What do we mean “Member Driven Beer“, exactly?
It means we source our beers from, and for our membership. No other commercial brewery in the area builds their taplist based on the contributions and requests of their members. You can belong to the finest mug-club in this beer-rich Pacific Northwest – but you will never be able to submit YOUR RECIPE into a competition to go on tap there as a regular offering at that brewery. As a cooperative, ours is a very unique model compared to the operation of other craft breweries. We have sourced, and will continue to source, recipes for our beers from our membership. Homebrewers in the cooperative have the opportunity to get their beer on tap at Flying Bike if their recipe wins a competition. We have thus far sourced four delicious beers from our membership, described below, and look forward to brewing them at our brewery when we open (currently they are brewed in collaboration with a licensed brewing facility).
Again, as a Member-Owner, You can choose the beers that are brewed here; You can compete to have YOUR beer brewed here; and You can participate in the brewing process as a student in our (planned) educational program, or as a Flying Bike competition winning brewer!
Here’s our beer list so far, sourced from the talents of our Member-Owners:
Style: Northwest IPA; BJCP 14B
In the Fall of 2011, Flying Bike held their first member beer competition, and out of 35(!) entries, member-owner Mike Kilpatricks’ IPA recipe was chosen as our first member sourced beer recipe.
Mike got the opportunity to brew this at Three Skulls Brewery, and scale up his recipe which featured not only the classic IPA citrusy notes, but also featured the subtle flavors imparted by an addition of Lavender, and Agave Sugar.
It was very well received by our membership, and debuted at Pillagers Pub in Greenwood back in 2011. And thought we did not know it at the time, It is now one of our top selling beers in our Tasting Room located directly across the street from where Pillagers was located!! (now “The House” sportspub). It is also available from time to time at other bars around town.
Style: American Stout; BJCP 13E
Flying Bike’s second competition featured a Stout, and member-owner David Flynn prevailed with his American Summer Stout recipe out of a field of many. David’s experience scaling his recipe up at Northwest Brewing is exactly the sort of experience Flying Bike provides its member-owners, and he remembers it as a whole lotta work!
The result: 7-Spoke Stout, features the classic Stout ingredients of Caramel Wheat, Crystal 80, Chocolate Malt – with a twist: California Ale (WPL001) was used to ferment the beer. In the end, this beer was eminently quaffable, and falls right smack in the middle of the BJCP definition of 13E American Stout.
Style: American Pale Ale; BJCP 10A
Member-owner Bob Yeaw prevailed in the Pale brewing competition that we held in the Summer of 2013. His American Pale styled ale consisted of a boggling number of ingredients, including 6 different malts, and 4 additions (including dry hopping) of 6 different hops! Bob had test brewed this version a couple of times to dial in the flavor profile, including the just released Belma hops. When this beer was scaled up and brewed in collaboration with Machine House Brewing it had a record shortest “shelf life”, with the last keg being blown just 3 weeks after it’s release!
Style: Saison; BJCP 16C
In December of 2013, Flying Bike put on it’s first “open” competition. 17 beers were entered by member-owners, and in the end we came up with a tie.
This beer was a hit at the annual Tour de Pints in 2014, and flew out of the taphandles at a record 24 locations around the Puget Sound from Camano Island to Tacoma! It is now one of our most poured beers at our Tasting Room, too!
Style: Specialty IPA; BJCP undefined. (CraftBeer Definition)
In the late summer of 2014, Flying Bike held our competition hosted at Populuxe, with the announced style of a CDA or “Black IPA” – a distinctly Northwest style.
NINETEEN brewers submitted candidate brews, and over the course of 2 hours over 120 members present sampled and rated each one. In the end, member-owner Tony Ochsner‘s CDA won, and we are working to get it scaled up and brewed, hopefully sometime early 2015!
This is one of our favorite beers, and taproom sales back this up!
Style: Christmas/Winter Spiced Beer; BJCP 21B
Fall 2015 brought our next competition, voted on by the members to be a Winter Warmer style. Over 20 brewers competed with about 130 FBCB judges in attendance as the Greenwood Senior Center.
Member-Owner Kim Shields (member #500) rendition of the Winter Warmer was the clear winner, with the beer being described as “a nice malty brownish beer with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves…” Kim also has the unique privilege of being the very first competition winner to brew on Flying Bike’s new 7bbl Brewhaus with Master Brewer Kevin Forhan!
This beer was released on Saturday, November 28th!
Since then, we have done 4 other Member Driven Beers:
- Summer Ale (Strawberry Cream Ale)
- Red Ale (Red Scarf)
- Phinneywood Porter
- Scotch Ale – soon to be on tap, and yet to be named!!
Next Competition: TBD
It is the goal and intent of this brewery to feature member sourced beers, made with locally sourced and sustainable ingredients whenever possible. To that end, we will continue to utilize our membership (non-brewers and homebrewers alike) to select beers from our regular competitions to build out our recipe-book with the standard stable of beer styles, as well as rotating seasonal offerings and “brewer’s handles”. As the beer list matures, recipes will be honed and adapted to new equipment and ingredient availability. We will continue to hold member competitions to offer the unique opportunity to get your beer on tap. Truly #memberdrivenbeer!