Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

Posts made in: September, 2014 (39) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 39

September 8, 2014 at 12:40pm

Brewing Pint Defiance: Specialty beer store and taproom celebrates second anniversary

Renee and Barry Watson opened Pint Defiance specialty beer store and taproom Sept. 10, 2013.

The South Sound - Pierce County especially - is quickly becoming a major craft beer destination. With long standing places such as Engine House No. 9, The RAM, Powerhouse and Harmon Brewing Company, to newer breweries such as 7 Seas Brewing, Wingman Brewers, Tacoma Brewing Company, Narrows Brewing and Puyallup River Brewing to not quite opened Odd Otter Brewing and Pacific Brewing and Malting Company, the choices for awesome craft beer are long and varied. But a hub hidden away in a strip mall on the edge of Fircrest, Pint Defiance, which will celebrate its second anniversary Saturday, is quickly becoming one of the centers of the local craft beer scene.

Pint Defiance is a carefully laid out bottle shop with a 50 foot long, 16 door wall cooler full of beer, meads and ciders and a small bar with 10 taps usually staffed by co-owner Barry Watson and his crew of experts R.J. Adler, Justin Johnson, Clare Hayford and Scott Travis. Barry and his wife and business partner, Renee, have been brewing the idea of opening a specialty beer store and taproom for years.

Mashing The Ingredients

Asked about the genesis of the shop, Barry replied, "Not to simplify the answer, but we opened the store out of the love for craft beer, especially Northwest beer. I've worked in the industry for so long, and absolutely love it." Barry's grandparents owned the C Street Café in Tacoma.

Barry was in school studying computers, working part-time at the ParkWay Tavern. His interests quickly changed, and after a stint managing the ParkWay, he went to work for a local beer distributor. His knowledge of the industry doubled after he and Renee opened the Rosewood Café off 26th and Warner in 2003, which quickly became North Tacoma's go-to spot for scratch soups, sandwiches, Giant Cowboy Cookie and a notable wine and craft beer offering, especially after Sunday bicycle rides.

The Watsons sold the restaurant to Richard and Gretchen Benzin in January 2012, whom they knew could maintain the magic, and were ready for the next chapter.

>>> Barry Watson, co-owner of Pint Defiance Specialty Beers and Taproom, sips a brew. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Fermenting The Idea

Barry had been knocking around the idea of a store solely dedicated to craft beer for quite some time. He promised his family he wouldn't start a new chapter without closing the previous one. Plus, they needed a break.

The break lasted about two months. Barry had his eye on Tacoma's Westside.

"Sure, we're Northend folks living just off Sixth Avenue, but we felt the Northend had craft beer covered with the Engine House, The Red Hot, ParkWay and The Spar. ... There are a dozen other good places to grab a quality craft beer in that area. Metropolitan Mark, Thriftway and Tacoma Boys also do a nice job of stocking great beer. We wanted to differentiate ourselves, and reach another market. Yet, not too far for our Northend friends to drive."

Unable to completely cut himself off from the industry Barry filled in shifts at The Red Hot craft beer and hot dog joint while the duo researched locations and the specialty store business. His friends thought he was crazy to open a beer store. The Watsons knew it would work.

>>> R.J. Adler, assistant manager at Pint Defiance, left, and co-owner Barry Watson proudly display the store's popular T-shirt. Photo courtesy of Facebook

A play off Point Defiance Park, the Watsons opened Pint Defiance at 2049 Mildred St. W. Sept. 10, 2012. Located in the space that formerly housed Mario's Mercato Italiano on the edge of Fircrest, the 1,800 square feet store houses 1,000 or so beers, ciders and meads in a long, narrow bright space, which includes a bar, high and low top tables and a retail section stocked with clever promotional T-shirts, including the poplar I Hop Tacoma with an actual hop replacing the word.

The duo shares responsibilities, although Renee spends more time in the office while Barry pulls more taps. They're hand-in-hand during beer research trips, which happens often. They spend time with brewery owners and head brewers, researching the beers before allowing them in their cold cases.

The Watsons hired friendly, beer experts to help run the store and taproom, and encourage them to suggest beers and contribute ideas.

>>> Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

"I'd like to take credit for all of our great ideas, but Renee and our staff have come up with really good ideas," Barry says with a laugh. "Our newest full-time employee, Scott Travis, came up with the idea of our Seattle Beer Week Marathon. We crushed through 70 kegs in eleven days."

Filtering The Flavor

When you browse up and down the cold case trying to select a few 22-ounce beers you maybe haven't tried yet, the staff at Pint Defiance inevitably comes up and asks you with concern if you need help. And that's what makes Pint Defiance beer heaven. They can help you decide among Belgian Trappists and Northwest IPAs, debate the merits of Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp 12-pack even though you don't drink milk stouts, and explain the new Washington state liquor laws, including SB 6442 allowing cider to be sold in growlers. And if you already have your mind made up, just let the staff know what you need, and they'll send enough 10 Barrel Brewery beer to keep your party rolling straight to the cash register where you wait to pay.

While Pint Defiance sees its share of beer newbies, the specialty beer and taproom is also home to a who's who of West Coast brewing. Grab a barstool and within a half hour a brewer, distributor, patron with 1,000 or more distinct beers on the Untappd app or a top customer for Barry's days managing the ParkWay Tavern will drop by for a beer. Barry can name all the breweries in Astoria, Oregon, even notable but hidden Buoy Beer Company, because he's visited them all. The middle table at Pint Defiance was a gift from Rob Widmer, who threw it in his truck and drove it up from Portland. South Sound head brewers celebrate their birthdays at Pint Defiance. And Pint Defiance's almost weekly Brewer's Nights, more often than not, include prided possessions from the represented brewery's owners as raffle prizes.

>>> Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

"Pint Defiance has become a destination for beer lovers," says R.J. Adler, assistant manager at Pint Defiance. "I've seen countless people make friends at the bar just by asking, ‘What are you drinking?' People who love craft beer love to talk and share and have a seemingly endless well of generosity. I was helping a couple pick out some beers one day, and we got to talking about Russian River Brewing and how they had recently decided to stop distributing to Washington in early 2013. I mentioned that I have never tried one of their sours that we had carried previously, Supplication. The couple bought a few bottles, thanked me, and left. About an hour later, I'm pouring a pint and someone reaches over the bar and sets a bottle in a brown paper bag in front of me. That same couple came back just to give me a bottle of Supplication. I was gobsmacked. I have hundreds of stories like this of the generosity that the craft beer community has. And Pint Defiance gives them a place to circle around."

"I think why people come to drink at Pint Defiance is because of our atmosphere and customer service," says employee Justin Johnson. "We all pride ourselves in our knowledge of craft beer and providing a welcoming environment. I personally enjoy talking to people and getting to know them. As cheesy as it sounds, I like having a pub where everyone knows your name. We are all a fun group of people who enjoy sharing a laugh over a pint."

Clinking Pints

Pint Defiance has squirrelled away some special kegs for the second anniversary celebration.

"We wanted to show off some of our favorites as well as showcase a few unique offerings," explains Barry. "I don't want to give too much away, but know that there will be a little something for all tastes. IPAs, sour, barrel-aged porter, cider, pale and others. Elysian Brewing Company brewmaster Steve Luke has been sneaking us special kegs all year for events. This time around, he is advancing us a keg of what Elysian will be entering in this years Great American Beer Festival - The Quarter Nelson Pale."

Besides Elysian, expect some of the Watsons' other favorites such as Almanac and Dogfish Head, plus a few rarities.

Barry's Beer Camp "No Sleep ‘Till Chico" Coffee Vanilla Porter will also be in the house. Barry was fortunate to attend Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp, the Chico, California brewery's full-immersion, hands-on beer education where - in addition to learning everything about the pioneering brewery - distributors, brewery owners and select industry campers such as Barry work with Sierra Nevada brewers to develop a name, concept and recipe for a new beer of their choosing, which is produced and distributed to a very select number of accounts. Apparently Barry is an "A" student, which you'll discover Saturday, if you haven't tasted the porter.

Of course, it's not a second anniversary party without a second anniversary beer. Thanks to Stoup Brewing in Seattle, the 2nd Anniversary IPA will be on tap Saturday.

"I met Brad Benson from Stoup Brewing back in March when we hosted the Tacoma leg of the Hop-Mob Triple IPA Fest. We were so impressed with his young brewery that Renee and I started making trips to Ballard to sample his beers and bring kegs back to Pint Defiance," explains Barry. "They have since hired a sales manager so we can get their beers more regularly and have had much of the Stoup line-up in regular rotation. I asked Stoup to brew our anniversary beer after Brad and I bonded over 10 Barrel Brewing Co.'s O.G. Wheat IPA. We both liked how uniquely the wheat in the grain bill of that beer changed the overall mouthfeel of the beer and how well it showcased the hops."

Bittered with Millennium hops, finished with Falconer's flight and dry hopped with a combination of Amarillo, Simco and Falconer's flight, the 2nd Anniversary was brewed with two-row barley, red, flaked and crystal wheat, ringing in at 6.2 percent ABV and 45 IBUs.

"The 2nd Anniversary IPA is fantastic," notes Barry. "Brad and I wanted to put a twist on an IPA without it being a novelty. We made a wheat-based IPA with strong color and terrific palate - really rich, and more full-bodied than a traditional IPA. Starts off nice and citrus-y and hoppy, then once you swallow it, the palate is wiped clean and ready for the next taste. Stoup is certainly a brewery to watch. Not only do they make fantastic beer, but they play well with others and collaborate a lot."

Typical of Pint Defiance Brewer's Nights, the two-year anniversary party will be lively, full of beer chatter and pats on the back from Barry and Renee, who will be the first to admit none of their success would have happened without their staff and customers. A lot of stores in the South Sound sell beer, but then, a lot of stores sell batteries and toilet paper, too. Pint Defiance is the place to go if you want to hang with people who revel in beer - who really love the stuff.  

PINT DEFIANCE TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY, 11 a.m. to close, Saturday, Sept. 13, Pint Defiance, 2049 Mildred St. W., Fircrest, free admission, 253.302.4240

Filed under: New Beer Column, Fircrest, Tacoma,

September 9, 2014 at 10:12am

Olympia Food Co-op to host first Zuke Fest

Olympia Food Co-op will give zucchinis a chance to prove themselves in terms of size, taste and even speed.

The zucchini is joked about, giggled at for its shape and sometimes maligned for its overabundance at this time of year.

But Sunday, the zucchini will have its day at the Olympia Food Co-op's first Zuke Fest.

The fest, part of the co-op's annual Harvest Party, will give those phallic giants a chance to prove themselves in terms of size, taste and even speed.

The co-op will award patches for porn-star-sized zukes in three categories: most giant (longest), most girth and most weight. (Insert your own zucchini - er, your own zucchini joke.)

There'll be a zucchini bread bakeoff and a zucchini derby along the lines of the Boy Scouts' pinewood derby. All zucars must be made on site using standard wheels and no engines. You can bring your own zucchini or one will be provided for you, but don't bring your biggest one: Finished vehicles can't exceed a foot in length or 10 inches in width.

The race is open to all ages, with a category for "big kids" who are over 18.

"We were trying to figure out something really fun to do with kids and adults, something that would be intergenerational and playful," Gagnier said.

The fest is a new part of the co-op's 10-year-old Harvest Party, which this year will feature music by Artesian Rumble Arkestra and Romanteek.

"We make a feast, and members bring food," said Shameka Gagnier, the co-op's outreach coordinator. "There are games. We have face painters and all kind of fun things going on.

"This year, we decided we were going to try to make it a little more exciting, and we added the Zuke Fest."

Rogers Street in front of the co-op and part of the parking lot will be closed off for the event, so Gagnier recommended carpooling, taking public transportation or biking.

HARVEST PARTY & ZUKE FEST, 1-6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, Westside Olympia Food Co-op, 921 Rogers St. NW, Olympia, free admission, 360.754.7666

September 9, 2014 at 11:38am

Oktoberfest Northwest turns 10, includes Stein Dash 5k and Manuela Horn and the Oktoburlesques

Manuela Horn and the Oktoburlesques headline the 2014 Oktoberfest Northwest at the Washington State Fairgrounds Oct. 3-5. Photo courtesy of Facebook

Beer! Lederhosen! Beer! Bratwurst! Beer! Yodeling! Beer! Manuela Horn and the Oktoburlesques! Beer! Oktoberfest Northwest has all of these fine things, but, most importantly, it has beer.

A press release for this year's event just landed at the Weekly Volcano World Headquarters. Check it. ...

The 2014 Oktoberfest Northwest, October 3, 4 and 5 at the Washington State Fair & Events Center, celebrates its 10th year with a Munich-inspired Festhalle Biergarten, authentic entertainment, traditional German foods and fun games for all ages. The exciting array of events for this year's festival includes the Hammerschlagen Tournament of Champions, the always-popular Weiner Dog Race, and the Oktoberfest Northwest Stein Dash 5k. Participants run with a souvenir stein which is filled in the beer garden at the end of the race. The 5k takes place on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and all ages are welcome. To sign up, click on steindash5k.com. Once again, $3 discount coupons for event admission will be available at participating Pierce and South King County Safeway stores from mid-September though the event dates.

Manuela Horn and the Oktoburlesques take over the weekend as the Oktoberfest Northwest 2014 headliner. Manuela has been entertaining audiences around the world for 10 years, best known for her performances in Teatro Zinzanni, the movie "Rent," and TV show "America's Got Talent."  Known as the Australian Amazon, standing 6 foot 2 inches, this yodeling, dancing and all-around-entertainer and her show is sure to delight audiences of all ages. Fans of Oktoberfest also won't want to miss the Enzian Schuhplattler dancers, the Beer Barrels, AlpenBand CA and other acts that add to a lively Oktoberfest celebration. Oktoberfest Northwest is known throughout the region for providing authentic German entertainment and the 2014 event will feature another outstanding line-up of performers crooning everything from Edelweiss to polka versions of popular rock songs. Oktoberfest Northwest is a collaborative effort between Festivals Inc. (producers of the Bite of Seattle) and the Western Washington Fair Association. Discount admission coupons are available at participating South King County and Pierce County Safeway stores. 

For information on corporate and group packages, please call (425) 295-3262.  For general festival information, go to www.oktoberfestnw.com

September 10, 2014 at 1:22pm

Eat This Now: Paesan's Pancetta and Pear Pizza

Paesan's Pancetta and Pear Pizza is perfection.

Sometimes you want a big ole pizza pie dripping with grease and packed with toppings. Sometimes you want a lead-footed, pimply-face teen to deliver that pizza to your doorstep. Let your freak flag attached to a bent car antennae fly, I say.

Then again, sometimes you desire a pizza pie that appeals to your more refined taste - cue: Paesan Kitchen and Bar in Tacoma.

This intimate joint on Dock Street serves artisan-style pizza with crispy, almost flatbread crust teeming with creative, tasty toppings such as kalamata olives, Pomodoro cheese and fresh seafood. My favorite journey through its fun flavorful pizza pies stars and ends with Paesan's Pancetta and Pear Pizza ($15). This delightful number includes fresh garlic oil, mozzarella and Gorgonzola cheese, caramelized onion, thyme, arugula and sliced pear and crisp bits of pancetta. Le sigh!

The tart Gorgonzola, smoky onion, salty pancetta, peppery arugula and sweet pear provide a lovely matrimony of flavor that keeps your taste buds alert and wanting another slice.

I'm a little obsessed with this fresh take on a college bender favorite. I'm not knocking the pizza joints serving up the two-for-one deals, but sometimes you simply need to nosh outside the box - not in the pizza box - and, of course, pair it with a craft cocktail.

PAESAN KITCHEN AND BAR, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to midnight Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight Saturday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, 1715 Dock St., Tacoma, 253.301.2396

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

September 11, 2014 at 12:19pm

Reading Between The Lines: Powerhouse Brewery fall beer releases, plus the week in beer ...

Perusing Weekly Volcano scribe Jackie Fender's update on big menu changes and the addition of a bourbon bar at the Powerhouse Restaurant and Brewery, I noticed the downtown Puyallup brewery announced its fall beers:

Other new beverage delights include fall brew releases such as an Oktoberfest, a pumpkin-Graham Cracker brew and the Winter Warmer, which is dark and warm, and, Baird says, "everything you want on a cold day in a glass."

All three intrigue me. I'll keep an eye on the release dates.

BEER HERE

THURSDAY, SEPT. 11

The Copper Door beer store and taproom hosts a launch party for San Diego's Green Flash Brewing's season triple IPA Green Bullet from 7-11 p.m. New Zealand grown Pacific Gem and Green Bullet hops were used to create this bold IPA with notes of spicy pine, mango and pineapple. Also on tap will be Flash's Saison Diego, East Village Pilsner and Road Warrior Imperial Rye IPA.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 13

Pint Defiance celebrates its two-year anniversary with an all-day party featuring a special 2nd Anniversary IPA. Read up on the beer store/taproom's history and party specifics here.

If Pint Defiance doesn't have enough farm animals for your liking, may I suggest the Hops & Crops Brew Festival at Mary Olson Farm in Auburn. The 67-acre, 1887 family subsistence farm welcomes a dozen or so breweries, including South Sound represent Harmon Brewing and Fish Brewing, from noon to 6 p.m. The Cottonwood Cutups are among several bands scheduled to perform.

Over at the Chinese Reconciliation Park on the Ruston Way waterfront in Tacoma, Wingman Brewers will be pouring a special brew made with flaked rice, lychee fruit and ginger as part of the Moon Festival from 1-8 p.m.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 16

The ParkWay Tavern isn't calling it good after its recent massive IPA Fest. The North Slope Tacoma pub hosts the San Marcos, California, Belgian-inspired brewery The Lost Abbey and its brews. I have no idea what will be poured, but my guess the beers will be high in alcohol and at least one named after some poor chap who forgot it was his turn to drive the plague cart.

September 12, 2014 at 10:45am

Mac and Cheese Madness: McNamara's Papa Ed's Mac and Cheese

Papa Ed's Mac and Cheese and McNamara's Pub & Eatery in DuPont could end up in the third "X Files" movie.

Me, I like a good mystery. Pyramids? Shugborough inscription? Bigfoot? Dark energy? Ted Cruz? Quantum physics? Tacoma's Black Bear? Obviously.

But I also adore the lesser-known mysteries, the countless smallish puzzlers that I still don't understand after one live conversation, a phone call, a pending Facebook reply and an embarrassingly long Google search.

I didn't know what I ate. It was tasty, and it helped me though USA's pounding of Lithuania during hot FIBA action. (If I could somehow make the acronym FIBA mean USA's lazy passes are deflect every time I would.)

Wait. My phone just made that magical message sound. It might be the answer. Hold on. ...

Nope. Just Foursquare telling me Karen N. is at Memo's Mexican Food Restaurant on Sixth Avenue. No photo.

Anyway, I don't know what's in the sauce encompassing most of Papa Ed's Mac and Cheese at McNamara's Pub & Eatery in DuPont. It's creamy. It's buttery. It's a mystery.

Smiley fun bartender Amanda told me it's "Profectamount cheese ... with cheddar on top." I spent time looking it up.

Nameless hostess over the phone told me it was a "Perfectimo sauce the kitchen makes in the morning ... with cheddar on top." I actually spent time searching that one, too. "Perfect IMO" was the dominant search result. That can't be it, IMO.

McNamara's mac and cheese oozes with the mystery sauce, 10,000 chunks of salty ham topped with cheddar cheese and a buttery crumb topping, and then baked in a skillet. Elbow macaroni provides a tender chew, the noodles and ham holding on to the sauce until it reaches the mouth, often leaving a mark on the chin. The ham dominates the flavor.

There's an additional mystery with this dish: How can one person eat it the whole thing? I couldn't.

I'll post an update when the sauce mystery is solved.

MCNAMARA'S PUB & EATERY, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday, 8 a.m. to midnight Thursday-Saturday, 1595 Wilmington Dr., DuPont, 253.964.9200

LINK: More mac and cheese dishes in the South Sound

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

September 12, 2014 at 1:53pm

Lake Tapps Brewing Co. stuck on fun flavors ... but not stuck next to the Stuck River

The Lake Tapps Brewing Co. mixes history with modern, traditional with fun flavors, next to the Stuck River in Sumner. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

"Morgan Alexander is a cool guy," says Craig Martinson, one of four friends who opened the Lake Tapps Brewing Co. Aug. 25 in the Riverside Pub building next to the Stuck River Bridge in Sumner.

Alexander's name came up in conversation as the Tacoma Brewing Company founder shares the same passion with Martinson - brewing beer with non-traditional ingredients such as pineapple, cherries and raspberries. Martinson will be the first to admit he's not a chemist, but he's a scientist at heart. He enjoys experimenting in his brewery room, adding peaches and jalapenos to his creations. He might not have a mathematical degree hanging on his brewery's wall, but the longtime brewer knows what he is doing. He's been brewing on a one-barrel system out of his Lake Tapps home's garage with his friends for quite some time - friends who are now his business partners - Glenn Adams, Vance Hanbidge and Lee Martin.

"A jalapeno beer is not a unique idea. Trust me, I have had many. What WE try to do is have a fresh jalapeno smell and a fresh jalapeno taste, with a little burn," says Martinson. "A guy came in the other night and said, ‘Dude, I have had 30 jalapeno beers and this is the first one that actually tastes like a fresh jalapeno.'"

It's true. It tastes like a fresh jalapeno. It's delicious.

Besides the Jalapeno Ale, Lake Tapps Brewing Co. currently has on tap their Banana Peach Ale and Coconut Porter - two beers, according to Martinson, that are so popular he's brewing more.

Martinson says they'll try to keep 10 to 12 beers on tap, with a couple guest taps, such as Graham's M.T. Head Brewing's Zuess IPA and its lager, both available now. Other Lake Tapps Brewing beers you can drink now are the Pale Ale, Citrus Blonde with orange and grapefruit, CDA, Stout, Porter, Amber and refreshing ISA. Their IPA is currently not available.

The fresh hops are in and will make an appearance soon, as will be a pumpkin porter and pumpkin blonde. Martinson also has been experimenting with a first-time ingredient that he wants to keep a secret.

What's not a secret is the brewery's future forced move. In the early 1900s, the building, known as the Riverside Tavern, resided on the other side of the Stuck River. After the Stuck River Bridge was built in 1927, the building relocated to its current location at the corner of Valley Avenue East and Bridge Street in Sumner, where it was eventually renamed the Riverside Pub. The bridge over Stuck River on Bridge Street is slated for demolition and replacement by 2015, which will be diverted through the Lake Tapps Brewing Co.'s current location. Martinson and crew are pondering moving the building, including to a location on the east side of Bridge Street.

Until then, the brewery is open Thursday through Saturday, 4 p.m. to close.

The brewery has erected a giant flatscreen with cozy furniture from neighboring Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse. If the Seahawks are on the tube, the brewery will open one hour before the game.

The Lake Tapps Brewing Co. doesn't have a kitchen, but serves pretzels and peanuts. They allow patrons to bring in food, and deliveries are accepted.

LAKE TAPPS BREWING CO., opens 4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 13708 Valley Ave. E., Sumner, 253.750.0869

Filed under: New Beer Column, Sumner,

September 12, 2014 at 2:43pm

TWOKOI Japanese Restaurant Certified Sake Specialist Jeannie Han is still special

Jeannie Han is pictured here ... probably thinking about sake.

In 2010, a few days before the Weekly Volcano foodie and drinkie group Nosh League gathered at TWOKOi Japanese Restaurant and drank 10,000 gallons of sake, or so it felt, WV scribe Jennifer Johnson announced to the world that the Tacoma restaurant's sake specialist Jeannie Han was in fact very special, a certified sake specialist special.

News just arrived at Weekly Volcano World Headquarters that restaurant industry magazine FSR has also discovered how Han's special talents. Here is the news release out of the TWOKOI camp. ...

Home to the largest sake selection in the Pacific Northwest TWOKOI Japanese Cuisine and the City of Tacoma lead the way with sake! The September 2014 FSR Magazine recognized TWOKOI's sake program as outstanding in the nation! 

Right in the heart of Tacoma's downtown museum district, TWOKOI offers sake like you have never experienced before.  Our educated staff will guide you through a personal sake journey.  Whether you are sampling or pairing, our extensive sake selection will be sure to satisfy your palette!

Offering a variety of classes including sake as well as sushi and team building - inquire anytime about signing up today!

TWOKOI opens at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday through Friday for lunch, happy hour, and dinner and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday for happy hour and dinner.  Classes are available seven days a week.

Nice.

Filed under: Awards, Tacoma, In Their Words,

September 15, 2014 at 10:16am

Served Blog Banner Boy: Q&A with bartender Ian Hedlund of The Brotherhood Lounge

Ian Hedlund is a professional bartender at The Brotherhood Lounge in Olympia. Photo credit: Nikki McCoy

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 Ian Hedlund.

Server Banner Boy, Sept. 15-21, 2014

Ian Hedlund

Ian Hedlund has done everything there is to do in a restaurant or bar setting. He entered the service industry in high school and kept the drive alive through college. His first bartending stint was at the popular but now defunct Greek Cusina in Southwest Portland. For the last seven years, Hedlund has served drinks at The Brotherhood Lounge in downtown Olympia.  

Why do you serve?

"I serve because I never figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I graduated from college and realized that I could sit in a cubicle, go to more school and, more than likely, end up somewhere I only marginally liked and be mired in debt, or I could bartend, make a decent living working 25-30 hours a week, and use my free time to not grow up. I chose the latter."

Who is your favorite server in the South Sound?

"That question is impossible to answer! I am purposefully not going to name a co-worker because A) I love them all, and B) I don't want to alienate anyone. Off the top of my head, I love Nathan from McCoy's and The Reef. He's great for witty banter and a no-nonsense attitude laced with hilarity."

What are you most proud to serve?

"A good drink in a timely manner to an appreciative person."

What is your current drink of choice?

"I drink tequila and beer. Ideally, a nice añejo and a Ninkasi."

What is your favorite movie?

"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (read: The Montauk Project) or ... anything by Charlie Kaufman."

What don't you serve?

"I won't serve ‘what I drink.' If you don't know what you want to drink, you CERTAINLY don't want what I drink!"

What's on your radar at The Brotherhood Lounge?

"Sometime next month, we have a ladies arm wrestling competition happening. I'm not exactly sure what to expect, but I guarantee it will be awesome."

LINK: Meet other South Sound servers

Filed under: Served Banner Models, Olympia,

September 15, 2014 at 12:29pm

Pizza And Beer Report: Now with more cider tonight

Katie Downs hosts Two Beers Brewing for a brewer's night from 6-8 p.m. tonight.

Need a Monday pick-me-up? Check out the always-amazing combo of pizza and beer at Katie Downs tonight. The Tacoma waterfront bar and eatery hosts Two Beers Brewing Co. and Seattle Cider Co. for a brewers' night from 6-8 p.m.

Pizza and beer is a match made in heaven, and everywhere else. Beer is known to cut through fatty, greasy and creamy types of dishes - such as thick crust cheesy pizza (read: Katie Downs.

The Pizza

Katie Downs is still going strong after Dr. John Hilger and Mike Ebert opened the tavern - which is now a bar - in the fall of 1982.

The waterfront restaurant and bar serves 6-inch and 12-inch deep-dish pizzas loaded, and I mean loaded with cheese. Each pizza is hand rolled and baked for 20 to 25 minutes. Katie Downs serves deep-dish pies so fat and smothered in golden-browned cheese; one slice is enough for a meal. The red sauce is rich and loaded with tomatoes - although many folks prefer the white sauce, as in the Rainier with its bay shrimp, artichoke hearts and red onion. The crust is buttery thick and chewy - so tasty that, long after your stomach is full, you just can't stop.

Katie Downs won the Weekly Volcano's Tournament of Pizza - the 2011 incarnation of our annual March Madness-themed food throwdown where eaters from the South Sound weigh in on the best of the best, whittling a field of 64 competitors down to one champion through daily, heated voting.

The Beer/Cider

Two Beers Brewing Co. began operations in a small Seattle basement in 2007 and today produces unique beers including six year-round, 13 seasonal and a host of intricate infusions in its 4,800-square-foot Seattle SoDo neighborhood brewery.

Joel VandenBrink, the founder of Two Beers Brewing, launched the Seattle's first cidery since prohibition last August, thanks to his Two Beers sales rep and former farm boy Eric Willard, who shared his small-batch ciders with VandenBrink. Diagnosed with Crohn's disease, which makes beer difficult to digest, VandenBrink launched the Seattle Cider Company. Cider is naturally gluten free and easier to digest.

Tonight's Lineup

KATIE DOWNS, 6-8 p.m., Monday, Sept. 15, 3211 Ruston Way, Tacoma, 253.756.0771

Filed under: Tacoma, New Beer Column,

About this blog

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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Recent Comments

Ted Smith said:

Thank you for the list of restaurants to try out. I will have to try their Mac and Cheese....

about Tournament of Mac and Cheese: It's Cheesy 16 time!

tastymakan said:

I like your post on Bakery restaurants I like ...

about Mac and Cheese Madness: The Homestead Restaurant and Bakery

Angela Whitten said:

Any Spring beers? www.myharmonyphotography.com

about Cheers to Winter Beers in Puyallup

Web Developers Delhi said:

Amazing blog and very interesting stuff you got here! I definitely learned a lot from reading...

about Eat This Now: Radiator Whiskey Tots

Why Adam? said:

Why Adam? loves the Volcano and Northwest Military! We are honored to be a part of the local...

about Why Adam? Why Odd Otter beer? Here's why: rally behind Team Knowing Stuff