I'm telling you; it's a Washington thing.
Here in the "upper left" of the United States, we've developed our own culture. You joke, but flannel shirts are awesome and very warm. When people think of Washington, they may think of Pike Place Market and its fresh fish. Other people may have the '90s grunge scene come to mind. When people ask me about my favorite part of Washington culture, the answer is often surprising.
From convenience stores to grocery stores, you can almost always find Rainier beer. For years, Rainier was brewed out of Washington and was almost as iconic as the mountain it's named after. Rainier beer is so iconic around here, the Tacoma Rainiers definitely didn't incorporate the beer's iconic red R into their motif.
Why is Rainier beer so popular in Washington?
I've always felt Rainier beer was a "local thing." All of my friends love Rainier beer and it's always available. Even though production and brewing were moved after Pabst purchased the Rainier Brewing Company, the beer is a go-to for many folks living in the Pacific Northwest. The beer has its own cult of personality, appearing in movies like the Twilight series. But it was a commercial campaign that pushed Vitamin R into our memories forever.
This genius use of surrealism seemed to speak to the weirdness in all of us. Years later, people still chant "RAAAAAAAINIEEERRRR BEEEER" when they crack a cold one. Nearly fifty years later, Rainier beer has maintained its cult following.
My sister-in-law and I are wearers of Rainier gear. When I went to Spokane this summer, I visited a clothing store called The Great PNW. This store creates clothing that celebrates Pacific Northwest culture. Rainier beer is undeniably a part of our culture. On this particular day, I was able to snag some Rainier collaborations including the hoodie pictured above.
Here's to Washington's own little beer that could. I'll pour a Rainier tonight in your honor.