Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

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March 31, 2015 at 12:18pm

Beer Guy Garage Sale to benefit Citizens for a Healthy Bay

Will 7 Seas Brewing swag created by Kotis Design be available for purchase at The Swiss April 4? Drop by between noon and 5 p.m. and find out. Photo courtesy of kotisdesign.com

In 1976, most of America may have been focused on the bicentennial, but for me, I sunk into my lime green beanbag and watched Star Trek. I would yell at the red-shirted extras to stay alive aboard the USS Enterprise. During the AMC Pacer commercials, I'd study my Star Fleet Technical Manual.

In 2015, most of America may be focused on the minimum wage issue, but for me, I sink into my International Caravan Bali 42-inch Rattan Papasan Chair with Cushion and read beer release stat sheets. I yell at Russian River Brewing to send Pliny the Younger to my planet. DuringMcConaughey's Lincoln Motor Company commercials, I'd study my Cicerone Certification Program study guide.

Star Trek geeks and beer geeks share similar traits, and not just the prevalence of T-shirt wearing guys with beards, albeit the latter don free beer fest volunteer T-shirts. Both sets of geeks spot a warren of minutia and terminology that can make even a Romulan Ale brewer's head spin. Both possess an enormous collection of related schwag. And, there's a lot of yelling when someone drops a Tribble/beer.

The kings of the beer geeks, in my book, are the brewery sales representatives, or beer reps. It's their job to know beer inside and out. They need the knowledge to have intelligent conversations with their boss, the brewery owner, the brewery's brewmaster, as well as the distributor who, er, distributes their beer, the establishments that sell their beer and the consumers who attended their brewery promotions - the people who matter the most.

It's a complicated system, thanks to the U.S. government. You see, the 21st Amendment, which ended Prohibition in the U.S., gave the states the authority to regulate alcohol within their borders. Almost every state, including Washington state, adopted the "three tier system" as the legal structure in which alcohol sales must occur within the state. In a nutshell, this means that a brewer/importer can only sell to a wholesaler, who can only sell to a retailer, who can only sell to consumers. It also requires legal separation between each of these tiers. In other words, a company can't brew beer and own a bar (unless there's an exception such as for brewpubs). Many wholesalers are large companies that own refrigerated warehouses and a fleet of refrigerated trucks. Their focus is on selling and delivering the beer brands they represent to retailers. The beer rep is responsible for the promotion and sales of a beer in a territory, working hand-in-hand with all parties previously mentioned.

How geeky are beer reps? When he's not out repping San Francisco brewery 21st Amendment to Washington state establishments Colin Harvin cellars beer and trades beer with other fellow beer geeks, that is when he's not searching for rarities on his phone. Eugene's Hop Valley Brewing rep Rob Brunsman sleeps in his Hop Valley vest and will chat with every single person, even if there are hundreds, during his promotions. Although he can't grow a beard, and always smells like beer (according to Brunsman), Kevin Lind, rep at 7 Seas Brewing in Gig Harbor, knows the total breakdown from hops to malt to styles, and loves explaining the process.

Similar to Trekkies, beer reps also possess scads of schwag - meaning beer-related stuff, not "low-grade pot" as defined by the Urban Dictionary. The growing craft beer industry has lead to the growth of all kinds of periphery businesses, and a beer rep carts tons of his or her brewery's T-shirts, glassware, tins, inflatables, beer soap, coasters, craft beer earrings or "beerings," stickers and such around a specified territory, marketing the brewery and giving the schwag away. The paraphernalia piles up, due to overproduction, discontinued beers or brew that never made it to final production such as Puyallup Public Swimming Pool Porter, Buckley Bimbo Barleywine, Fuzzy Mouthfeel Peach Lambic or maybe even Eatonville Enigma Brown Something-or-other. Open up a beer reps' garage and you'll see an amassment of beer posters, buttons, bottle openers, life-size cardboard replications of brewers, drum kits made out of wooden barrels, beer can bracelets, iPhone covers that resemble frothy beer mugs and, in front of the pile, stands an angry spouse.

Marine View Beverage distributors came up with an idea to rid the reps of all their brewery's booty, and simultaneously support the effort to clean up, restore and protect Commencement Bay, its surrounding waters and natural habitat. The afternoon of Saturday, April 4, The Swiss Restaurant and Pub will host the Beer Guy Garage Sale, the opportunity to furnish home bars and man cave's with the leftover beer schwag from beer reps.

"We're combining two of Tacomans' favorite things - beer and the Bay," says Ian VanDooren, manager at The Swiss. "The folks from Citizens for a Healthy Bay will be on hand to collect money at the sales tables, auction off whatever really cool stuff we get - basketball hoops, hockey goals, coolers, neon signs and such - and also inform folks on their mission."

"It's pretty brilliant," says Karen Gogins, Partnerships and Communication manager with Citizens for a Healthy Bay. "This garage sale will be selling all of that leftover merchandise to raise funds for our clean water programs."

Drop by The Swiss Saturday afternoon and shop the schwag tables. Maybe you'll find that perfect beer lamp to go with your lime green beanbag or a lime green Rattan Papasan Chair.

BEER GUY GARAGE SALE, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 4, The Swiss Restaurant and Pub, 1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma, no cover, 253.572.2821

November 11, 2014 at 9:31am

Veterans Day discounts or free meals to servicemembers and veterans

National Parks and Army Corps of Engineer Recreation area are waiving entry fees for veterans, servicemembers and their families, Nov. 11. Many restaurants and retailers are also offering deals to vets and servicemembers. Photo credit: David Vergun

Many restaurants and retailers are offering Veterans Day discounts or free meals to servicemembers and veterans. Some offers even extend to family members.

National Parks and Army Corps of Engineers recreation areas are waiving entrance fees for veterans, servicemembers and their families Nov. 11.

Most commercial establishments require proof of military service such as a military ID card or current leave and earnings statement, a driver's license with veteran's designation, DD 214 discharge paperwork, a veteran's organization card or a photograph in uniform.

Many of the companies offering deals are franchises, and officials recommend calling ahead to verify participation of specific locations, along with dates and times of the offers.

The following list was primarily compiled by military community services staff members and does not claim to be all-inclusive:

Salty's at Redondo: The seafood restaurant in Des Moines offers a free slice of Salty's famous white chocolate mousse cake and a take home $20 gift card to those who have served in the U.S. armed forces.

Harmon Tap Room: The brewery in Tacoma's Stadium District honors those who served with a 25 percent discount off their meals today, with military ID.

Duke's Chowder House: The seafood restaurant will give away its ward-winning chowder to all veterans today, which happens to be International Chowder Day.

Lunchbox Laboratory: The gourmet burger chain offers a free meal up to $15 to all veterans.

Vince's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria: The Federal Way Italian joint offers a 20 percent discount to all veterans and active-duty veterans.

BJ's Restaurant: Free lunch entree or free one-topping mini pizza at dinner is being offered.

Famous Dave's: Participating locations are offering different meal deals for current or retired military on Veterans Day.

Hooters: A free meal of 10 hot wings available to military veterans and service members all day on Veterans Day at participating Hooters restaurants. A drink purchase is required.

Krispy Kreme: A free doughnut and small coffee available only at participating Krispy Kreme stores. Offer available to all active-duty, retirees & veterans on Nov. 11.

Red Robin: Free Red's Tavern Double and Bottomless Steak Fries for all Red Robin guests with a military ID or proof of service. Red Robin is also partnering with Heinz for Veterans Day to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Red Robin will also donate $10,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Little Caesars Pizza: U.S. military and vets get a free order of Crazy Bread, with proof of military status/service. Call local Little Caesars to make sure they are participating in this deal.

7-Eleven: Veterans, active members of the U.S. military and their immediate families can stop by 7-Eleven on Veterans Day and get a free small Slurpee drink. Just bring proof of current or former U.S. military service to participating stores.

Applebee Restaurants: A free meal will be provided to all active or retired service members and veterans. Proof of service is required. Locations can be checked at www.applebees.com.

Bed Bath & Beyond: Service members can receive 20 percent off their entire purchase Nov 9, 10 and 11, in-store only. U.S. military ID required at time of purchase.

Big Lots: A discount of 10 percent on entire purchase is being offered to active-duty military, Guard/Reserve, veterans, retirees and their immediate family members, with a valid ID.

Cabela's: The store's standard employee discount is offered to all U.S. military veterans, active-duty military, Guard/Reserve, law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services personnel. Discounts varies from 5 percent to 20 percent, depending on the item.

Chilis: Free entree available to veterans and active- duty military from 11 a.m. -5 p.m. on Veterans Day.

Cost Plus World Market: A discount of 20 percent off entire in-store purchase available to U.S. military. ID required at time of purchase.

Denny's: Get free all-you-can-eat pancakes at participating Denny's restaurants.

Great Clips: On Nov. 11 customers who come in for service can get a free haircut card to give to their favorite veteran. Veterans can also receive a free haircut or get the free haircut card. Haircuts are redeemable until Dec. 31.

Home Depot: Offering all active-duty personnel, reservists, retired military, veterans and their families a 10-percent discount off their purchases in honor of Veteran's Day. The offer is valid on purchases of up to $2,000 for a maximum of $200 off and is available at The Home Depot stores, The Home Depot Design Center locations, Yardbirds and EXPO Design Center(R) locations.

JC Penny: Veterans, active-duty military and family members can receive an extra 20 percent off in stores Nov. 6-11 with coupon.

Lowe's Military Discount: Lowe's Companies, Inc. will offer all active, reserve, honorably discharged, retired military personnel and their immediate family members a 10-percent discount on in-store U.S. purchases made during the Veterans Day holiday. The discount is available on in-stock and special order purchases up to $5,000. To qualify, individuals must present a valid military ID or other proof of service. Excluded from the discount are sales via Lowes.com, previous sales, and purchases of services or gift cards.

McCormick & Schmick's: Complimentary lunch or dinner is offered at participating restaurants to veterans. Verification of service is required (retired ID card or DD214). McCormick & Schmick's highly encourages reservations for the Veterans Appreciation Event as tables fill up quickly for this event each year.

Massage Envy: Participating locations in the Washington, D.C, Maryland, and northern Virginia region are offering a complimentary one-hour massage to active military, veterans and spouses on Nov. 11.

Menchie's Free Frozen Yogurt: On Veterans Day, veterans and active-duty personnel get a free 6 oz. frozen yogurt. Show a valid ID or be in uniform to receive.

National Parks: Fee-free days offered to all visitors at more than 100 national parks that usually charge entrance fees. And making the fun even more affordable, many national park concessioners are joining the National Park Service in welcoming visitors with their own special offers.

Olive Garden: Veterans and active -duty military get a free meal on Veterans Day. With proof of service, choose from a special menu with breadsticks and a choice of soup or salad.

Outback Steakhouse: As an expression of Outback Steakhouse's appreciation to s veterans and active-duty military, a free Bloomin' Onion and Coca Cola will be available to them at every Outback in the country.

Red Lobster: Free appetizer available on Veterans Day with military ID or proof of service. Vets may choose from a select list of appetizers.

Sizzler: Veterans and military can show proof of service to get a free 6-oz steak entree with the purchase of a second one.

Sports Authority: All Veterans and military personnel can stop at their local Sports Authority store to receive 15 percent off their entire purchase.

T.G.I. Friday's: Free Lunch offered for all U.S. military and veterans. Uniforms should be worn, if permitted by the service, or military ID (old or current) can be shown.

The Weekly Volcano contributed to this story.

June 6, 2014 at 7:10am

Happy National Doughnut Day!

Yay!

Today is National Donut Day. Instead of attending your company meeting about changes to your benefits that make no sense on paper, head to a doughnut shop and celebrate. 

While we usually think these national ____ days are bogus, this one involves doughnuts so we're in favor of it (plus this one actually has some history.)

So where can you get free donuts in our area?    

Krispy Kreme is the best-known national brand handing out doughnuts, no strings attached. Guests take their pick of any variety totally for free, no purchase necessary.

House of Donuts in Lakewood is handing out free doughnuts to the first 1,000 people.

What other doughnut shop is celebrating?

Filed under: Holidays, Tacoma, Deals,

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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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