Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

April 7, 2014 at 9:51am

Beer Here: Wingman & Maxwell's bacon beer, Swiss brew, Red Hot honor, events ...

Chef Hudson Slater smokes wheat malt and bacon at Maxwell's Restaurant for Wingman Brewers in Tacoma.

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Bacon exemplifies everything I love about food. Bacon ties me to my foodie forebears who cured and smoked pork belly to preserve it in the absence of refrigeration. Highly prized artisanal bacons keep alive rural American traditions and ensure smokehouse knowledge will be shared with future generations of proud farmers. Bacon provides my 11-year-old with essential nutrients such as saturated fat, salt and nitrates. Wait ... those things aren't good. Uh ... if we don't stand together, resolute, in support of bacon, cultivating a culture of pork, the entire fabric of our society will come apart at the seams!

This past month I had my fare share of bacon cheeseburgers paired with beer. It's one of the great pairings of life: Fred and Ginger; baseball and hotdogs; sunrises and strolls along Ruston Way; Bella and Edward; beer and bacon.

Think about it. Beer and chips is something that people think of as going together well. And if you think about it, bacon is really a meat chip.

The Bacon and Beer Classic will consume Safeco Field in Seattle May 17. The traveling greasy, hoppy fiesta visits baseball fields around the country, drawing thousands of attendees to sample craft beer and bacon-based dishes from regional restaurants. Adding to that already winning combination will be performances from local bands and cooking demonstrations.

Chef Hudson Slater of Maxwell's Restaurant has teamed up with the mad scientists at Wingman Brewers to create a Tacoma bacon beer for the Seattle festival.

"We had Chef Hudson Slater smoke wheat malt mixed with bacon at Maxwell's," says Colin Harvin with Wingman Brewers. "We then used that malt in a beer called a Gratzer, which is an old German style. So what you'll get is a smoky, bacon-y wheat beer that has a super light body and an insane amount of flavor."

The prep work at Maxwell's takes about three hours.

"I just layer bacon on bottom and top of wheat malt in a pan and then smoke it on a low heat with applewood so the fat soaks into the malt," says Slater. "Then I let it cool and hand it off to the good people at Wingman and they make the beer with the malt and bacon."

Slater and the Wingman crew tried it Friday night.

"Pretty crazy bacon-y good," adds Slater.

The official beer will make its debut at the Bacon and Beer Classic. Slater says he'll serve candied bacon next to Wingman's booth, where the bacon beer will be served with a strip of bacon across the glass. Wingman Brewers is dialing the recipe, in so some variations of it will be available in its taproom up until the event once it's perfected.


The Swiss Pub turns 21 this year. A celebration is planned Monday, April 28. Apparently, 7 Seas Brewing in Gig Harbor will have a special beer made for the occasion.

"I was talking to (owner) Mike Runion from 7 Seas about doing something special; he said let's make a special batch," says Jack McQuade, owner of The Swiss.

McQuade and former Swiss partner Bob Hill donned the white lab coats and joined the 7 Seas crew in the brewing room. The result will be a special Imperial Red Ale, which will be released at the anniversary celebration.

High Times named The Red Hot one of the top 11 hot dogs on the planet: "Out in Washington State, we'd recommend smoking a fat (and totally legal) blunt and then heading to this delectable dive in Tacoma. Stars of the menu include the 6th Ave Strut, a prototypical hot dog of the Pacific Northwest, topped with cream cheese, tomatoes and chopped onions, and the Hosmer Hound Dog, topped with peanut butter (seriously) and two crispy strips of bacon (conceived while stoned silly, we're guessing). If you have time to sit and eat, order the not-available-for-takeout Tideflats, featuring two beef hot dogs on an open-faced bun topped with the works: yellow mustard, ketchup, fresh chopped onions, sport peppers, locally made Red Hot Moma relish, jalapenos, chili, apple cider-braised sauerkraut, nacho cheese, coleslaw and a special house-made spice blend. You'll definitely need a fork. (You might also need a bib.)"

Today is National Beer Day. Didn't know there was such a day. How are you celebrating?


>>> Tuesday, April 8

The Harmon Tap Room serves four, 5-ounce beers paired with four small bites for $10 5 p.m. to close every Tuesday.

>>> Wednesday, April 9

Pint Defiance celebrates Centralia's Dick's Brewing Company with a brewer's night 5-7 p.m. Dick's hit the beer scene in 1992, creating ubiquitous ales such as Double Danger and Dick's Cream Stout, among others. The Dick's crew will be in house with their IPA, Brown Ale, Pale Ale, Imperial Stout and Raspberry Triple Belgian Ale.

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