Things We Don’t Say IPA – a beer that broaches a tough topic



I fear that a lot of you will stop reading this article as soon as you realize what it’s about. That’s the problem. Just take a deep breath and recognize that this is a beer story. There is beer involved — a new beer from Powerhouse Brewery in Puyallup, WA.

What We Don’t Say

Mental health is one of the most difficult things to discuss. Nobody is comfortable talking about it, especially when the conversation includes the issue of suicide. One in four people reports a mental health crisis in their life and, globally, over 800,000 suicides are reported each year. That’s only the ones that are reported.

Like you, I am a bit uncomfortable with the subject but I’ll go first and share something deeply personal and painful. About a decade ago, one of my friends, a person who’d spent most of his life serving as one of my very best friends in the world, took his own life. Unforeseen, unexplainable, unimaginable. None of us knew anything was wrong. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to deal with. Honestly, I’m not sure that I have dealt with it yet.


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I don’t doubt that many of you have your own stories to share regarding mental health. Like me, you probably are reluctant to talk about it. It ain’t easy, I know.

You probably are not aware, but May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Also, you are probably not aware of the Hope For The Day movement and the Things We Don’t Say IPA project, so I’m going to tell you about it. Yes, there is a local angle to the story. (Breweries, there’s a link below if you are interested.)

Things We Don’t Say IPA

The recently re-opened Powerhouse Brewery in Puyallup collaborated with Jeff Carlson, who formerly worked at Harmon Brewing in Tacoma, to create its version of Things We Don’t Say IPA. The beer is out there right now.


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The Things We Don’t Say IPA project was created to help shift how we approach mental health by encouraging people to talk about their experiences and feelings, both good and bad, and to demonstrate the importance of asking for help when we need it.

Brewed by breweries across the nation, and based on an IPA recipe from Eagle Park Brewing in Milwaukee, WI, the beer is named after Hope For The Day’s flagship mental health education curriculum. Though it’s too late this year, all breweries are welcome to get involved. Link below.

“The brewing industry is a great community with many carrying and supportive souls,” Jeff Carlson told me, explaining some of his personal struggles. “I have struggled with depression and anxiety my whole life and it never goes away. As I have gotten older I try to deal with it in different ways but every day is still a struggle. As I have gotten older I also find it easier for me to admit to, and to talk about it. Though most of the time it feels like most people don’t really listen, I think it still helps me to say it out loud sometimes.”

“In my last position, I was the Head Brewer at the Harmon Brewing Company in Tacoma for 10 years. Being a brewer, and having a platform to express myself through different beers and events, was a great change for me. It helped my confidence tremendously. I went from a person that always did well one-on-one to a person that could address a room of people.” 

“Things We Don’t Say is a part of the worldwide Hope For A Day collaboration to support Mental Health Awareness month in May,” said Jeff. “Brewed with lots of Amarillo, Citra, Mosaic, Galaxy and a touch of Simcoe. Quadruple dry-hopped. Have Hope, It’s OK Not To Be OK!”

“The beer is tasting great and is what we are calling a West Coast Hazy Hybrid. This is our third collaboration brew together since I left the Harmon in 2017. Our last brew, which was called Powerforce Jeff, won the South Sound Hazy IPA competition in 2019.” 

You’ll find Jeff’s Things We Don’t Say IPA at the Powerhouse Brewery and a few other spots around the South Sound, like Jack’s BBQ in Algona, Rainier Growlers, Edison City Ale House, Parkway Tavern, and the Eastside Club Tavern in Olympia. 



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2 thoughts on “Things We Don’t Say IPA – a beer that broaches a tough topic

  1. Thank you for sharing about this, Kendall. Mental health issues really can be difficult to talk about, but in this day and age it’s becoming more and more important. I, too, have lost friends to suicide along the way. I don’t think I’m ready to talk about it but I’m going to share this much anyway. Kudos to Powerhouse Brewery to do their part in opening up the discussion, and to you for sharing what you did.

  2. Thank you for the write up Kendall. Thank you Tristan and the Powerhouse crew for making this brew a possibility. I love making beer! Hopefully I’ll see some familiar faces out and about giving it a try. It’s great to be back on the scene and I’m still looking for a good fit for my next brewing opportunity. I hope everyone enjoys it and gives a thought to the cause.

    Thank you!
    Jeff Carlson

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