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In 2005, Iron Horse Brewery got its start at the Ellensburg Business Incubator. It wasn’t easy for Iron Horse–owned by Gary and Greg Parker, and founded by Jim Quilter– to find an appropriate space to brew and package craft beer. The Business Incubator, managed by the Ellensburg Business Development Authority, provided the right space with low start-up lease rates in the appropriately zoned “heavy industrial” area of Ellensburg.  Brewing beer has high capital startup costs. Fortunately the incubator was available to help Iron Horse establish itself with minimal risk. The flexibility of the space and the investment by the incubator allowed Iron Horse to scale ahead of the craft beer boom that was about to hit.  In 2012, Iron Horse outgrew the Incubator space and relocated across town.  During that seven-year period, Iron Horse Brewery expanded from zero to approximately 8,000 barrels of beer annually, making it one of the top 15 craft breweries in Washington State.  Today, Iron Horse is an established regional brewery, the fifth largest in the state, producing over 24,000 barrels a year, serving more than five states in the Pacific Northwest and employing more than 40 people.


In addition to the qualities Ellensburg offered, CEO Garrett Silver said CWU’s Cyber Security Program was a major draw.

While the academic background is important, Silver said CI Security can provide the practical, on-the-job experience.

Within the cyber security field, Silver said there are businesses that provide security programs, but CI takes a different approach of combining the technology with a human analyst.

Silver said with the program-only services, clients tend to experience “alert fatigue.”

“We have the great technology but we also have people in our centers,” Silver said.

The centers are staffed 24-7.

The Ellensburg center is still getting up to speed, but Silver said if the building is capable of housing 50 to 100 analysts if there is the demand.

Silver said cyber security is a growth field.

“We tripled in size in the past year,” he said.

While Silver said Ellensburg was selected for the qualities it offered, he as already familiar with Kittitas County.

Silver grew up in Roslyn and graduated from Cle Elum-Roslyn High School in 1989 before going off to college at Stanford and then Western Washington University. His mom Susan Johnson and stepdad Doug Johnson, live in Roslyn.

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