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Labor of love

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Love is as fickle as wild yeast and can be as fleeting as the head on an English brown. Yet at their North Fork Brewery in northern Washington state, Sandy and Vicki Savage have found ways to make love last. First, they’ve preserved more than 90 years of bottles in a beer shrine that rivals most, boasting a rare set of pre-Prohibition bottles with their labels intact and a set of Rosie the Riveter beer ads drawn by legendary pin-up artist Alberto Vargas. They also do weddings: Vicki, an ordained minister, coordinates small weddings using local vendors and weds beer-loving couples against the stained-glass window in the brewery restaurant, or outside in the garden. What type of person gets married at a brewery? “They’re definitely more relaxed than the typical Bridezilla,” says Vicki. “Anyone getting married in a beer shrine doesn’t have a lot of hang-ups about the color of their flowers.” The beer, though, isn’t meant to endure; Sandy’s portfolio of open-fermented British-style beers—starring a mild English IPA and a smooth, nitro-poured ESB—changes seasonally.

PLUS: North Fork installed 40 solar panels in December—nearly one for every seat in its restaurant, and the largest solar operation in Whatcom County—that the Savages hope will soon offset 100 percent of the brewery’s electricity.

 


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