Mr. Mills’ Dream Machine

Hello from the History Department.

We are fortunate here with McMenamins to be able to juxtapose history with all that we do – from the beer to the art, to the music and food and beyond, we bring interesting historical connections to light. Or, in this case, to flight. Yet also in this case, lack of flight.

And so we give you Dream Machine Hazy IPA, the latest in our series of canned beers, this one based on a flightless bit of history that occurred in Bothell, WA. The beer will release later this year in March.

Mr. Frederic Mills, we salute your efforts, despite the initial results – read more…


A little history:
The 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYP) was held in Seattle, WA, on what later became the University of Washington campus. While it was declared a success, the event has since been dubbed “The Forgotten World’s Fair.” It simply didn’t have the same allure as the World’s Fairs or similar expos that had been held around the world since the mid-1850s. (Note: Portland’s 1905 Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition was not technically an official World’s Fair.) A Portland reporter was sent north to report on the Seattle AYP; she noted, dripping with sarcasm: “Pretty seems the right word to describe the fair. It seems right to apply the word ‘pretty’ just as at St. Louis the word ‘stupendous’ seemed best. It is a pretty little fair – perhaps even a beau­tiful little fair. Certainly, it is very, very pretty.”

Perhaps one reason it didn’t hold the same public sway as the World’s Fairs was due to the labor issues involved; the expo buildings were built with non-union labor. Numerous unions protested via various means, from pamphleteering to boycotts. Another controversy was with the AYP’s “human exhibits” – for example, a month-old orphan boy was raffled away as a prize! And to make that situation worse, the winner never claimed the prize. Also on display were premature babies in newfangled incubators, native Filipinos depicted as “dog-eating, primitive people,” and a Chinese “village” populated by opium dens.

About Mr. Mills’ Dream Machine:
Another of the spectacles promoted for the AYP was Mr. Mills and his aircraft. As a newspaper noted, inventor Frederic Mills was going to pilot his own “flying machine” from Bothell, WA, to the Seattle AYP. Yet during its takeoff from Carlton Ericken’s field in Bothell, a wind took hold of the large contraption and turned it upside-down. The aircraft was instantly demolished, as shown in the photo.

There is one detail that is interesting to note – William Boeing, founder of Boeing, stated that it was during the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition when he saw a manned flying machine for the first time that he became fascinated with aircraft. Was it Mills’ aircraft that he saw, perhaps in Bothell prior to its takeoff? If so, he learned a good lesson that day about what not to do.

From McMenamins artist Jenny Joyce:
“Mr. Mills was a dreamer and inventor. This panel is my fantasy about his imagination. He tried and failed several times to create this machine, but he had a vision, and the panel is a tribute to his vision and his persistence. The idea of flight had captured the passion of many 19th– and early-20th century inventors and, as such, Mr. Mills was definitely ‘of his time.”

And for the beer nerds:
Dream Machine Hazy IPA will use Ekuanot, Strata, and Idaho 7 hops. Sensory notes include: hazy, juicy, tropical fruit, hoppy, peach. Expect lower bitterness, higher hop character, pungent aromatics and flavor. It is late-boil hopped, heavily dry-hopped and brewed with a yeast strain cultivated to promote hoppy, fruity aromatics, leaning toward a fuller body and mouthfeel.

Cheers, Mr. Mills. We will hold a can of Dream Machine Hazy IPA successfully aloft in your honor.


  1. Janis Allen on January 16, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    I did not know about Mr.Mill and this Worlds Fair. I enjoy reading these history notes. I enjoy the history nights at Edgefield.

    • History Dept. on January 16, 2020 at 3:59 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it! — the AYP was trying to be a World’s Fair, but not “officially” a World’s Fair.

  2. Tonya on January 16, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Cool story.
    Is this New beer going to have a “Just for fun stamp” When it comes out?

    • History Dept. on January 16, 2020 at 3:56 pm

      That’s a good question for the Passport staff —

      We’re the historians!

  3. Brian Ayers on January 16, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    My spouse and I are really interested in the local history presentations at the various McMenamin’s locations. We are near Bothell and have attended ones there that we heard about. We’d love to go to others, but we nee to know where and when. Who has the info on those?
    It would seem a wonderful opportunity to have a dinner, a brew, and stay over at the hotel. We would do this much more so than go listen to some yokel screaming his lungs out in music we don’t enjoy.

    • History Dept. on January 17, 2020 at 1:26 pm

      Hi Brian! Thanks for checking in — you can see all our upcoming history events at Another good source of info is our Facebook page — McMenamins History.

      One of our newest monthly history series is at our Tacoma Elks Temple location, so maybe you could attend that one and stay the night? Use code HISTPUB during booking for 15% off your room that evening, at any of our History Pub locations.


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