The story of the beer garden at The Roost


Randle Kinswa

The entrance to 5 North Brewing Company’s beer garden outside The Roost.

By Hamine Mendez, Contributor

EWU is a dry campus. No alcohol can be sold on campus grounds. However, there is an exception to this rule.

If a third party vendor is hired to serve alcohol for a special event, then attendees can enjoy a beer or some wine, on EWU’s campus.

The U.S. Curling National Championships are being held in the URC from Feb. 8-15, and they are taking advantage  of  this  rule  with  the  help  of  the  Spokane Sports Commission and 5 North Brewing Company. The Spokane Sports Commision is an organization in  charge  of  bringing  major  sports  events  to  the  Spokane area.

Sammie   Reagen,   the   marketing   and   operations   manager,  shared  how  they  put  a  bid  on  this  event, and they were lucky enough to have Spokane chosen to host it. “About two years ago we put in a bid for this  event,”  Reagan  said.  “We  thought  it  would  be  extremely  successful  for  the  region,  but  also  the university and the sports commission as a whole.”

Mckenzie Ford

Reagan mentioned how they hired 5 North Brewing to host the beer garden. She said that a beer garden is a major part of curling culture. Once the commission knew they needed to hire a brewery, they contacted Tom Shafer from EWU to set up this event.

Bryan Utigard, the head brewer at 5 North, said it didn’t take much time to prepare for the U.S. Curling National  Championships.  The  important  part  was  planning ahead to make sure they had enough beer. To add to the environment, they are bringing in Scottish beer, since curling is a Scottish sport. Justin  Harris,  the  food  service  manager  at  the  Roost,  said  the  Roost  has  nothing  to  do  with  this  event.  They  were  able  to  give  5  North  Brewing  a place to keep the kegs, but none of his employees are able to clean up any beer. “We technically have nothing to do with the beer garden,” Harris said. “We rented the Roost out as an event facility.”

“We  thought  it  would  be  extremely  successful  for  the  region,  but  also  the university and the sports commission as a whole.” -Sammie   Reagen,   the   marketing   and   operations   manager

The Roost cannot host an event that serves alcohol unless a nonprofit decides to rent out the Roost. In 2008, the Roost was built with a soda machine that could become a bar, Harris said. He mentioned how other  schools  like  WSU  can  sell  beer  on  campus.  However, EWU never took part in that. Though, when events like this occur, they are able to  turn  the  Roost  into  a  beer  garden  and  the  local  community can enjoy a cold beer and watch games.•