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October 28, 2014 at 10:36am

Tacoma Brewing Co. celebrates year two

Tacoma Brewing Co. founder Morgan Alexander

A recent Food and Wine article focusing on strange brews out of the Seattle area - including Port Townsend's Propolis Brewing, a frequent vendor at the Proctor Farmers Market (thank you!), and their Birch Saison loaded with Noble hops and birch tree sap(!) - reminded me of Tacoma's scientist of the strange brew, Morgan Alexander. The founder of the Tacoma Brewing Company began brewing beer in high school. He used Baker's yeast and apple juice, which Alexander says was horrible. He kept the lab coat on, home brewing with unusual ingredients for years before converting his beloved Tacoma Triangle District Amocat Cafe into a brewery a year ago.

The practice of adding flavor ingredients to a batch of beer has more or less created the craft beer industry. Brewers play with different fruits, tap into spices from different cultures and experiment with a variety of hops species because, why not? And thanks to Alexander - as well as Shane Johns at Engine House No. 9, Ken Thoburn at Wingman Brewers and other head brewers - South Sound drinkers are now more inclined to drink a peach strong ale, pomegranate porter or beer made with coffee, citrus fruits, various nuts and honeys, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, elderberries, toasted coconut, cocoa nibs, peanut butter, coriander and cardamom, chamomile and sage, all spice and pumpkin, jalapeño peppers, Serrano peppers, ghost chili peppers and even birch sap.

Apart from toying with hops for big flavor and aroma, Alexander turns to outside ingredients in order to stand out, and ultimately, create something new and, I should add, freakin' delicious. And hey, more beers to drink? Sign me up.

"Some of my more memorable experimental beers over the previous two years include Rum & Raisin Vanilla Porter, Bloody Mary IPA, Mexican Chocolate Chili Stout, Root Beer Porter, Cascade Quad - a quadruple IPA - Wacked Orange/Chocolate Stout, Pomegranate Porter and Pineapple Mango Wheat.

"The tricky beers for me have been the ones made with herbs - like the Root Beer Porter, because a little bit goes a long way and it's difficult to get the right balance," says Alexander. "I'm still working on that. Also, beers made with peppers can be challenging. I don't like the chili beers that are so spicy that you can't drink it. What's the point in that?!"

Tacoma Brewing Co. celebrates its second anniversary Saturday, Nov. 1. Alexander will have several anniversary stouts on the "Specials" board: sour stout, bourbon barrel-aged stout, licorice stout, vanilla stout and a coffee stout. On the IPA side, expect Fresh Mosaic Hop IPA, Fresh Citra Hop Broken Window IPA and Penalty Kick Triple IPA.

"I will also have a fresh batch of Dr. Alexander's Hard Ginger Ale," says Alexander. "This will be the first batch that will be sold in local stores starting this week."

The party will include hourly giveaways, and Finnwick's Food Truck will be parked outside from 4-8 p.m.

Drop by Tacoma Brewing Saturday and be a lab rat in a party atmosphere. Beer is about the experience, too.

TACOMA BREWING CO. 2ND ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, 2-9 p.m., all ages, Tacoma Brewing Co., 625 St. Helens, Tacoma, no cover, 253.242.3370

Filed under: New Beer Column, Tacoma,

October 27, 2014 at 9:47am

Served Blog Banner Boy: Q&A with bartender Taylor Volz of Narrows Brewing Co.

Taylor Volz has been serving at Narrows Brewing Co. since the day it opened in Tacoma. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Every week we swap out the Served banner art above, introducing you to the people who serve food and drinks in the South Sound. This week, meet Taylor Volz.

Server Banner Boy, Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2014

Taylor Volz

Taylor Volz has been behind the bar at Narrows Brewing Co. since May 2013, about a month before it opened next to the Narrows Marina in Tacoma. Volz began his serving career at Laurelwood Public House and Brewery in Portland, Oregon, where he grew up. He worked there during high school and in summers in between school before moving to Tacoma to attend the University of Puget Sound. The summer before his senior year, he worked at the former Jake's Bar and Bistro in Steilacoom, where he learned to bartend.

Why do you serve?

"I serve because I have yet to find another job that can keep me on my feet and entertained as much as serving. I love the constant movement of the industry and that no two days are the same. I get the opportunity to meet people from all over the area and learn why they love craft beer, as well as receive a wealth of knowledge about what is going on within the craft beer community."

Who is your favorite server in the South Sound?

"I enjoy many servers in the South Sound area but right now I'd have to go with Craig over at The Copper Door. He's always great to talk to about beer or sports or whatever. It's also a great setting for enjoying a beer. The Copper Door's selection is top notch, too."

What are you most proud to serve?

"I'm most proud to serve beer that is Tacoma made. Every beer we have in the brewery is crafted by our brewmaster Joe Walts. Customers that come in often are enjoying a beer with Joe or one of our assistant brewers - sometimes without even knowing so. I love the sense of community that it creates and how refreshing it is to be able to say that you are serving great local beer."

What's you current drink of choice?

"My current drink within the brewery is our Imperial Red Ale. If you haven't sipped it at our brewery or picked up a 22 in the stores, you need to immediately. Since it's fresh hop season I have been exploring all the great hoppy seasonals that us beer lovers get to enjoy this time of year."

What's your favorite movie?

"I'm the type of person that's gonna have a different answer for this question almost every time you ask me. If you're twisting my arm I'd have to say Caddyshack."

What don't you serve?

"I'd say the one thing that I don't serve is close-minded jerks. In my opinion, the craft beer community is about learning new types of beer and figuring out what you like and don't like. I can tell you no two people have the same to tastes. Everyone's different, so don't be a jerk and respect that and we'll get along just fine."

What's on your radar at Narrows Brewing Co.?

"Right now, I'm excited for our Halloween party that we'll host Oct. 31. Not only will we will be releasing our Cardamom Coffee Stout, which was brewed with coffee from Northern Pacific Coffee Co. and spices from Mad Hat Tea Company. Everyone is encouraged to where a costume. The best costume will receive a $100 gift card to the taproom. I can't wait to see what type of shenanigans ensue."

LINK: Meet other South Sound servers

October 24, 2014 at 11:47am

Mac and Cheese Madness: Lunchbox Laboratory

Gig Harbor mac and cheese: Lunchbox Laboratory and 7 Seas Brewing team up for British Pale Mac N Cheese. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

I enjoy beer.

Beer makes mac and cheese awesome.

By the transitive property (math isn't my strong suit), I think beer mac and cheese is delicious.

Beer and cheddar have such an affinity for one another - the sour punch of the beer plays gorgeously with the nutty tang of the cheddar, particularly the sharp variety. The combination of the two invokes the umami must-not-stop-eating-this-deliciousness effect, which is reason enough for me to search out a beer mac and cheese dish.

I found one.

Lunchbox Laboratory has hooked up with fellow Gig Harbor resident 7 Seas Brewing for two weeks of experiments. The white lab coats in Lunchbox's kitchen have created dishes from 7 Seas' brews, including a British Pale Mac N Cheese ($6). The secret to the mac and cheese is beer - specifically, 7 Seas British Pale Ale. That ale gets poured into Lunchbox's house cheese sauce - American and sharp cheddar - mixed on the stovetop with fisarmoniche past then topped with optional bacon, jalapenos, green chilies and pork rinds. I suggest bacon. For an extra dollar, the top of the mac and cheese basically becomes very brown.

Beer and cheese are a match made in heaven, and at Lunchbox Laboratory, 7 Seas adds depth to the creamy bowl of goodness.

Sidenote: 7 Seas Brewing outnumbers the beer handles at The Gig Harbor Lunchbox Laboratory, including the fall seasonal Autumn Ale.

LUNCHBOX LABORATORY, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, 4901 Point Fosdick Dr. NW, Gig Harbor, 253.432.4061

LINK: More mac and cheese dishes in the South Sound

LINK: The answer to why this mac and cheese column exists

October 24, 2014 at 11:29am

Tacoma Art Museum collaborates with Harmon Brewing and Heritage Distilling

Art + beer + bourbon = Tacoma Art Museum

As we mentioned earlier this week in our weekly series on the opening of the new Tacoma Art Museum wing, the museum has teamed with local beer mavens Harmon Brewing Company to create signature beers for exhibitions over the past five years. For the grand opening of the new Haub Family Galleries, Harmon and TAM have come up with a new brew called Tacoma New West Cascadian Dark Ale. The museum has also collaborated with Heritage Distilling Company to craft a rich, flavorful, deep golden Tacoma New West Bourbon. The ale will be sold at TAM Cafe and all of Harmon's restaurants; both the ale and the bourbon will be available at TAM's Go West Gala and Go West Grand Opening evening social events.

Today, the Tacoma Art Museum has made it official. ...

Tacoma, WA -Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) is celebrating the largest gift in the museum's 79 year history with a limited edition spirit and a signature ale. In honor of the Haub Family Collection of Western American Art and the museum expansion, TAM partnered with Tacoma's Harmon Brewing Company and Gig Harbor's Heritage Distilling Company to craft these two special beverages in time for the grand opening in November.

Read more...

October 22, 2014 at 9:42am

Beer Here: Breakside Brewing, Tacoma Brewed IPA Night, candy and beer, Fresh Hop Fiasco, Dick's anniversary ...

99 Bottles in Federal Way will pair candy with craft beer tonight.

Here's your beer calendar for the week, South Sounders. ...

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 22

From a three-barrel brewing system in Woodlawn, Oregon in 2010 to a 20,000 barrels per year in Milwaukie, just south of Portland, Breakside Brewing may hold the record for the highest number of different beers brewed in a year - 83 in 2012, 92 in 2011, and 100 in 2013. Pint Defiance hosts the crew from Breakside for a few of their more unique and rare offerings, including Apollo and Dionysus Gin-Barrel Saison, the GABF-award-winning Wanderlust IPA, Toro Red and Liquid Sunshine Pilsner. Fingers crossed for light bodied Breakside Dry Stout. Expect usual brewery schwag during the 5-7 p.m. event.

Here comes Halloween, and Halloween means candy and craft beer. What the Bock? Of course, you rarely receive the decorated Dunkelweizen trick-or-treating. It'd be kind of a mess, throwing them in your goodie bag where they'd crush all your miniature Mars bars and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Still, craft beers say "Happy Halloween" in the same way as a spooky sheet with cut-out eyeholes, at least according to 99 Bottles in Federal Way. The bottle store will pair the smooth and roasty, coffee- and chocolate-like flavors of a dark stout with chocolate candy. What pairs with Gummi Bears and candy corn? Find out tonight from 5-7 p.m. No costume required.

Puyallup River Alehouse, the downtown Puyallup face for Puyallup River Brewing's beers, as well as multiple guest beers on tap, welcomes back Backwoods Brewing Company from little ol' Carson, Wash. Head brewer Jordan Tanasse will load up the jalopy with Backwoods brews, plus swag for the raffle, and hit the trail for the 6-9 p.m. spotlight. Jeff Lee from Alpha Distributing will be in the house, too. Expect raffles and giveaways.

The Red Hot hosts a Tacoma Brewed IPA Night. The Sixth Avenue hot dog and craft beer tavern will tap a grip of IPA kegs at 5 p.m., all made right here in beautiful Tacoma. Everything is $4 for 16-ounce pours or ask for one of two sample flights. Flight One is E-9 Brewery Nameless #29 IPA, Pacific Brewing Dirty Skoog IPA, Tacoma Brewing Mosaic Fresh Hop IPA and Wingman Brewers Ace IPA. Flight Two is Wingman Brewers Skunky Munky IPA, Tacoma Brewing Citra Fresh Hop IPA, Narrows Brewing Giant Pacific Octopus IPA and Harmon Brewing Point Defiance IPA. The Red Hot will also serve fresh beer pretzels starting at 5.

The Swiss Restaurant and Pub hosts Ninkasi Brewing for a Brewer's Night beginning at 6 p.m.

THURSDAY, OCT. 23

If you walk through the ParkWay Tavern's door Thursday, you'll sure to be hit in the face with fresh herby, piney, fruity, floral and earthy aromas. That's right friends, it's Fresh Hop Fiasco night at the Tacoma tavern. Between 6-10 p.m., the ParkWay will serve Fresh Hop beers while raising money for adorable animals. The probably line-up includes: Ballast Point Schooner, Breakside Citralust, Double Mountain Killer Green, Double Mountain Killer Red, Elysian 50 Shades of Green, Freemont Cowiche Canyon, Gigantic Simcoe Boogaloo, Holy Mountain equinox, Hop Valley Citra Self Down, Ninkasi Total Crystalization and 7 Seas Hop Prophet.

Top Rung Brewing Co. will take its pitch black Good Jake CDA through a Randall loaded with fresh hops Thursday night.

SATURDAY, OCT. 25

It was more than 20 years ago Dick Young started off as a humble home brewer, brewing in the back of Northwest Sausage & Deli. Since October 1994, Dick's Brewing has grown from a three-barrel operation brewing flagship Dick Danger Ale to more than 20 varieties of beer, a new brewery location with taproom, new Black IPA recipe called Midnight Ride - the first of Dick's beers carry the brewery's new label and logo - and a 20th anniversary celebration from 3-8:30 p.m. at the Centralia brewery, coinciding with the honoring of Dick Young's passing in 2009. 

TUESDAY, OCT. 28

Narrows Brewing releases its new Coffee Cardamom Stout at the Northern Pacific Coffee Company beginning at 6 p.m. It's a collaboration beer with NPCC, Mad Hat Tea Co. and Olympia Coffee Roasting Company. Read the back story here.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 29

Seattle's Elysian Brewing is the pumpkin king of the Northwest, brewing 13 different pumpkin beers and just hosted its 10th massive pumpkin brew festival that draws entrants from as far away as Europe. Puyallup River Alehouse will allow Elysian to take over its taps, including this year's pumpkin beers such as the Punkuccino ale with a short shot of Stumptown coffee, cinnamon and nutmeg. Giveaways and raffles will be part of the action from 6-9 p.m.

October 20, 2014 at 2:56pm

Narrows Brewing collaborates on Coffee Cardamom Stout - drink it wearing a morbid costume or with beer historian Ron Pattinson

Spend Halloween at Narrows Brewing Co. in Tacoma. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Looking for a Halloween costume idea? Why not dress as a victim of the London Beer Flood of 1814?

Friday marked the 200th anniversary of an event in London that unleashed a tidal wave of porter, killing eight people in neighboring tenements. When a vat exploded inside Henry Meux's Horse Shoe brewery, it forced more than 570 tons of beer through the brewery's back wall and out into the slums behind it in a vast wave at least 15-feet high, flooding streets and cellars and smashing into buildings. Founded early in the reign of King George III and famous for its porter, the brewery produced more than 100,000 barrels of the dark-colored nectar each year.

I mention this disaster for two reasons. One, Narrows Brewing Co. will host its Hoppy Halloween Party on All Hallows' Eve, unleashing its new Coffee Cardamom Stout for costumed beer drinkers - including those donning London Romantic-Era clothing stained with blood and dried porter. Two, one of the world's foremost brewing historians, Ron Pattinson - who researches old breweries and digs up dusty beer recipes for his website, Shut Up About Barclay Perkins, and will visit Narrows Brewing in early November - is well aware of the 1814 brew bomb and the killer porter.

"Meux's brewing records haven't survived, so it wouldn't be possible to brew an exact clone," Pattinson said via email from the road. However, "it wouldn't be hard to come up with a recipe that was close. It would have been fun to do for the two hundredth anniversary, but I've missed that."

Pattinson, a stout lover and member of the British Guild of Beer Writers, is on tour behind his new book, The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer: Rediscovered Recipes for Classic Brews Dating from 1800 to 1965. He'll visit Narrows Brewing Saturday, Nov. 8.

Hoppy Halloween Party

Narrows Brewing's Coffee Cardamom Stout is a collaboration brew with Northern Pacific Coffee Company in Tacoma's Parkland neighborhood. Narrows' head brewer, Joe Walts, admires the coffee company's beer selection, and NPCC proprietor Ed Cedras holds Walts in high esteem. 

"I heard about the opening of Narrows Brewing through a friend down at Beer Essentials while buying brewing supplies," explained Cedras. "There was also quite a buzz around their opening throughout the brewing community in Tacoma. I met Joe at the brewery and told him how much of a fan I was of his beers and that we carried all of them at Northern Pacific. It was about that time that we started talking about a collaboration beer."

Walts and Cedras set out to brew an original coffee beer.

"Joe mentioned a cardamom stout that he had done in the past," continued Cedras. "We used that as a baseline to develop the recipe for a Turkish coffee stout. The spices were all sourced by our friends at Mad Hat Tea Company and the coffee roasted by our roasting partners at Olympia Coffee Roasting Company. I used a similar methodology in cold brewing the coffee for this beer [as I have with] others I've brewed in the past ... slow and low ... meaning brewed slowly at low temperature to extract all of the brilliant notes of the coffee while reducing acidity for a balance between the coffee and malt in the beer. Joe brought in a secret weapon to add a creamy finish."

"We brewed an easy drinking stout - 4.2 or 4.3 percent alcohol - then added cardamom and cinnamon in the whirlpool and lactose to the boil," added Walts. "Ed made concentrated cold-steep coffee, which we added to the fermenter."

According to Walts, Northern Pacific sells an amazing amount of beer, including a lot of Narrows Brewing's beer, as well as beers exclusive to Pierce County from such brewers as Deschutes.

"I think awareness of what breweries are working on seasonally, limited runs, and collaborations in tandem with establishing strong relationships with breweries and their sales reps led to the allocations of limited-release beers at Northern Pacific over other outlets," explained Cedras. "We've built a reputation of being 'picky' about the beers we serve and are often offered special releases with right of first refusal."

Northern Pacific Coffee Company will host a Narrows Brewing Brewer's Night Tuesday, Oct. 28, shining a spotlight on the new Coffee Cardamom Stout.

The new beer will also be on tap during Narrows' Hoppy Halloween Party Oct. 31. The Coffee Cardamom Stout will be on tap all day. Ice Cream Social created a Coffee Cardamom Stout ice cream flavor and will serve it during the party as well as beer floats with other flavors. Food trucks will park out front. A costume contest with a $100 gift card prize for the winner will begin at 8:30 p.m.

So what costume will Cedras wear at Narrows' Halloween party?

"President James A. Garfield. He's an interesting guy," he said. "Check out his assassination story. Alexander Graham Bell was involved. Super kooky stuff."

Ron Pattinson at Narrows Brewing

Beer historian and beer travel writer Ron Pattinson is certain to be another interesting guy. For years, the England-born-turned-Amsterdam resident has gobbled up obscure books on beer history - including brewery logbooks - and in 2007 began sharing his findings in a conversational pub tone on his blog. Pattinson has also regenerated hundreds of historical beer recipes, mostly British styles, and some lost German beer styles such as Broyhan, Kotbusser and Salvator, which was a precursor to Doppelbock. Though it was a chore to chronologically decipher, Pattinson has pared down his more than 3,000 blog posts and recipes into a succinct read, The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer.

An avid reader of Pattinson's blog, Walts noticed a gap in the author's upcoming Pacific Northwest book tour. A simple request via email secured the historian for an afternoon of beer history at Narrows Brewing at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8. Although he worked in a brewery during his youth, Pattinson won't be recreating old beer recipes at the Tacoma brewery.

"Beer recipe recreations is just one of the things Pattinson does," said Walts. "He spends most of his time in libraries and public archives, researching breweries that have been around for hundreds of years, examining old English, Scottish and German beer styles. It's a lot of numbers and tables and debunking beer legends. He also provided a lot of historical details for Mitch Steele's IPA book. His visit will be fascinating for beer and history geeks who want to gain greater appreciation about the development of beer, recipes, breweries and the changing palates of beer drinkers over the course of centuries of brewing."

This fall book tour will be Pattinson's first venture to Washington state, where most of the nation's hops are grown.

"You might be surprised how little the handling of hops has changed over the years," said Pattinson. "In the 19th century, they were already packing the hops as tightly as possible to keep them away from the air and to store them cold."

He says beer geeks in the Netherlands have certainly heard of Washington state beers, but he doubts the country's general population is aware of our brews.

For those who don't want to dress as a corpse killed by an ancient porter, but would rather attend Narrows' Hoppy Halloween Party dressed as a beer, Pattinson says the scariest beer ever is the Danziger Jopenbier, an old top-fermented German beer that had a peculiar smell and taste reminiscent of port wine.

"The wort is left to spontaneously ferment," Pattinson explained. "First of all, a thick blanket forms on the surface, on which all sorts of molds grow. These blankets in various vats are again very different from each other in appearance and strength, depending on the points of attack the molds have found. ... The head, which is often so strong that a 20-gram piece won't fall through it, begins to lift itself. ... For eight to twelve days, the beer often pushes out large amounts of loose foam. What can you say about the fermentation, other than that it sounds scary and disgusting at the same time."

There you go. Halloween costume suggestions, a new coffee beer and ice cream to enjoy and an opportunity to geek out on old beer - all held at a Tacoma brewery that shouldn't explode.

NARROWS BREWING CO. COFFEE CARDAMOM STOUT RELEASE PARTY, 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 28, Northern Pacific Coffee Company, 401 Garfield St. S., Tacoma, no cover, 253.537.8338

HOPPY HALLOWEEN PARTY, dusk, Friday, Oct. 31, Narrows Brewing Co., 9007 S. 19th St., Tacoma, no cover, 253.327.1400

BEER HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR RON PATTINSON, 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 8, Narrows Brewing Co., 9007 S. 19th St., Tacoma, no cover, 253.327.1400

October 19, 2014 at 1:16pm

Words & Photos: South Sound IPA Festival in Tacoma

Union Station in Tacoma filled up with beer drinkers over two sessions during the South Sound IPA Festival Oct. 18. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Cheers to the South Sound IPA Festival. The India Pale Ale-centric festival drew approximately 900 beer fans, over an afternoon and evening session, for a casual, cheerful gathering at Tacoma's Union Station Oct. 18. The event featured some of the finest craft-brewed beers in Washington state with an emphasis on fresh hop beers, strong ales and, of course, IPAs.

Things ran smoothly from the gate to the flow to downstairs tiny concession area. Attendees were in good spirits. Volunteers stayed busy and polite. Homeland Security watched quietly. Everything worked well, especially for Union Station's first beer festival.

Organized by the Washington Beer Commission, the South Sound IPA Festival celebrated the finest IPAs in the state. I went in with my own list of beer to hunt down, but it was more enjoyable to simply go with the flow from booth to booth, chatting with brewery reps and beer drinkers along the way (cheers to beer drinkers Bryan Johnson, Kyle Price and Chris Martin for allowing me to ride).

The crowd of people hoping to try sips of Bale Breaker Brewing's beers generated the longest line of the day, but the wait was short and casual for most booths, although tokens were definitely monitored than most beer festivals. Pacific Northwest IPAs, fresh hop ales, Northwest style CDAs and Imperial Reds seemed to dominate the menu, with a few monsters such as Narrows Brewing's Channary Imperial Red, Rainy Daze Brewing's Hypocrite Double IPA, Wingman Brewers' Skunky Monkey Imperial IPA, Silver City Brewery's Whoop Pass Double IPA and Valholl Brewing's Monstrosity Triple IPA (11.2 percent ABV).

I went back for seconds for several beers. No-Li Brewhouse's Barrel Aged Jet Star Imperial IPA was aged eight months in a second-use Tritcale Whiskey barrel from Dry Fly Distillery. The aging on 50 percent rye and 50 percent wheat whiskey oak increased the depth of sweetness on this double IPA, creating more of a barleywine. Elysian Brewing's totally nebular hop showcase Space Dust IPA was out of this world.  Anacortes Brewery's Fresh Hop Pale Ale and Blue Lightning Brewery's Just The Tip ISA were my time-out beers. I enjoyed a zesty sample of Harmon Brewing Co.'s Point Defiance IPA served through one of their customized Randall filters filled with lime, lemon, orange and Amarillo hops. It was one of the tastiest IPAs of the day.

Blue Lightning Brew owner Michael "Mad Mike" Miller and CFO Brian Peterson won best conversation, in my mind. Their Woodinville brewery grew from a Groupon deal brewery class they took together. Fun story. Fun guys.

Also an enjoyable chat came from the lively lads from Seattle Central District brewery Standard Brewing who just opened this past summer. Their Imperial IPA with Simcoe and Centennial hops was all booze and hop and delicious.

All eight South Sound microbreweries made their marks with a variety of unique beers. Wingman Brewers' tasty Rosemary's Baby Rosemary IPA with Citra, Simcoe, Centennial and Rosemary won plenty of the fans. 7 Seas Brewing steered with the largest cargo of beers, including a sixth not on the docket - their 100 percent wet hop ale Hop Prophet. Of course, dedicated fans of Dick's beer made return trips for their new Midnight Ride Black IPA, a robust, Northwest-style CDA bursting with Cascade and Centennial hops, and balanced with a rich dark malt profile. Think rich, dark and malty like a porter with a hop profile. Drink it Saturday, Oct. 25 during the Centralia brewery's 20th anniversary party.

October 16, 2014 at 12:03pm

Lunchbox Laboratory to perform experiments on 7 Seas Brewing

Lunchbox Laboratory has received favorable press from Evening Magazine, Food Network, Bon Appétit and Food and Wine Magazine. A year ago this month, a new round of Laboratory press hit the South Sound when the gourmet burger joint opened a third location in Gig Harbor (4901 Point Fosdick Dr. NW). The fancy Uptown Shopping District welcomed traditional patty and bun faves with twists, handspun shakes and funky cocktails.

Read more...

October 16, 2014 at 11:29am

Salty's at Redondo to host New Belgium Brewing brewmaster's dinner

You've probably already sipped some craft beers from Colorado-based New Belgium Brewery - like a Fat Tire Ale, maybe. This environmentally friendly brewer has released a new beer this fall - Tour de Fall. The amber-colored pale ale is made with a dry hopping technique, Cascade and Amarillo hops, has notes of pine and citrus and is 6 percent ABV.

Glancing at the menu for New Belgium's brewmaster's dinner at Salty's at Redondo next month, the Tour de Fall is missing.

Oh well. Should be a tasty night anyway. Read on. ...

Read more...

October 15, 2014 at 10:23am

Beer Here: Green Flash Treasure Chest, 7 Seas Brewing experiment, Oktoberfests, pumpkin beer floats, Pike Brewing turns 25, fresh hop beers ...

ParkWay Tavern in Tacoma will pour Green Flash Treasure Chest beer to fight breast cancer Oct. 15.

The only thing more radical than autumn in the South Sound is drinking good fall beers during fall in the South Sound.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 15

One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer annually. One such individual was Green Flash Brewing Company co-owner Lisa Hinkley, who was diagnosed in 2010 and, through proper treatment and her strong will, has since come out the other side victorious. With the support of her San Diego brewery, Hinkley helps raise funds to fight breast cancer with an ale brewed specifically to benefit Susan G. Komen - Green Flash Treasure Chest. The style changes each year. This year, the Treasure Chest is a barrel-aged Belgian-style farmhouse ale made pink with the addition of plum purée. Beginning at 5 p.m., the ParkWay Tavern will tap the new beer, as well as 11 other Green Flash beers. The 2014 Treasure Chest is fruity and flowery with a very subdued spice that comes on in the finish. There will be loads of Green Flash prizes, a fancy gift basket from Deschutes and the ParkWay's own "garage sale."

Pints & Quarts Pub allows Firestone Walker Brewing Co. to take over its taps beginning at 6 p.m. Tastes are a $1 for each beer. Shell out $4, and drink a whole pint, as well as keep the glass.

Read more...

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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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