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Harmon's weeklong Oktoberfest party

Harmon Brewing Company celebrates 20 years in downtown Tacoma

Owner Pat Nagle and wife Tina are celebrating Harmon Brewing Co.’s 20th Anniversary with owner Carole Boyd (not shown) Oct. 2-6 at The Harmon Restaurant, the company’s flagship. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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Harmon Brewing and Restaurant Company will celebrate its 20th anniversary during its annual weeklong Oktoberfest. The highlight of the week is a German-themed Brew Master Dinner Thursday, Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m. (reservations required).

Owner Pat Nagle invested in the future of Tacoma 20 years ago. "Reflecting back on twenty years of business is just as crazy to think about as it was to open an eight thousand square foot microbrewery and restaurant in downtown Tacoma in 1997. Crazy! It was The Swiss, The Rock, Old Spaghetti Factory and the Harmon Brewery and Restaurant -- that was about it back then. We opened with a state-of-the-art 15-barrel brewhouse, five, 15-barrel fermentation tanks and seven conditioning tanks. We were considered the first microbrewery in Tacoma (although E-9 and The RAM installed breweries to their already pub and restaurants)," he said.

Looking back at the early days brings back a lot of fond memories for Nagle. "The first beer we made was the Pt. Defiance IPA and it's still our best-seller twenty years later. It's funny to think that most people didn't know what an IPA was back then. Our Browns Pt. ESB was a real popular beer for quite a long time. We have just brought it back as a flagship and that makes a lot of people happy. One of the most exciting things that happened was winning a gold medal at the 1999 Great American Beer Festival for the Puget Sound Porter. It was a really incredible achievement as it was our first time going and it's a very large and hard beer category to win. The Puget Sound Porter has since won gold and silver in the Washington Beer Awards and is a go-to favorite for all of the Porter and Stout lovers out there," said Nagle.

Nagle has a love for the city of Tacoma, which was his hometown growing up. "On my mom's side I'm third generation and I'm a Foss High School grad -- class of 1981. My Grandpa Frank ran a tavern in downtown Tacoma in the late thirties and met my grandma down there as she was an usher at the Temple Theater. After that, Grandpa opened Frank and Mike's Tavern (now O'Malley's) on 6th Ave. in the 1940s. The Harmon Brewery concept came from my love for Tacoma. Bringing the microbrewery concept to Tacoma just seemed to be the right thing at the right time. And although we are still here in the iconic Harmon Building twenty years later, it has taken all twenty years to get things rolling downtown," he shared.

Harmon Brewing Company has its own chapter in the story of downtown Tacoma's revitalization. "I am proud to be one of the many that believed in Tacoma's future; being part of the downtown revitalization and part of the Harmon Building's second life has been awesome. Although we are just a tenant, we feel like we anchored the building in a time where no one lived downtown. The fifty-six loft apartments in the Harmon Building, which opened a couple years after we opened, have had a waiting list since day one. I guess at the end of the day, what I truly love is interacting daily with the guests and our amazing team members at our five different Harmon and Hub locations. We get to meet so many great people, and when you can bring them something special, like a smile, some comfort food and a pint of Harmon beer, well, it doesn't get any better than that," said Nagle.

Harmon Brewing is a network of locally-owned and operated restaurants and brew pubs in the greater Tacoma area. It includes the Harmon Restaurant, the company's flagship brewery and restaurant; the Harmon Tap Room; and three The Hub locations, in Tacoma, Gig Harbor and Puyallup.

Harmon Brewing Company, 11 a.m. to close, daily, 1938 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.383.2739,

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