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Gather around a growler this holiday season

Sip from local breweries while trimming the tree

Take home the many tastes of Harmon Brewery. Photo courtesy of Facebook

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Beer is more than just a drink at the bar. Beer is more than happy hour, more than game night, and certainly more than a Bud Light (ew). Much more. Beer is the gift everyone wants for Christmas.

And anyone who's anyone gifts beer in a growler.

If you aren't in the know, a growler is a container - usually glass - into which you can put beer. Said vessels are generally used for the most marvelous invention of take-out beer. Growlers are most commonly 64 ounces, but sometimes can be found in 32-ounce and other sizes, too. If you plan to give the gift of growlers, you must first purchase a growler. This deed can be done at many beer stores, such as Bevmo, and commonly right at the microbrewery or brewery where you plan to purchase the beer. The genius behind the growler gift is that your giftee can then go retrieve beer anywhere growlers are filled with his or her new beer vessel. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

The Harmon/Hub/Taproom

The Harmon and its offshoots all serve up Harmon beer, which includes Point Defiance IPA, Pinnacle Pale Ale, Browns Point ESB, Mt. Tahoma Blonde Ale, Puget Sound Porter and seasonal brews. The variety has something to please most beer drinkers. All four locations offer growler fills for $12, or 22-ounce bottles for $4 each. Kegs are $60 for five gallons and $150 for 15.5 gallons. You can bring in a growler you bought elsewhere or purchase a brand new growler for $5. Harmon Brewery & Eatery, 1938 Pacific Ave., Tacoma; The Hub, 203 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma; The Hub, 1208 26th Ave. NW, Gig Harbor; Harmon Tap Room, 204 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma

The Red Hot

The Red Hot is but a small space, yet filled to the brim with beer - some of which are beautifully unique. If you're in need of a growler, you can purchase two sizes at its Sixth Avenue location: $6 for a half-gallon and $5 for a quart size. The brew selection varies each day, but count on having plenty of choices that range from reasonable (about $15) to dastardly expensive (about $50). Whenever you fill a growler, you'll get a wooden nickel good for $1 off your next fill. Fill your growler on Monday and you'll get three wooden nickels! 2914 Sixth Ave., Tacoma


Bevmo is like Toys ‘R Us for grownups. Aside from the aisles filled with bottled beers from near and far, Bevmo has a growler room. An entire room! Filled with brews ready to go to a good home! Each day, the growler room stocks eight to 12 brews. You can bring in your own clean and dry growler, or purchase a new one for $8.99. Fills depend on which brew you choose, and prices are marked on the door at the Tacoma store. 2330 S. 37th St., Tacoma

Pint Defiance Specialty Beers

Pint Defiance focuses on specialty beers and has 10 taps ready to spew forth different delicious brews each day. Brews aren't always local, but are pleasantly unique and sometimes hard-to-find beers - so this is a great spot if you're purchasing for a beer connoisseur. Each day's selection is listed at If you don't have your own growler, Pint Defiance sells full-size 64 ounce growlers for $6, and half-size ones for $5. 2049 Mildred St. W., Fircrest

Wingman Brewers

Wingman is a Tacoma-based brewery that will someday take over the world. Its year-round beers are Ace IPA, P-51 Porter, and Miss-B-Haven Tripel. Other seasonal and special beers show up here and there, including a delicious coconut porter. For the year-round selections, growler fills are $8. For seasonal and special brews, it's $14. 509 ½ Puyallup Ave., Tacoma

The Ram

The Ram has locations throughout the Puget Sound, including one on the Tacoma waterfront, one in Puyallup, Lacey and Lakewood. The brewery offers a lineup of beers that are not overly complex, but are pleasing to most beer drinkers - blonde, hefeweizen, IPA, amber ale, porter, pale ale and often a seasonal brew or two. Growlers can be purchased for $5, and beer can be added to the growler for $12. The best part about The Ram is that if you get a growler filled on Saturdays, it's half off! Par-tay!

See Also

Bars and clubs in the South Sound

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