My dad never had much use for beer. Didn’t see any point to it.

“You can just pour mine back in the horse,” he used to say.

Then he’d tromp off to the kitchen for some more of his cowboy coffee — Folgers or MJB percolated in his old tin coffee pot, then reheated in a pan on the stove. I tried a cup of that foul muck when I was 7, and I couldn’t face coffee again until I got to college and discovered not everybody made coffee that way.

Dad would be astounded at what’s happened to coffee since his time. I suspect he’d be an espresso man — but no sugar, cream or any other frou-frou treats, please.

And after the past year and a half, he might even have given in to a beer now and then.

According to emerging statistics, much of the world has.

Since the pandemic sent many of us home, beer consumption has risen sharply, researchers say.

I guess that’s a mixed blessing around here.

Since most of the world’s hops are still grown in the Yakima Valley, it’s great for the local economy. The more beer everybody else drinks, the more money flows back our way.


On the other hand, if some beer drinkers are overdoing it these days, we don’t mean to celebrate an unhealthful trend.

So as we roll out our annual beer edition of Yakima Magazine, we salute beer as one of our favorite beverages. But we also remind you to enjoy it responsibly and in moderation. Especially if you’re still stranded at home in your sweat pants, skipping showers and limiting your social interaction to Zoom meetings.

That said, in this issue feel free to enjoy a sip of Shannon Mahre’s visit with the guys who have Ellensburg’s Iron Horse Brewery pumping out more and more barrels of great beer. Believe it or not, they’re kind of taking requests.

And with all the hot weather we’ve endured lately, don’t miss Melissa Labberton and Chad Bremerman’s tour of some of the coolest swimming pools in Yakima.

Finally, be sure to save room for Andrea McCoy’s season salad — it samples some of the valley’s sweetest offerings.

One last thing: If you find yourself slipping into the habit of having too much of a good thing, don’t dig it deeper by trying to cure any hangover you might encounter by turning to the kind of coffee my dad used to brew.

Trust me: You’re better off with the headache.

- John Taylor

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