Denizens of the dark invade Wingman Brewers

By Ron Swarner on November 12, 2014

For Tacomans, there is something really cool about traveling through the streets at night, because once you arrive at your destination, you feel like an unstoppable force. You put your tire jack in the car, venture out into the dark, have your spine shattered by numerous potholes and finally you arrive alive - at your favorite bar. This is an unparalleled driving victory.

With shorter days and colder weather, Wingman Brewers wants to reward you for your heroics. The Tacoma Dome District brewery knows you need a malty, roasty, chocolatey barrel-aged hug - the warmest snuggle-buddy in all the land. High alcohol winter beers inside a brewery, with the Tacoma Link and Uber car service mere seconds away, most certainly will wash away axel repair anxiety.

In celebration of their Stratofortress and Bourbon Barrel Stratofortress Belgian Strong Dark Ale style beer releases, Wingman has created a mini festival of darkness and deliverance. In addition to Team Stratofortress, and hauling out its other dark beer goodness, Wingman has invited a few fellow "HELLO!" winter beers - some equally dark and strong as the Stratofortresses. Wingman calls the event Denizens of the Dark.

From 2-11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, Wingman will offer 16 dark ones: Stratofortress, Bourbon Barrel Stratofortress, Jack' o Fortress, Chocofortress, Bourbon Barrel Big Baby Flat Top, Bourbon Barrel P-51 Porter, Oak Aged Heavy Bevvy Scotch Ale, 2013 Stratofortress (limited bottle release) as well as Lost Abbey Bourbon Angels Share, Alesmith Speedway Stout, 2013 Dogfish Head World Wide Stout, 2013 The Bruery 6 Geese-A-Laying, Epic Brewing Big Bad Baptist, North Coast Old Stock, Pelican Barrel Aged Poire and 2013 Scaldis Noel.

Expect the dark, potent and complex Nov. 22. Some winter beers incorporate spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg; others add coffee, molasses or chocolate; and many are aged in bourbon or wine barrels, creating a soft mouthfeel and adding notes of whiskey and vanilla. The one thing that all winter beer brewers seem to agree on is a high-alcohol level. You might feel like puffing out your chest after successfully navigating the streets to reach Wingman Brewers, but go easy on these very strong beers. Hitting a pothole the next day will be excruciating after the morning's Death Bongo Band five-hour concert in your head.

DENIZENS OF THE DARK, 2-11 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 22, Wingman Brewers, 509 1/2 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma, $7 gets you a commemorative Cthulhu snifter and your first pour, 253.256.5240