I admit that I was skeptical. And wrong. When I first heard of the plan to open a co-op brewery, I thought it was just another hair-brained scheme to open a new brewery using somebody else’s money—a practice in “creative financing” during the woeful days of the last economic downturn. I was wrong. Or, at least, if I was at all right, Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery took care of that problem and moved forward with creating a truly cooperatively owned and operated brewery.
Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery just announced that it is ready to celebrate its first anniversary. Or as they’re calling it, an Annibrewsary. The official party is on Saturday, August 20th, but they’ve planned a whole slew of events starting on August 15th and running through August 21st.
The 1,705 owner-members of Flying Bike invite you to join them at the brewery’s taproom in Greenwood to help them celebrate. If you see me there, you are welcome to point at me and say, “Neener-neener, you were wrong.” Like I said, I’m the first to admit it.
The events on the schedule include special beer releases, guest taps from their pre-opening brewing partners, a limited member bottle release, and a 5k/10K Fun Run. Check out the entire schedule at www.flyingbike.coop/firstanniversary
“It has been a whirlwind experience which has consumed a huge amount of volunteer hours – and it has been totally worth it” said Kevin Badger, President of the Board of Directors. “The response from our membership and the community has been frankly overwhelming, and we could not be more thankful for all the support and camaraderie of the Seattle brewing community”.
A group of homebrewers hatched the idea of Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery back in 2010 looking to gather the money, talent, and resources of many enthusiastic craft beer lovers to build a successful business that brewed beer around the cooperative model.
“The whole concept of a cooperatively owned and operated brewery was really new when Flying Bike began” said David Wiegand, board member and manager of the build out. “At the time we incorporated, there was only one other cooperative brewery operating in the nation. So we had a pretty blank slate to work with in terms of how we would structure the business and serve our members best. With a great lineup of consistently tasty beers, our barrel program, a cask engine, and weekly events for members and the public, it has really worked out better than our most optimistic dreams!”
A press release from the company explains that as a true cooperative, all of Flying Bike’s business decisions are viewed through the lens of the 7 Cooperative Principles, established in the 1800’s by the Rochdale Pioneers. In following these principles Flying Bike has created a special community in Greenwood that has been embraced by the neighborhood. The brewery has gained respect in brewing circles, in large part due to its veteran head brewer and co-op enthusiast, Kevin Forhan.
Flying Bike is fully open to the public as well. Special benefits for members include discounts on beer, beer-related educational opportunities, special beer events and releases, and the chance to compete in and judge member homebrew competitions. To date, 8 homebrew competition winners have been featured in the Tasting Room, brewed full scale on the 7bbl system with head brewer Kevin Forhan. Complimenting these beers are creations from Kevin Forhan which range from hop-forward NW IPAs, to roasty stouts, to those featuring unique adjuncts or yeasts to round out the tap lineup of 16 beers.
The brewery’s taproom serves beers based on members’ homebrew creations as well as beers built by Kevin Forhan, an experienced and revered professional brewery.
Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery
8750 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
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