UPDATE TUESDAY 10/3
Several local breweries and bars are holding benefit events for Paul Edminster's memorial fund:
– Whistle Punk is donating all proceeds from a guest keg of Iron Goat's Trashy Blonde.
– Nectar Wine and Beer is donating proceeds from a keg of Iron Goat's Back East IPA.
– River City is donating $4 from each pint sold, plus tips, on Thursday from 3 to 10 p.m.
– Artists from the "Better Spokane Headlines" show at Community Pint are donating all proceeds from First Friday sales.
– The Observatory is matching all profits from sales of Iron Goat beers through the weekend.
We’re sorry to report that Paul Edminster, co-founder of Iron Goat Brewing, passed away Saturday at age 51 from complications of cancer.
“It is with great sadness that we announce we have lost a great friend, husband, father, partner and co-founder,” the brewery said this afternoon on its Facebook page.
Memorial donations to an account set up for his children can be made at GoFundMe.
“Paul was my best friend,” Iron Goat co-founder/brewer Greg Brandt said in an e-mail. “It’s still very hard to accept that he is really gone. But with that being said he’s really not.”
With their wives, Sheila Evans and Heather Brandt, he wrote, “The four of us worked late into many nights trying to build something that we could all be a part of and be proud of. Paul loved, and was very good at, working on anything mechanical, always wanted to figure it out, how to make it better. He’d spend hours poring through manuals and electronic parts and always seemed to figure things out.
“He loved the brewery with a passion, as do Sheila, Heather and myself. Our hearts and souls are invested in every part of Iron Goat. So when I say that Paul is not gone it’s because when I see a pump, a fermenter, a cooling system, the bar, the front door, everything, I see Paul, and Sheila, and Heather, and me.
“He will be forever sorely missed. Iron Goat will continue to move forward and grow stronger because of four people with a dream, one of them my very best friend Paul Edminster.”
Brandt and Edminster met at the old Jones Radiator beer bar in spring 2011 and soon found themselves brainstorming a brewery. Iron Goat opened in June 2012 in a century-old, out-of-the-way industrial building at 2204 E. Mallon that housed Evans’ art studio.
Sales grew steadily and Edminster, a former Navy nuclear machinist, left his job as web services manager at Gonzaga University in the spring of 2014 to focus full-time on the brewery. Iron Goat began bottling its beers the following February, and in April 2016 moved into a larger, more accessible space downtown at 1302 W. Second where it could boost production.
In July, it launched distribution in Western Washington, where Edminster grew up. “This has been a long time coming and it means a lot to me,” he posted on Facebook at the time.
As news of his death spread Monday, other area brewers began paying their respects.
Fellow downtown brewery Black Label recalled on its Facebook page how helpful Edminster had been when it was starting out: “Paul has inspired us to pay forward the hospitality to newer and upcoming breweries in the same manner he and Iron Goat showed us at our beginning. … It’s a sad time to see someone so great leave us.”
Selkirk Abbey’s Jeff Whitman wrote: “Paul was a kind, gentle man with a warm disposition and genial manner. In the eight years I knew him I never heard him utter an ill world toward anyone. His advice was sound and considered, and never offered frivolously. He was a man for whom I had great respect and admiration.”