No, that’s not a typo in the headline. We’re talking about a day to celebrate independents, not independence. In the spirit of Independence Day, the Latona Pub and Watershed Pub & Kitchen celebrate the independent spirit of craft brewing on Tuesday, July 3rd with tap lists made up entirely of beers from independently distributed Northwest breweries. Visit either of these fine eateries/drinkeries and celebrate Independents’ Day. See the tap lists for each pub below.
Independence in the beer industry means a few difference things. First up, the vast majority of the breweries we love are independent breweries. They are owned by people, by families, by individuals and not by corporations or other, larger non-beer companies. This kind of independence is a cornerstone of the Brewers Association’s definition of “craft brewery.” You can read more about that here.
When we say that a brewery is “an independent” it can also refer to a brewery that distributes its own beer. In the United States, alcohol is sold via a three-tier system. That is, producers sell to wholesalers (distributors), wholesalers sell to retailers, retailers sell to consumers. It’s the law, plain and simple. In Washington, breweries are allowed to operate as their own distributors. They distribute their beer independently, not via a wholesale beer distributor.
It is not an inherently bad thing for a brewery to sell its beer through a distributor. Many, many great breweries do. Still, for smaller breweries signing up with a distributor might not make sense. It is a daunting proposition, one that most breweries avoid until they reach a certain size. Independently distributed breweries face some challenges, that’s for sure.
So cheers to the breweries that go at it alone, parking their little cargo vans next to the distributors’ big beer trucks. And cheers to the Latona Pub and to Watershed Pub & Kitchen for celebrating independents’ day.
Watershed Pub and Kitchen Lineup:
Standard Brewing New Money Lager
Seapine Brewing Company Candle Fly Kölsch
Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Co. Strawberry Mango Hef
Lucky Envelope Brewing Whiskey Barrel #5 Sour
Big Time Brewery & Alehouse Guava Squeeze Sour
Holy Mountain Brewing Somnium Saison
Mazama Brewing Belgian Style Blonde
Cloudburst Brewing Endless Summer Nights English Summer Ale
Structures Brewing Oat Boat
Block 15 Brewing Co. Red, White & BOOM! Independent Patriotic Ale
Rooftop Brewing Company American Mosaic IPA
Stoup Brewing Wallet Chain IPA
Triceratops Brewing Company Belloq Brut IPA
Matchless Brewing Residual Heaviness IPA
Lowercase Brewing/Good Brewing Co. India Red Session
FlyCaster Brewing Co. Shadow Casting ESB
Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery Phineywood Porter
Hellbent Brewing Company Moon Tower Nitro Stout
Whitewood Cider Co. Esopus Spitzenburg Heirloom Cider
Elemental Hard Cider Platinum Peach Cider
Big E Ales Rootbeer
Latona Pub Lineup:
Stoup Brewing Wallet Chain IPA
Flying Lion Brewing German Pils
Cloudburst Brewing IPA
Jellyfish Brewing Company Planktonic Red Ale
Lucky Envelope Brewing Raspberry Sour
Holy Mountain Brewing White Lodge Wit
Standard Brewing Gravity Waves Oat Stout (Nitro)
Dirty Couch Brewing Solstice Barrel Aged Berliner
Chainline Brewing Company Fantine The Grisette
Whitewood Cider Co. Newtown Pippin Cider
Matchless Brewing Das Fluff IPA
Seapine Brewing Company Citra IPA
Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery Sagan Loop 2x IPA