Welcome to Jim’s Blog post for March 2023! This month I’d like to address one of the most frequently asked questions at PHY. “How on earth are you able to get sooo much beer?!” The answer to this question is simple really, but since this is a blog post, I’ll give you some details that go on behind the scenes as well.
An almost daily occurrence, I often reflect on just how incredibly lucky we are to live in the Yakima Valley. Not to sound too much like an intern for the chamber of commerce, but seriously, 300+ days of sunshine while still enjoying all four seasons, quick and easy access to rivers, lakes, & mountains, a short drive to Seattle, Spokane, & Portland for big events, and the agricultural, probably our best asset. Among the wide variety of agricultural products grown in the Yakima Valley, the two most famous are apples and, of course, hops. (I know, the viticulturalists just cleared their throats…)
With the abundance of hops in our valley, it’s no surprise that both small- and large-scale breweries are beginning to pop up all over the Yakima Valley. These breweries are source number one for many of the beers you see on tap and in cans at both PHY locations. Each week, all local breweries send out sales reps, and sometimes the owners themselves, to meet up with accounts where they may be able to get their beers on tap. Often, these reps come bearing samples of their latest and greatest offerings and I’m not playing the sympathy card here, but I have to sit down and try all these great beers to let them know my opinion. I know, it’s a rough job, but somebody must do it! If you are paying attention when you walk in to either of our locations, you’ll notice I feature MANY of these local options, but not necessarily the selections you may see at other spots around town. With the amount of tap “real estate” that I have, I am able to offer beers usually only found at the breweries themselves. These are the beers that make PHY what it is today.
In addition to the local offerings at PHY, there are another 50% of the taps that I fill through distributors. Like the local sales reps, there are a handful of large distributors that I meet with weekly. Usually at the beginning of each week, I am given an inventory of available beers from these distributors to choose from. This is the point where I put years of extensive market research into practice. As I mentioned above, I know this sounds like a rough gig, but I truly appreciate the opportunity to visit many new breweries throughout the west coast, often with my family, in search of the next great beer!
So, what goes into selecting the perfect beer? I will tell you that there is more art than science in this process. Your perfect beer and my perfect beer are often not the same, nor should they be. I am often asked, “Hey Jim, what are you drinking?” While I may give you a quick answer, I’d prefer to guide you to what you really want which may, in fact, be what I am currently loving, or maybe not! If you are having a difficult time selecting a beer while at either of our locations, I know that I have done my job and we’ll gladly walk you through our list to get you what you want! We bring beer to the people!
That’s it for this month. If you have any other topics that you’d like for me to address, please feel free to shoot me a note.
Posted March 30, 2023