New Items This Month, Online Only, Local Products, Our Picks, Specials and Mixed Packs/Kits
Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale, American-Style India Pale Ale, American-Style Pale Ale, American-Style Imperial Stout
Last Chance, Low Carb/Low Cal, Non-Alcoholic, Organic, Gluten Free or Reduced


Leadership. And School Fundraising!


It’s hard to believe January is almost over.

There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic, including the possibility of indoor seating at some point soon. We WILL put our tent back up and use our seating once our region moves to the new Phase 2, so keep an eye out for that.

Here are a few updates, and a little thing I wrote on leadership. I have re-written it over and over and think I have hit the points and tone I want. It’s not perfect, but it’s been going around and around in my head most of the month now. I have been very disappointed by people in our country not taking responsibility for their actions, and wanted to write a little about leadership as a concept as I have been taught. That is at the bottom of this email.

But first:

Pizza for Parkview Elementary all this weekend!

If you are part of Parkview Elementary you probably know we will be donating funds to Parkview for each pizza sold from Thursday (1/28) through Sunday (1/31).

We had a LOT of calls yesterday (Thursday), and are thrilled at the response. We had so many orders come in early, we had to turn the online store off yesterday – the system was quoting inaccurate pick-up times and we didn’t have time to figure out how to fix it on the fly. We have turned the online store back on for ordering pizza today, and hopefully should be good going forward. Either way, you can ALWAYS call us at 360-733-8982.

Our goal for 2021 is to work with schools, and we’d like to help out basically every week. If your/your kids’ school would be interested in doing a fundraiser with us, we would love to chat. We can make it very simple for you. Feel free to reach out to me at and we can chat about how it could best work. Looking forward to it!

Beers for Pizza

Pizza + “Beer for Pizza” 4pk Special

We are really excited about making beers to go with our pizzas, and have now made two Pizza Cat beers (with Stemma and with Beach Cat – we have three more coming starting in late February: with Wander, Urban Family, and Ravenna Brewing).

But until then we are looking for fun beers to pair. We found a really fun pizza beer we think you’ll love (or hate!). This beer is from Chicago’s Off Color Brewing, and is called “Beer for Pizza.” We have the single cans available but we also have a special on a 4-pack price. You can find this on our website by clicking here, and clicking on the “Specialty and Misc Beers.”

When we were researching this beer, it became apparent that a lot of people LOVED this beer, but also some people did not like it at all. When we brought the beer here to the store, we found the same thing: four of us LOVED it (talk to Andy, Andres, Jake or myself), and at least one of us did not at all (ask Tam about it…).

You can click here to read the description from the brewery, but one way to describe this beer is something like “boozy Coke.” It is amazingly nostalgic; it really reminded us of birthday party hats, of red solo cups, of Ms. Pac-Man up-right arcade games.

Basically a near-perfect pizza beer.

“Mythbusters but for alcohol”

We are starting to work on a sort of “Mythbusters-style” email/video/not-sure-what-it-will-look-like idea. We are putting down questions that people have about alcoholic beverages, and going to reach out to industry people, and others outside the beverage industry perhaps with knowledge of biology and chemistry and whatnot. And do some experiments in-house as well!
There are some common questions we get about beer tasting worse in cans vs bottles, is draft beer really better than packaged, with Belgian style beers if you should let the yeast settle to the bottom of the bottle or instead roll the bottle to mix it all in, questions about “gluten free” vs “gluten reduced” and some other more fun ones we have thought up.

We would LOVE to look into any questions you might have. Yes there is a lot of info out there online, much of it often contradictory, but we want to dig deeper. If you have a question or thought that you’d like us to see if we can find some answers for, please email them to me at


Here is a little known fact: total money left unused on gift cards must eventually be paid by the business who sold the them to the Department of Revenue as “unclaimed property.”

That means that if someone bought a gift card from a local business with no intention of using it, the business will eventually have to submit that money to the WA Department of Revenue anyway. Far better for you to actually use those cards.

SO: all those gift cards you bought this past year, come on in and use them! We have pizza and growlers we’d love for you to come get (or beer/cider/wine or whole bean coffee, or whatever!).

Gift cards DO work on both our website and on our online store too.

Personal Feelings on Leadership

My grandfather of the same name and I used to go get lunch about once a month at Anthony’s (Grandpa’s treat, of course) up until his passing last February. We would mostly talk about business – after giving him his mandatory full update on my wife and kids. Once he got his salmon and vegetables (nothing on top, butter on the side, definitely no pepper) he would start buttering his half of the bread loaf before pushing the rest towards me and would then ask me about Elizabeth Station and then offer me his ideas and stories on business, mostly the same ones he had told me over and over. I think he felt that it was important I hear them again. He would tell me “as the leader you thank everyone who works for you. But just don’t expect anyone to thank you.” He would say “it’s lonely. You never stop thinking about it. You can’t really take a vacation in the full sense, because you will always have a part of your mind on the business.” He would say “you have to take responsibility for everything and give the credit to everyone else, and be ok with that.”

I did not get a degree in business (English Literature, yeah yeah!!). So I felt like I had to read a lot, study a lot, and learn from mentors like my grandpa who had done it successfully. My grandpa never made me feel bad for not studying business, and never talked down to me. The most philosophical he would get would be talking about leadership. He had stories about General MacArthur, and General/President Eisenhower, amongst others. Classic WWII heroes. He would tell me about the lessons he learned, which he would always surprise me with how helpful and practical they were (“if a customer sees garbage on the sidewalk, he doesn’t stop to consider if you own the sidewalk outside your business or not. It is your problem you have to take care of. No one else will.”)

But I noticed that the topic of leadership was actually all over most of the business books I was reading too. It seemed like business and leadership went hand in hand.

To pick my favorite one out as an example: Jim Collins, in his best selling book Good to Great, discusses the “five levels of leadership,” based off of a study of 30 years of data from 1435 publicly traded companies. He states that of all the businesses they studied, the best companies all have what he calls “level five leaders.” The five levels of leadership are defined as:
1) a highly capable individual
2) a contributing team member
3) a competent manager
4) an effective leader
5) a leader who has a “paradoxical combination of personal humility plus professional will.”

In a podcast he was interviewed on a few months ago, Collins stressed that humility is the key factor that separates the good leaders from the best, the great leaders.

I would not tag myself as a leader but I do strive to the principles and actions of leadership. I want to do the best I can, I want to learn to do better, and I want to look back on my life and realize I lived brought value to others and made peoples’ lives better. I do believe that everyone gains from the better our leaders are.

I do not believe that someone who takes credit for everything, and throws everyone else under the bus can be a leader that should be followed. I don’t believe that a leader who tries to divide the people in their care should be one to be looked up to. I have been taught to let “your word be your word” and that someone that has a position of leadership who talks outside both sides of their mouth is not a true leader. I have read that the result of poor leadership is their employees quitting bitterly, a focus on financial success at the cost of human beings’ lives (sometimes literally), and the quality of peoples’ lives around them being worse overall.

I don’t put my faith in people, because that has proven to be folly for, well, basically always. But leaders do have the potential to do a lot of good.

As I followed along with the presidential election last week, I thought a lot about leadership and what kind of leaders are now going to run this country. I do hope there can be some good changes, a vision that cares for those in need, a way to create and maximize opportunities that everyone has access to. I do think we should expect more of our political leaders, despite the bar being pretty low.

But I also think we also need to be a part of the solution we want to see. We can focus on the good we can do and not be overwhelmed by the heaviness of the negative actions of a few. We can listen and learn a lot about others; listening is hugely important so that the actions we take can be effective and avoid unintended negative side-effects. We can be more caring, more generous, more ready to act to defend those who need help, looking out for others. We can choose to focus on what we can do and not what we can’t.

And hopefully we can look back on our lives and see the sum total of value we have brought to our community, our world. And hopefully some of us will look back on our lives and see that maybe we just might have been the leaders we wanted to be after all.

If you made it this far, thanks. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Best wishes,

New Items This Month, Online Only, Local Products, Our Picks, Specials and Mixed Packs/Kits
Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale, American-Style India Pale Ale, American-Style Pale Ale, American-Style Imperial Stout
Last Chance, Low Carb/Low Cal, Non-Alcoholic, Organic, Gluten Free or Reduced


A Quick Update on the Website and Oven

I’ve been working on a January communique but I wanted to quickly update you on two things:

  1. The oven is fixed, and we WILL have pizza tomorrow starting at 4:00. Order online or call us or come in! (and we have a LOT of focaccia bread, from all the pizza dough we couldn’t make into pizza last weekend!)
  2. We got a couple hundred more products on the online store today, and are ramping up our efforts to get as many products on as quickly as possible. Click here to see the online store in its current, improved state.

I really appreciate all of you who are staying home, as the cases in the county are spiking at an “unprecedented” rate (see Bham Herald article). We want to make sure we are able to serve you all well, and getting items on our website so you can browse and buy from home is our #1 priority right now.

For contactless purchasing, at the moment we can only offer curbside pickup (just choose “pickup” and then call us when you arrive – the orders usually take us about 20 minutes to put together) although we are currently discussing delivery. Personally I am happy to do delivery if you really need it, so don’t hesitate to ask. But I am not here 7 days a week, so there are some limitations. But again, please reach out if this is a problem for you.

Thanks as always. We put a LOT of beers on the site, but we’ll have a wider selection of items up on the site the next couple of days. The new website has its own challenges but we think we have overcome most of the issues for now!

Best wishes,

New Items This Month, Online Only, Local Products, Our Picks, Specials and Mixed Packs/Kits
Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale, American-Style India Pale Ale, American-Style Pale Ale, American-Style Imperial Stout
Last Chance, Low Carb/Low Cal, Non-Alcoholic, Organic, Gluten Free or Reduced


Every day another three more minutes of light

Every day you wake up, there will be three more minutes of light! At least, for about six more months anyway… But also I love it as a wonderful metaphor. I have found that there are few moments in life where everything changes all at once. It is usually through small improvements daily over a long time (like learning a language, or investing for the future) that we see positive changes compound. I love the Eastern proverb “many drops make a shower” (less so the English proverb “many sands sink a ship”).

I hope you have a happy New Year’s Eve, can enjoy a day off tomorrow (assuming you read this on NYE) and have a slate of new ideas and goals going forward.

Quick plug: we ARE open NYE regular hours (noon to 9) and we DO have pizza from 4 to 8:30 like normal, and would love to make your evening dinner choice an easy one. Call, come in, or buy on our website!

So, I am hesitant to write a “what a horrible year 2020 was but hey this Saturday everything changes and it will all be fine” email, mostly because I sincerely hope that you found a way to thrive, or at least found some silver linings, in this past year. But also because I don’t think we should let down our guard because the year happens to be a new number. I am an optimist, but it seems to me that it is probably true that the worst of the pandemic probably is still in front of us. But let’s be honest, I really really really really really hope that our best days are also in front of us sooner than later.

2020 has been an extremely hard year for a lot of people around here, let’s not minimize that. We have a friend who has basically had everything fall apart around here – professionally, family issues of all sorts, school, health, they even had to evacuate when the train derailed last week.

But, having said that, we here at EStation have had a LOT to be thankful for, and the end of a year is a nice moment to reflect. I am extremely grateful to all of you who have been generous to us this year, to our employees, generous to this community and giving to help people all around the world. We have not given as much back as we would have liked this year, but you have been generous enough to us this year that we are cautiously optimistic we can get our giving levels back up to where they were in 2019. It is on a shortlist of priorities for the coming year.

This email will be mostly some random thoughts from this year, and a few thoughts about business. Little things that have been collecting, things that don’t fit into any other email. Seemed appropriate for the end of the year.

If you want to read any of my previous posts, OR if you haven’t got to read my post that made me decide to stop acting like a corporation and start writing like a human, you can find all of these here:

If you were to read any of them, I would love it if you would read the post from June 3rd (toward the bottom of the webpage). It is my most heartfelt piece.

(As somewhat of a companion piece to that, my wife wrote this piece on forgiveness in 2008 while learning English at Whatcom, after we had moved back from Mexico. It is heartbreaking and beautiful.)

Over the next week or two on Instagram we will be posting some fun end/beginning of year things like top 10 selling items of 2020, top moments from the year, that type of thing. Keep a look out for those.

Thanks again for taking time to read this, and for being a part of this. Our goal is to be a business that Bellingham would sorely miss if we were to disappear. And all the long term thinking that goes along with being (hopefully) a piece of this city that is valued. We want to live up to your highest standards.

On to the random thoughts!

Christmas Lights plea (please)

Can we all please leave our Christmas lights up? For a while? I mean, seasonal depression is a real thing, and yet it seems like everyone is anxious to pull down wonderful colored lights off their houses and get back to drab darkness like four or five months too early. Can we at least leave them up until St Patrick’s Day??? Or at least Valentine’s?

Where to find the most interesting items (Retail Behavior)

There are some interesting retail science and research of how people buy things, and I love it all.

For example, it is common knowledge among anyone in retail that people generally shop “eye to thigh” which means that when you walk up to a shelf, you will notice products that are at your eye level, and down to about your waist level. The shelves above your eye level and down at the floor will basically disappear from view unless you are really intent on taking time and seeing each item.

Here at EStation, we LOVE finding fun new items, but a lot of great items have to go on the top and bottom shelves, where people rarely see them.

The point: if you want to find the real unique items we have, take a second and shop the top and bottom shelves. I bet you’ll find stuff you didn’t know we had!

One step towards local

I made one small, easy decision towards local this holiday season. And I did it while at home thinking about it, not just a whim or because someone sent me a promotional email. I just thought about a small step I could take to make Bellingham better.

After reading an article in the Seattle Times about how there are more than 650 restaurants in Seattle now closed forever, I thought to myself the following question: “what parts of Bellingham would I be terribly disappointed to wake up and see that they were gone?” This is not exactly the same thing, necessarily, as my “favorite places” because for example I cannot remember the last time I went to Woods at Boulevard Park, but I can remember when that building was unused for years and years and I always longed for something to go there. I would be terribly disappointed to see that disappear. All my favorite places would be on my list, but there are other places too, like the Mt Baker Theater or the Pickford Theater that I wish I went to more. Perhaps later in life.

So anyway, also high on my list was Village Books (another place I frequent way less than I would like to imagine) and so I decided to do is to figure out how to make buying books from Village Books as simple as I could for myself, with the intent to get all my books from them going forward. I remember a claim somewhere that they would price match Amazon, but honestly, if I’m buying like 10-20 books a year, if it’s a few more dollars each that won’t break the bank either.

Moving away from Amazon turned out to be both easy and nice. Their website of course is not anywhere near as easy as Amazon, but you can find new and used options on it, and I can either order it online or call them. I prefer calling. I don’t remember if they had shipping options, but when my books arrive they call me and I swing by to pick them up. But I also I totally had forgotten about all the fun and unique stuff they have there.

While I was picking up the books I saw this sign there that said something like “commit to three” and asked people to commit to intentionally shopping at three local businesses. I have been thinking about that, and although of course I want to shop somewhere that does a good job and has products I want, I think I’m willing to spend a few extra dollars, not only because I’d miss them if they were gone but also because I actually find so much more unexpected pleasure vs being on a website. I tend to forget that until I end up there again.

It took some intentionality to make it happen, but it was much easier than I imagined and I’m committed to it now. Now working on thinking of two more…

Many drops make a shower

To quickly go back to this metaphor, I wanted to share with you a personal accomplishment and goal, not to brag but hopefully to inspire:
My life goal is to learn a new language every 10 years. And I just finished up with Italian.

Am I fluent? No. But also I totally forgot about this goal until four years ago.

I was a horrible student in Spanish at Sehome (thanks Mrs Diaz for your help though!) but became fluent in my five years in Mexico.

And I thought that if I gave myself ten years to learn another language, that should be WAY more than enough time. And so I set that goal.

And then forgot about it completely. I remembered it on my 36th birthday, and panicked and googled “what is the easiest language to learn.” Answer: Esperando. Then I googled “what is the easiest real language to learn if I know English and Spanish” and Ms. Google said: Italian. And so I launched into it. I am to the point where I feel good about what I can understand, but I’ve had only one chance to use it practically.

Anyone want to chat in Italian with me? I’d love to speak it more!

I start into Mandarin Chinese tomorrow.

What goal do you do have for 2030???

My theory on why maybe America is so bad at this Covid thing

I read an article a while ago that said something like “is American too stubborn to survive this pandemic?”

I have thought a lot about that. About why we are doing the worst job in the whole world keeping our people alive.

I think there is something to that stubbornness theory, but here another theory I have: I think it is easier for, say, Africa to make communal decisions to prioritize life because they are closer to memories of what it is to have nothing. And they are able to be ok with that. With losing everything to keep people alive, because they (or their parents) have had to do that and it isn’t hard to imagine, nor hard to imagine getting back to where they are at now.

Think about someone who has a decent life standard, but not too long ago their parents (and neighbors and friends) dealt with starvation and droughts and being on the edge of the razor between surviving and not. If you can’t imagine this, read the quick and easy read “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” by William Kwamkwamba, a GREAT read.

I think that when that is your life experience, the idea of intentionally sacrificing your living standard vs helping your neighbors and family survive, is a concrete idea that is helpful because you know where your floor is and what it is like.

Perhaps here in America, first and foremost we can’t imagine where the floor is. But we have “worked so hard,” we have tried to have more than our friends have or spent years working for that raise or house or whatever, and the idea of losing everything is more like a fall into the abyss, where we can’t imagine what it would be like to give anything up, but it seems unthinkable. Maybe even beyond our actual imagination.

But also, and similarly, the “floor” isn’t even an idea we can imagine. Most of us don’t have recent memories in our family of losing everything. We don’t know what that would really look like. And perhaps it is just too terrifying, and we just hope that others will do better than we can.

Probably not the whole explanation, but I think about it a lot when I’m talking to friends and family in Mexico and listening to their experiences (not that Mexico is doing that great either…)

Lastly, two things I am looking for help with:

1) I am having a hard time finding someone to build us this series of boxes I want to create out of wood for behind the bar. I was hoping the ReStore would, but they don’t want to. I have asked a number of people, and those people were too busy. Get a hold of me if you want more details!

2) If you are a fourth or fifth grade teacher in the area, I have some questions I am looking for answers to. Please email me, if you don’t mind chatting with me!

I’ll have another email out in a week or so, and one of the topics will be the idea of taking a scheduled alcohol break. Most of us here take a month or so off of alcohol each year, to make sure we feel ok and just to check in with our bodies. We all know this has been a heavy year, and that alcohol has selling in record quantities. We have some thoughts and want you to know that if you want to change some habits, we fully support any choice you make (and if alcohol is a problem, we recognize that coming around here may not be the best idea… but we want the best for you!).
One of our top 10 best sellers of the year was even a non-alcoholic beer…

Once again, have a wonderful New Year! Thanks for being a part of this incredible community.


Elizabeth Station