Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

Posts made in: 'Lacey' (31) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 31

January 21, 2015 at 11:11am

Beer Here: Elysian IPA Fest, Firestone Walker, Hammerhead Ale, Manny Chao, Gigantic Brewing ...

Wish the Hammerhead Ale a happy 29th birthday at the McMenamins Spar Cafe in Olympia Sunday. Then drink it.

When it rains it pours, and although the forecast calls for rain Thursday through Sunday, it's pouring beer in the South Sound starting today ... or something.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 21

Remember last week when you were staring at The Red Hot's chalkboard and you actually shouted "Breakside boyyyeee!" over the XTC song "Life Begins At The Hop"? You were all hopped up for Breakside Brewery Brewer's Night at the Sixth Avenue craft beer and hot dog joint. You were going to have some gold medal Breakside IPA and life would be dandy. Well, I have some bad news that isn't bad. Breakside night broke, and its Elysian IPA Fest night instead at The Red Hot (2916 Sixth Ave., Tacoma). That's right, Annie will be in the Hot house with the Seattle brewery's mainstay IPAs - The Immortal, Savant, Space Dust, I imagine - as well as some of their taproom-only IPAs. Oh, and a special shout out to Elysian for mailing me their new Sub Pop tribute pale ale, Loser. Digging the light, tropical flavors and seven percent ABV as I type this. ...

The Swiss Restaurant and Pub (1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma) has their beer dinners dialed in, offering multiple food courses paired with beer, beer production and history from brewers and reps, preparation details from the kitchen and lots of laughs. This month, Silver City Brewing teams up with The Swiss kitchen on a Wednesday night. Drop by the historic building with $40 to secure a delicious, fun time.

THURSDAY, JAN. 22

Details are still scarce, but what's certain is Firestone Walker Brewing Company from California will be at the ParkWay Tavern (313 N. I St., Tacoma) with beers and prizes, beginning at 5 p.m. Will 18th Anniversary Ale be available? Let's hope so. Its blend consists of nine different beers aged in various bourbon, plain oak and brandy barrels. The beers are Parabola, a Russian imperial oatmeal stout; Helldorado barleywine with buckwheat honey; Bravo imperial brown ale; Stickee Monkee quadrupel; Velvet Merkin oatmeal stout; Hydra Cuvee dark ale; Wookey Jack black rye IPA; Ol' Leghorn barleywine and Double Jack double IPA. Please, please, please ...

FRIDAY, JAN. 23

Hands On Children's Museum (414 Jefferson St. NE, Olympia) hosts "The Art & Science Behind Craft Brews" at 6:30 p.m. The museum will host beer tastings, beer-themed science experiments, art projects and more. The $25 admission fee includes free beer tastings and a souvenir glass. Barbecue will be available to purchase. Duh, adults only. Buy tickets at www.hocm.com/adultswim.

Several South Sound breweries will be getting weird at the Strange Brewfest in Port Townsend Jan. 23-24. Wingman Brewers, Ram Brewing, Fish Brewing and 7 Seas Brewing are among the 30 breweries pouring beers while bands go nuts for $30 at brownpapertickets.com or $35 at the door.

SUNDAY, JAN. 25

In 1983, unemployed Mike McMenamin bought the former Fat Little Rooster tavern in Portland and renamed it the Barley Mill. Brian McMenamin soon joined in and today they own threescore pubs, taverns, clubs, hotels, dance halls and a village called Edgefield. The McMenamins have the golden touch - to convert desuetude into quirky, funky, artful joints to gather and drink. One of the early McMenamins beers, the Hammerhead Ale, celebrates its 29th birthday. It's a classic Northwest pale ale and McMenamins top selling beer. The beer's signature Cascade hop nose and intense hopped flavor blend nicely with the caramel tones from the crystal malt. McMenamins Spar Café (114 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia) toasts the Hammerhead's old age by offering $3 pints of the 5.93 percent ABV ale all day Sunday.

If building skills to distinguish between beer flavors is your New Year's Resolution, then join Pacific Lutheran University Sous-chef Erick Swenson for his workshop on identifying flaws in beer at 2 p.m. in the 208 Garfield restaurant (208 Garfield, Parkland). He'll pull out the Siebel Institute Sensory Training kits, which contain 24 vials of pre-measured "standards" representing some of the most important flavors and aromatics found in beer. More details can be found here.

The Top Rung Brewing Co. beer pairing dinner with artisan catering company EZ Foods of Olympia has sold out.

TUESDAY, JAN. 27

Some 20 years ago, Manny Chao was the first employee at Mac and Jack's Brewery. With Chao's help, Mac and Jack's amber ale became the third best selling craft brew in the state. Five years later, Chao left Mac and Jack's and by 2002, he and his housemate, Roger Bialous, homebrewed their first beer - Manny's Pale Ale. In 2003, Chao was the number one employee at his Georgetown Brewing Company located in Seattle's Georgetown district. In 2013, Chao and Bialous produced 52,300 barrels of beer - the second highest in the state behind Red Hook. Meet Chao at the Georgetown Brewing Brewer's Night from 5-7 p.m. at Pint Defiance (2049 Mildred St. W., Tacoma), drink his Manny's Pale, Lovely Rieda Imperial IPA, Lucille IPA and Barrel-aged Chopper's Red Ale, learn the stories behind the beer names and maybe win a raffle prize.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 28

Last month, Gigantic Brewing released its 2013 Massive! Barleywine. The aptly named barleywine always features one malt boiled for at least nine hours in the direct fire kettle, resulting in toffee and caramelized sugar malt flavors and evaporation over the long boil results in higher finished alcohol - 13.5 percent. Gigantic! Conquer this beer and meet its founder, Ben Love, when Pint Defiance (2049 Mildred St. W., Tacoma) hosts the Gigantic Brewing Company Brewer's Night from 5-7 p.m. The Portland brewery, which opened in 2011, will also tap its Gigantic IPA, Ginourmous IPA and Saboteur Baltic Porter. Go big!

In 1991, Homebrewer Jeff Lebesch opened New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado. The brewing company has ridden its Fat Tire amber ale across the country - most recently building huge plants in North Carolina, especially Asheville. There are other reasons they have become so big and successful. Le Terroir, La Folie and Tart Lychee are three of those reasons, but there are dozens more. Chat up and drink New Belgium beers at The Swiss Restaurant and Pub (1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma), beginning at 6 p.m.

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 17, 2014 at 10:31am

Beer Here: Lagunitas night, Pelican party, holiday sweaters, Troll Crank ride ...

Ho ho ho yo!

You're lagging in the Christmas spirit this year. Just like last year. And the year before. Scrooging has always been your go-to reaction to the yuletide, but as your grow older, fatter and more sentimental, it's increasingly unacceptable to be crotchety and contrarian. It's unsavory. So, you decide to be proactive. You set aside this coming week to gorge yourself on Christmas cheer. By which I mean beer. ...

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 17

Engine House No. 9's 25 Days of Christmas beer-a-day countdown is going strong. Stop by 611 N. Pine St. and discover today's present.

Harmon Tap Room is hosting the 12 Beers of Christmas, tapping a different small batch holiday brew, every day, for 12 days in a row. By the way, the Tap Room just added 10 new taps.

Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, California, releases anticipated seasonals every year with high levels of alcohol and names as charismatic and irreverent as any beer might hope for - Lagunitas' own Imperial IPA, brewed since 1996, is called Maximus. Brown Shugga, a seasonal brew from Lagunitas, was created in 1997 as the result of an attempt to rescue a failed batch of Olde GnarlyWine Ale by adding "boatloads of brown sugar" - or so the story goes, anyway. Fingers crossed, The Swiss will be pouring it at its Lagunitas Brewer's Night from 6-9 p.m. Yeah, yeah, yeah, woo!

As I have written ad nauseam, a steady stream of big, goonish stouts are filling shelves and taps. Some of these seasonals are worth the fuss and price (Deschutes' The Abyss, for example - head to The Red Hot Sunday) while many others are lopsided thanks to hyper-inflated alcohol content and overblown flavor infusions. Pelican Pub & Brewery's Tsunami Stout rises to the top. With a color only a few minutes from midnight and a thick but clean pour, it has a satisfying, but not overpowering (7 percent), heariness. Big, roasty cocoa flavors dominate, but hopheads will find that Magnum and Willamette hops impart a slice of crisp citrus and a cherry topper. Drink it and eight other Pelican brews at 99 Bottles, beginning at 5 p.m. The first 48 people to check in at the Federal Way beer store will score a free Pelican glass.

The 2nd Annual Cheers to Winter Beers event takes place at 6 p.m. in the Puyallup River Alehouse. Here's the deliciousness owner Eric Akeson has planned for patrons: 10 Barrel Pray For Snow, Alaskan Winter, Elysian Bifrost, Widmer Brrr, Redhook Winterhook, Anderson Valley Winter Solstice, Naked City Potlatch Smoked Maple Brown Ale, The Lost Abbey Merry Taj Christmas IPA, Puyallup River Old Pioneer Winter Ale and others. "Our 2014 Old Pioneer Winter Ale is a new recipe for this year," says Akeson. "Last year, we brewed a malt-forward Amber Ale with vanilla beans and lavender. This year, we're brewing an Imperial Red IPA-style beer, with a big, dry hop that all the hop heads are going to love." Santa will arrive at 7 p.m.

THURSDAY, DEC. 18

Top Rung Brewing runs its My Dog Stout through a Randall loaded with candy canes beginning at 4 p.m.

How much wood can the Woodchuck Hard Cider chuck if the Woodchuck Hard Cider could chuck wood? I have no idea, but Topside Bar & Grill is allowing the Vermont cidery to take over four of its handles, beginning at 6 p.m.

FRIDAY, DEC. 19

Want to drink a Cozy Sweater while wearing an ugly holiday sweater? Twisted Kilt Irish Pub hosts an ugly sweater party with an emphasis on Iron Horse Brewery beers, including Irish Death, Mocha Dream and said sweater. Expect a DJ spinning and giveaways, beginning at 9 p.m.

SATURDAY, DEC. 20

Top Rung Brewing hosts an ugly holiday sweater festival from 2-9 p.m., with a contest going down at 7 p.m. Santa will drop off a food truck. The Outlanders will play bluegrass beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Randall will be working overtime.

Also hosting an ugly holiday sweater party is Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. Those who don holiday cheer will receive a dollar off every pint, from 6-9 p.m., and entered into a contest to win a PB&M gift basket.

Itchin' for an excuse to pull that bicycle out of storage and get some extra wear out of your Santa hat? Saddle up and get ready to ride through the streets of Tacoma drunkon candy canes and the drinks they garnished. The Tacoma Mob Rider invites revelers to jump on their pedal-driven sleighs and eat and drink their way through Tacoma, Saturday. The Troll Crank zaniness begins at 7 p.m. inside the canned beer and bicycle shop Broken Spoke. From there, the pack moves on to other fine establishments, which will be revealed over cans of beer at the Spoke. It's free to participate, but you'll be shelling out cash for anything you eat or drinkalong the way. Tacoma Mob Rules asks you to dress festive, with a nod toward Crosby sweaters.

Tacoma Stars have dubbed Saturday, Dec. 20, "Wingman Brewers Night" for their soccer match against the Arlington Aviators. Wingman beer is now pouring at every match in the Far Post Bar at the Tacoma Soccer Center (2610 East Bay St., Tacoma). Saturday, beginning at 7:30 p.m., added giveaways and handshakes from the Wingman crew are an added bonus.

SUNDAY, DEC. 21

The Red Hot hosts its 3rd annual Darkest Day festival, while across the street Engine House No. 9 unleashes its 2014 Snow Cru, plus a multitude of other E9 big beers. Details on these Tacoma joints' celebrations of the longest night of the year can be found here.

MONDAY, DEC. 22

Fish Tale Brew Pub hosts the 15th Annual Holiday Brass Bash at 7:30 p.m. Trumpeter Andy Omdahl will lead a brass-tastic band, rattle beer pints and the donation boxes for Thurston County Food Bank.

December 10, 2014 at 10:29am

Beer Here: 25 Days of Christmas, WinterFest, Winter Beer-nanza, 12 Beers of Christmas ...

Top rung Brewing in Lacey will release its Heavy Irons Double IPA Dec. 13. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

There are five gazillion beer events around the South Sound this coming week. And as much as I enjoy checking out your Untappd beer count, I want you to take care of yourself enough to reach next Wednesday. It's hard enough work juggling lagers and stouts and ales without all those ciders and meads, so I thought I'd suggest just a few beer events for this coming week. But, first, consider a clone: Yeah, yeah, I know it's unethical. But I'm talking about beer here. Since you can't have Drinks for Lynx at the ParkWay at the same time as tossing a few Odin beers back at the Puyallup River Alehouse, you are going to have to let your morals slide just a little bit. I like to dress my close up in a smart bobbed wig. It's best not to be too conspicuous.

BEER HERE

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 10

The ParkWay Tavern will host Drinking for Conservation's "Drinks for Lynx" night. Fifty cents of every beer, cider and wine sold between 6 and 10 p.m. will go to help Conservation Northwest protect the lynx. DFC donates to organizations with missions the committee believes in - helping animals and the environment.

Odin Brewing of Seattle has released a small batch of Equinox Porter with the non-spore forming genus of yeast Brettanomycesafter months of aging the brett tartness and earthiness blend with bourbon flavors in barrels. Will it be at the Odin Brewer's Night at Puyallup River Alehouse? Show up between 6-9 p.m. and find out, or at least be in the running for raffle prizes.

The holiday season brings rich, heavy beers, and those with delicate spices really shine. "Winter warmer" traditionally refers to malty, dark beers that sometimes have a cola-like flavor profile, but contemporary craft brewers are happy to slap the label onto almost any kind of beer released for the December market. Through Jan. 31, Pints & Quarts and O'Blarney's Irish Pub host WinterFest '14, a "passport" affair where drinkers can score a 16-ounce Pilsner glass by drinking five winter beers at each joint, receiving stamps for proof.

Speaking of a bunch of beers ... Are you participating in Engine House No. 9's 25 Days of Christmas beer-a-day countdown? Head brewer Shane Johns has tapped a special beer to drink every day until Christmas. So far, E9 Nameless IPA #33, Samichlaus, 2013 Delerium Noel, 2012 Port Old Viscosity, Boneyard Bone A Fide, The Bruery Bois, 10 Barrel's German Sparkle Party, Lost Abbey's Merry Taj and Firestone Walker's Agrestic have been tapped. Day 10? Stop by 611 N. Pine St. and discover today's present.

Speaking of gifts ... Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. debuts its Belgian Abbey Ale today. Brewed in the tradition of Belgian Trappist beers, the Belgian Style Dubbel is complex, malty and fruity. It's open from 4-10 p.m.

THURSDAY, DEC. 11

Here we are, clamped firmly in winter's dismal, rime-curdled armpit. Fortunately, my projected schedule for the next two months includes plenty of winter beers, including Pint Defiance's annual Winter Beer-nanza party, beginning at 5 p.m. The specialty beer store and taproom will convert seven of its taps into winter cheer dispensers: Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (2014), Black Raven Festivus Holiday Ale, Lost Abbey Merry Taj IPA, Bale Breaker High Camp Winter Warmer, pFriem Belgian Christmas Ale, Heathen Reindeer Tears Barrel-Aged Barleywine and Atlas Spiced Pear Cider. In addition to big beers, Pint Defiance will host a "Christmas Cookie Potluck," asking patrons to don a holiday sweater and deliver cookies for all to enjoy. Emergency Food Network donations will be collected at the door.

SATURDAY, DEC. 13

Dec. 13-24, the Harmon Tap Room will host 12 Beers of Christmas, tapping a different small batch holiday brew, every day, for 12 days in a row. If you enjoy a brew for each of the 12 days, you'll receive a complimentary engraved mug. Day one begins with a party, tapping the Candy Cane Porter at 11 a.m. Drink it, stamp your passport and take a tour of the brewery until 3 p.m. Ivan Russian Imperial Stout will be tapped Sunday.

A few decades back, ugly holiday sweaters were a gift as reviled as fruitcake. These days, however, the yuletide look is going through a bit of a renaissance. No longer a style exclusively for crazy old ladies, tacky, sequined sweaters are now sold at Target. They can be found on hipsters, bar crawlers, teens at malls and other folks who like a little irony in their wardrobe (while also benefiting from their cozy warmth). This Saturday, Dick's Brewing Company hosts its Ugly Sweater Christmas Party from 3-7:30 p.m. in its tasting room. Don't forget to bring unwrapped toys and non-perishable food.

Top Rung Brewing Company will unleash its hoppy Heavy Irons Double IPA Saturday. This truly delicious, 8.2 percent ABV was brewed with Simcoe, Amarillo, Cascade and Nugget hops. When you need a double, grab the Heavy Irons.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 17

Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, California, releases anticipated seasonals every year with high levels of alcohol and names as charismatic and irreverent as any beer might hope for - Lagunitas' own Imperial IPA, brewed since 1996, is called Maximus. Brown Shugga, a seasonal brew from Lagunitas, was created in 1997 as the result of an attempt to rescue a failed batch of Olde GnarlyWine Ale by adding "boatloads of brown sugar" - or so the story goes, anyway. Fingers crossed, The Swiss will be pouring it at its Lagunitas Brewer's Night from 6-9 p.m. Yeah, yeah, yeah, woo!

Over at the ParkWay Tavern, Paso Robles' Firestone Walker Brewing Company is one of the country's finest brewers of traditional ales and lagers. There's a reason that the California brewery has won the Great American Beer Festival's Mid-Size Brewery of the Year honor so many times. When Firestone releases a new beer, you can rest assured that it's been well executed. The ParkWay will tap the full gamut of Firestone, beginning at 5 p.m.

SEE ALSO

Cheers to Winter Beers at Puyallup River Alehouse Dec. 17

November 26, 2014 at 2:22pm

Top Rung Brewing will reach Pyrolysis on Black Friday

Top Rung Brewing Co.'s Pyrolysis Imperial Stout / courtesy photo

Every single one-day-at-a-time day is a struggle, particularly around the holidays - specifically during Black Friday. I know there are seven habits to becoming a highly effective person, 50 ways to leave your lover and 12 steps to sobriety. But after years and years as a recovering believer in Santa Claus, I have to ask, "When will it end?"

I'm happy to report Christmas has come early ... and on Black Friday, no less. Mike Besser, the "Ambassador of Beer" at Top Rung Brewing, tells me the Lacey brewery will release Pyrolysis, their Imperial Stout, on Black Friday. It's Top Rung's first winter release since opening this past April.

You might want to cut your shopping early, as the beer is a limited release, available in 10-ounce pours without a growler-fill option.

Top Rung will open several hours early on Black Friday, swinging open the door at noon.

Let's look at the specs. ...

SEE ALSO

The back(draft) story on Top Rung Brewing Co.

Filed under: Holidays, New Beer Column, Lacey,

November 19, 2014 at 11:19am

Beer Here: Hop Valley Brewing, The Red Hot vs Japan, Hops For Hope, dark beers, Harmon beer dinner ...

Rob Brunsman chats up Hop Valley brewing at Pint Defiance tonight. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

October has the German celebration of beer. November has the American feast to end all feasts. If only there was a way to merge the two months into one long, gluttonous season. Octember might be a figment of my imagination, but Novem-Beer isn't. Drink up South Sound. ...

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 19

Lane County, Oregon, is in a yeasty beer boom. Whiteaker, Oakshire, Ninkasi, Plank Town, Viking Braggot, Claim 52, Falling Sky and Hop Valley Brewing Co. are just a few of the breweries keeping Eugene and Springfield on a constant beer run. Pint Defiance Specialty Beers & Taproom picked Hop Valley from the notable beer region for a night of beers and prizes from 5-7 p.m. Eugene native and brewmaster Trevor Howard opened Hop Valley Brewing Friday, Feb. 13, 2009. Indeed, he and his father, Ron Howard, Jonas Kungys and Chuck Hare chose Friday the 13th. Good luck has only come their way, as Hop Valley has undergone incredible growth. The growth should continue as Hop Valley hired Rob Brunsman, the funniest man in beer, to rep Washington state. Join Brunsman for such Hop Valley brews as Alphadelic IPA, Double-D Blonde, Mistress of the Dark Black IPA and Smokin' Porter.

Japan's Kiuchi Brewery was established in 1823 as a sake brewery. In 1996, they began brewing beer under the Hitachino Nest label, and have since produced a range of well-regarded, tasty beers. Their White Ale, a wheat beer spiced with coriander and curacao orange peel in the Belgian style, is top notch, and certainly on par with the best Belgian representatives of this classic style. The Red Hot offers a flight of four Hitachino beers today.

Iron Horse Brewery - the Ellensburg, Washington, brewery that loves to party - will bring a bunch of beer and schwag to The Swiss from 6-9 p.m.

Puyallup River Alehouse hosts North Coast Brewing Company out of Fort Bragg, California, for a night of Blue Star Wheat Beer, Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, Acme California IPA and other brews, plus schwag giveaways from 6-9 p.m.

McMenamins Spar Café celebrates the Terminator Stout's 29th birthday with $3 pints all day. Expect Terminator floats and chili dogs, too.

THURSDAY, NOV. 20

Over by Pacific Lutheran University, beer geek Erick Swenson will offer a German beer sampler at 208 Garfield for $6 a person, beginning at 6 p.m. 

Top Rung Brewing will run its Trashed Pumpkin through a Randall loaded with coffee beans.

Narrows Brewing Co. hosts Hops For Hope, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Grab a pint of the new Turkish Coffee Stout from 6-9 p.m. and maybe your raffle ticket will land you a prize.

FRIDAY, NOV. 21

The Copper Door hosts a Movember fundraiser beginning at 6 p.m. For every pint sold, a dollar will be earmarked for The Movember Foundation to fight prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health issues. Expect a raffle with Movember schwag.

Gig Harbor icon Finholm's Market and Grocery will host Narrows Brewing Co. for a brewer's night from 5-7 p.m.

SATURDAY, NOV. 22

Wingman Brewers knows you need a malty, roasty, chocolatey barrel-aged hug - the warmest snuggle-buddy in all the land - during these cold times. In celebration of their Stratofortress and Bourbon Barrel Stratofortress Belgian Strong Dark Ale style beer releases, Wingman has created a mini festival of darkness and deliverance. In addition to Team Stratofortress, and hauling out its other dark beer goodness, Wingman has invited a few fellow winter beers - some equally dark and strong as the Stratofortresses. Wingman calls the event Denizens of the Dark. From 2-11 p.m. the Tacoma Brewery will offer dark ones: Stratofortress, Bourbon Barrel Stratofortress, Jack' o Fortress, Chocofortress, Bourbon Barrel Big Baby Flat Top, Bourbon Barrel P-51 Porter, Oak Aged Heavy Bevvy Scotch Ale, 2013 Stratofortress (limited bottle release) as well as Lost Abbey Bourbon Angels Share, Alesmith Speedway Stout, 2013 Dogfish Head World Wide Stout, 2013 The Bruery 6 Geese-A-Laying, Epic Brewing Big Bad Baptist, North Coast Old Stock, Pelican Barrel Aged Poire and 2013 Scaldis Noel. Seven bucks scores you a commemorative Cthulhu snifter and your first pour.

TUESDAY, NOV. 25

As one of the lucky few who can claim every meal eaten out as a tax deduction, I don't have much incentive to spend time in the kitchen. Even the prospect of guests to impress doesn't tempt me to start cooking, since I'm acutely aware of how many more talented epicureans are practicing their art in the South Sound, including Bar Bistro's executive Chef Jason Blessum. Bar Bistro hosts a five-course beer-pairing dinner with the Harmon Brewing Co. For $35, you'll receive an ahi crostini with a Hop ‘N Rye beer cocktail, braised pork belly with the Black Tartan CDA, pork tenderloin with the new Fall Ball Imperial Red and other treats, beginning at 6 p.m. Reserve your space at 253.537.3655.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 26

For some, the night before Thanksgiving can be a greater cause for celebration than the holiday itself - an opportunity to return to the old stomping grounds, imbibe oneself with threatening amounts of beer and play catch-up with some forlorn acquaintances. The Puyallup River Alehouse provides the venue. Widmer Brothers provides the beer ... and some raffle prizes ... from 6-9 p.m.

November 12, 2014 at 10:41am

Beer Here: Three Magnets opens, Coast to Coast Toast, Tacoma New West CDA ...

There are people inside Three Magnets Brewing Co. in downtown Olympia! Photo courtesy of Facebook

Cold? Yes, I noticed. But that's one of the many reasons we have beer. Get to it. ...

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 12

Three Magnets Brewing Co. (600 Franklin St. SE, Olympia) has opened the bar section of its giant venture. Those 21 and older may enjoy a limited food menu and, of course, beers.

New Belgium Brewing will takeover the taps at Pint & Quarts Pub (1230 College St. SE, Lacey). Tickets for tastings are a dollar each, beginning at 6 p.m.

Seriously Puyallup River Alehouse? You couldn't wait until after Black Friday to host Chicago's Goose Island Beer Co.? The brewery's infamous Bourbon County Stout will be released the day after Thanksgiving, unleashing the imperial stout with a fearsome 14 percent alcohol content, aged in used bourbon barrels from places like Iowa's Templeton Rye, and hunted for by fans on their release dates like a Beautiful Angle poster. Oh well, Goose Island will bring its other beers and schwag to the downtown Puyallup alehouse from 6-9 p.m.

THURSDAY, NOV. 13

Thursday marks the official day (and night) of the Coast to Coast Toast. Vanberg & DeWulf, who founded the Coast to Coast Toast three years ago, was the first company to specialize in importing Belgian beers to the U.S. The principals of Vanberg & DeWulf (Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield) have been tireless champions for Belgian beer and now "honorary Belgians" all from independent family run producers. 99 Bottles (35002 Pacific Hwy. S., Federal Way) will raise a toast and feature the Vanberg & DeWuld portfolio, from 5-7 p.m.

The focus at The Forum in Puyallup (208 S. Meridian) will be Mac & Jack's IBIS IPA and Cascadian Dark Ale, beginning at 7 p.m. Two Seahawks tickets will be up for grabs, too.

The Copper Door (12 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma) hosts Full Sail Brewing Company out of Hood River, Oregon. Expect Cascade Pilsner, Wasail, Mathias's Main Ingredient Oatmeal Stout, Session Fest and others, besides a raffle from 6-8 p.m.

The ParkWay Tavern (313 N. I St., Tacoma) welcomes 10 Barrel Brewing Company from Bend, Oregon, and their Uberliner Berliner Weissbier, Power to the People American Stout, German Sparkle Party Berliner Weissbier, Apoxalypse IPA, among others, beginning at 5 p.m.

Randall alert! Top Rung Brewing Co. (8343 Hogum Bay Lane NE, Lacey) will runs its Prying Irons IPA through fresh hops beginning at 4 p.m.

SATURDAY, NOV. 15

Unless you have been living in a pothole, you know the Tacoma Art Museum busts out its Haub Family Collection of Western American Art and the museum expansion Saturday. TAM is celebrating the largest gift in the museum's 79-year history with an all-day and night party plus releasing a signature Harmon Brewing Co. ale and a Heritage Distilling Co. bourbon. Harmon's Tacoma New West CDA, a unique Cascadian dark ale brewed with six different malted barleys and chocolate wheat - which means it's black like a stout and the flavor is hoppy like an IPA. Tacoma New West CDA is sold in all Harmon Brewing locations, and a special limited edition will be available in the TAM Cafe. Heritage's Tacoma New West Bourbon Whiskey is a 92-proof bourbon aged less than two years with tones of caramel and vanilla, leaving a light sweetness in the high center of the palate and a smooth lingering finish.

Does the glass matter when tasting craft beer? That's the question Morso Wine Bar (9014 Peacock Hill Ave., Gig Harbor) will answer drinking beer from Spieglau's Pilsner glass, Hefe glass, IPA glass, Tulip glass, plus a typical pint glass, from 1-3 p.m. Reserve your $49 ticket at 253.530.3463.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 19

Iron Horse Brewery - the Ellensburg, Washington, brewery that loves to party - will bring a bunch of beer and schwag to The Swiss (1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma) from 6-9 p.m.

Puyallup River Alehouse (120 S. Meridian, Puyallup) hosts North Coast Brewing Company out of Fort Bragg, California, for a night of Blue Star Wheat Beer, Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, Acme California IPA and other brews, plus schwag giveaways from 6-9 p.m.

THURSDAY, NOV. 20

Over by Pacific Lutheran University, beer geek Erick Swenson will offer a German beer sampler at 208 Garfield (208 Garfield, Parkland) for $6 a person, beginning at 6 p.m. 

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.

October 27, 2014 at 10:54am

Where to eat after 9 p.m. in Olympia and Lacey

Dillingers Cocktails & Kitchen in downtown Olympia serves food until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

We spotted guitarist Vince Brown enjoying a post-gig meal earlier this month at the stylish Dillingers Cocktails & Kitchen.

Brown has a whole array of late-night favorites - just the way most people have a collection of favorite restaurants that close at 9 p.m.

"My go-to restaurants are Dillingers, QB, Swing and Le Voyeur, though QB is the only one you can really count on during the week," he says.

By that, he means that Quality Burrito serves food until midnight every night, while hours vary at most other places - and if it's a slow night, many will stop serving early.

Read Molly Gilmore's full feature on late-night eats in Olympia and Lacey in the Restaurants section.

Filed under: Lacey, Olympia, Nightlife,

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.

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