Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

May 22, 2015 at 6:32am

Fremont releases Homefront IPA

Fremont Brewing releases the Homefront IPA this Memorial Day weekend in salute of our troops.  Here's how they tell the story on their web site:

Homefront IPA

A special beer created with ex-Seattle Mariner pitcher Chris Ray and Brother Phil of COTU Brewing to honor our veterans. Homefront IPA is brewed with oranges and aged on Louisville Slugger® bats donated by the legendary bat maker. This beer is our way to say thank you to our vets for their service and sacrifice. All proceeds from the sale of this beer will be donated to Hops for Heroes … Because Veterans Matter!

Down & Dirty2-Row, Crystal-60, and Aromatic malts with Cascade and Chinook hops. 
ABV: 6.2% 
Availability: Released annually on Memorial Day and here until it's gone

Filed under: Booze,

May 15, 2015 at 11:38am

Waves of chocolate and wine

Whether it's a date night or girls night out that you seek, you can hardly go wrong with wine and chocolate--the pillars of any evening on the town worth its salt. Fortunately for all, Waves of Perfection is here to turn the afternoon of May 23 into an unparalleled foodie evening.

Waves of Perfection serves as a fundraiser for the Squaxin Island Museum, which has tasked executive chef Victor Mortazavi with creating and executing an impressive lineup of wine, chocolate, crepes, cheeses and more. Crepes will be both sweet and savory. Expect such toppings as intense chocolate fudge and carmelized apples.

"Selections are really up to our executive chef and this is his creation," said Leslie Johnson, director of the Squaxin Island Tourism Department. "He’s handcrafting everything. They’ve hired a French chef and there will be several new selections made by him as well."

There will be nine wine stations with more than 100 wines to choose from between them. Mortazavi will hand select all wines to go with the food.

Along with food and wine, the museum will also host a raffle and small private auction. Raffle prizes will include seasonal goodies pertaining to all things spring and summer.

"It’s really a fun event. Usually when events end, people get up and leave, but they don’t do that at this one," adds Johnson.

The event takes place at the museum, but there will be buses running to and from the nearby Little Creek Casino’s main valet area every 10-15 minutes as well. If you don't want to worry about driving after copious wine tastings, take the bus to the casino afterward and sober up while playing the slots! The casino also has a special rate of $99 on the night of the 23rd for event attendees (limited rooms available). Mention "Waves" or show your ticket to get the discount.

Waves of Perfection takes place on May 23 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Squaxin Island Museum, 150 SE Kwuh-Deegs-Altxw, Shelton, WA 98584. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to or call 360.432.3839.

Filed under: Culinary Events,

May 8, 2015 at 7:36am

We (heart) Silver City

For those that attend Tacoma Rainiers Games in the second floor Summitt Club and Suite seats, you probably discovered Silver City's Ridgetop Red Ale on tap.  

Red Ales have that smooth taste, kind of like chocolate milk in a beer.  Not hoppy, but sans crisp too, a cold red ale is perfect for those summer nights when the temperature starts to drop.

The Ridgetop is no exception.  It makes the perfect accompaniment to baseball.

Now, enter Silver City's Ziggy Zoggy Summer Lager ... a perfect blend of fresh, crisp and just a hint of the hops.  Brewed like a German style "Zwickelbier," this beer is better for the first few innings when the sun is out and the temperature is still high.

And, best of all, Silver City isn't that far from you.  Both their restaurant and brew house are located in Kitsap County in the shadows of the great Navy ships.  The restaurant is at 2799 NW Myhre Road in Silverdale, while the brew house is at 206 Katy Penman in Bremerton.

Check them out HERE

Filed under: Booze,

May 2, 2015 at 6:18am

Got your goat?

Since the dawn of Christianity, goats — those cute, prancing Capra aegagrus hircu we love to pet at the Puyallup Fair — have walked this earth as known associates of the Devil. In the Middle Ages, goats whispered lewd innuendos into the ears of innocent Saints. Thor stabled them to drive his Chariots. Fauns and Satyrs commandeered their bodies. And Satan stole their looks for his own illustrating their horns and beards in everything from the Black Mass to the pentagram.

Goats continued into modern times to show up despairingly in our lingo and idioms. If you allow people to walk over you, you’re a goat. Be silly — you’re acting the goat. Reside in Scotland and herd goats — well, where do you think the term “horny” comes from, huh?

Then something changed. In recent years, goat’s gained back, or maybe for the first time, received some respect. Although enjoyed for centuries in other places, diners in the United States enthusiastically embraced goat cheese. Sprinkled over arugula, baked in a tomato, mashed in potatoes — white, creamy goat cheese exploded on the restaurant scene, challenging all of us to maybe give the lowly goat its due. And now, are local diners ready to take the next step and separate the sheep from the goats? Or, in other words, eat the goats?

Might I suggest an easy dip into the genre?  The Green Coconut in Lakewood offers a goat curry that is both mild on the goat but flavorful in the sauce.  This Jamaican/Asian locale serves aromatic delicacies with an extensive Caribbean menu and some of the best beans and rice in the region.

The curried goat is drenched in a yellow curry with green onions and spices - moist and rich, just watch out for the tiny goat bones littered throughout.

So South Sound, embrace the goat.  Or in other words, it's time you got your own goat.

The Green Coconut is at 8813 Edgewater Dr. SW #102, Lakewood, WA 98499. 253-473-4444.  Click here.

Filed under: Eat This Now,

April 30, 2015 at 6:09am

Three ideas for Mother's Day

Whether you are taking mom out for a Mother's Day brunch, or you're making it happen for yourself and taking the hubby and kids with you, there are three options you might like in the South Sound.  But hurry, reservations will help grease the skids.

1. Bottomless Booze?

You read that right.  Smoke+Cedar, the brainchild of local celeb chef Gordon Naccarato not only has sweeping views of green (it's on a golf course), but also all you can drink Mamosas and Bloody Mary's.  Literally, they're bottomless.  AND, the food is mighty good as well. This is not a buffet, you order finely crafted selections from an extensive menu.  Reservations are here

2. Waterfront

Looking for seascapes - sea lions frolicking and big ships steaming by?  CI Shenigans on Ruston Way gives you majestic mountains, islands and water at their gorgeous location.  This is also finely crafted food, and they do a nice brunch starting at 9:30 a.m.  Make your reservation here

3. Economical

Not everyone wants fancy, sometimes a great breakfast joint is what you and your loved ones prefer.  The Homestead in Lakewood is just the ticket.  The place is wall to wall antiques and timber with water served from mason jars and portions large and satisfying.  The Homestead is serving up a Mother's Day THREE course dinner starting at $9.99.  Click here.

Filed under: Holidays,

April 20, 2015 at 2:51pm

Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. expands production, hires Andy Kenser

Steve Navarro brewing at Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. in downtown Tacoma. Courtesy photo

Some historians estimate that man has been brewing beer for more than 8,000 years. Anthropologists have even speculated that bearded Neolithic man made the transition from a nomadic to sedentary existence in order to cultivate grain for brewing beer. The beer served as an important nutritional supplement to an otherwise limited plant-heavy diet.

In 1840, archeologists digging up ancient Sumeria (present-day Iran) found clay tablets dating back 5,000 years that are inscribed with representations of brewing activity. From the tablets, we learned that these ancient cultures used beer as a dietary staple before bread was discovered. Their beer consisted of water, barley and flavorings.

Not as ancient, but certainly well bearded, man has been brewing beer in Tacoma since the late 1800s. In 1897, Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. was established in downtown Tacoma and grew to become the second largest brewery in Washington state, until shut down by Prohibition in 1916.

Last September, head brewer Steve Navarro and financial businessman Brent Hall reopened Pacific Brewing and Malting Co., not in Tacoma's old brewery district near 25th and Jefferson, but rather down the street in the lower level of the historic Old City Hall Annex Building on Pacific Avenue, near the corner of South Seventh Street.

Even before trying a single beer, one can't help but be drawn to the photographic evidence of Pacific Brewing's history adorning the taproom walls of the new brewery. During a recent visit, I wasn't the only one taking photos of the photos.

But what are not as evident are the changes Pacific Brewing has undergone in recent weeks. Navarro and company have increased production capacity and hired veteran beverage sales rep Andy Kenser to distribute product to restaurants and bars - freeing up Navarro's time to concentrate on brewing beer, which is vital with the recent departure of assistant brewer Bethany Carlsen to the head brewer job at Gig Harbor Brewing Company.

"We doubled our capacity," Navarro told me as we strolled the halls of the Oregon Convention Center in downtown Portland during last week's Craft Brewers Conference. "We opened the brewery with four 7-barrel fermenter tanks and we just bought two 15-barrel fermenters, so we went from producing twenty-eight barrels to fifty-eight barrels. With Andy coming on, we'll be brewing more beer."

Kenser comes to Pacific Brewing & Malting from Click Wholesale Distributing where he represented hundreds of brands, including Dogfish Head and Bear Republic. Kenser started his career at Pike Brewing Company, moved to Harmon Brewing Company where he was assistant brewer, and eventually became a head brewer for RAM Restaurant and Brewery.

"Andy is my neighbor in the North Slope of Tacoma. He'd come into Pacific Brewing from time to time and really enjoyed the beer," Navarro said. "I knew we were increasing production and I simply couldn't do it all anymore - brewing, selling, delivering. I needed someone to rep our beer so I could focus on brewing. So I gave Andy a call. He's the perfect fit. Andy is well known and liked in the industry. And he's a brewer. He is going to help take us to the next level."

While Kenser will travel Washington state spreading the Pacific Brewing brand, the next level is actually firmly planted in Tacoma. Navarro and Kenser will focus heavily on saturating Tacoma with their 1897 Pale Lager, Dirty Skoog IPA, Citra Pale Ale and Grit City Porter, as well as their seasonals and specialty brews. They want to be Tacoma's beer. They want the Pacific handle to be in all four corners of the city.

As 12,000 brewers from around the world squeezed by us, Navarro and I discussed the brewery's history and success on Facebook. His historical posts drew thousands to his page well before he opened his big doors to Pacific Avenue.

"Our one-hundred-year-old history sparked more interest than we could ever imagine," Navarro explained. "Thankfully, we have been able to back it up with beers that people enjoy."

There are more beers on the way, too.

"We're coming out with a red amber called Red Front," he said. "Back in the day, Pacific Brewing had ownership interests in dozens and dozens of bars in Tacoma. They all sold Pacific beer. During Prohibition, they had to divest all their interests. One of those bars was called Red Front."

He's also brewing another IPA as part of his seven IPA series. This one will be low bitter and all-aroma, made with Amarillo and Simcoe hops. A hoppy Pilsner will follow the IPA release.

Pacific Brewing will begin bottling in May.

PACIFIC BREWING & MALTING CO., taproom open 4-10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, noon to midnight Friday and Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, 610 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.383.BEER

Filed under: New Beer Column, Tacoma,

April 20, 2015 at 10:14am

Eat This Now: The Hoffa

Find The Hoffa at The Valley down the street from the Tacoma Dome. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

It's not often I get out of the house from some grown up shenanigans but after their domination of the Slider Cook-Off at the Museum of Glass, I finally HAD to check out The Valley. Naturally I was not disappointed. I'm a huge fan of Valley co-owners Rob and Justin Peterson's sister restaurant, Eleven Eleven on Hilltop Tacoma. Also, X Group partnered with the Petersons on The Valley, and I find the X-Group's friendly takeover of the Tacoma dining scene refreshing because each concept is unique from the next so a partnership between the two is culinary rock stardom and you can consider me a groupie.

On my visit we tried a few items with my favorite being The Hoffa ($9.49). This sandwich is a matrimony made in heaven with marinara, spicy Italian link sausage, mozzarella cheese, onions, peppers and pesto all served up hot on a French roll. All of the components are perfection making this sandwich a spicy, meaty, cheesy success. Served with a side salad or Tim's Cascade Chips the sandwich is quite filling and fun because this ain't yo mama's meatball sub.

I suspect all of their sandwiches to deliver the goods and highly suggest the Bacon Gorgonzola dip to start.

Pair it all with a cold brew or cocktail and the kitschy laid back ambiance and you have yourself a Tacoma gem that's located on the path a little less traveled. 

THE VALLEY, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, 1206 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma, 253.428.4265.

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

April 13, 2015 at 3:16pm

Wingman Brewers celebrates four years in Tacoma

Wingman Brewers head brewer Ken Thoburn will be behind the bar during the Tacoma brewery's fourth anniversary celebration. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Technically, Wingman Brewers produced its first batch of beer in 2007. "The first batch of beer I ever made was a five gallon batch of beer with my fellow Wingman Derrick Moyer.  We got the itch for brewing then and opened our business with a one barrel of 31-gallon batch of beer in April of 2011 with a party at The Red Hot," remembers Wingman head brewer and co-founder Ken Thoburn.  Friends and Tacoma natives Thoburn, Moyer, Daniel Heath and Jason Sabol launched the then Tacoma small-batch brewery. The brewery's name and image is homage to Thoburn's grandfather, an artist who served in World War II in the Pacific, and painted the sides of fighter planes when he could. Today, Thoburn, Moyer and Heath pilot the business.

Now four years after their takeoff, Thoburn still walks into his brewery with a smile. "My life has changed dramatically. I love my job for the first time in my life and that goes a long way," say Thoburn. "Even on the worst of days I still count myself lucky that I get to do what I love."

Wingman Brewers has produced iconic beers with aviation names such as ACE IPA, Stratofortress Belgian Strong Ale and P-51 Porter.

"We make a whole lot of Ace IPA and P-51 Porter," says Thoburn. "The Porter takes up the most production because aside from making the normal P-51 Porter we also do a large amount of Coconut P-51 and added Peanut Butter Cup P-51 this year.  It feels like I'm making P-51 nearly every week." 

But over the past four years, Thoburn has developed a startling number of different beers. By his count, he's designed more than 90 different brews or variations.

What has been the biggest challenge since opening? 

"Day-to-day business operations are challenging," says Thoburn. "Neither my business partner, Daniel, nor I had a huge amount of business ownership experience previous to opening Wingman Brewers so it's been and continues to be a heck of a learning process."

Currently, Wingman can't keep up with the demand for their beers. They could be selling many more beers, according to Thoburn.

"Our main issues have stemmed from production and distribution," he explains. "We continue to expand our business as quickly and safely as we can, though, so hopefully we will be able to get our beer to more people soon."

Wingman's strategic agility plans calls for an expansion of their beer production, distribution and retail space.

"In what order and how quickly depends on a number of variables," adds Thoburn. "We're just trying to stay flexible and enjoy the process as much as possible. We're very grateful for all the support from local businesses that we've had and we feel very lucky to have such great beer drinkers out there enjoying our product."

And, there's plenty to enjoy Saturday when Wingman Brewers opens the hangar doors for their "Here's To 4 in 253" four-year anniversary party. Lizzie Lou's Comfort Foodtruck, special glassware and plenty of beer are on the docket.

The taplist will be as follows:

  • Ace IPA;
  • P-51 Porter;
  • Peanut Butter Cup Porter;
  • Coconut P-51 Porter;
  • Pocket Aces 2X IPA;
  • Old Plank Pils;
  • 2014 Bourbon Barrel Aged Stratofortress;
  • Bourbon Barrel Aged Big Baby Flat Top;
  • 2014 Vintage Sour Brett Berliner Weisse; 
  • Madagascar Vanilla Bean & Raisin BBFT;
  • Red Hot Chili Pepper Ace IPA;
  • and more.

Wingman will also have bottles of: 

  • Bourbon Barrel Big Baby Flat Top;
  • Bourbon Barrel Stratofortress;
  • Pocket Aces 2X IPA;
  • Peanut Butter Cup P-51 Porter;
  • Chocolate Fortress; 
  • and more.

WINGMAN BREWERS "HERE'S TO 4 IN THE 253" FOURTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, noon to close, Saturday, April 18, Wingman Brewers, 509 ½ Puyallup Ave., Tacoma, no cover, 253.256.5240

Filed under: New Beer Column, Tacoma,

April 13, 2015 at 11:18am

Eat This Now: Carbonara

A Carbonara with housemade vermicelli now graces the menu at Maxwell's Restaurant and Lounge in Tacoma. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

While innovation is often times key to culinary brilliance, sometimes one just needs to go back to the basics to concoct a truly divine dining experience. My Eat This Now recommendation this week is one such dish that can be found at Maxwell's Restaurant and Lounge as of Thursday, one of many new items to be included on their seasonal menu transition, the Carbonara.

Chef Slater keeps things nice and traditional with housemade vermicelli pasta tossed with bacon, English peas, Adam's shitake mushrooms, fresh arugula and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, then topped with a perfectly poached egg. The peas and peppery arugula add pops of green that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also delicious - while the bacon lends a nice smokiness that compliments the cheese. I think anyone's Nona would agree that this is a carbonara well executed.

Aside from the spring flavors being added to the menu, Maxwell's is also anticipating other big changes on the horizon, such as new ownership. Beti Tarantino has applied for permits for the establishment. Local folks may remember the name Tarantino from her previous culinary ventures as owner/operator of Puyallup dining destinations BAR Steaks and Spirits and Comfort Food Café.

Will the new ownership equate to a revamp to Maxwell's ambiance and menu? Only time will tell, but I for one hope Chef Slater still has the opportunity to continue highlighting his culinary prowess with dishes like this week's feature.

MAXWELL'S RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE, 4-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, 5 p.m. to midnight Saturday, 454 Saint Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.683.4115

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

April 10, 2015 at 4:18pm

Redhook Brewery introduces retro-style ESB design and new 16-ounce can

Redhook is like a hip uncle you enjoy hanging out with. Courtesy photo

Last Friday, Redhook Brewery tour guide and comedian Ben led me through Redhook's Woodinville plant and many beers. We chatted about my first Ballard Bitter in 1984, Redhook's innovative brewer Nick Crandall's pilot brew program, the brewery's history and one too many pirate jokes. If you've never toured the brewery, I highly recommend it.

Afterward, over a giant plate of nachos in their adjacent Forecasters Pub, Redhook retail supervisor, quality control taster and all-around cool person Valerie Hackett gave updates on Redhook's National Climate Declaration to reduce emissions, their partnership with Carl's Jr. to produced the Redhook Beer Battered Cod Fish Sandwich, the brewery's recent hiring of ad agency Duncan Channon and Redhook's desire to get back to their roots, with retro bottle and can releases and beer release parties.

Redhook took another step toward their goal with this news today. ...

Redhook Brewery, a Seattle staple since 1981, is unveiling a retro-style ESB design (Extra Special Bitter) today to pay homage to their brewing history in the Seattle. The throwback design will be featured on both bottle packaging as well as on a new 16 oz. can also introduced today. Both packages are available only in the Northwest.

As one of Redhook's original beers, ESB helped establish the craft brew landscape in Seattle in 1984, and remains one of the most-recognized in the brewery's portfolio. Brewed in the style of a traditional British Extra Special Bitter, Redhook ESB is distinguished by its balance of caramel malt sweetness and spicy, citrusy hops, making it a favorite among beer lovers for more than three decades.

A lot has changed in Seattle over that time, but ESB has continued to stay true. Said Redhook Brand Manager Karmen Olson, "Redhook has grown beyond what Paul Shipman, Gordon Bowker and those of us who grew up in Washington in the 80s and 90s could ever have imagined, and we wanted to reflect on the past and recognize the important role it played in Seattle's history. As the ‘Granddaddy of Craft,' ESB is a huge part of Redhook's Northwest heritage, and giving it a throwback design is one way to pay tribute to those roots."

12-oz bottles and 16-oz cans will each be available at on- and off-premise accounts in the Northwest. ABV 5.8%; IBUs 28

The Redhook ESB Retro campaign will include regional #TBT scavenger hunts, pop-up retro fitted vending machine (near the original brewery), presence at local sporting events, Washington State ferries and more.

Yes please!

Filed under: New Beer Column,

About this blog

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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