Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

June 9, 2014 at 7:25am

7 local beer secrets learned at 7 Seas Brewing Life Jacket Session IPA rollout

7 Seas Brewing's Life Jacket Session IPA kept this group afloat at Cheney Stadium June 7. Photo credit: Kate Swarner

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What's better than an evening full of craft beer from 7 Seas Brewing? An evening full of the craft beer coupled with warm spring weather, minor league baseball and hanging with the best beer minds of the South Sound, including Kendall Jones of the famed Washington Beer Blog.

The Gig Harbor brewery released its summer sipper Life Jacket Session IPA during the Tacoma Rainiers game at Cheney Stadium June 7. The sold-out parking lot crowd could grab the 4.8 ABV, Amarillo and Nugget hops heavy brew at four locations in the stadium. I was fortunate to sip the crisp Life Jacket, while wearing a promotional life jacket, from a top-tier party patio with the 7 Seas crew, including owners Mike Runion and Travis Guterson, quick-witted 7 Seas "Sails Ambassador" Rob Brunsman, plus the crew from Marine View Beverage, and the ownerships from Swiss Restaurant & Pub, The Red Hot, Pint Defiance, Eleven Eleven, among others. It was a night of taps line talk, price-per-pint analysis and new ventures, broken up only with the crack of the bat.

Here are the 7 local beer secrets I learned at the 7 Seas Life Jacket Session IPA release party.

1. 7 Seas Brewing guys aren't as chill as they seem. Yes, they can kick it back, pop open their pride and joy, and discuss life at a ballpark. Guterson digs the breakfast at Art House Café. Brunsman loves to chill the woods behind his house and sip beer around his fire pit. Yet, the wheels constantly churn. 7 Seas became the first microbrewery in the state to offer 16-ounce canned beer producing the same quality, shelf life and taste as a bottle. The brewery was one of the first to pour beers in distinct can-shaped glasses. Their trademark giant red "7" tap handle has a chalkboard up the side, which I believe is another first. Runion and Guterson hold regular staff meetings, calculating every move down to the minute detail, advancing to the next level only after complete satisfaction. They don't distribute outside the state - not until they do Washington right. Judging by their wide distribution, both retail and taps, they are doing it right. Plus, they had a group of people wearing bright orange 7 Seas life jackets at the ballpark Saturday night and the crowd noticed.

>>> 7 Seas Brewing co-owner Mike Runion and The Swiss Restaurant and Pub owner Jack McQuade at the Life Jacket Session IPA rollout at Cheney Stadium June 7. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

2. it's been confirmed X Group Restaurants has teamed up with Justin and Rob Peterson to revamp the Valley Pub by the Tacoma Dome. X Group owners John Xitco and Jeff Paradise (Masa, Asado and Engine House No. 9) are fans of the Peterson's Eleven Eleven, the sandwich and drinks hangout on Hilltop Tacoma. Together, the two organizations will bring an Eleven Eleven-feel and taste to the Valley Pub. Construction is underway, including a new backbar and lowered bar top. An exterior paint job will begin soon. Their goal is to open sometime in August 2014.

3. The Red Hot will move into its new space this month. As we have watched th eprogress on Facebook, The Red Hot is moving its hot dog and craft beer tavern next door to a larger space. Subtracting the new cold storage space and general storage, its operation will expand from 1,052 square feet to close to 2,000 square feet. With the larger kitchen, the menu will expand. It will look very similar to its current interior - red and yellow colors, historical Tacoma memorabilia, taps hanging from the ceiling - but less likely patrons will be standing in the middle of the room with a pint in one hand and a tricked-out hot dog in the other. If the inspections go as planned, The Red Hot will open Wednesday, June 18 25.

4. Heathen Brewing chose Tacoma over Seattle to debut its beers in the Puget Sound area. Typically, beers entering the region launch at a Seattle venue. Heathen Brewing, a small-batch craft brewer in Vancouver, Wash., will launch Wednesday, June 11 at Pint Defiance, before making its Seattle debut the following night at Brouwer's Café. Sure, Pint Defiance co-owner Barry Watson has driven south to visit with Heathen's owner Sunny Parson three times. Still, it's awesome to taste Son of Malice Double IPA, Transgression IPA, Imbibe Session IPA, Ete Saison and Dubhgal Dry Irish Stout a day before Seattle. Drop by Pint Defiance from 5-7 p.m. and gloat.

5. I learned former U.S. Army soldier and Fircrest resident Alex Scheel hit 1,000 unique check-ins on the Untappd app while drinking at Pint Defiance last week. He's added a few since then.

6. Kendal Jones of Washington Beer Blog uses his powers for good. It's a well known fact Jones is the man when it comes to Washington state beers. He knows all and drinks all. It's refreshing to hear his mission isn't to trash breweries, but rather highlight those he feels are worthy. Today, Jones posted an update on the opening of Tacoma's Pacific Brewing & Malting Company.

7. While not beer related, Tacoma Rainiers catcher Jesus Sucre needs to hit the pavement more. He hit the fourth triple of his professional career and his first since Aug. 8, 2010 to drive in outfielder Jabari Blash in the seventh. Sucre looked gassed hunched over at third. His teammates jokingly attempted to cool off the catcher by throwing water in his direction from the dugout. Xavier Avery collected three hits, including a first-inning leadoff home run, as the Tacoma Rainiers fell to the Albuquerque Isotopes 4-2 in front of 6,324 fans at Cheney Stadium Saturday night.

>>> Thanks 7 Seas Brewing Sails Ambassador Rob Brunsman! Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

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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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