Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

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January 26, 2015 at 12:00pm

Harmon Brewing upgrades Stryker Stout

Harmon Brewing Co.'s Stryker Stout has a new recipe. Look for the upgraded stout in stores beginning Jan. 29. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

When you make a rock-solid stout that's named after the mighty combat teams at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, you get to be in my column. It doesn't hurt that it's also a delicious smooth stout made with oats, chocolate and hints of cherry. Here's the after action report. ...

Feb. 27, 2002, the U.S. Army officially named its medium-weight armored vehicle the Stryker after two unrelated infantrymen with the same last name - Pvt. Stuart S. Stryker (1945) and Spec. Robert F. Stryker (1967), both Medal of Honor recipients. The first Strykers arrived at Fort Lewis in May of that year, 14 vehicles for A Company, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Division. By June, the Strykers were training at the Yakima Training Center. July 1, the Army made it official creating the Stryker Brigade Combat Team, or SBCT. In September, the 3rd Infantry Brigade became the 3rd Stryker Brigade at Fort Lewis. Fort Lewis sent the first of the nation's Stryker brigades - 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division - into action in the war in Iraq in 2003. The 3-2 SBCT also deployed to Iraq in 2003. In 2005, the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division "Raiders" was formed and activated at Fort Lewis the following year. July 2010, the 5-2 SBCT was inactivated and reflagged as the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division "Lancers," at the reformatted Joint Base Lewis-McChord. In October 2011, the Harmon Brewing Co. released their Stryker Stout. Last March, during an hour inactivation ceremony, the 4-2 SBCT recognized for eight years of stellar service and became victim to the Army's downsizing from 45 to 33 active brigades. Last week, the Harmon Brewing Co. released a new recipe and look for their seasonal Stryker Stout, now on tap at the Harmon downtown and Tap Room in the Stadium District, as well as bottled for retail and on draft at its two Hub restaurants Jan. 29.

Harmon Brewing Co. co-owner Pat Nagle has a grip on the look and names of the beers he releases with his business partner, Carole Ford. Nagle, an enthusiast for everything outdoors, baseball and Tacoma, marries his passions with his products - a snowboarder on their Steep & Deep Winter Ale, kayaker on their Pt. Defiance IPA - but Nagle's mother takes the credit for naming their stout after the armored vehicle. She felt the servicemembers at JBLM should be recognized, and the Stryker Stout was born.

"We've always hosted lots of Hail and Farewell parties at the Harmon," Nagle told the Weekly Volcano. "The military is a huge thing for our local economy." Also, Nagle has had family members serve in the U.S. forces, including JBLM.

The Harmon's seasonal beers appear in October and are served on tap at the four restaurants for about four months. Nagle broke tradition in 2011, and decided to bottle Stryker Stout.

"We felt it was too good to be served just at our locations," he said.

The Harmon brewing team also thought it needed a new recipe.

"Mike Davis, who was the Harmon's head brewer for 15 years, brewed the Stryker Stout," said Jesse Holder, director of brewing operations at Harmon. "Jeff Carlson, our new head brewer for the last several years, wanted to change it up and put his mark on the important brew."

"The tweaks to the Stout are a little more 15L, Carafa Type II, Pale Chocolate, Flaked Oats and Chocolate Wheat," said Carlson. "I also added some 120L and Cherry Smoked malt."

The Stryker Stout's components are a combination of six different malted barleys including a special cherry smoked variety plus some chocolate wheat and rolled flaked oats for a smooth sipper with hints of cherry and a little smoke in the aroma and finish. A 7.3 percent alcohol by volume puts in the mid-range for stouts; its 46 IBU bitterness is similar to Guinness.

It's a stout to salute, as well as drink.

HARMON BREWERY & EATERY, 1938 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.383.2739

HARMON TAP ROOM, 204 St. Helens, Tacoma, 253.212.2725

THE HUB, 203 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma, 253.683.4606

THE HUB GIG HARBOR, 1208 28th Ave. NW, Gig Harbor, 253.853.1585

January 6, 2015 at 10:41am

Top Rung Brewing Co. offers servicemember discounts

Casey Sobol, left, and Jason Stoltz founded Top Rung Brewing Co. in April 2014. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

For Lacey-based Top Rung Brewing Co., it's all about family, friendship and honoring those who serve with a great product, a terrific atmosphere and a heartfelt thank you.

It all began with a dream, hard work and the passion to serve the local community.

The craft beer brewery, who opened their facility and tasting room in the spring of 2014, is the product of a unique friendship and family collaboration. Casey Sobol, brewery operations manager and managing member, along with Jason Stoltz, head brewer and managing member, were both deeply passionate about brewing great beer. With the support of family, investors and friends, Top Rung Brewing was born.

However, both men have another important role: they work full-time as firefighters, serving the Olympia area.

With that in mind, Top Rung Brewing Co. is passionate about recognizing and supporting families; not only immediate families but the "family" of servicemembers, fellow firefighters and police officers who serve their country and communities. As a way of saying thank you, the brewer has created "Challenge Coin Saturday" to recognize military, firefighters and police officers. Patrons that show their challenge coins on Saturdays will receive a $1 discount on a pint (military ID will also be honored to receive the discount). Also, the same group of servicemebers may receive a $1 discount on their first pint Thursday-Sunday, unless they pull out a coin on Saturdays.

"Jason and I took on the ‘challenge coin' concept, which started in the military, and thought it would be a neat way to recognize people," explains Casey Sobol. "We wanted to do something to say thank you to the military, fire and police communities and to recognize their service to our country and our communities."

In addition to recognizing those who serve, Sobol said it's also important to recognize families too.

"When it comes to balance, we have to achieve that very delicately," says Sobol, the parent of two young daughters. "Working on this business and being a firefighter, well, it can be challenging at times, but we make it work.

"We are so thankful for our families and their support; that's why it was important to have Top Rung be family friendly. I wanted to be able to bring my girls here."

Seating is long wooden tables to accommodate groups and conversation. The brewery provides a variety of board games to borrow and play (in the warmer months, outdoor games are planned). While there is a television available for big game day viewing, the volume is off. It's a relaxed environment to enjoy family and friends (to note: snacks are available and patrons can bring their own food).

And, of course, there is some terrific beer.

All the brews have subtle and not-so-subtle firefighter-themed names. The Prying Irons IPA and the My Dog Scout Stout are patron favorites. The pumpkin ale was also a big hit in the fall. A light, easy drinking black lager winter release is in the works and the brewery also features a nice Cascadian dark ale, Good Jake CDA, that hop lovers will appreciate.

Other plans for the brewer for 2015? It is going to be an exciting year.

According to Sobol, they plan to start bottling their beer in the first quarter of this year in-house with limited release. A beer club is in the works that promises to be one of a kind.

Top Rung will also be offering their first beer pairing dinner and tasting Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. in their tap room.  The special dinner will offer a full menu, tastings, brewery tour and brewing overview. Tickets are $45 per person and available at the brewery. This event is limited to 26 people.

For more information on Top Rung, upcoming events, hours of operation, directions and more, visit them online at toprungbrewing.com or on Facebook.

Top Rung Brewery Co. is at 8343 Hogum Bay Lane NE in Lacey.

December 8, 2014 at 5:20pm

JBLM soldier brings the heat during culinary arts team tryouts

Sgt. Andrew Shurden, a food services specialist with the 42nd Military Police Brigade, prepares a potato dish during tryouts for the JBLM culinary arts team Nov. 21. Photo credit: Sgt. James J. Bunn

The palpable scent of spices and steak filled the air as Sgt. Andrew Shurden, displayed his cooking skills at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Culinary Arts Team tryouts in November 2014.

If selected, Shurden, a food services specialist with the 42nd Military Police Brigade, and 15 other food services soldiers will compete in the Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training Event at Fort Lee, Va. in March.

The JBLM team will consist of eight team members, four student team members and four alternates. At the competition, the team will compete in eight events including the Armed Forces Chef of the Year, Armed Forces Student Chef of the Year, nutrition cook off, culinary exam, military kitchen competition, team buffet, student competitive training event and dessert competition.

Shurden competed twice at the MCACTE with a team from Hawaii and said he hopes his skills and experience will earn him a spot on the JBLM team.

"I liked being on the team in Hawaii," said Shurden. "I was able to learn more about being a chef and develop my skills beyond the dining facility."

Shurden will need more than sharp knife skills and tasty food to earn a spot on the team. The judges will score competitors using the same criteria as the American Culinary Federation and are looking for chefs that can work well in a team, exhibit good work habits, and strong cooking and organizational skills.

"First and foremost we're looking at how well these chefs work in the kitchen," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jesse Ward, one of the judges at the tryouts. "Second is skills used during the food preparation. We want to know that the flavors are good and the temperatures are correct."

>>> Sgt. Andrew Shurden slices beef tenderloin during tryouts for the Joint Base Lewis-McChord culinary arts team. Photo credit: Sgt. James J. Bunn

At the beginning of the tryouts team hopefuls had an opportunity to plan their menu for the cook off. The next two days competitors refined their menu selections and practiced cooking techniques.

Shurden has his sights set on competing in the Armed Forces Chef of the Year portion of the MCACTE. In this, category competitors have an hour and 15 minutes to cook and plate a meal using a mystery ingredient.

For the tryouts the mystery ingredient was beef tenderloin. Shurden quickly trimmed the beef, sliced it into steaks and prepared it for the grill, posing little challenge for the chef. His finished plate was a filet mignon on top of a blueberry red wine reduction topped with fried leeks, asparagus and layered potatoes.

"Before I joined the Army I was a chef at a barbeque restaurant," said Shurden, a Tupelo, Mississippi native. "Meat preparation is probably my strongest skill in the kitchen."

Working in a restaurant Shurden trained to become a professional chef and achieve one of his lifelong goals, but being a chef wasn't his only dream. The chef wanted to be a soldier as well.  

"I joined the Army as a cook so I could serve my country and continue my career as a chef," said Shurden. "Being able to serve those who are serving is rewarding to me."

Shurden's love of cooking started long before working in a restaurant or a military dining facility, and he attributes it to his upbringing. My family is a major driving force when I step into the kitchen, added Shurden.

"I'm from Mississippi and food is a big part of life back home and it has always been important in my family," said Shurden. "I grew up watching my dad in the kitchen."

Shurden said he wants to compete at the MCACTE not just for fun but also for the opportunities that come from participating in the largest culinary arts competition in the United States.

Soldiers who do well at the Fort Lee competition often get recruited to work at the Pentagon's dining facility, said Shurden. It's a chance to broaden my skills in the kitchen and advance my career, he added.

Working as a chef in a place like the Pentagon requires a skilled professional. The tryouts not only helped decide the team, they also provided an opportunity for the chefs to raise their culinary excellence and professionalism and serves as a training event for all the competitors.

Shurden used his experience to answer questions from younger soldiers about the meal he was preparing and the techniques he was using. 

"I am more than happy to teach anyone about cooking," said Shurden. "Sharing what I know with others is as rewarding to me as knowing that someone enjoyed the food I prepared."

At the end of the cook-off the judges talked to all of the chefs about their food and offered critiques and constructive feedback.

"I want these guys to be able to take what they learn here and apply those skills in their unit's DFAC," said Ward. "This is a good way to build motivation in the soldiers competing and also improve the quality of food in their units.

Shurden is one of the top candidates for the team but he and the other competitors won't officially find out until February if they were selected for the JBLM team.

Filed under: Military, Contest,

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.

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

June 4, 2014 at 9:55am

Beer Here: Harmon Brewing and Farrelli's Pizza team up, Washington Beer Awards and beer events ...

Margaret Farrell and her sister, Mary Mulkey, the inspiration behind Two Mama Blonde Ale, which pours tonight at Farrelli's Pizza in Parkland. Courtesy photo

A year or so ago, Farrelli's Wood Fire Pizza partnered with Tacoma's Harmon Brewery Co. in the development of its Two Mama Blonde Ale, named after Farrelli's founder and matriarch Margaret Farrell and her sister, Mary Mulkey.

For every pint of the brew sold, 25 cents is earmarked specifically for the Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Fisher House, which houses families while an ill or injured service member undergoes treatment at Madigan Army Medical Center.

Last year, $3,500 was riased, and this year, the partnership is expanding to include a new brew for each season.

Expect an amber in the fall, a brown ale in the winter and an IPA next spring. Though not yet named, the chosen monikers will have a play on family similar to the currently available Two Mama Blonde Ale.

Speaking of Two Mama Blonde Ale, the Farrelli's Pizza in Parkland will pour the Blonde tonight at 7 p.m., once again donating 25 cents per pint to the Fisher House.

Hoist a pint while at Farrelli's and help military families. It's a win win.

BEER NEWS

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, age-gated children born in 1993 and beyond, the annual Washington Beer Awards have been doled out. Well, at least in the private world of the 40 judges who gathered at Elliott Bay Public House & Brewery May 10. The lucky 40 judged 460 brews from 70 state breweries, awarding medals for various styles, as well as spotlight categories Best Small Brewery and Best Large Brewery of the year. The winners won't be announced until Saturday, June 14, at the Washington Brewers Festival at Marymoor Park in Redmond. Standing before a crowd of folks wearing pretzel necklaces, fake cheese hats and that one guy who wears The Beeriodic Table T-shirt, 33 medals will be handed out, including Best Washington Agricultural Product Inspired Beer.

How will the South Sound fare? Not even The Beeriodic Table Guy knows. Here's the South Sound medal count last year:

STRONG LAGERS

Silver: Fish Brewing Company - Leavenworth Navigator Dopplebock

Bronze: Ram Restaurant & Brewery (Tacoma) - Maibock

WHEAT/RYE BEERS

Silver: Ram Restaurant & Brewery (Tacoma) - Big Horn Hefeweizen

BROWN PORTERS

Silver: Harmon Brewing Company - Puget Sound Porter

AMERICAN AMBER ALES

Gold: Fish Brewing Company - Fish Tale Organic Amber Ale

STRONG ALES

Silver: Fish Brewing Company - Fish Tale 10 Squared Barley Wine

BELGIAN & FRENCH ALES

Gold: Ram Restaurant & Brewery (Northgate) - BPA

Bronze: E9 Brewery - E9 Belgian White

BELGIAN STRONG ALES

Bronze: Dick's Brewing Co. - Dick's Grand Cru

SPICE, HERB, & VEGETABLE BEERS

Silver: DUO Brewing - Twin Ports Coffee Porter

The much-anticipated 9th Annual Washington Brewers Festival takes place June 13-15 at Marymoor Park. The Washington Beer Commission welcomes more than 330 beers from 88 state breweries, including locals 7 Seas Brewing, Dick's Brewing, E9 Brewery, Fish Brewing, Harmon Brewing, Northwest Brewing and Wingman Brewers. Admission is $20 for the 21 and older, Hell's Belles rockin', 74 brewery Friday night; $25 for the all-ages Saturday or Sunday affair. Jump on Washingtonbeer.com for details and tickets.

BEER HERE

Here are a couple beer-related events going down this week. ...

Wednesday, May 4

The ParkWay Tavern hosts Dogfish Head Brewery beginning at 5 p.m.

Friday, June 6

Northwest Brewing Company will be at Emerald Downs race track with $2.50 craft pounders, Ottomatic DJ, prize drawings and more from 5-9 p.m

Saturday, June 7

7 Seas Brewing will release its Life Jacket Session IPA Saturday night at Cheney Stadium during the Tacoma Rainiers' game against the Albuquerque Isotopes. The Life Jacket Session IPA - loaded with Amarillo and Nugget hops and juicy hop aromas of tangerine and grapefruit - will be at several locations in the ballpark for the 5:05 game. Kendall Jones, a freelance writer and founder the Washington Beer Blog, will throw out the first pitch.

Tuesday, June 10

Dirty Oscar's in Tacoma hosts 7 Seas Brewing for a brewer's dinner at 6 p.m. Four 7 Seas beers - including the Life Jacket Session IPA - will be paired with a light four-course dinner by Chef James Bacher and sous chef Robert Orlando. Tickets are $50 per person. There are only 22 seats available, so RSVP now at Jennifer@dirtyoscarsannex.com.

Wednesday, June 11

Puyallup River Alehouse hosts Georgetown Brewing Company for a night of Georgetown beers, giveaways, raffles, dollar tacos and more from 6-9 p.m.

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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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