|Street view of the Old Post Office in Pullman|
Today, the Old Post Office houses Paradise Creek Brewery, which opened its doors in 2010. I'll get to the brewing part of the operation momentarily, but it's instructive to note how the business was born.
|The lobby features exquisite stone and classic architecture|
Several years later, he rented a portion of the building to a start-up winery, Merry Cellars. Handy then formed a friendship with Merry Cellars winemaker, Patrick Merry, and the two dabbled in homebrewing. Merry Cellars went on to great success and eventually moved to a larger location in Pullman. When they did, Handy jumped at the opportunity to buy brewing equipment and start brewing commercially.
|The dining and bar area is top notch|
The voice belonged to Scott Mackey, officially the creative director at Paradise Creek. Take a look at the website. I'm quite sure he wrote the bulk of the engaging, funny copy there. I informed Scott that I had come from Portland to investigate the rural brewing scene...that he should take me to his leader. Haha. Seriously, I gave him my blog card and introduced myself.
|The copper kettles live in the basement|
Honestly, this is one of the most visually imposing/appealing brewpubs I've seen, and I've seen a few. The old building has been tastefully renovated and retains much of the historic charm. In the lobby, I recalled standing there, waiting to buy stamps or mail a package. The dining area and bar occupies the area where mail was once sorted...and, later, where films were once shown.
|Three fermenters smile away|
The brewing plant downstairs is home to a 7 bbl system. Three 15 bbl fermenters help them to keep up with onsite demands and limited distribution in the area. They recently started bottling several of their beers and are focused on expanding bottle and keg distribution from Pullman/Moscow and Lewiston/Clarkson into Spokane and even Seattle. We are unlikely to see Paradise Creek beers in Portland anytime soon.
|Barrel-aging program in its infancy|
As with most of the places I recently visited in eastern Washington, Paradise is focused mainly on producing a solid portfolio of standard beers and seasonals. The Belgian was a big surprise and really good. They also have a Fresh Hop beer on their menu, and they have initiated as small barrel-aging program, so they are obviously aware of industry trends.
|On the other side of the glass...the brewery|
Paradise Creek has a terrific look and feel. It's clear that a significant amount of thought and effort has gone into building the brewery and business. When I worked at Budget Tapes & Records, I saw a lot of ill-conceived businesses open and fold in Pullman. "Pullman jokes," my boss called them. Well, Paradise Creek Brewing isn't one of them.