Jul 19, 2022 - Things to Do

Ax-throwing businesses can now serve alcohol in Washington state

A person in silhouette preparing to throw an axe, in a lane closed in by wood and wire, with a wooden target in the distance.

General manager Brad Girard demonstrates an underhand throw at Blade and Timber, an ax-throwing range in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. Photo: Genna Martin/Seattlepi.com/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Alcohol and ax-throwing can now coexist in Washington.

Driving the news: As of July 9, the state Liquor Control Board is allowing ax-throwing businesses to also serve alcohol, The News Tribune reports.

Why it matters: The trendy activity — in which people hurl the tools at targets, usually in lanes similar to batting cages — has grown both locally and nationwide.

  • But owners of hatchet-throwing operations in Washington state have long said their inability to serve alcohol limits their profits, threatening their ability to stay open — especially during the pandemic.

Details: If you're thinking the combination of alcohol and ax-throwing sounds like a bad idea, you wouldn't be the first.

  • Matt Baysinger, CEO of the company that owns the ax-throwing joint Blade & Timber in Seattle, told Crosscut last year that he's heard jokes about the perils of mixing alcohol and axes many times before.
  • But he and other ax-throwing entrepreneurs say the lack of recorded injuries at their venues speaks to their commitment to safety.
  • Other states have allowed alcohol and ax throwing without incident, Baysinger told Crosscut.
  • "This can be done in a really safe capacity for guests and the public," he told The News Tribune.

Yes, but: You won't be able to hold a drink in one hand and throw an ax with the other.

  • The liquor board's new rules require alcohol to be served and consumed in a space separate from where the ax hurling happens.

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