Earth Day 2017

The Origin Stories of Seattle’s 2 Tastiest Earth Day Traditions

Latona Pub and Cupcake Royale honor Mother Earth with hand-hauled beer and compost cupcakes.

By Amber Wright April 18, 2017

Thumbnail kegwalk2 zw5upq

Using dollies, volunteers help transport 160-pound kegs to Latona Pub from local breweries using zero emissions. 

Image: Matt Carter

Latona Pub: Zero Emission, Hand Delivered Kegs

It was a nice spring day back in 2009 when then-manager Elliot Ryan needed to pick up a keg from Big Time Brewing. He didn’t have his car, and with no other options he decided to take a stroll to pick it up just a short 1.6 miles away. For Ryan, his task shifted from a work-related walk into an adventure comparable to Bilbo Baggins. He wondered just how far could one walk to deliver a keg? Would people find the joy in the quest like he did?

And thus, the Latona Pub Earth Week Celebration was born. It’s a week that challenges breweries to deliver each and every keg without using motored transportation–a challenge being met this year with more than 20 breweries and a 208-mile delivery. The event starts a full week before Earth Day with volunteers making daily urban hikes to deliver kegs from local breweries. The first trip this year began at Georgetown Brewing in SoDo and stopped at Two Beers Brewing, Sea Pine, Pike Place Brewing, and ended at the pub in Greenlake. Volunteers walked 13 miles by the end of the day.

Other breweries participating include Bainbridge Brewing, which is sailing a keg over, Naked City Brewing, Lantern Brewing, Fremont Brewing, and 18 others

This year, the record for longest delivery will go to two Latona Pub bartenders who are taking a four-day, 208-mile journey to pickup two half kegs from Fort George Brewing in Astoria, Oregon. Current manager Matt Carter says he still doesn’t know how he convinced them to make the trip.

For reference, a full keg weighs 160.5 pounds—more than a newborn giraffe.

“We’re just trying to push the envelope a little bit and the whole idea is to raise awareness,” Carter says. “It’s become a way bigger thing in the past seven years than when we started.”

Once all the beer arrives, the Earth Day proceeds from these hand, bike, and sailboat-delivered kegs will go to two organizations, one being Brewshed Alliance, a water conservation organization. This group works to highlight the relationship between water conservation and breweries. “A lot of breweries have joined the initiative because of how important it is that patrons understand where their water comes from and just how important that is to making the beer,” Carter says. “If you have crappy water, you'll have crappy beer.”

On Wednesday, April 19, starting at 7pm, Latona Pub also has a similar event in support of Feet First, an organization that helps keep Seattle pedestrian friendly.

In 2016, the pub raised close to $2,000 for both organizations, and saved countless gallons of fuel.

Cupcake Royale: A Cupcake from a Compost Bin

Compost cupcake oo17rh

No, this cupcake is not made of dirt. Cupcake Royale designed this "compost cupcake" with Earth Day in mind.

Can inspiration come from compost? Can a bucket full of Stumptown coffee grounds, old cake, and potatoes chips left over from lunch be inspiring? Nicki Kerbs, Chief of Operations at Cupcake Royale says absolutely.

Four years ago, the baking geniuses at this cupcake shop were looking for their next seasonal cupcake flavor. Their betterlookingthanmost compost bucket turned out to be the muse they needed. Kerbs was looking into the bucket when she was struck by a thought: That's pretty yummy looking. 

She drew inclusions like shredded coconut, coffee grounds, and bits of vanilla cupcake from the compost inspiration, then added some oats and a little chocolate; in just three weeks, she had developed a cupcake that looked like dirt—in the best way possible.

“Were neurotic about recycling and composting. Our team members will go through the compost and call people out if they aren’t composting properly,” Kerbs says. 

Luckily, the “dirty” look of this cupcake doesn’t scare people off. It may get a few funny looks at first, but this flavor is one the most requested. But this year it’s only available April 19–23 in all Cupcake Royale locations.

In the past, the proceeds from the Compost Cupcake have gone to Greenpeace, but this year the company is supporting the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, an organization founded in 2001 that works with the community to restore environmental health and protect wildlife.

“We wanted to focus on something really local and something Seatteites could really get behind, and as we started to research it and become involved with it, we found that it’s a really deep project.” Kerbs says. “It still has a ton of years of planning and execution to get through, so we get to use our little voice to say ‘hey we’ve got a real problem on our hands and we think more people should know about it.’”

Show Comments