Brewer will deliver keg of beer to Ballard, by rowboat

Dave Lambert will deliver a keg of Slippery Pig brew to Hale
Dave Lambert will deliver a keg of Slippery Pig brew to Hale's Ales in Ballard by rowboat.
— image credit: Richard D. Oxley / File photo

POULSBO — Dave Lambert has made a local mark with a few tasty brews through his Slippery Pig Brewery. The operation recently expanded into downtown Poulsbo, making it far more visible.

And it’s about to get more visible, at least from the Puget Sound shores en route to Seattle.

“I’m taking a 10-foot rowboat from the port here (in Poulsbo) to Hale’s Ales in Ballard,” Lambert said.

But it’s not just a jaunt out on the water. It’s a delivery.

On Aug. 24, Lambert will be accompanied in the boat by a keg of Slippery Pig rhubarb ale, which he will deliver to Hale’s Ales in Ballard.

“I’ve been looking forward to it, then dreading it,” he said. “Looking forward to it, then dreading it again.”

He added, “I’ll have a couple of support boats. And I’m trying to hit the gym almost every day (before the trip).”

The trip will start early Sunday morning in downtown Poulsbo. Lambert will launch the 10-foot fiberglass rowboat that was built by a friend. He will load the keg of beer and row out of Liberty Bay, around Bainbridge Island, across Puget Sound, through the Ballard Locks, and on to Hale's Ales.

Lambert got the idea last year. The fifth-generation Kitsap resident attended a dinner, organized by the Kitsap Historical Society, in honor of his family’s tenure in Kitsap. Each year the society honors five families that have long ties to the region.

“We showed up here from Norway and never left,” Lambert said about his family, the Hilstads.

“Throughout the evening, representatives talked about how they got here, homesteading here,” he said. “Every single family had a story of how great-great-grandpa would load up a crate of eggs, row over to Seattle and sell them. I got it in my head, and I thought, ‘I can do that.’”

“I didn’t want to just row a boat over and row it back,” he said. “The beer made a natural fit. Hale’s over there likes us, we’ve had a long relationship with them. I thought, ‘I bet they would agree to put up with me for the day.’”

What really triggered the rowing notion for Lambert was a story he heard of an old relative.

“I heard about one of my great uncles, a direct relative. He lived in Brownsville and worked at the shipyard in Bremerton,” Lambert said. “He would hop in his rowboat in the morning, row three miles to the ship yard, and at the end of the day, hop back in and row home. That was his commute. And now, who would do that today?”

Lambert will. On Aug. 24, he will embark on his own, modern-day version of the seaward commutes common to Kitsap’s ancestors.


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