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March 25, 2015 at 11:44am

Eat This Now: Spicy Meatballs and Fried Cheese

Taste fried Mahon cheese at the new El Tufo in Tacoma. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

Stink Tank, the wine bar attached to STINK Cheese & Meat in Tacoma's Triangle District, has changed its moniker ... well sort of. The space is now called El Tufo, which means "stink" in Spanish. Though the establishment has already gained a reputation for its fabulous wines paired with exquisite eats, the menu will now focus on Spanish wines and domestic varietals paired with a diverse menu of tapas, aka small plates.

After tasting the Tufo treats, I can attest to the small plates big flavor. Among their list of eats you'll discover a Spanish tortilla, seasonal flatbread, mushroom empanada and chorizo stuffed calamari - all priced practically and perfectly sized for couples (or more) to share. My Eat This Now recommendation is the Spicy Meatballs ($5) AND the Fried Cheese ($5). Let's face it, I'm a fat kid at heart and a one two punch of meat and cheese is perfection in my book.

The meatballs are a beef and pork combo served with a generous amount of spicy tomato sauce - piping hot and juicy while the sauce lent the perfect warmth, heat wise, to each bite. It's the type of heat that's not hot for the sake of being hot but builds as you nibble.

The fried cheese was just plain pure decadence. Mahon cheese that is breaded and fried in Spanish oil then served on a bed of tomato sauce featured the perfect light crispy exterior to the gooey, cheese while the tomato sauce is superb. Crushed tomatoes, seasoned just right and far better than any marinara you get with other fried cheese options in town.

Benjamin Franklin said, "Wine is constant proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Whatever your religious background this is something I can get behind. Go forth and be happy.

EL TUFO, 4-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 630 Saint Helens Avenue, Tacoma, 253.426.1347

October 21, 2014 at 8:09am

Flavor - a night of international dining to benefit Tacoma Community House

Try authentic Salvadorean food at El Pulgarcito in Lakewood.

Stanley & Seafort's, Pacific Grill, C.I. Shenanigan's, The Lobster Shop - or maybe even The Pine Cone Cafe - you've already got your favorite Pierce County dining out spots. Maybe it's close to your house, and maybe it says something about who you are. Or, maybe you prefer to stay away from obscene sausages, lutefisk dinners, balut eggs, pig uterus in tom yum soup and scary fish faces.

The good folks at Tacoma Community House are well aware of Pierce County's melting pot. TCH provides programs and services to immigrants, refugees and others to help strengthen their lives and help them become a part of the community.

Of course, TCH's efforts take money.

Flavor, a night of dining at immigrant-owned and immigrant-supporting restaurants has reached its second birthday Thursday, Oct. 23 with participating restaurants kicking back 25 percent of food sales to TCH. Participating restaurants include Adriatic Grill, Aviateur French Diner, Doyle's Public House, El Pulgarcito, Gateway to India, Il Lucano Ristorante, Indochine, Karma Fine Indian Cuisine, Pho King, Southern Kitchen and others. See the full list of participating restaurants here. This year's participating restaurants have a more international presence than last year, although Flavor still leaves out the flavors from Tacoma's Lincoln District and Lakewood's International District.

Tacoma Community House has become like a coach for food introverts, inviting you to embrace the unusual, the special and the unfamiliar in Pierce County's food scene. In other words, kiss the damn scary fish face.

Mark Oct. 23 on your calendar as the night you stand up for immigrants while sitting down for an adventurous meal.

September 23, 2014 at 11:38am

Oktoberfest South Sound 2014: Calendar full of beer, dinners, music and dogs ...

Madchen reminded us in August that Little Creek Casino's Oct. 19 Oktoberfest will end the Bavarian season in the South Sound. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

We have the Fourth of July, Mexico has Dia de los Muertos, and Ireland has St. Patrick's Festival. When it came time for Germany to claim a holiday, they figured, why not just celebrate beer for a month? Touché, Germany. Since most of us can't make our way to Munich's massive Oktoberfest festival this year, giant halls, restaurants, boaters, bars and such in the South Sound are bringing Oktoberfest to us.

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 24

Wh-wh-WA? Pint Defiance has taken the "O" out of Oktoberfest and kicked it back to Oregon, or something. Wednesday night, the specialty beer store and tap will host (WA)ctoberfest, a celebration of Washington state craft beer. On tap will be Wingman Fresh Hop Northwest Pale, Boundary Bay Pilsner, Black Raven Hochtoberfest, Georgetown Tomtoberfest, Fremont Harvest Ale, Elysian Dark O' The Moon Pumpkin Stout and Schilling Spiced Apple Cider. Don't be surprised if you see a new limited edition Pint Defiance pint glass in the haus. 5-7 p.m., no cover, Pint Defiance, 2049 Mildred St. W., Tacoma, 253.302.4240

FRIDAY, SEPT. 26

German music and food - and pizza. That's right; Katie Downs hosts The Gary Hausam Band, offers a special German menu and continues to serve cheesy, thick triangles of goodness at its Oktoberfest. Better yet, Full Sail will sail into the waterfront restaurant with ample LTD Lager. Of course, LTD means limited edition. Since 2006, the Hood River brewery has changed the recipe, showcasing an original, Bavarian-style lager every year. In 2014, Recipe No. 7 is back, which means an Oktoberfest with imported Czech Saaz and Yakima Sterling hops. Tip one now because this three-time gold medal winner won't see October. 6-9 p.m., no cover, Katie Downs, 3211 Ruston Way, Tacoma, 253.756.0771

SEE ALSO: Oktoberfest Dinner at the Hotel Murano

SATURDAY, SEPT. 27

The Red Hot will celebrate its Oktoberfest with a nod to acclaimed Bavarian brewery Ayinger Brauerei, located in the town of Aying, just a few miles north of the Munich area. Ayinger beers are characterized by a pronounced maltiness (in flavor and aroma) - accenting more than many of the beers from the major Munich breweries. Ayinger uses a significant portion of locally-grown barley and wheat to produce their beers. The water comes from the brewery's own well, and the hops come from the famous Hallertau region of north-central Bavaria, and Spalt, an area near Nuremberg. 11 a.m. to close, no cover, The Red Hot, 2914 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.779.0229

Fish Brewing Company's 16th Annual Oktoberfest will pack their downtown Olympia brewery. There you'll find all the things you've come to expect from a Fish Oktoberfest: down home, ole' fashion, ass kickin' southern-roots band The Slow Rollers and high energy funk, soul and sexy The Brown Edition. Live German oom-pah bands would only squash the groove. These two bands will pump out tunes to incite beer guzzling, various delicious wursts (there is no such thing as too much wurst), a sneak peek at the Hobbit beer series and an obscene amount of Leavenworth Biers Oktoberfest. 4-10 p.m., $25-$30 at brownpapertickets.com, Fish Brewing Company, 515 Jefferson St., Olympia, fishbrewing.com

MONDAY, SEPT. 29-SATURDAY, OCT. 4

The Harmon Brewery & Eatery and the Harmon Tap Room present a week's worth of Oktoberfest fun. Click here for details.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 1

Tides Tavern has been pouring craft beer since my boat shoes matched my Flock of Seagulls hair color. I've never attended their O-fest, but I'll endorse anything these folks do, sight unseen. From the day's opening, the waterfront restaurant will pair food with Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen, one of the most highly-respected märzens. An Ayinger rep will be in the haus from 5-8 p.m. 11 a.m. to close, no cover, Tides Tavern, 2925 Harborview Dr., Gig Harbor, 253.858.3982

FRIDAY, OCT. 3-SUNDAY, OCT. 5

SEE: Oktoberfest Northwest at the Washington State Fairgrounds

FRIDAY, OCT. 4

It's that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the air is crisper and the schnitzel is shooting out of tanks. Yep, you guessed it. It's Oktoberfest time at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The JBLM Oktoberfest celebration begins at 11 a.m. at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fest Tent. The event, lasting until 10 p.m., will feature German-themed music, entertainment, food and brew. The Oktoberfest celebration is free to attend. The menu at JBLM's Oktoberfest celebration will feature schnitzel, bratwurst, potato salad and sauerkraut, just to name a few items. Meals can be bought a la carte starting at $2 or as a menu starting at $9. Maisel's Weisse, Spaten Lager, Veltins and Zunft will be available for purchase. A variety of live bands will take the stage throughout the day. The Bonnie Birch Bavarian Band kicks things off at 11 a.m., ringing in Oktoberfest with traditional accordion and tuba music. The day's soundtrack will also feature polka bands and the Spazmatics, the popular ‘80s cover band. Kids may enjoy foam sword fights, pony and hay rides and a climbing wall. Adults will compete in a keg toss, stein hoist and tricycle race. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., free admission, MWR Fest Tent, behind Bowl Arena Lanes on Liggett Avenue, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, jblmmwr.com/oktoberfest

SEE ALSO: YachtoberFest at the The Foss Waterway Esplanade

SATURDAY, OCT. 5        

Summer is coming to an end, but it's far from the end of park season. Soundview Veterinary Hospital in Tacoma hosts their version of bark in the park when its Dogtoberfest runs wild in Kandle Park. The event will feature a costume contest, obstacle course, hot dogs and refreshments, and other activities to keep both you and your pet entertained. Leashed, licensed and well-behaved pets welcome. Bonus: The Copper Door will have a booth in the park, handing out coupons for discounted 7 Seas Brewing and Wingman Brewers harvest beers back at its 12 N. Tacoma Ave. store. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., free admission, Kandle Park, 2323 N. Shirley, Tacoma, 253.759.4001

FRIDAY, OCT. 10

You've attended Bayview School of Cooking's "Fridays Uncorked" nights. You've casually sipped five or so wines as you gazed out at beautiful Budd Bay. Feeling good, you mosied downstairs to the Thriftway grocery store and bought five Tyson Breaded Chicken dinners, telling your kids to cook it and like it. Oct. 10, the wine series goes Oktoberfest as five German beers and German-style beers will be poured for $5. Also expect oom-pah music, pumpkin carving demonstration and customer judging of employee carved pumpkins. Does Tyson make schnitzel? 5-7 p.m., $5, $7 for paired plates, Bayview School of Cooking, 516 W. Fourth Ave., Olympia, 360.754.1448

SATURDAY, OCT. 11
Top Rung Brewing Co. in Lacey will take its operation outside, hosting an outdoor beer garden for a fall party. Founders Casey and Jason are Thurston County firefighters, so if they don't want to call it an Oktoberfest celebration, then it's cool with me. Expect food, games and their new 360 Red Ale. Besides the area code in Lacey, 360 also has a firefighter meaning: a complete 360-degree assessment must be completed in order to size up an incident. I know I'll be sizing up the 360 Red Ale, made with Red X, 2-Row, Oats and Chocolate malts, Cascade and Nugget hops and American yeast. It rings in at 5.8 percent ABV. 2-9 p.m., no cover, Top Rung Brewing Co., 8343 Hogum Bay Lane NE, Lacey, 360.239.3043

SATURDAY, OCT. 18

Wingman Brewers will host a pumpkin and Oktoberfest party with the release of an Oktoberfest and several pumpkin beers. 509 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma, 253.651.4832

SUNDAY, OCT. 19

The most memorable sight during this year's Olympia Brew Fest? Most guys would stumble over their words, but eventually admit it was the two young lasses dressed in Bavarian attire promoting the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest at Little Creek Casino. The guys have the pictures to prove it. The Shelton casino will have "authentic" German cuisine and more than 30 varieties of beer from around the world as well as wines and spirits. A traditional keg-tapping ceremony will be held at noon followed by live entertainment! Admission is $10 per person and includes a souvenir beer mug and 10 tasting tickets. Noon to 8 p.m., $10, Little Creek Casino, 91 W. State Route 108, Shelton, 800.667.7711

September 22, 2014 at 10:38am

Oktoberfest South Sound 2014: How to mix beer, music and running and get away with it

Run with an empty stein then fill it with beer at the finish line at the 5K Stein Dash Oct. 5. Photo courtesy of steindash5k.com

For so many South Sounders, autumn = race season, and that means on any weekend day, you're likely to be passed-on-the-left by hordes of runners in training.

But all that personal-best pressure can take the joy out of running. Festivals, Inc. wants to get back to the roots of the individual sport. Stein Dash is a German-themed 5K that focuses on the fun of running and, just as important, the fun of the after-race.

The 5k Stein Dash combines racing with beer.

The race kicks off the third day of Festivals' Oktoberfest Northwest, the three-day Bavarian celebration at the Western Washington Fair and Events Center. Celebrating its 10th year at the fairgrounds, the huge Oktoberfest celebration kicks off at 6:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3 with the taping of the Oktoberfest Firkin. At 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, runners will run around the fairgrounds with a provided beer stein finishing at the Oktoberfest Northwest Festhalle Biergarten where those 21 and older may fill the steins with Warsteiner Dunkel, Warsteiner Oktoberfest, Hofbrau Oktoberfest, Trumer Pils, Hacker Pshor Weiss and Snoqualmie Harvest Moon, the featured beers of the festival. Washington Hills wine will be available for weirdos. Kids may fill up in the Root Beer Garden.

Race fees are $35 until Oct. 1 when online registration closes. You will pay $40 the day before at race packet pick-up. If your Hacker Pshor Weiss calorie intake the day before has you worried, show up with $45 Sunday morning. All 5K participants receive an authentic one of a kind logo'd 5k Beer Stein and allowed to party at Oktoberfest Northwest Sunday for no additional fee.

The German theme doesn't apply just to the beer. Tacoma European restaurants Bruno's and Café Europa will keep drinkers fed all three days with schweinebraten, pyzy, curry wurst, cabbage rous, kartoffelpuffer, bierocks, goulash soup, schnitzel sandwiches, to name a few dishes. Food trucks Zeiglers German Haus, Kaleenka piroshkies and Gutes Essen Haus will add more brats and schnitzels. Shishkaberry's will dip fruit in chocolate and stab it with a stick.

The Stein Dash is one of many kitschy events to keep you entertained throughout the weekend. The hilarious wiener dog races are back, including stupid wiener tricks. The Enzian Schuhplattler dancers will spin around a May Pole. Pumpkins can be decorated. The German Corner shopping mall will outfit you in lederhosen. Manuela Horn, aka Austrian Amazon, will yodel, dance, throw out one-liners and plant eyes in her cleavage Friday and Saturday night. Kids can pound nails with hammers all weekend. Ja, families are welcomed in the Festhalle Biergarten until 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and all-day Sunday. Teens might scoff at the oom-pah bands, which dominate the entertainment stages during family hours.

Oh, to be in that great mass of humanity, dancing to the throbbing polka beats, scarfing down sausage, kraut, and strudel, and most of all, imbibing from the holy grail ... er, stein. It can be yours Oct. 3-5 in Puyallup.

As always, you get bonus coolness points for going in costume, especially if you run with an empty stein.

OKTOBERFEST NORTHWEST, noon to midnight Friday, Oct. 3, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Oct. 4, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, Washington State Fair and Events Center, Ninth and Meridian, Puyallup, free admission noon to 3 p.m. Friday, $10 Friday after 3 p.m. and all-day Saturday, $5 Sunday, oktoberfestnw.com

LINK: More 2014 Oktoberfest events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 18, 2014 at 3:09pm

Oktoberfest South Sound 2014: Ahoy YachtoberFest Tacoma!

Hydroplane Champion Chip Hanauer will be front and center at the Yachtoberfest event in Tacoma Oct. 4. Photo courtesy of theboatguy.com

Given the Teutonic propensity with precision, you'd think the Germans would have at least gotten the name for Oktoberfest right. Why not call it "Septemberfest" or "Autumnfest," since the annual celebration takes place primarily during the month of September? Then again, Oktoberfest just has a nice ring to it, a yearly reminder that fall is once again with us, and that it's OK to eat hot bratwurst and drink cold beer in funny leather shorts. If historical precedence is your cup of tea, you'll be happy to know that the Germans have been indulging in Oktoberfest for more than 200 years now.

Actually, I can't really blame the Germans for mislabeling Oktoberfest, since they don't even call the event Oktoberfest. They prefer the term "Wies'n." Why Wies'n? Long before beer, bratwurst and lederhosen became Oktoberfest icons, Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. This was back in October 1810. Being a people person, Prince Ludwig (who would eventually become crazy King Ludwig I) invited the entire city of Munich to attend his nuptials, held on the lush fields in front of Munich's city gates. Following the happy affair, those fields were re-named "Theresienwiese (Theresa's fields), after the crown princess. In time though, the locals seemed to have forgotten Theresa and shortened the name of the fields where Oktoberfest is held simply to "Wies'n." And that's how the folks in Munich refer to their annual beer and brats bash.

This year marks the 181st Oktoberfest in Munich. And in case you're questioning my math, know that although the first Oktoberfest was held in 1810, the Germans were forced to cancel their annual beer fest many times due to war, cholera and once, inflation. But present-day Oktoberfest is alive and well. Indeed, it's the single largest festival in the world. Over the duration of the two-week celebration - which this year runs Sept. 20 through Oct. 5 - Munich's Oktoberfest will host some six million visitors. That's a lot of suds. But what really surprises me is that more than one million litres of non-alcoholic beer is consumed. This, apparently, by designated drivers. In addition, half a million pork sausages, half a million chickens and 59,000 pork knuckles were eaten at last year's Oktoberfest, not to mention 87 oxen.

Although the scale is a little less majestic than Munich's, you don't have to bolt to Bavaria to experience the spirit of Oktoberfest - you can enjoy our own subdued version of Wies'n right here in the South Sound. While Seattle's big Fremont Oktoberfest is this weekend, as is the big one in Monroe, and Bavarian village Leavenworth hosts its celebration the first three weekends in October, the South Sound has ample Oktoberfest celebrations on the docket. Let's take a look at one ...

>>> Photo credit: michaeljordanphoto.com

YachtoberFest

I'm launching my Oktoberfest quest with the first annual boats, beers and bratwurst event, YachtoberFest. If you haven't seen the University of Puget Sound sorority sister holding a stein along the Thea Foss Waterway promotion, then by some miracle the Tacoma Waterfront Association has you on their 20th tier list. The 50 or so slated sisters in lederhosen earning their community service will be one of the many highlights of the one-day celebration combining yachts, beer and German-inspired food on the Historic Thea Foss Waterway esplanade Saturday, Oct. 4. My guess, the sisters serving the bratwursts are the pledges.

"The whole idea was born with The Boat Guy," says Philip Panagos, owner of The Social Bar and Grill, and the man behind YachtoberFest's beer and food organization. "The Boat Guy is a web series by Sam Bisset that stars hydroplane champion Chip Hanauer promoting boating during the off-season, a time when Northwesterners have their boats in storage. They made a bunch of fun videos, building around the personality of Chip Hanauer, who, by the way, is a really cool, funny guy. Anyway, Sam and Chip hosted a February event in Poulsbo, and the folks at the Foss Harbor Marina where there, too. Realizing Tacoma could benefit from a similar event, they approached Hanauer. A couple meetings here at The Social and Oktoberfest was hatched from this group to be an Oktoberfest-style gathering at the Tacoma waterfront to benefit Tacoma Waterfront Association.

Since those early meetings, KOMO has picked up The Boat Guy, and the word is a national production company is looking at it, too. Hanauer and The Boat Guy machine will be a big part of YachtoberFest Oct. 4, leading the keg tap at 11:45 a.m.

Besides his connections in the food and beer industry, Panagos was a natural selection to head the food and drink since YachtoberFest will be held in front of his restaurant, next to the Museum of Glass.

"My two restaurants will be doing food," explains Panagos. "We'll serve three different bratwursts out of The Social, and a German-inspired pizza from Paesan Kitchen and Bar. Fleischkuechle, the German food truck, will be parked at the event. Hess Bavarian pretzels will make the drive from Lakewood. Choripan By Asado at the Museum of Glass will be open during the event, too.

>>> Photo credit: michaeljordanphoto.com

Currently 15 breweries, three wineries and a couple cideries are on board. Panagos would like to have 20. A few he hoped would be there, such as Narrows Brewing and Pacific Brewery & Malting Company, had scheduling conflicts. The breweries who will be pouring their Oktoberfest beers, harvest ales, pumpkin stouts and other brews mostly reside in Washington state. Sierra Nevada will make the trip up from California. Seattle's Two Beers Brewing and its sister business Seattle Cider Co. will both pour at YachtoberFest. Other confirmed breweries throwing on the lederhosen include 7 Seas Brewing, Harmon Brewing Co., Wingman Brewers, Odd Otter Brewing Co., Mac & Jack's, Georgetown Brewing, Northwest Brewing, Snoqualmie Falls Brewing, Boundary Bay Brewery, Iron Horse Brewery, American Brewing and Full Sail. Several South Sound and Seattle breweries are still checking schedules.

Proceeds from YachtoberFest will benefit the Tacoma Waterfront Association, the Tacoma Youth Marine Foundation and Citizens for a Healthy Bay, all three non-profits have nothing but Tacoma's waterfront on the brain at all times. As of this writing, $4,000 in pre-sales has been collected and 40-50 boat slips have been sold (boaters are invited to a VIP party Oct. 3). The goal is to host 2,000 people drinking beer, eating German food and doing the schuhplattler dance in front of tropical rock musician Dave Calhoun, Rock n Roll Magic and Southern rockers from Puyallup, SweetKiss Momma.

"An Oktoberfest event makes sense," says Panagos. "The Tacoma Craft Beer Festival proved people would travel to this area to drink beer, Brew Five Three went well, farmers markets do well and there isn't a big, one-day Tacoma Oktoberfest celebration."

The event will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, stretching along the esplanade from the Museum of Glass to the entry of the Foss Harbor Marina, rain or shine. It's a 21 and older only event with controlled exit and entry points. Tickets are $12 advance and $20 at the gate. Beverage tickets will be five for $10. Each ticket is worth a 5-ounce beer pour; two tickets will put a 12-ounce pour. Limited edition commemorative beer steins and apparel will be available for purchase.

Moorage will be available at Delin Docks, Dock Street Marina, Foss Harbor Marina and the Foss Waterway Seaport. Click here to secure moorage. Boat shuttles will run from Johnny's Dock and Rock The Dock Bar and Grill. A shuttle from the Tacoma Dome parking lot is in the works.

"Traditional Oktoberfest costumes are encouraged," says Panagos.

While Oktoberfest celebrations don't generally involve water, unless Matthew McConaughey surfaces in a German submarine, YachtoberFest should be a Hupen, or "hoot."

LINK: More 2014 Oktoberfest events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

Filed under: New Beer Column, Tacoma, Ethniche,

May 22, 2014 at 9:19am

Aviateur Parisian Diner is open for lunch in downtown Tacoma

Treat yourself to Les Croques at Aviateur Parisian Diner in Tacoma. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

With the recent news that TWOKOI Japanese Cuisine and Steel Creek American Whiskey Co. cut back their lunch service, thoughts of employees huddled in their cubicles during the noon hour sent shivers down my spine. Downtown Tacoma certainly doesn't need less people walking the streets. And what of a domino effect? One restaurant closes mid-day, then another, and suddenly every restaurateur want to sleep in wants.

Good news. Downtown Tacoma's new Parisian dinner, Aviateur, has been opened for lunch the last two weeks.

Weekly Volcano food critic Jackie Fender says the French restaurant is worthy.

May 1, 2014 at 10:35am

In search of Mexican craft beer in Tacoma

Connecticut-based Drinks Americas imports Cerveceria Minerva's Day of the Dead beer to a couple local beer stores.

"Cinco de Mayo," Spanish for "the sink is full of mayonnaise." OK, not really. I made that up, which is only fitting, because the idea that May 5 is a big holiday celebrated throughout Mexico is also made up. This yarn was spun by some PR hack for Corona beer back in the '80s, when the company was looking for a way to get Americans to drink more beer.

Since this is not an especially hard task, they didn't work especially hard on the idea, not even hard enough to note that Mexico's real Day of Independence is Sept. 16. Cinco de Mayo commemorates The Battle of Puebla, where Mexicans defeated the French army, and in Mexico is mostly a regional holiday. Ordinarily, Americans don't cotton to anyone except Oliver Stone replacing facts with fabrications, but in this case, with beer consumption at stake, we were more than willing to overlook a little lie.

So here we are, decades later, stuffing our faces with nachos (another American invention) and toasting each other with mugs of Corona as we celebrate the truly American tradition of making up holidays to boost sales.

Holy mole! Why celebrate the fake holiday by drinking tasteless beer? It's the perfect opportunity to celebrate Mexican culture and drink Mexican craft beer.  Mexico's beer market is the 5th largest in the world by volume: 1.77 billion gallons per year to be exact. Certainly beer-loving Tacoma has a few Mexican craft beer bottles ready for Monday's holiday.

OK, a little research proves grabbing a craft beer created South of the Border might be a challenge. Apparently, of those billions of gallons that are exported - 58 percent of it is Anheuser Busch (Modelo, Corona, Dos Equis) and 41 percent of it is Heineken (Tecate, Sol) - (divide number x by number y, then multiply by 100) that leaves a mere one percent for other Mexican brewers, fighting for space on shelves and taps.

I'm still up for the challenge.

Read more...

Filed under: Ethniche, New Beer Column, Tacoma,

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