Eight years after opening Full Throttle Bottles, one of Seattle's premier specialty beer and wine retail shops, owner Erika Tedin has sold the business. She made the announcement recently via newsletter and social media, sharing that new owner Jon Olken would be keeping many things unchanged, including the name, but would add draft beer for on-premise consumption.
Tedin says she's unhappy with the current state of the alcohol business in Washington, and blames the privatization of liquor sales, an initiative led by retail giant Costco five years ago. "After Costco bought that election a few years ago, the industry changed," she tells Eater. "It opened the door to the large mega companies," like Total Wine and BevMo!, "who are only after a buck. They destroyed all the small stores founded by the folks who are passionate about beer and left them with the following options: Sell, close, or add taps and become a bar/tavern. Some did all of the above."
"After Costco bought that election a few years ago, the industry changed."
Tedin never wanted to serve beer on-site, so when she felt that was her only option for sticking with it, she decided to move on. "Adding taps was not what I wanted to do," she says. "So I asked a friend in the industry to discreetly find out if there were anyone he knew that might be interested in a store with an international reputation that would be interested in adding taps," which led to her introduction to Olken. The Craft Beer Monger blog, written by a Full Throttle Bottles employee, notes that Olken is the former senior buyer at Downtown Spirits.
Look for the transition to happen quickly, with Tedin training Olken as he takes over this month. For her part, Tedin is looking forward to having some downtime, "hitting the movies at Seattle International Film Festival hard," and reacquainting herself with her "regular beer haunts" in Georgetown, Beveridge Place Pub, The Dog and Pony Alehouse, and The Pine Box.
She isn't yet willing to get into detail about her next steps, but says she has some options, and promises, "You haven't seen the last of me yet!"