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Hop Roast Coffee Beer Festival

Peaks and Pints celebrates the marriage of everyone's two favorite drinks

Coffee and beer share so many notes and flavorful subtleties, they were bound to get together. Photo credit: Peaks and Pints

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In the halcyon days of the ‘90s, The Drew Carey Show came up with a concoction called Buzz Beer. Our beloved, dumb main characters had mixed coffee and beer into something both immediately addictive and absolutely disgusting. Anyone from outside their circle would note how nasty it tasted, but still acknowledged the need to come back for more. At the time, it seemed, the notion of combining beer and caffeine was positively ludicrous; the advent of Four Loko was still a fair bit away, let alone the popularization of real life coffee-infused beer.

Tacoma's favorite beer store and restaurant, Peaks and Pints, will be celebrating this delicious combination with their Hop Roast Coffee Beer Festival, a full-day affair highlighting the coffee beer's various permutations. For any uninitiated folks out there, who may still be a little wary, it should really come as no surprise that coffee and beer should make such a fine pair.

"For longtime drinkers of stouts and porters, the taste of coffee is apparent in the brew, even if no beans were used," said Peaks and Pints co-owner Ron Swarner. "Thanks to roasted grains, the longer the kiln, the more likely a beer will take on notes of coffee. When beer comes together, the combined flavors of water, malt, hops and yeast impart a wide swath of flavors that mimic many familiar food flavors and aromas. In coffee, with just beans, the flavors range from floral and fruity -- blueberry, lemon, peach, apricot, etc. -- to nutty and smoky."

For those that still may be a little uncertain when it comes to navigating new terrain in the beer world, let alone the coffee beer world, Swarner also provides some words of wisdom to guide you through the process.

"Those new to the world of craft beer should start with ‘crossover' beers -- lighter styles like lagers, such as pilsners, and blonde and amber ales -- that are similar to the beer that they know," said Swarner. "Bolder styles and over-the-top hoppy beers can be a bit of a shock when you don't know what you're in for. It's also good to drink what you like. Experimenting can be fun, but if you find yourself gravitating to a certain style you should investigate that style the best you can. ... I like to think of myself as pretty easy to please; I'll go for an everyday craft beer just as often as a big ol' whale, if not more. But I like my coffee beers like I like my coffee: tasting like coffee."

Trends in coffee and beer come and go, with some passing sensations erring more on the side of novelty than quality. Combining coffee and beer, though, is such a natural fit that it would be a shame to go without tasting it for yourself. This Saturday, Peaks and Pints will have a hell of a lot of it for you to explore.

Peaks and Pints, 11a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 28, no cover, 3816 N. 26th St. Suite B, 253.328.5621,

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