Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

September 1, 2014 at 8:25am

Fall Business: Top Rung Brewing and Harmon Brewing

Top Rung Brewing Co. has several beers scheduled for release this fall. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

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(Cue Tangerine Dream soundtrack)

The dream is always the same. It's July. Instead of going home, I go to the brewpub. I ring, but nobody answers. The door is open, so I go inside. I'm looking around for the people, but nobody seems to be there. And then I hear the mash-lauter-tun running, so I head to the backroom to see what's what. Then I see it, this ... pumpkin ale, this incredible ale. I mean, what is it doing there I don't know, because it's July ... but it's a dream, so I go with it.

"Who's there?" a voice says.

"Ron," I say.

"What are you doing here?" the voice asks.

"I don't know what I'm doing here; what are you brewing here?" I ask.

"I'm about to release our pumpkin ale," the voice says.

"It's freakin' July," I reply.

No response.

Then I say: "You want me to go?"

"No," the voice says. "Want a sip of my new pumpkin ale?"

So now, I'm getting enthusiastic about this dream. So I head toward the beer, but it's hard to find through all the fall beer promotional swag and stuff; I keep losing the beer. Cardboard pumpkins bounce off my head. Finally I get past the swag ... and I ... find myself in a brightly fluorescent lit grocery store with towering displays of Bud Light and end-cap cases of Ruffles Sour Cream and Strychnine and hormone-injected, meat-like slabs that hiss at me as I walk by. I've ... just made a terrible mistake. I'll never drink local craft harvest and pumpkin ales and laugh with friends as leaf remnants fall off our crisp pullovers and mix with scattered roasted pumpkin seeds on the floor. My life is ruined.

I wake up drenched in sweat every time, mostly in fear I'll actually release this nonsense to the public. Wait.

Is it fall yet? Almost.  

Craft breweries across the country (and the world) are releasing their varied versions of the fall seasonal - from fresh hopped brews to classic Märzen/Oktoberfest style offerings. The South Sound is no exception. Last week, I posted local breweries' release plans for the next few months. A couple local breweries were left off the list, such as Top Rung Brewing Co. in Lacey and Harmon Brewing Co. in Tacoma. Maybe the head brewers were enjoyingdeep azure seas and delicious star-addled skies and crazily overdressed mariachi bands or other delights, but they have answered the call this week.Here's what will be in their glasses this autumn. ...

Top Rung Brewing

"We will be brewing our Red next week," says Casey Stobol, who opened Top Rung Brewing Co. with fellow Thurston County firefighter and head brewer Jason Stoltz this past spring. "We will also be working on our Imperial Stout and a Dark Pumpkin."

The two brewers will also release some fun one-offs on their pilot system. Stay tuned.

Harmon Brewing Co.

Our main fall release will be our Fall Ball Imperial Harvest Ale," says Harmon Brewing Co. head brewer Jeff Carlson. "The Harmon Harvest is an Imperial Red/Amber brewed with an extra helping of Munich malt to give it a rich, deep amber color and complex malt body."

Other malts in the Fall Ball include Melanoidin, Dextrin, 15L, 45L and 120L Crystal malts, finished with a little chocolate malt.

Centennial, Liberty and Fuggle hops represent.

"We have also added a touch of pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice to round off the finish," adds Carlson.

Expect 8.1 percent alcohol by volume and 51 International Bittering Units.

"We will also offer our Headless Horseman Pumpkin Spiced Blonde occasionally throughout the fall," says Carlson. "A couple of other cool things we have coming up is our first bottle releases for our Tap Room Reserve Series - the Old John Barrel Blend and Super Samurai Barley Wine."

In honor of John O'Gara, the ParkWay Tavern's long-time manager who passed away this spring, Carlson has brewed the Old John Barrel Blend; an old ale brewed with Pale 2-Row, Dark Munich, Crystal 15L and some pale chocolate malts. It was hopped with Liberty, Fuggle and Cascade hops. The whole batch was transferred into three barrels - two whiskey barrels and one wine barrel - then blended. It rings in at 9.7 percent ABV and 45 IBUs.

The Super Samurai is a single hop barley wine featuring Sorachi Ace hops. Name appropriately, this barley wine is big, bold and aggressive with 11 percent ABV and 102 IBUs.

"The Super Samurai is a warrior against all other barley wines," Harmon hype claims. "Challenge it if you dare."

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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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