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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...

October 9, 2014 at 11:37am

South Sound fall cooking classes

Chef Tom Pantley has been hosting cooking classes for 25 years. Photo courtesy of Facebook

Contrary to the 70 degree weather we are still experiencing here in the South Sound, it is fall. This means you have to put a cover on your barbeques and smokers then dust off the pots and pans. Ready yourself for family holiday gatherings, because even though Halloween hasn't arrived, it is right around the corner. My advice, aside from psychologically readying yourself to tolerate your weird uncle and smooch-happy meemaw, is to spruce up your skills in the kitchen with a cooking class or two. Here are a few options on the local level to get crafty in the kitchen:

Toscanos Café and Wine Bar

437 29th St. NE, Puyallup

Chef Tom Pantley of Toscanos in Puyallup has been hosting demonstrative-styled cooking classes for 25 years. Sunday, Nov. 30 is your next opportunity, and a $60 ticket price includes a four-course dinner paired with wine samples, plus recipes and instruction. Pantley covers a variety of cooking techniques, so stay tuned for the theme. Reservation is required, 253.864.8600.

Bayview School of Cooking

516 Fourth Ave. W., Olympia

Bayview School of Cooking is a "no duh" choice when on the prowl for cooking classes. It hosts a variety of classes year round that include instruction from trained professionals as well as guest chefs, plus wine and beer pairings. There are even courses for your mini chefs. Class fees range from $25 to $90. Here are a few standouts for the season:

  • Oct. 9: Beautiful Braises;
  • Oct. 27: Gluten Free;
  • Oct. 28: Biscuits;
  • Nov. 5: Pacific Northwest Party;
  • Nov. 11: Fall Veggies;
  • Nov. 13: Holiday Appetizers;
  • Nov. 20: Citrus, Pomegranate and Olives.

Visit bayviewschoolofcooking.com for full course details and registration.


STAR Center

3873 S. 66th St., Tacoma

STAR Center in Tacoma hosts a plethora of activities for all members of the family, including cooking classes. These classes are often mindful of proper nutrition and highlight seasonal flavors and fun. Class fees are typically $25 to $30. Here are a few coming up this season:

  • Oct. 25, noon: Halloween Spooktacular Treats and Tricks;
  • Nov. 14, 6 p.m.: Cooking Class with Chef Ron: Fancy Up Your Thanksgiving Feast;
  • Dec. 13,10 a.m.: Baking Up a Story: The Gingerbread Man;
  • Dec. 13,noon, Baking Extravaganza.

Visit metroparkstacoma.org/star for full course details and registration.

Primo Grill

2701 Sixth Ave., Tacoma

Though I was unable to confirm upcoming dates and themes, Chef Charlie McManus of Primo Grill has hosted some spectacular and diverse cooking courses in the past for foodies. I recommend visiting the new Primo Grill location on Sixth Avenue.

Dazzle your guests with your newfound culinary prowess. Wow their taste buds and set your goals high. Maybe we will see you on the next episode of Food Network's Chopped.

October 8, 2014 at 9:55am

Beer Here: Jubelpalooza, Hops For Hope, Oktoberfest Battle of the Brands, Proctoberfest ...

The Swiss Restaurant and Pub hosted Battle of the Brands: IPAs in March. It will host an Oktoberfest competition Oct. 9. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

If you like drinking beer in public places, well you're in luck, my tippling exhibitionist friend, because there are some great opportunities tonight through the weekend in the South Sound.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 8

Nearly 50,000 people could have tossed back 3,500 beers from 726 breweries at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver last weekend. It's the biggest and best sudstravaganza in the world. 99 Bottles in federal Way still has GABF fever, and will offer 18 beers that have won awards at the festival from 1999 through last weekend, including Deschutes Obsidian Stout, New Belgium La Folie, Port Hop 15 Imperial IPA, and AleSmith Old Numbskull, which grabbed gold this year in the Barleywine Style Ale category. You pay just $2 to sample 10. Pouring starts at 5 p.m. and last call check-in happens at 7 p.m.

Feel that nip in the air? That flurry of October snow? You know what that means, right? It's The ParkWay Tavern's annual Jubelpalooza beginning at 5 p.m. Skate on over to the Tacoma tavern, wrap your scarf around a snowman and head inside to warm your hands - and your tummy with Deschutes Brewery's JubelAle: A festive Winter Ale. The Bend, Oregon brewery has been producing the robust and malty but approachable beer for 27 years.

Here is your taplist for Jubelpalooza:

  • Jubelale '12 - 7%ABV
  • Jubelale '13 - 6.7%ABV
  • Jubelale '14 - 6.7%ABV
  • Nitro Obsidian Stout - 6.4%ABV
  • Nitro Cinder Cone Red - 5.3%ABV
  • Fresh Squeezed IPA - 6.4%ABV
  • Hop Trip Fresh Hop - 5.9%ABV
  • Inversion IPA (RANDALL) - 6.8%ABV
  • River Ale Blonde - 4%ABV
  • Chain Breaker White IPA - 5.6%ABV
  • Doppel Dinkel Bock - 10.5%ABV
  • Not The Stoic Quad -12.1%ABV
  • 2014 Mirror Mirror Barley Wine - 11.2%ABV
  • Black Butte 25 - 11.3%ABV
  • Black Butte 26 - 10.8%ABV
  • Abyss '12 - 11%ABV
  • Abyss '13 - 11%ABV

Puyallup River Alehouse welcomes Hop Valley Brewing Co. to the South Sound. The Eugene, Oregon, brewery is growing fast and you'll discover why from 6-9 p.m. Karl from Hop Valley will be at the downtown Puyallup alehouse with glassware giveaways, raffle prizes and beers that would join a jam band if they could.

The Copper Door honors Domestic Violence Action Month by hosting Hops For Hope, a fundraiser for YWCA Pierce County. Two dollars from every pint benefits the YWCA's life-saving domestic violence services.

THURSDAY, OCT. 9

Who's got the best Oktoberfest beer? Six breweries will battle for all the marbles. Ninkasi Brewing, Sam Adams, Pyramid Breweries, Silver City Brewery, Fish Brewing and Full Sail Brewing Company are bringing their best Oktoberfest brews to The Swiss Restaurant and Pub for a Battle of the Brands: Oktoberfest Edition, beginning at 6 p.m. Grab a passport to sample all the beers before casting your vote. Expect giveaways and swag.

As previously mentioned, Pint Defiance hosts Top Rung Brewing Co. from 5-7 p.m. Top Rung's Double IPA will be up for first tastes, along with the Lacey brewery's other beers.

The Copper Door welcomes No-Li Brewhouse for a night of the Spokane brewery's beers, beginning at 5 p.m.

FRIDAY, OCT. 10

Engine House No. 9 will tap 10 Barrel Brewing Co.'s German Sparkle Party Berliner Weisse at 6 p.m. Berliner Weisse is a sour, tart, fruity, effervescent ale, often referred to as the champagne of beers for its light and sparkly texture. The event will mark E9's commitment to a permanent 10 Barrel Berliner Weiss tap.

You've attended Bayview School of Cooking's "Fridays Uncorked" nights. You've casually sipped five or so wines as you gazed out at beautiful Budd Bay. Feeling good, you moseyed downstairs to the Thriftway grocery store and bought five Tyson Breaded Chicken dinners, telling your kids to cook it and like it. Oct. 10, the wine series goes Oktoberfest as five German beers and German-style beers will be poured for $5. Also expect oom-pah music, pumpkin carving demonstration and customer judging of employee carved pumpkins. Does Tyson make schnitzel? 5-7 p.m., $5, $7 for paired plates, Bayview School of Cooking, 516 W. Fourth Ave., Olympia, 360.754.1448

Steel Creek American Whiskey Co. knows if you listen to country music and fly a rebel flag everywhere you go and your neck gets burnt from exposure to the sun when you're out partying with friends while country rap band THE LACS blares in the background, you might be a redneck. Therefore, the downtown country/western joint hosts Rednecktoberfest from 9-11 p.m. Enjoy $2 cans of PBR, Hamms and Rainier, as you could win a pair of tickets to see THE LACS live at Steel Creek Nov. 16.

SATURDAY, OCT. 11

Don't freak out if you see a bunch of lederhosen-wearing folks gobbling up free cheese samples at Metropolitan Market. These folks are just taking a breather from Proctoberfest, the Proctor Farmers Market's nod to Oktoberfest. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., vendors and breweries will pour beer and cider as well as fire up the brats. The tamale people should probably double their production this week. Despicable Me 2 is screening across the street at The Blue Mouse Theatre.

The Top Rung Brewing Co.'s Hoptober party will consume the taproom, front patio and the large parking lot behind the brewery from 2-9 p.m. Expect barbecue food, games such as cornhole, ladder toss and Jenga. As mentioned previously in the New Beer Column, Top Rung's Trashed Pumpkin Ale will be released at the party. Bluegrass trio The Outlanders will perform three sets beginning at 6 p.m. There isn't a cover charge.

October 4, 2014 at 10:11am

Words & Photos: Oktoberfest Northwest at Washington State Fairgrounds

I know, I know. But really, every angle was sort of perfect. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Oktoberfest Northwest is a hilarious celebration of dirndls and German shepherd-sized beer mugs, and nothing you can ever do can prepare you for the onslaught of Bavarian kitsch. As it should be. As is the whole point, really. Nobody at the Washington State Fairgrounds yesterday really cared that the original Oktoberfest in 1810 celebrated the wedding of a crown prince and a princess, but we should at least thank them for making their wedding into a multi-day festival for us commoners. We should toast the royal couple for allowing us to watch the baseball playoffs in lederhosen, to play beer pong in Alpin hats, to pose for photos with a gnome and his wife, to eat delicious fried pork from Gutes Essen Haus (so yum!), to wearing funny T-shirts and eat fudge (yes, that too!).

I get how easy it is to bash this bash held in a giant building in Puyallup, how ripe is the target, how irresistible to poke fun at polka, absurd hammering of nails into stumps, the zany obstacle course just to grab a beer, a 6-foot-2 beauty posing for snapshots and the cabbage rolls and the wiener dog races and Stein Run and whatever the hell else. Oktoberfest Northwest begs to be satirized, ridiculed, taunted from afar by the naysayers who've never been. It's easy. Also, pointless.

Because there's a terrific irony about denouncing Oktoberfest Northwest with anything resembling cultural or moral authority: the more you mock it, the dumber you look. And the better the oompah band sounds.

See, there is only one overarching, indisputable truth about Oktoberfest Northwest: You have to see it for yourself. You just have to go. But, read this first.

OKTOBERFEST NORTHWEST, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Oct. 4, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, Washington State Fair and Events Center, Ninth and Meridian, Puyallup, $10 Saturday, $5 Sunday, oktoberfestnw.com

Hammerschlagen. Because not everything has to be subtle.

Or serious.

Or lonely.

Not sure. But sort of delicate and beautiful.

A simply irresistible photo.

Because every once in awhile, you just want to throw a bean bag into a hole.

More holes.

She laughed.

She posed.

Manuela Horn lit up Oktoberfest Northwest.

And that's not just the Hacker-Pschorr Weiss talking. Mostly. Manuela Horn, the most awesome human at the beer festival.

Doug and Lynn Mackey were there and in a land faraway, which could be a shot of the Tetons, really.

Honey, let me build us a weird giant chair and I'll guarantee you crazy people will climb up into it, K?

Too much Doug Mackey?

Is this better? Yes!

Bruno's European Restaurant, just keepin' it real, yo.

Gutes Essen Haus' pork schnitzel plate is the schnitzel.

Good times and signs at the Gutes Essen Haus.

This. This is pretty much describes the music I heard yesterday at Oktoberfest Northwest. REO Speedwagon? Skrillex? Iron Butterfly? Not really.

Screw your fancy million-dollar, light show. When you have "real" Oktoberfest style, this is how you roll.

These are your parents on Warsteiner Dunkel.

He or she would appear every so often and lead a dance, and it might look silly and strange, but it was actually quite beautiful, and I would like to hereby thank him, whoever he or she is.

Classic!

What happens after you drink a giant stein of Warsteiner Oktoberfest on stage.

Deer head? Check.

You didn't expect a dude in a yellow security jacket to bring in the ceremonial firkin, did you?

And the firkin parade was launched.

Of course Manuela Horn lead the firkin parade.

He was in the parade.

So were these folks.

Go ahead, just walk on by like this was the most normal thing you'll see all day, which it probably was.

After the tapping of the firkin, the only and most violent event at Oktoberfest Northwest. The moment when all the happy goodness of the event gets a bit too much, and the opportunity for free beer brings out the evil.

Beer Pong, not exactly anywhere near as badass as, say, a stein-holding contest. But who cares? This is, like, new school silly Oktoberfest.

... And a chance to bond over competition.

The last scene I saw headed out the door. Lovely, really.

LINK: More 2014 Oktoberfest events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 23, 2014 at 11:38am

Oktoberfest South Sound 2014: Calendar full of beer, dinners, music and dogs ...

Madchen reminded us in August that Little Creek Casino's Oct. 19 Oktoberfest will end the Bavarian season in the South Sound. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

We have the Fourth of July, Mexico has Dia de los Muertos, and Ireland has St. Patrick's Festival. When it came time for Germany to claim a holiday, they figured, why not just celebrate beer for a month? Touché, Germany. Since most of us can't make our way to Munich's massive Oktoberfest festival this year, giant halls, restaurants, boaters, bars and such in the South Sound are bringing Oktoberfest to us.

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 24

Wh-wh-WA? Pint Defiance has taken the "O" out of Oktoberfest and kicked it back to Oregon, or something. Wednesday night, the specialty beer store and tap will host (WA)ctoberfest, a celebration of Washington state craft beer. On tap will be Wingman Fresh Hop Northwest Pale, Boundary Bay Pilsner, Black Raven Hochtoberfest, Georgetown Tomtoberfest, Fremont Harvest Ale, Elysian Dark O' The Moon Pumpkin Stout and Schilling Spiced Apple Cider. Don't be surprised if you see a new limited edition Pint Defiance pint glass in the haus. 5-7 p.m., no cover, Pint Defiance, 2049 Mildred St. W., Tacoma, 253.302.4240

FRIDAY, SEPT. 26

German music and food - and pizza. That's right; Katie Downs hosts The Gary Hausam Band, offers a special German menu and continues to serve cheesy, thick triangles of goodness at its Oktoberfest. Better yet, Full Sail will sail into the waterfront restaurant with ample LTD Lager. Of course, LTD means limited edition. Since 2006, the Hood River brewery has changed the recipe, showcasing an original, Bavarian-style lager every year. In 2014, Recipe No. 7 is back, which means an Oktoberfest with imported Czech Saaz and Yakima Sterling hops. Tip one now because this three-time gold medal winner won't see October. 6-9 p.m., no cover, Katie Downs, 3211 Ruston Way, Tacoma, 253.756.0771

SEE ALSO: Oktoberfest Dinner at the Hotel Murano

SATURDAY, SEPT. 27

The Red Hot will celebrate its Oktoberfest with a nod to acclaimed Bavarian brewery Ayinger Brauerei, located in the town of Aying, just a few miles north of the Munich area. Ayinger beers are characterized by a pronounced maltiness (in flavor and aroma) - accenting more than many of the beers from the major Munich breweries. Ayinger uses a significant portion of locally-grown barley and wheat to produce their beers. The water comes from the brewery's own well, and the hops come from the famous Hallertau region of north-central Bavaria, and Spalt, an area near Nuremberg. 11 a.m. to close, no cover, The Red Hot, 2914 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.779.0229

Fish Brewing Company's 16th Annual Oktoberfest will pack their downtown Olympia brewery. There you'll find all the things you've come to expect from a Fish Oktoberfest: down home, ole' fashion, ass kickin' southern-roots band The Slow Rollers and high energy funk, soul and sexy The Brown Edition. Live German oom-pah bands would only squash the groove. These two bands will pump out tunes to incite beer guzzling, various delicious wursts (there is no such thing as too much wurst), a sneak peek at the Hobbit beer series and an obscene amount of Leavenworth Biers Oktoberfest. 4-10 p.m., $25-$30 at brownpapertickets.com, Fish Brewing Company, 515 Jefferson St., Olympia, fishbrewing.com

MONDAY, SEPT. 29-SATURDAY, OCT. 4

The Harmon Brewery & Eatery and the Harmon Tap Room present a week's worth of Oktoberfest fun. Click here for details.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 1

Tides Tavern has been pouring craft beer since my boat shoes matched my Flock of Seagulls hair color. I've never attended their O-fest, but I'll endorse anything these folks do, sight unseen. From the day's opening, the waterfront restaurant will pair food with Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen, one of the most highly-respected märzens. An Ayinger rep will be in the haus from 5-8 p.m. 11 a.m. to close, no cover, Tides Tavern, 2925 Harborview Dr., Gig Harbor, 253.858.3982

FRIDAY, OCT. 3-SUNDAY, OCT. 5

SEE: Oktoberfest Northwest at the Washington State Fairgrounds

FRIDAY, OCT. 4

It's that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the air is crisper and the schnitzel is shooting out of tanks. Yep, you guessed it. It's Oktoberfest time at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The JBLM Oktoberfest celebration begins at 11 a.m. at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fest Tent. The event, lasting until 10 p.m., will feature German-themed music, entertainment, food and brew. The Oktoberfest celebration is free to attend. The menu at JBLM's Oktoberfest celebration will feature schnitzel, bratwurst, potato salad and sauerkraut, just to name a few items. Meals can be bought a la carte starting at $2 or as a menu starting at $9. Maisel's Weisse, Spaten Lager, Veltins and Zunft will be available for purchase. A variety of live bands will take the stage throughout the day. The Bonnie Birch Bavarian Band kicks things off at 11 a.m., ringing in Oktoberfest with traditional accordion and tuba music. The day's soundtrack will also feature polka bands and the Spazmatics, the popular ‘80s cover band. Kids may enjoy foam sword fights, pony and hay rides and a climbing wall. Adults will compete in a keg toss, stein hoist and tricycle race. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., free admission, MWR Fest Tent, behind Bowl Arena Lanes on Liggett Avenue, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, jblmmwr.com/oktoberfest

SEE ALSO: YachtoberFest at the The Foss Waterway Esplanade

SATURDAY, OCT. 5        

Summer is coming to an end, but it's far from the end of park season. Soundview Veterinary Hospital in Tacoma hosts their version of bark in the park when its Dogtoberfest runs wild in Kandle Park. The event will feature a costume contest, obstacle course, hot dogs and refreshments, and other activities to keep both you and your pet entertained. Leashed, licensed and well-behaved pets welcome. Bonus: The Copper Door will have a booth in the park, handing out coupons for discounted 7 Seas Brewing and Wingman Brewers harvest beers back at its 12 N. Tacoma Ave. store. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., free admission, Kandle Park, 2323 N. Shirley, Tacoma, 253.759.4001

FRIDAY, OCT. 10

You've attended Bayview School of Cooking's "Fridays Uncorked" nights. You've casually sipped five or so wines as you gazed out at beautiful Budd Bay. Feeling good, you mosied downstairs to the Thriftway grocery store and bought five Tyson Breaded Chicken dinners, telling your kids to cook it and like it. Oct. 10, the wine series goes Oktoberfest as five German beers and German-style beers will be poured for $5. Also expect oom-pah music, pumpkin carving demonstration and customer judging of employee carved pumpkins. Does Tyson make schnitzel? 5-7 p.m., $5, $7 for paired plates, Bayview School of Cooking, 516 W. Fourth Ave., Olympia, 360.754.1448

SATURDAY, OCT. 11
Top Rung Brewing Co. in Lacey will take its operation outside, hosting an outdoor beer garden for a fall party. Founders Casey and Jason are Thurston County firefighters, so if they don't want to call it an Oktoberfest celebration, then it's cool with me. Expect food, games and their new 360 Red Ale. Besides the area code in Lacey, 360 also has a firefighter meaning: a complete 360-degree assessment must be completed in order to size up an incident. I know I'll be sizing up the 360 Red Ale, made with Red X, 2-Row, Oats and Chocolate malts, Cascade and Nugget hops and American yeast. It rings in at 5.8 percent ABV. 2-9 p.m., no cover, Top Rung Brewing Co., 8343 Hogum Bay Lane NE, Lacey, 360.239.3043

SATURDAY, OCT. 18

Wingman Brewers will host a pumpkin and Oktoberfest party with the release of an Oktoberfest and several pumpkin beers. 509 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma, 253.651.4832

SUNDAY, OCT. 19

The most memorable sight during this year's Olympia Brew Fest? Most guys would stumble over their words, but eventually admit it was the two young lasses dressed in Bavarian attire promoting the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest at Little Creek Casino. The guys have the pictures to prove it. The Shelton casino will have "authentic" German cuisine and more than 30 varieties of beer from around the world as well as wines and spirits. A traditional keg-tapping ceremony will be held at noon followed by live entertainment! Admission is $10 per person and includes a souvenir beer mug and 10 tasting tickets. Noon to 8 p.m., $10, Little Creek Casino, 91 W. State Route 108, Shelton, 800.667.7711

September 22, 2014 at 10:38am

Oktoberfest South Sound 2014: How to mix beer, music and running and get away with it

Run with an empty stein then fill it with beer at the finish line at the 5K Stein Dash Oct. 5. Photo courtesy of steindash5k.com

For so many South Sounders, autumn = race season, and that means on any weekend day, you're likely to be passed-on-the-left by hordes of runners in training.

But all that personal-best pressure can take the joy out of running. Festivals, Inc. wants to get back to the roots of the individual sport. Stein Dash is a German-themed 5K that focuses on the fun of running and, just as important, the fun of the after-race.

The 5k Stein Dash combines racing with beer.

The race kicks off the third day of Festivals' Oktoberfest Northwest, the three-day Bavarian celebration at the Western Washington Fair and Events Center. Celebrating its 10th year at the fairgrounds, the huge Oktoberfest celebration kicks off at 6:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3 with the taping of the Oktoberfest Firkin. At 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, runners will run around the fairgrounds with a provided beer stein finishing at the Oktoberfest Northwest Festhalle Biergarten where those 21 and older may fill the steins with Warsteiner Dunkel, Warsteiner Oktoberfest, Hofbrau Oktoberfest, Trumer Pils, Hacker Pshor Weiss and Snoqualmie Harvest Moon, the featured beers of the festival. Washington Hills wine will be available for weirdos. Kids may fill up in the Root Beer Garden.

Race fees are $35 until Oct. 1 when online registration closes. You will pay $40 the day before at race packet pick-up. If your Hacker Pshor Weiss calorie intake the day before has you worried, show up with $45 Sunday morning. All 5K participants receive an authentic one of a kind logo'd 5k Beer Stein and allowed to party at Oktoberfest Northwest Sunday for no additional fee.

The German theme doesn't apply just to the beer. Tacoma European restaurants Bruno's and Café Europa will keep drinkers fed all three days with schweinebraten, pyzy, curry wurst, cabbage rous, kartoffelpuffer, bierocks, goulash soup, schnitzel sandwiches, to name a few dishes. Food trucks Zeiglers German Haus, Kaleenka piroshkies and Gutes Essen Haus will add more brats and schnitzels. Shishkaberry's will dip fruit in chocolate and stab it with a stick.

The Stein Dash is one of many kitschy events to keep you entertained throughout the weekend. The hilarious wiener dog races are back, including stupid wiener tricks. The Enzian Schuhplattler dancers will spin around a May Pole. Pumpkins can be decorated. The German Corner shopping mall will outfit you in lederhosen. Manuela Horn, aka Austrian Amazon, will yodel, dance, throw out one-liners and plant eyes in her cleavage Friday and Saturday night. Kids can pound nails with hammers all weekend. Ja, families are welcomed in the Festhalle Biergarten until 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and all-day Sunday. Teens might scoff at the oom-pah bands, which dominate the entertainment stages during family hours.

Oh, to be in that great mass of humanity, dancing to the throbbing polka beats, scarfing down sausage, kraut, and strudel, and most of all, imbibing from the holy grail ... er, stein. It can be yours Oct. 3-5 in Puyallup.

As always, you get bonus coolness points for going in costume, especially if you run with an empty stein.

OKTOBERFEST NORTHWEST, noon to midnight Friday, Oct. 3, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Oct. 4, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, Washington State Fair and Events Center, Ninth and Meridian, Puyallup, free admission noon to 3 p.m. Friday, $10 Friday after 3 p.m. and all-day Saturday, $5 Sunday, oktoberfestnw.com

LINK: More 2014 Oktoberfest events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 17, 2014 at 2:02pm

Beer Here: Your week in beer in the South Sound

If you do one this this week, be sure to drink Top Rung's My Dog Scout Stout through a Randall loaded with coffee and cocoa nibs. Bow wow yo yippee yo yippee yay!

As the autumn leaves begin their annual shift from gold and green to deeper hues, so should your drink. Variety is the spice of life, so visit several South Sound breweries this week and fall in love with the autumn flavors of the changing seasons.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 18

Top Rung Brewing Co. will run its My Dog Scout Stout through a Randall loaded with coffee and cocoa nibs from 4-9 p.m. I can tell you first hand the flavor will blow you away.

208 Garfield offers another Beer & Bacon night beginning at 6 p.m. Hosted by beer geek Erick Swenson, you'll receive an assortment of beer and bacon to mix and match for $10.

Puyallup River Alehouse hosts Cockrell Hard Ciders' launch party at 6 p.m. Puyallup's First hard cidery will tap its four ciders: original, Dry, Dry Hopped and Valley red raspberry. Expect T-shirts and growler raffles as well as glassware giveaways.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 19

You have to drink beer on Friday. So, fill up the tank. The Odin Brewing Company and taproom has moved to 402 Baker Blvd. in Tukwila, about a half-block due east of the Southcenter shopping mall. The grand opening offers live music, raffles for Odin schwag and tasty bites from 5-7 p.m.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 20

Narrows Brewing Co. head brewer Joe Walts celebrates the release of his Oktoberfest beer with a party on the deck. That's right Hans, live music, food vendors and a German Marzenbier-ish beer with Munich and Vienna malts from 6-11 p.m. There's no cover during Oktoberfest, Franz.

Morso wine bar will pour seven beers from German brewery Ayinger, including its Oktoberfest, beginning at noon. Expect a brewplate special.

Wingman Brewers hosts Made In Tacoma, a Tacoma-based business veritable farmers market featuring 21 Cellars Winery, Bluebeard Coffee, Comeback Sports, Creative Colloquy, Dave's Meats, Ice Cream Social, Libertine Tacoma, Lifestyle Brewery Tours, Tacoma Tree Salvage and Wingman beers from 5-11 p.m.

Dick's Brewing Company hosts the 4th Annual Beer for a Cure, a fundraiser for the Lewis County Relay for Life event. Homebrewers will square off for a chance to have their beer brewed in the Dick's Brewing system. Also expect raffle prizes, food carts, live music and a silent auction from 2-8 p.m.

Celebrate the Hub at Gig Harbor's first year anniversary all day at its digs next to the Tacoma Narrows Airport (1208 26th Ave. NW). Expect food and drink specials, a raffle for a Fly and Dine package and live music.

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 24

Hold onto an anchor because 7 Seas Brewery is blowing into The Swiss Restaurant and Pub for a brewer's night featuring Cascadian Dark Ale, Ballz Deep Double IPA and Life Jacket Session IPA to name a few. Expect raffle prizes and beards from 6-8 p.m. 

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 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

August 26, 2014 at 9:37am

Slew of South Sound brews to be released this fall

Puyallup River Brewing unleashes two pumpkin beers Friday, Aug. 29 at its Puyallup River Alehouse.

It seems sort of sinful to complain about the glorious sunshine of late, but that's exactly what I'm doing this week. Enough already. I'm ready for some autumn brews.

Seasonal beers are nothing new for South Sound breweries. Summer is better with a farmhouse ale. Fall isn't fall without a pint of Oktoberfest. And of course, many anxiously await autumn for the arrival of pumpkin ales and stouts. Here's what's on tap this fall at South Sound breweries.

Worn out from his big Sour Fest over the weekend, Engine House No. 9 head brewer Shane Johns says he has several different barrel beers on the autumn docket. Johns will also release his annual fresh hop Spikes Harvest Ale, made with fresh hops from friend Spike's backyard. Also scheduled for release will be an Oktoberfest as well as a new batch of Tacoma Brew Bohemian-style Pilsener.

7 Seas Brewing's Sails Ambassador Rob Brunsman released his paddle, let his kayak drift and told me they're releasing their harvest ale this coming week. Inspired from the respected traditions of German Oktoberfest and Vienna Marzen style of beers, the 7 Seas Fest-Ale blends German Munich and Vienna malts as a base, receiving a bit of spice from German Hersbrucker and Czech Saaz hops. It's a smooth, earthy brew, perfect for an autumn paddle around Commencement Bay.

>>> Thanks for the pic, Rob!

Puyallup River Brewing Co. hosts its Pumpkin Release Party at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29. Its downtown Puyallup storefront, the Puyallup River Alehouse, packs them in during brewer nights and releases, and I don't expect Friday to be any different with the release of its Jack O'Lahar Pumpkin Ale and silver medal winning Black Pumpkin Saison. PRB will release its We Are The Champions IPA just in time for the Seahawks season opener. Down the leaf-covered road will be the Imperial Pumpkin Cream Ale, Gourdy Wow! Spiced Pumpkin Saison Regal and Aketoberfest, a harvest ale. "We'll probably also do a pumpkin stout at some point," says brewmaster Eric Akeson.

"We have a bunch of exciting beers this fall," says Wingman Brewers co-founder and head brewer Ken Thoburn. "In September, we will be releasing our 2014 Vintage Sour. This year it is a Brett Berliner Weisse. Then in October we will be releasing our fall seasonal can ‘Beazle ESB'." Wingman will also release its oak-aged scotch ale Heavy Bevvy and its Belgian-style triple Miss B Havin. In November, expect to drink the 2014 release of Stratofortress and a Bourbon Barrel Stratofortress.

Narrows Brewing Company will release its Oktoberfest lager during a party Sept. 20, which coincides with the start of Oktoberfest in Munich. "In the couple of months that follow, we'll bring back the Imperial Red as a fall seasonal - and hopefully add it to our bottled lineup, collaborate with Northern Pacific Coffee Company to brew the beer equivalent of a Turkish coffee and release a blended old ale - assuming the year-old beer in wine barrels with Brettanomyces is ready," explains Narrows head brewer Joe Walts. Also, beer historian Ron Pattinson of the popular beer website Shut Up About Barclay Perkins will be at the brewery Nov. 8.

Tacoma Brewing Company celebrates its two-year anniversary in late October. Head brewer Morgan Alexander says he'll be releasing a bourbon barrel-aged stout around the same time as the party at his Tacoma Triangle District brewery. "We're also very close to releasing our Dr. Alexander's Hard Ginger Ale in bottles," says Alexander.

The Harmon Tap Room throws a weeklong Oktoberfest beginning Sept. 29. Expect games, German grub, German barmaid, 99 red balloon release and beers.

I couldn't reach all the South Sound brewers. Some were camping. Some are not open yet, as in the case of Pacific Brewing and Malting Co., Odd Otter Brewing Co. and Three Magnets Brewing Co., which all will be releasing a ton of beer this fall.

So even though I'm whining about the great South Sound weather, I'm happy for it to hold on just a little longer, so that you can enjoy a few of these beers with family and friends at your next barbecue or picnic.

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