Thursday, February 7, 2013

Brewery Profile - Emerald City Beer Company in Seattle, WA

Rick Hewitt, the owner and Brewmaster at Emerald City Brewing, began home brewing while attending graduate school at the University of Washington. With a solid education in business and a passion for good beer, the California native decided to pursue his passion while leveraging his education. Thus, Emerald City Beer Company was born.

In 2010 Emerald City Beer Company opened in the Old Rainier Brewery building. Hewitt approached the beer business with a very clear plan: he wanted to create beer that was both tasty and approachable. He imagined a single flagship beer supported by a handful of less-frequent, small batch and specialty beers. When Emerald City launched, Seattle met a lovely woman named Dottie. That is, Dottie Seattle Lager, Emerald City’s flagship beer. With Dottie, Hewitt aimed to amuse beer geeks with flavor without overwhelming craft beer newbies. He dreams of a converting the uninitiated, introducing the unenlightened to the world of craft beer. Still, he also designed Dottie to appeal to beer geeks looking for an alternative to the heavy, potent, bigger craft beers common in the Northwest. Dottie is a well-balanced amber lager that weighs in at 4.9 percent alcohol by volume.

For the beer’s branding, Hewitt turned to his grandparents. He named the beer after his grandmother, who was the daughter of German hop farmers; however, the image of Dottie that adorns the posters and the sixteen ounce aluminum cans is a different Dottie. The buxom pinup girl is a tribute to his grandfather’s work in the 1960s as an ad man on New York’s Madison Avenue. A local pinup artist created the artwork, which is reminiscent of beautifully painted magazine advertisements from the 1960s.

Look for Dottie Seattle Lager on tap at pubs throughout the Seattle area, from Tacoma to Snohomish and even as far east as Moses Lake. In the spring of 2012, the company began canning Dottie in sixteen ounce “tall girl” aluminum cans. Look for the tall silver cans in four packs at bottleshops and better beer retailers.

If you want to taste one of Emerald City Beer Company’s other creations, your best bet is to stop by the Beer Lab at the Old Rainier Brewery on Airport Way in Seattle. It is just a tasting room so don’t expect food unless a food truck happens to be parked out front. In addition to a tasting room, the Beer Lab is home to a small brewing system used to make experimental and small batch beers. As for Dottie, she is produced offsite by contract with Odin Brewing.

Emerald City Beer Company
Beer Lab
3100 Airport Way S
Seattle, WA 98134
(206) 708-7329


Wednesday through Friday, 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, Noon – 4:00 p.m.

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