Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

January 29, 2015 at 9:54am

Photos: Gigantic night at Pint Defiance in Tacoma

Humans and dogs enjoyed Gigantic Brewing Company Night at Pint Defiance in Tacoma Jan. 28. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Years and years and years from now, when people from the future or aliens or whatever are sifting through the artifacts of our culture, will they ever, ever find anything as cool as this: A Gigantic brewery. OK, it's actually called Gigantic Brewing Company, and, well, gigantic is the opposite  of what founders Ben Love and Van Havig have in mind for the Portland, Oregon brewery. The vow to stay small, focus on brewing exceptional beer rather than mass produce. Veterans of the Oregon brewing community (Love has brewed for 10 years, Havig for 20), the two concentrate on two things: a really freakin delicious IPA and three-month run seasonals, including their Saboteur Baltic Porter, Ginormous Imperial IPA and 2014 MASSIVE! BarleyWine. The Porter is exceptional, with a rich chocolate and roasted taste finishing with a smooth alcoholic warmth. Heavily hopped, the delicious MASSIVE! uses only British Halcyon pale malt, which is boiled for eight hours, giving the beer a deep ruby color and rich malt flavor.

Today, Gigantic Brewing releases its Catch 23 Experimental Pale Ale made with the experimental 527 hop. You'll catch tropical mango hoppiness with every sip. Mick Wilcox, brand manager with Click Wholesale Distributing, says the Catch 23 is the best pale ale he's tasted in a long time.

Ben Love went big last night at Pint Defiance Specialty Beers and Taproom, pouring his beers and chatting up his principles. The night was so huge my neck hurts today. ...

January 28, 2015 at 10:48am

Beer Here: Gigantic Brewing, Avery Brewing, Hop Valley, Tides' Tapmaster line-up ...

Tides Tavern in Gig Harbor kicks off its Tapmaster program - 16 beers in the 28 days - Super Bowl Sunday.

As Super Bowl Sunday approaches, I'm thinking about beer. Who wants to be sipping wine or cocktails? Sudsy brews are de rigueur. Here are a few South Sound craft beer events to hit before the big game. Maybe you'll walk away with your Super Bowl beers.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 28

Last week Double Mountain Brewing out of Hood River, Oregon, released their My Little Runaway-Belgian Style Cherry Ale. Like all beers at Double Mountain, the My Little Runaway is unfiltered for the purpose of preserving freshness and flavor. This cherry ale contains a small amount of natural fruit and yeast sediment that forms on the bottom of the bottle. No word if the beer will make an appearance at the Double Mountain Brewer's Night at Puyallup River Alehouse from 6-9 p.m.

Last month, Gigantic Brewing released its 2013 Massive! Barleywine. The aptly named barleywine always features one malt boiled for at least nine hours in the direct fire kettle, resulting in toffee and caramelized sugar malt flavors and evaporation over the long boil results in higher finished alcohol - 13.5 percent. Gigantic! Conquer this beer and meet its founder, Ben Love, when Pint Defiance hosts the Gigantic Brewing Company Brewer's Night from 5-7 p.m. The Portland brewery, which opened in 2011, will also tap its Gigantic IPA, Ginourmous IPA and Saboteur Baltic Porter. Go big!

In 1991, Homebrewer Jeff Lebesch opened New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado. The brewing company has ridden its Fat Tire amber ale across the country - most recently building huge plants in North Carolina, especially Asheville. There are other reasons they have become so big and successful. Le Terroir, La Folie and Tart Lychee are three of those reasons, but there are dozens more. Chat up and drink New Belgium beers at The Swiss Restaurant and Pub, beginning at 6 p.m.

THURSDAY, JAN. 29

Hey kids! Want to black out before the Super Bowl? Then you're in luck, cause Avery Brewing is bringing its demonically strong Mephistopheles Stout to The Copper Door beer store and taproom. First brewed in 2005 as the third installment in Avery's "Demons of Ale" series, it measures in at 14.5 percent alcohol. That's evil. Take note Uber drivers: The Stadium District beer store will also pour Avery's Tweak, Lilikoi Kepolo, Ellie's Brown Ale, India Pale Ale and White Rascal. Of note is the White Rascal, which was brewed at New Belgium last year while Avery built a 96,000-square-foot facility in the Gunbarrel area of Boulder - so it can push out around half a million barrels of beer annually. The new plant opens Feb. 16. The Avery Brewing Night at The Copper Door runs 6-9 p.m. Thursday.

FRIDAY, JAN. 30

How did Dick's Brewing raise more than $5,700 for American Cancer Society's Relay for Life of Lewis County this past September? It held a home brew contest and invited folks to celebrate the winners with beer drinking, auctions and raffles. The winner for the 4th Annual Beer for a Cure was Tom Rzadzki and his Black Rye IPA. Friday, Dick's Brewing will host a release party for Tom's beer from 3-7:30 p.m., as well as and having Black Rye IPA on tap at the brewery tasting room and neighboring NW Sausage & Deli.

SATURDAY, JAN. 31

Eugene native and brewmaster Trevor Howard opened Hop Valley Brewing Friday, Feb. 13, 2009. Indeed, he and his father, Ron Howard, Jonas Kungys and Chuck Hare chose Friday the 13th. Good luck has only come their way, as Hop Valley has undergone incredible growth. Drop by the Pig Bar inside South Bay Dickerson's BBQ and get an early start on the brewery's six-year anniversary by sipping a healthy Hop Valley line-up, win prizes and get in on some tasty ribs from 6-9 p.m.

SUNDAY, FEB. 1

These days, South Sound pubs offer more activities than a cruise ship. Tides Tavern wants to make it crystal clear its 12th Annual Tapmaster program isn't about chugging yards of beer then taking a flying leap off the dock into the harbor. Instead, the popular watering hole in Gig Harbor wants you to enjoy its 16 taps through the month of February. Get to know each beer. Ask the beers questions. Ask the bartenders questions. If by happenstance you drink all 16 beers in the 28 days, the Tides will give you a nifty T-shirt and add your name to the wall of fame. Here is the 2015 Tapmaster beer (and cider) list: Fremont Pale Ale, Mac N Jacks IBIS IPA, Tides Tavern Long Ass Day X2IPA, American Brewing Blonde, Alaskan Amber, Tides Tavern Anniversary IPA, Manny's Pale Ale, Hilliard's Saison, Pacific Brewing Porter, Backyard Brewing Winchester Brown, Silver City Cold One Pilsner, Seattle Cider Company's Cider, Elysian Mens Room Red, Iron Horse Irish Death, 7 Seas Stout on nitro and Widmer Hefeweizen.

THURSDAY, FEB. 5

Plan Ahead: Engine House No. 9 will host a Trinity Brewing Night with five on tap and three different brews in bottles. Trinity head brewer and owner Jason Yester will be in the firehouse.

January 26, 2015 at 12:00pm

Harmon Brewing upgrades Stryker Stout

Harmon Brewing Co.'s Stryker Stout has a new recipe. Look for the upgraded stout in stores beginning Jan. 29. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

When you make a rock-solid stout that's named after the mighty combat teams at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, you get to be in my column. It doesn't hurt that it's also a delicious smooth stout made with oats, chocolate and hints of cherry. Here's the after action report. ...

Feb. 27, 2002, the U.S. Army officially named its medium-weight armored vehicle the Stryker after two unrelated infantrymen with the same last name - Pvt. Stuart S. Stryker (1945) and Spec. Robert F. Stryker (1967), both Medal of Honor recipients. The first Strykers arrived at Fort Lewis in May of that year, 14 vehicles for A Company, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Division. By June, the Strykers were training at the Yakima Training Center. July 1, the Army made it official creating the Stryker Brigade Combat Team, or SBCT. In September, the 3rd Infantry Brigade became the 3rd Stryker Brigade at Fort Lewis. Fort Lewis sent the first of the nation's Stryker brigades - 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division - into action in the war in Iraq in 2003. The 3-2 SBCT also deployed to Iraq in 2003. In 2005, the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division "Raiders" was formed and activated at Fort Lewis the following year. July 2010, the 5-2 SBCT was inactivated and reflagged as the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division "Lancers," at the reformatted Joint Base Lewis-McChord. In October 2011, the Harmon Brewing Co. released their Stryker Stout. Last March, during an hour inactivation ceremony, the 4-2 SBCT recognized for eight years of stellar service and became victim to the Army's downsizing from 45 to 33 active brigades. Last week, the Harmon Brewing Co. released a new recipe and look for their seasonal Stryker Stout, now on tap at the Harmon downtown and Tap Room in the Stadium District, as well as bottled for retail and on draft at its two Hub restaurants Jan. 29.

Harmon Brewing Co. co-owner Pat Nagle has a grip on the look and names of the beers he releases with his business partner, Carole Ford. Nagle, an enthusiast for everything outdoors, baseball and Tacoma, marries his passions with his products - a snowboarder on their Steep & Deep Winter Ale, kayaker on their Pt. Defiance IPA - but Nagle's mother takes the credit for naming their stout after the armored vehicle. She felt the servicemembers at JBLM should be recognized, and the Stryker Stout was born.

"We've always hosted lots of Hail and Farewell parties at the Harmon," Nagle told the Weekly Volcano. "The military is a huge thing for our local economy." Also, Nagle has had family members serve in the U.S. forces, including JBLM.

The Harmon's seasonal beers appear in October and are served on tap at the four restaurants for about four months. Nagle broke tradition in 2011, and decided to bottle Stryker Stout.

"We felt it was too good to be served just at our locations," he said.

The Harmon brewing team also thought it needed a new recipe.

"Mike Davis, who was the Harmon's head brewer for 15 years, brewed the Stryker Stout," said Jesse Holder, director of brewing operations at Harmon. "Jeff Carlson, our new head brewer for the last several years, wanted to change it up and put his mark on the important brew."

"The tweaks to the Stout are a little more 15L, Carafa Type II, Pale Chocolate, Flaked Oats and Chocolate Wheat," said Carlson. "I also added some 120L and Cherry Smoked malt."

The Stryker Stout's components are a combination of six different malted barleys including a special cherry smoked variety plus some chocolate wheat and rolled flaked oats for a smooth sipper with hints of cherry and a little smoke in the aroma and finish. A 7.3 percent alcohol by volume puts in the mid-range for stouts; its 46 IBU bitterness is similar to Guinness.

It's a stout to salute, as well as drink.

HARMON BREWERY & EATERY, 1938 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.383.2739

HARMON TAP ROOM, 204 St. Helens, Tacoma, 253.212.2725

THE HUB, 203 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma, 253.683.4606

THE HUB GIG HARBOR, 1208 28th Ave. NW, Gig Harbor, 253.853.1585

January 26, 2015 at 10:20am

Served Blog Banner Girl: Q&A with server Gillian Nordlund of STINK Cheese and Meat

Stop by STINK Cheese and Meat and discuss "True Stories" with Gillian Nordlund. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Every week we swap out the Served banner art above, introducing you to the people who serve food and drinks in the South Sound. This week, meet Gillian Nordlund.

Server Banner Girl, Jan. 26-Feb.1, 2015

Gillian Nordlund

Ask Gillian Nordlund about her days serving at the Bourgeois Pig Cafe in the north side of Chicago and a smile will dominate her face. She fondly remembers those days. The smile remained at her first Tacoma restaurant industry job - The Antique Sandwich Co. - as well as the last three years serving gourmet mac and cheese, sandwiches and salads at STINK Cheese and Meat in Tacoma's Triangle District.

Why do you serve?

"I kind of fell into serving. I needed a job and I got one. I continue to serve because of my beloved regulars, my continuing connection to the community, and the time I have for art making. Serving isn't complex, but there is a new challenge everyday. Life is complicated; your job shouldn't be."

Who is your favorite server in the South Sound?

"Oh no! I couldn't choose one. I get such comfort from all the service I receive from everybody at 1111 and Broken Spoke to Corina Bakery and Puget Sound Pizza, not to mention Half Pint Pizza Pub. I guess I'm wishy-washy, but I truly care about these people. Thank you everybody."

What are you most proud to serve?

"Our food at STINK is so pretty and delicious. I continue to be proud to serve the Stinker and the Turkey, especially when I can convince a bleu cheese non-believer to try these sandwiches."

What's your current drink of choice?

"Dark coffee with cream and sugar in the morning, beer and whiskey at night."

Favorite movie?

"True Stories by David Byrne and the Talking Heads - excellent music, endearing characters and Spaulding Grey. Never ceases to be uplifting and poignant."

What don't you serve?

"Substitutions. When you come to STINK you should trust us. Though I'm willing to make some compromises people should stop being afraid of food. I kind of take it personally when people order off menu. Take your "no thank-you bites," sillies. Come on!"

What's on your radar at STINK?

"Looking to the future! Our new cook, Ben, and our fearless leader, Kris Blondin, are creating a new Spanish-inspired dinner menu. It is so exciting to see our restaurant grow and Ben is simply a cool dude."

STINK Cheese and Meat, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., 628 Saint Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.426.1347

LINK: Meet other South Sound servers

Filed under: Served Banner Models, Tacoma,

January 22, 2015 at 10:29am

Taste Bates Technical College's national award-winning Snooty Chef Burger Jan. 27

Bates Technical College's Culinary Arts 2014 World Food Championships award-winning Snooty Chef Burger. Photo courtesy of batestechnicalblog.org

One of life's greatest mysteries is: "who has the best burger in all the nation?!" It's one of the grand questions of the ages and is put to the test time and time again with burger competitions.

Bates Technical College's Culinary Arts crew threw their hat into the ring during November's 2014 World Food Championships in Las Vegas and came out on top with their Snooty Chef Burger. This masterpiece, created by Bates chef instructors JJ Meland and Roger Knapp, features ground Kobe beef and rib eye steak mixed with a Hungarian ragout blend spice from local gourmet seasoning gurus - two snooty chefs. They then add crispy bacon, tempura battered and fried Havarti cheese, a salad of spicy arugula, tomato and red onion tossed with a red wine vinaigrette and a caramelized onion mayonnaise all set upon a toasted Kaiser bun.

This behemoth earned them fourth out of 50 of those competing, advancing them to the final round where they placed in the top 10.

The displayed culinary prowess has earned them an invite to compete again this year in Florida and from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27, the citizens of the South Sound may dig into this championship burger at Bates Technical College's café for a cool $9.95 (price includes tax and fries).

Meland says, "We're excited to share this delicious burger we've worked hard to develop with our community. The Bates team enjoyed the 2014 competition and we are excited to develop a new innovative burger to bring to next year's World Food Championships."

Go forth and discover what a world championship contender tastes like and check out more about one of their secrets to flavor success at twosnootychefs.com.

BATES TECHNICAL COLLEGE, 1101 S. Yakima Ave., Tacoma, 253.680.7000

January 21, 2015 at 1:45pm

Harmon Brewing to release 12th Hop IPA during Super Bowl

Seahawks, Patriots, Super Bowl. Just like we all thought, but not at all how we all thought.

Where are you going to watch Tom Brady's hair play the Seahawks Feb. 1? Some might say at the home of whoever has the biggest TV. Typically, this friend will have a wife or live-in girlfriend, and her unreasonable requests that you "put a coaster under that beer" or that you stop wiping your boogers under your seat will end abruptly when she herds the other women into the bedroom, where they'll lock themselves in and plot the murder of every guy there.

Of course, like last year, this ancient stereotype doesn't hold in the Pacific Northwest. No one will be paying any attention to coasters or boogers while the Hawks are on the tube.

In any case, may I suggest watching the Super Bowl at one of the Harmon Brewing Co. venues - Harmon Downtown, Tap Room, The Hub and The Hub Gig Harbor - for no other reason than their 12th Hop IPA.

According to Harmon head brewer Jeff Carlson, he, brewer Bill Lundeen and the crew have taken their new Pt. Defiance IPA recipe and dry hopped it with 12 different hop varieties:Simcoe, Golding, Cascade, Centennial, Magnum, Palisade, Columbus, Citra, Fuggle, Amarillo, Sterling and Sorachi Ace.

"It's perfect for the 12th Man Hop Heads," I believe Carlson said.

The ABV is 6.8 percent. Carlson didn't calculate the IBU but "There is over an ounce of dry hop per gallon," he said.

Show your 12th spirit while drinking 12 hops.

Filed under: New Beer Column, Tacoma,

January 21, 2015 at 11:11am

Beer Here: Elysian IPA Fest, Firestone Walker, Hammerhead Ale, Manny Chao, Gigantic Brewing ...

Wish the Hammerhead Ale a happy 29th birthday at the McMenamins Spar Cafe in Olympia Sunday. Then drink it.

When it rains it pours, and although the forecast calls for rain Thursday through Sunday, it's pouring beer in the South Sound starting today ... or something.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 21

Remember last week when you were staring at The Red Hot's chalkboard and you actually shouted "Breakside boyyyeee!" over the XTC song "Life Begins At The Hop"? You were all hopped up for Breakside Brewery Brewer's Night at the Sixth Avenue craft beer and hot dog joint. You were going to have some gold medal Breakside IPA and life would be dandy. Well, I have some bad news that isn't bad. Breakside night broke, and its Elysian IPA Fest night instead at The Red Hot (2916 Sixth Ave., Tacoma). That's right, Annie will be in the Hot house with the Seattle brewery's mainstay IPAs - The Immortal, Savant, Space Dust, I imagine - as well as some of their taproom-only IPAs. Oh, and a special shout out to Elysian for mailing me their new Sub Pop tribute pale ale, Loser. Digging the light, tropical flavors and seven percent ABV as I type this. ...

The Swiss Restaurant and Pub (1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma) has their beer dinners dialed in, offering multiple food courses paired with beer, beer production and history from brewers and reps, preparation details from the kitchen and lots of laughs. This month, Silver City Brewing teams up with The Swiss kitchen on a Wednesday night. Drop by the historic building with $40 to secure a delicious, fun time.

THURSDAY, JAN. 22

Details are still scarce, but what's certain is Firestone Walker Brewing Company from California will be at the ParkWay Tavern (313 N. I St., Tacoma) with beers and prizes, beginning at 5 p.m. Will 18th Anniversary Ale be available? Let's hope so. Its blend consists of nine different beers aged in various bourbon, plain oak and brandy barrels. The beers are Parabola, a Russian imperial oatmeal stout; Helldorado barleywine with buckwheat honey; Bravo imperial brown ale; Stickee Monkee quadrupel; Velvet Merkin oatmeal stout; Hydra Cuvee dark ale; Wookey Jack black rye IPA; Ol' Leghorn barleywine and Double Jack double IPA. Please, please, please ...

FRIDAY, JAN. 23

Hands On Children's Museum (414 Jefferson St. NE, Olympia) hosts "The Art & Science Behind Craft Brews" at 6:30 p.m. The museum will host beer tastings, beer-themed science experiments, art projects and more. The $25 admission fee includes free beer tastings and a souvenir glass. Barbecue will be available to purchase. Duh, adults only. Buy tickets at www.hocm.com/adultswim.

Several South Sound breweries will be getting weird at the Strange Brewfest in Port Townsend Jan. 23-24. Wingman Brewers, Ram Brewing, Fish Brewing and 7 Seas Brewing are among the 30 breweries pouring beers while bands go nuts for $30 at brownpapertickets.com or $35 at the door.

SUNDAY, JAN. 25

In 1983, unemployed Mike McMenamin bought the former Fat Little Rooster tavern in Portland and renamed it the Barley Mill. Brian McMenamin soon joined in and today they own threescore pubs, taverns, clubs, hotels, dance halls and a village called Edgefield. The McMenamins have the golden touch - to convert desuetude into quirky, funky, artful joints to gather and drink. One of the early McMenamins beers, the Hammerhead Ale, celebrates its 29th birthday. It's a classic Northwest pale ale and McMenamins top selling beer. The beer's signature Cascade hop nose and intense hopped flavor blend nicely with the caramel tones from the crystal malt. McMenamins Spar Café (114 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia) toasts the Hammerhead's old age by offering $3 pints of the 5.93 percent ABV ale all day Sunday.

If building skills to distinguish between beer flavors is your New Year's Resolution, then join Pacific Lutheran University Sous-chef Erick Swenson for his workshop on identifying flaws in beer at 2 p.m. in the 208 Garfield restaurant (208 Garfield, Parkland). He'll pull out the Siebel Institute Sensory Training kits, which contain 24 vials of pre-measured "standards" representing some of the most important flavors and aromatics found in beer. More details can be found here.

The Top Rung Brewing Co. beer pairing dinner with artisan catering company EZ Foods of Olympia has sold out.

TUESDAY, JAN. 27

Some 20 years ago, Manny Chao was the first employee at Mac and Jack's Brewery. With Chao's help, Mac and Jack's amber ale became the third best selling craft brew in the state. Five years later, Chao left Mac and Jack's and by 2002, he and his housemate, Roger Bialous, homebrewed their first beer - Manny's Pale Ale. In 2003, Chao was the number one employee at his Georgetown Brewing Company located in Seattle's Georgetown district. In 2013, Chao and Bialous produced 52,300 barrels of beer - the second highest in the state behind Red Hook. Meet Chao at the Georgetown Brewing Brewer's Night from 5-7 p.m. at Pint Defiance (2049 Mildred St. W., Tacoma), drink his Manny's Pale, Lovely Rieda Imperial IPA, Lucille IPA and Barrel-aged Chopper's Red Ale, learn the stories behind the beer names and maybe win a raffle prize.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 28

Last month, Gigantic Brewing released its 2013 Massive! Barleywine. The aptly named barleywine always features one malt boiled for at least nine hours in the direct fire kettle, resulting in toffee and caramelized sugar malt flavors and evaporation over the long boil results in higher finished alcohol - 13.5 percent. Gigantic! Conquer this beer and meet its founder, Ben Love, when Pint Defiance (2049 Mildred St. W., Tacoma) hosts the Gigantic Brewing Company Brewer's Night from 5-7 p.m. The Portland brewery, which opened in 2011, will also tap its Gigantic IPA, Ginourmous IPA and Saboteur Baltic Porter. Go big!

In 1991, Homebrewer Jeff Lebesch opened New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado. The brewing company has ridden its Fat Tire amber ale across the country - most recently building huge plants in North Carolina, especially Asheville. There are other reasons they have become so big and successful. Le Terroir, La Folie and Tart Lychee are three of those reasons, but there are dozens more. Chat up and drink New Belgium beers at The Swiss Restaurant and Pub (1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma), beginning at 6 p.m.

January 20, 2015 at 11:33am

Eat This Now: Raw Enchiladas

Viva Tacoma's Raw Enchiladas are rawsome. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

Me: "Hey, will you pick up some grub from that little vegan place tucked away behind Starbucks in the Proctor District on the way home from work? It's Viva Tacoma. I'll send you the menu."

Husband (in jest): "I don't want any of the hippie food!"

I proceed to tell him what I'd like and what he would probably like and I call in the order.

Viva Tacoma - Vegan Cuisine boasts a menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner serving entrees concocted of only fresh, gluten-free, organic, whole, non-dairy products - which means zero animal products or processed sugars that leaves carnivorous beasts who consume probably morbid levels of processed sugars and animal products referring to such a lovely concept as, "hippie food."

Viva's menu manages to offer a delightful and diverse selection that seems approachable and, dare I say, sounds delicious.

My favorite Viva vittles are the Raw Enchiladas ($13.95) with seasoned walnut "meat" (I can't lie, seeing meat in quotations raised my suspicions) and a cabbage and nut cheese wrapped in a sweet cashew tortilla topped with New Mexico chili sauce, chopped lettuce, pico, cashew sour cream and guacamole.

The flavors were well balanced with an underlining sweetness that was perfectly paired with the chili sauce and pico. The biggest surprise was how satisfying the dish was since the portion size was not the usual ginormous you anticipate when ordering enchiladas.

Though I won't be making a lifestyle change anytime in the near future (read: EVER) Viva's vegan grub is a refreshing addition to quality Tacoma eats. I didn't even miss the meat!

VIVA TACOMA - VEGAN CUISINE, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, 2602 N. Proctor, Tacoma, 253.503.6498

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma, Vegetarian,

January 19, 2015 at 12:15pm

Served Blog Banner Girl: Q&A with bartender/brewer Bethany Carlsen

Bethany Carlsen brews and serves Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. beers. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Every week we swap out the Served banner art above, introducing you to the people who serve food and drinks in the South Sound. This week, meet Bethany Carlsen.

Server Banner Girl, Jan. 19-25, 2015

Bethany Carlsen

Bethany Carlsen developed a love for craft beer and started making her own beer about six years ago while living in Seattle. He dream was, and still is, to eventually open up her own brewery. She quit her job as a personal trainer to start serving at The Ram in Northgate - with an eye on a brewer job. After a few months an assistant brewer quit and The Ram offered her the part-time position. She took it, and was quickly moved up to being the full-time assistant brewer at the Seattle Ram. She was there for two years before the head brewer position opened up at the Puyallup Ram. Bethany was the head brewer in Puyallup for a little over a year. She left the Ram and joined the Pacific Brewing & Malting team three months ago, where she brews beer and serves in the taproom.

Why do you serve?

"Serving is a great way to be a part of the beer community in Tacoma. I enjoy talking to the beer-lovers who come in, and helping those who aren't as in to beer to find one he or she likes that surprises them. There's a gateway beer for every non-beer drinker." 

Who is your favorite server?

"Sean and Kendra at the Parkway. They're awesomesauce and say hello to everyone by name when they walk through the door."

What are you most proud to serve?

"Local craft beer that I've helped make. We just tapped an oatmeal stout recently that is darn tasty. I'm proud of all our beers at PB+M." 

What's your current drink of choice?

"That's like picking your favorite child. When I'm not drinking delicious dark beers or IPAs, I tend to drink wine or good ol' Vitamin "R," aka Rainier. 

Favorite movie?

"The Big Lebowski"

What don't you serve?

"Food! You can bring your own food (and children) in to the taproom but we don't have a kitchen." 

What's on your radar at Pacific Brewing & Malting Co.?

"We just brewed a Belgian Golden Ale that will be out in a couple weeks, and the next seasonal after that is going to be a Saison." 

PACIFIC BREWING & MALTING CO., 4-10 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, 610 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.383.2337

LINK: Meet other South Sound servers

January 19, 2015 at 10:34am

A Sip of Community: Tacoma's Odd Otter Brewing offers novel experience

Odd Otter Brewing Company awards discounts to active-duty military.

In the orchestra of craft beers, the Odd Otter Brewing Company sits first chair. And those chairs happen to sit in an historic building in downtown Tacoma. Wedged in at 716 Pacific Ave., the building's history and the beers served therein create a sense of connectivity to the community.

"Tacoma is just a great place to be in," says John Hotchkiss, one of the Otter's five founders. "We believe in the unifying power of beer; it brings people together and builds a sense of community as this building has over the years."

Owen McGrane, Pablo Monroy, Derrick Monroy and Teresa Smith are the other founders.

Built in the late 1880s, the building has been home to a number of enterprises, to include a Sailors and Soldiers Club during the Great War and a USO Center that admitted African-American soldiers during the Second World War.

Talk about an historical antecedent to building community, T-town's community.

What's more, the building's hosting of organizations supportive of the military is stunning, simply, stupendously serendipitous.

Three of the company's founders - Hotchkiss, McGrane and Pablo Monroy - possess military backgrounds.

And then there's the symphony of beers that wait to play upon the palate.

McGrane is an award-winning home brewer with a decade of experience. According to Hotchkiss, McGrane's skills are evident in every sip of the 15 varieties of beer the company offers.

"The beer we brew is created to capture an experience," Hotchkiss explains.

Much like music captures your mind and soul, Odd Otter's beer captures your palate and heart.

In offering their patrons something unique in the enjoyment of beer, the company offers a tasting room and five-ounce classes with which to sample the various brews.

What's more, if so inclined - bring food. Odd Otter doesn't house a kitchen, but allows outside food.

Like the otter, the gestures of sampling a brew with a bit of pizza are refreshingly playful and fun and nice.

"As to the ‘Odd' in our name, it captures the different approach it take to experience we offer in beer," says Hotchkiss.

Again, talk - and drink - about community. The harmony is overwhelming - much like an orchestra seated and performing in the middle of Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma.

To learn more about this orchestra of craft beers in a building cloaked in history, visit www.oddotterbrewing.com.

ODD OTTER BREWING COMPANY, 11-2 a.m. Thursday-Sunday, 716 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.209.7064

Filed under: New Beer Column, Tacoma,

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Served, a blog by the Weekly Volcano, is the region’s feedbag of fresh chow daily, local restaurant news, New Beer Column, bar and restaurant openings and closings, breaking culinary news and breaking culinary ground - all brought to the table with a dollop of Internet frivolity on top.
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Recent Comments

sp12 said:

I couldn't help that you praise Aaron for things like not blowing up when Padma criticized his...

about Aaron's Behavior: Following former Dirty Oscar's chef Aaron Grissom on "Top Chef"

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I agree with you. I'm watching the series and glad that he got eliminated. Would I eat his food?...

about Aaron's Behavior: Following former Dirty Oscar's chef Aaron Grissom on "Top Chef"

Ricotubbs said:

Best server in Tacoma. And I love the food at Stink!

about Served Blog Banner Girl: Q&A with server Gillian Nordlund of STINK Cheese and Meat

Rick Hamell said:

Sounds pretty fun! Looks like I missed it by one weekend though. :(...

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Bill Board said:

Finally a review I can get behind... I've always wanted to check this place out & now I'm sold!!

about Eat This Now: Radiator Whiskey Tots