Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

January 31, 2015 at 9:41am

Head brewer Mike Davis returns to Tacoma

The view from Narrows Brewing Company's taproom is stunning. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Email Blog Post Print Blog Post Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

You can't be Mike Davis and just have a beer.

The University of California - Santa Barbara Aquatic Biology graduate became a home brewer while watching sea life on the Big Island of Hawaii. After a stint at the American Brewers Guild at Davis, California, Engine House No. 9 in Tacoma hired him as an assistant brewer. Then, the brewpubs came a calling, including the Monte Carlo Casino Brewery in Las Vegas where Davis lead the brewing crew. Back in Tacoma, the following 15 years is where Davis really made his mark in the brewing industry. He grabbed numerous Great American Beer Festival medals and multiple North American Brewers Association medals as head brewer at Harmon Brewing Co. Then, the breweries came a calling. Davis help launch Hi-Fi Brewing in Redmond as head brewer followed by a stint at Elliott Bay Brewing in Burien and, most recently, Twelve Rounds Brewing in Sacramento, California.

Still calling Steilacoom home, several weeks ago Davis and his wife dropped by Narrows Brewing Company in Tacoma for a beer.

Like I said, you can't be Mike Davis and just have a beer.

Narrows Brewing hired him on the spot to be their head brewer, replacing Joe Walts who is headed back home to Madison Wisconsin and his old job as quality control manager at Ale Asylum Brewery. Davis puts on the Narrows head brewer apron Feb. 16, four days before a big send-off party for Walts.

"Many things went into the decision, but coming back made life much simpler as my wife and puppies were still in Steilacoom," says Davis. "Twelve Rounds was struggling to get things moving, but for some reason the owners of Narrows really wanted me. That commitment is hard to refuse."

It wasn't a no-brainer from Davis as he respects and likes the Twelve Rounds ownership. He also enjoys working in sunny California. But, being close to home, and opportunity to help shape Narrows and make it a fun place to hang out was too good to pass up.

"One of the focuses will be to make the Narrows taproom THE "Other Place," meaning folks have Home, Work and the Other Place, where they can gather, relax and have fun," says Davis. "We want to be the Other Place."

He also has his eyes on the U.S. Open and the opportunities the national golf tournament will bring.

Davis mentions the beers as another reason why Narrows Brewing makes sense for him.

"Joe has done a great job; the beers are very good and consistent," Davis says. "The owners and I, with input from the distributors, will figure out IF anything should evolve. Of course, I would like to eventually put my influence of some of the beers, but the bottom line is to be successful."

The ownership would be wise to listen to Davis. Not only has he had 17 years working in the brewpub side of the business, but also he has bigger production experience, too.

"HI-FI was a good first start," he explains. "The owners are great and it was a nice challenge to help start a production facility. I also learned a lot of different approaches to brewing and running a brewery from Doug at Elliot Bay. I still love the brewpub scene, but feel more comfortable in the production side now."

Since Narrows Brewing sits on pilings above the water, just south of the Narrows Bridge, sharing space next to Narrows Marina, will Davis put his degree to good use?

"There was no mention of cleaning piers or boat hulls as part of my responsibilities," he replies, "though I have done that in a past life. Plus, I left my wet suit in California."

NARROWS BREWING COMPANY, 2-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 9007 S. 19th St., Tacoma, 253.327.1400

Filed under: New Beer Column Tacoma
comments powered by Disqus

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.

Recent Comments

Ted Smith said:

Thank you for the list of restaurants to try out. I will have to try their Mac and Cheese....

about Tournament of Mac and Cheese: It's Cheesy 16 time!

tastymakan said:

I like your post on Bakery restaurants I like ...

about Mac and Cheese Madness: The Homestead Restaurant and Bakery

Angela Whitten said:

Any Spring beers? www.myharmonyphotography.com

about Cheers to Winter Beers in Puyallup

Web Developers Delhi said:

Amazing blog and very interesting stuff you got here! I definitely learned a lot from reading...

about Eat This Now: Radiator Whiskey Tots

Why Adam? said:

Why Adam? loves the Volcano and Northwest Military! We are honored to be a part of the local...

about Why Adam? Why Odd Otter beer? Here's why: rally behind Team Knowing Stuff