Thursday the 19th.

Come brave the snow and celebrate with us. Thanks for supporting Washington beer and small business.

Heather McClung

Schooner EXACT Brewing Company

One comment

  1. You made a beer for PCC. Hopvine IPA. I understand you are having a hard time finding the hop that you used in this beer. I have tried hundreds of IPA’s. I love this style. Out of the numerous beers from numerous breweries, I have to say that Hopvine IPA was the best IPA I have ever had. I am so unhappy that you are not currently brewing it! This would easily become my “house (home) IPA”. I can’t stress enough how amazing this beer was. While I enjoy 3-grid IPA and consume it on a regular basis, Hopvine is the IPA that all other breweries should look up to. Yes, there are and should be numerous variations of this style; it’s just when something this amazing is produced it should be shared and enjoyed by all! (As long as I get my Hopvine!)

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