Today I am sad to report that the Washington State Liquor Control Board discontinued Hazel Dell Brewpub’s microbrewery license. The brewpub, located in Vancouver, WA, closed its doors at the end of 2011. Now it is official. It is always sad to see a brewery close. On a positive note, I am happy to report that there are currently 15 new breweries awaiting approval by the state.
Even if these 15 breweries actually gain approval, there are no guarantees. Some breweries approved by the state never actually come to fruition. Starting a brewery is more complicated than many people imagine and most wannabe breweries learn some tough lessons along the way. Getting approval from the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is perhaps the most significant and time-consuming hurdle. Municipal permitting issues also seem to be a big deal-breaker for many would-be breweries. When it’s all said and done, getting the state license might be the easiest part of the process.
Someone should write a book. Actually, someone did write a book: the Brewers Association’s Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery. As I understand it, Elysian Brewing Company’s Dick Cantwell is currently working on a revised, updated version.
Check out the list below of microbrewery licenses pending approval by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. By the way, without getting too deeply into the semantics of the whole thing, in Washington all of our breweries are licensed as “microbreweries.” Redhook in Woodinville is a microbrewery and so is Slippery Pig in Poulsbo.
Liquor Control Board Actions with Regard to Microbrewery Licenses
New Microbrewery Applications (Pending)
- Machine House Brewery, Seattle
- Bad Chemist Brewing, Seattle
- Dungeness Brewing, Port Angeles
- Flood Valley Homebrew, Chehalis
- Beer Falls Brewing, Richland
- Rainy City Ales, Seattle
- Rainy Daze Brewing, Silverdale
- Lake Stevens Brewing Company, Lake Stevens
- Ashtown Brewing, Longview
- Black Dog Spirits, Seattle
- Shrub Steppe Smokehouse Brewery, Richland
- Bale Breaker Brewing, Yakima
- Island Hoppin’ Brewery, Eastsound
- Sayulita Brewing, Seattle
- St. Helens Brewing, Toledo
Recently Approved Microbrewery Applications
- Herbert Benjamin Friendly Brewing, Renton
- Northern Lights Brewing in Spokane is now No-Li Brewhouse (name change).
- Hazel Dell Brewpub in Vancouver. According to the state, the microbrewery license is now discontinued.