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Esquire Man drinketh

A chat with Esquire Magazine writer Joe Oestreich who recently gave Tacoma love in the mag

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Ever since Esquire Magazine came out with their Top Beers (top bars) in America ranking, so many of us here in Tacoma have been clapping about the fact that the Parkway Tavern and Doyle’s Public House made it to this elite list.

But the remaining question that everyone wants answered is:

What’s the story behind Joe Oestreich, the freelance writer who penned these two write-ups for this national publication (which, by the way, we were very fortunate to get any kind of coverage in)?

Lucky for all of us, I was able to track Oestreich down in his current Stadium District stomping grounds. Here’s a little background on the new cool dude in town.

WEEKLY VOLCANO: Outside of freelancing for Esquire, what do you do?

JOE OESTREICH: I’m a visiting assistant professor of English at Pacific Lutheran University, which is what brought me to Tacoma in August. My essays and short stories have also appeared in literary magazines.

I also play bass in a rock band, Watershed, and I’m writing a book about Watershed’s 20-plus year haul in the music business minor leagues.

VOLCANO: Where are you from originally?

OESTREICH: I was born in Wisconsin, but I’ve lived 90 percent of my life in Columbus, Ohio, along with some one-year stints in New York and Washington, D.C.

VOLCANO: What have you enjoyed about Tacoma?

OESTREICH: The scenery. Coming from Columbus we have strip malls and fast food. The Sound, the Olympics, the Cascades and Vashon Island are amazing. I love that it’s the middle of winter and it’s still so green. We love the people and the lifestyle, and there’s just about nothing that we don’t like here. I like that it’s an underdog city that has a lot of pride, and it knows that it’ll never be Seattle and it’s OK with not being Seattle. The Grand Cinema is awesome.

VOLCANO: How did you happen upon the Parkway and Doyle’s?

OESTREICH: My wife and I believe that a good way to get to know any town is through its bars, so we’ve visited so many places, and Parkway and Doyle’s were two that really stood out.

VOLCANO: What are some of your other favorite bars that you’ve discovered so far?

OESTREICH: I love the juke box and the taco night at Magoo’s. I also like the Crown Bar.

VOLCANO: What kind of music does your band Watershed play and would they ever brave a trip for a performance in Tacoma?

OESTREICH: We play loud, power pop. We’re playing South By Southwest this year, so if we can all get to Texas, I bet we can get to Tacoma.

VOLCANO: When I run into you out at the bars, what kind of drink can I buy you for saying such kind words about these awesome Tacoma establishments?

OESTREICH: Normally I could just go for a PBR or a Rainier, but after being here with all of you beverage snobs, I now have to go with good Northwest beers like Mac and Jacks and the Manny’s.

Thanks for the love, Joe!

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