Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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April 28, 2014 at 11:44am

Beer Here: Harmon has a heart, Elysian heads to the Topside, Wingman honor and photos ...

Scene from Puyallup River Brewing Company's Bourbon barrel-aged stout tasting April 25 at the Puyallup River Alehouse. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Harmon Brewing Company announced today that on May Day, Thursday May 1, all four HBC locations will donate 10 percent of food sales to the American Red Cross in support of disaster relief for the OSO community. Those locations are: Harmon Brewing Company at South 19th and Pacific Avenue downtown Tacoma, The Hub and Harmon Tap Room complex near Tacoma's Stadium District and the new Hub at the Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor.

"We will also collect blankets, clothes, and other useful items as people see fit to donate," said co-owner Pat Nagle in a news release. The human Jukebox Steve Stefanowicz will perform as part of the benefit from 6-9 p.m. at the Harmon Brewery & Eatery in downtown Tacoma.

For more information, keep an eye on Harmon's Facebook page

ALSO TODAY

The Swiss Restaurant and Pub celebrates its 21st birthday today with a special Imperial Red Ale brewed with 7 Seas Brewing, Junkyard Jane band, raffles and more. For the full story, click here.

99 Bottles in Federal Way has announced its special tasting pours of the week: Pedal Strike Pale Ale, Resignation Brewery's KCCO Black Lager, Port Townsend Brewing's Porter and The Lost Abbey's Agave Maria Ale.

TUESDAY, APRIL 27

The Topside Bar & Grill in Steilacoom hosts Elysian Brewing for a brewery night beginning at 6 p.m. Four Elysian beers will be on tap, next to the Men's Room Red, which is its featured brew of the month.

THEN THERE'S THIS...

Did you hear about Wingman Brewers in Tacoma making HiConsumption lifestyle magazine's list of the 15 best American porters? It's true.

Let's look at a few photos from Saturday's Barleywine Festival at the ParkWay Tavern.

SEE ALSO

Gig Harbor Beer Festival is on its way

April 25, 2014 at 2:12pm

Beer Weekend: Karaoke in a brewery, new bourbon barrel-age brews, Barley Wine Festival and more ...

How it went down four years ago at the Parkway Tavern's Barley Wine Festival. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

You'd best prep your favorite Barry Manilow, Nelly and Journey songs, because you're entrenched in National Karaoke Week. Seriously, this is a thing. National Karaoke Week happens through Saturday, and it's a BFD in some parts of the country. Wait, scratch that - it's apparently a BFD in Tacoma, if a brewery is busting out the karaoke machine.

Narrows Brewing Company hosts a karaoke competition tonight from 7-9 p.m. Need some courage? Head brewer Joe Walts has released a new Double IPA. Oh Mandy! It's going to get Hot in Herre.

Also tonight

Puyallup River Brewing Company will release its first bourbon barrel-aged beer tonight. The Point Success Porter and Mud Mountain Milk Stout were aged in American oak Ghost Owl Bourbon barrels from Parliament Distillery in Sumner. Parliament head distiller Jarrett Tomal and his crew will be at the Puyallup River Alehouse to discuss their business, hand our Parliament swag and, of course, swig some brews. The celebration begins at 6 p.m.

Saturday, April 26

Those in the know know that barley wine isn't wine at all, but a dark, malty ale enjoyed late in the evening. Brewed for a long time with ample sugar, barley wine's alcohol levels tend to top off at about 14 percent. That's about three times the amount in a popular, mass-produced beer. Those in the know know the ParkWay Tavern host its ninth annual Barley Wine Festival from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Expect 30 aged barley wines and Murphy's Barbecue out front. Let's take a look at the schedule taplist:

2007 Anchor Old Foghorn
2007 Full Sail Old Boardhead
2008 Flying Dog Horn Dog
2009 Stone Old Guardian
2010 Fishtale 10(2)
2010 Great Divide Old Ruffian
2010 Hale's Rudyard's Rare
2010 Hopworks Noggin Floggin
2010 Lagunitas Gnarleywine
2010 Rogue Old Crustacean
2010 Red Hook Treblehook
2011 Beer Valley Highway to Ale
2011 Lost Coast Fog Cutter
2011 Port Townsend Barleywine
2012 21st Amendment Lower De Boom
2012 Avery Hog Heaven
2012 Dick's Barleywine
2012 Ninkasi Wheat Wine
2012 Silver City Old Scrooge
2012 Widmer Old Embalmer
2013 Anderson Valley Horn of the Beer
2013 Black Diamond Dried Up Old Geezer
2013 E-9 Thunder Buddies
2013 Epic Barleywine
2013 Mad River John Barleycorn
2013 Oakshire Barleywine
2013 Snipes Rosa
2014 Harmon Barleywine
2014 High Water Old & in the Way
2014 Lazy Boy Barleywine
2014 Sound Old Scoundrel

Those in the know know to program a taxi service on their cell.

Sunday, April 27

Pint Defiance will host German beers for its Sonntag Sampler from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Flights of four 4-ounce pours will be served for the cost of a normal pint. You may sample Dr. Fritz Briem 1809 Berlinerweisse, DAB Dortmunder Export, Ayinger Ur Weisse Dunkel and Wiehenstephaner Korbinian Doppelbock. Das ist sehr gut!

April 22, 2014 at 10:48am

Gig Harbor Beer Festival returns for a third year, tickets on sale

A scene from the 2012 Gig Harbor Beer Festival. photo courtesy of Facebook

Dedicated South Sound craft beer fans are no strangers to closed gates. The Tacoma Craft Beer Festival and the Tacoma Big Beer Festival had to shut doors on beer drinkers due to capacity crowds. Last year, the Gig Harbor Beer Festival sold out in just over an hour after the gate opened.

"There's a good chance this year's Gig Harbor Beer Festival will sell out before its opening day, May 10," says John Fosberg, the Festival's producer and founder of the Gig Harbor Brewing Company.

Fosberg dropped the third annual Gig Harbor Beer Festival's news release today, touting 21 craft brewers, Gig Harbor's Heritage Distillery and a bigger music venue will consume the Gig Harbor Uptown Pavilion Saturday, May 10 - Mother's Day weekend.

"We love the Uptown Gig Harbor Pavilion and the managers and owners at the Uptown property," says Fosberg. "They are extremely helpful and supportive of our efforts. For the past three years, we've been looking for a new venue - preferably an indoor site - but have been unable to find anything within Gig Harbor that can surpass Uptown in capacity, electric power, ease of parking, management support and cost. Nothing comes close."

Fosberg says there are several brewers returning from previous years who are bringing some fan favorites and new brews to try. Eleven brewers poured at the first Gig Harbor Beer Festival. Last year, 18 beer companies set up booths. This year, 21 Washington state brewers will set up shop. Here's the starting line-up:

  • 192 Brewing, Kenmore
  • 7 Seas Brewing, Gig Harbor
  • American Brewing, Edmonds
  • Bainbridge Island Brewing, Bainbridge Island
  • Big Al Brewing, Seattle
  • Der Blokken, Bremerton
  • Dicks Brewing Co., Centralia
  • Everybody's Brewing, White Salmon
  • Fremont Brewing, Seattle
  • Georgetown Brewing Co., Seattle
  • Harmon Brewing Co., Tacoma
  • Hood Canal Brewery, Kingston
  • Loowit Brewing Co., Vancouver
  • Narrows Brewing, Tacoma
  • Northwest Brewing, Pacific
  • Rainy Daze Brewing Co., Silverdale
  • RAM Big Horn Brewery, Tacoma
  • Silver City Brewery, Bremerton
  • Slippery Pig Brewing, Poulsbo
  • Sound Brewery • Poulsbo
  • Wingman Brewery, Tacoma

"Gig Harbor's own Heritage Distillery will be there pouring samples of their spirits," says Fosberg.

In terms of music, Perry Acker returns for the band's second year and takes the stage at 3 p.m. Aisle of View, a reggae band currently touring the country, opens at 1 p.m.

The standard beer festival giant Jenga game will tower at the festival, too.

Tickets are $20, $25 after April 25, and are available at the Festival's website. Admission includes a commemorative taster cup and eight taster tokens. Depending on availability, you may also purchase tickets the day of the event for $25. Additional taster tokens will be on sale during the event.

"Our ticket prices still haven't gone up," says Fosberg. "Tickets cost the same as they did our first year. It's the perfect Mother's Day gift."

The Gig Harbor Beer Festival benefits the Gig Harbor Kiwanis Foundation.

GIG HARBOR BEER FESTIVAL, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 10, Uptown Pavilion, 4701 Point Fosdick Dr. NW, Gig Harbor, $20 at brownpapertickets or gigharborbeerfestival.com

April 21, 2014 at 11:40am

Beer Here: Randall Monday, Earthy Tuesday, American Wednesday ...

American brewing Company's Breakaway IPA is now in cans. Photo courtesy of Pint Defiance Facebook

Beer is delicious on its own. But when infused with coffee grinds, citrus fruits and hell - even doughnuts - it's that much better. That's why a Randall might be the best thing ever. A Randall is a ridiculously awesome filter system that runs beer through any number of flavorful additions to create one-of-a-kind concoctions.

Tonight, the ParkWay Tavern is running Tacoma Brewing Company's Broken Window IPA through its Randall. According to TBC founder Morgan Alexander, it's the first time one of his beers will be circulated through the ParkWay's filtration system.

"Randall nights are all about Sean the bartender there," says Alexander, who says he's leaving the chosen added ingredients in Sean's hands. "He decides what goes into the Randall. Usually it's just hops, but sometimes he gets a little crazy and puts in stuff like orange wedges, chocolate nibs, coffee beans, watermelon rind and Szechuan peppercorn."

The Broken Window IPA - named after roughians smashed TBC's large windows facing St. Helens Avenue - will be pouring out of the Randall from 6-9 p.m.

BEER HERE

Tuesday, April 22

Riding high off the news it scored an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) label for its beer, the Harmon folks have invited other EPD-labeled local brewers to celebrate Earth Day 2014 - the beer way. Beginning at 3:30 p.m., a parade of human-powered vehicles led by the famous Cycle Saloon - a 16-seat rolling bar - will deliver kegs of beer from the corner of South 25th and Martin Luther King Jr. Way to the Harmon Tap Room in Tacoma's Stadium District. There, Earth Day revelers can share in beer specials and other festivities, including a "Leaf your thumbprint" planting party in the new Harmon Garden, a 4,000 square foot outdoor living room just outside the Tap Room doors. People will have an opportunity to place a green thumbprint on the Harmon Garden Tree of Life mural. A partial list of participating breweries include: 7 Seas Brewing Co., Narrows Brewing, Engine House No. 9, Cliff's Beer, The RAM, Sound Brewing, Wingman Brewers and Valhalla Brewing.

Wednesday, April 23

American Brewing Company is taking the aluminum plunge for the first time. The Edmond-based brewery has filled flashy cans with its Breakaway IPA. Since ABC's founder and president Neil Fallon lives in University Place, neighboring Pint Defiance is the logical venue to introduce the South Sound to the ABC can. The ABC crew will show off their new six packs - as well as pour American Blonde Ale, Single-Hop Citra Experimental Pale Ale and Cabernet Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from the handles - from 5-7 p.m.

Let's look at scenes from Saturday's Wingman Brewers Third Anniversary Party:

See Also

Top Rung Brewing in Lacey is open for business

Filed under: New Beer Column, Tacoma,

April 19, 2014 at 11:44am

Beer weekend: Top Rung Brewing grand opening, three years for Wingman and more ...

Jason Stoltz, top, and Casey Sobol, bottom, celebrate the grand opening of their Top Rung Brewing Company today. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

After the grain has been shoveled from the mash tun, after yeast has been pitched, after the farmer has hauled away the trailer, there is water everywhere, and a half hour more of work to do before they can go fight fires. Yes, they woke up at 4:30 a.m., it's now 3 in the afternoon, and soon one will turn his waist-high boots for knee-high boots and a red ax.

Thurston County firefighters Casey Sobol and Jason Stoltz's four-year journey to open their brewery official ends today when their Top Rung Brewing Company celebrates its grand opening from 2-9 p.m.

The career firefighters - 20 years for Sobol and seven for Stoltz - have been dialing in their recipes in the garages between shifts at the McLane/Black Lake Fire Department. It became real when the duo's Hosechaser Blonde grabbed the Dick's Brewing "Beer for a Cure" homebrewing contest top prize in 2012 - and they began to shadow Dick's brewer Parker Penley.

"Just as the firefighting community is an open, friendly brotherhood, so is the beer community," says Sobol. "I could be in Boston and any firehouse would take me in as one of their own. The local brewing community is similar."

Wingman Brewers in Tacoma brought back two whiskey barrels from Kentucky for Top Rung Brewing.

"It's a shame Wingman celebrates three years the same day we celebrate our grand opening," says Sobol. "Those guys are great."

Those who didn't drop by Top Rung's soft opening last Saturday can check out the new 10-barrel brewhouse and spacious taproom at 8343 Hogum Bay Lane in Lacey today. The duo pays tribute to their main job, with ladders suspended from the ceiling, firehouse décor and the iconic fireman's shield front and center on the Top Rung logo. Otherwise, the high-ceiling space resembles other taprooms, with concrete floors, modern lighting and long wooded plank tables, which Sobol crafted. Sobol runs the house side.

Stolz runs the brewing. The beers pay tribute to firefighting, with the award-winning Hosechaser, Irons IPA and Scout Stout on tap today. The IPA has recently been altered with added bitter and aroma hops. It's delicious. The Flashover Red is written on the board. A Cascadian Dark Ale is in the works, as well as a seasonal pumpkin ale, Oktoberfest and a secret Thanksgiving release that will be on many beer enthusiasts' Santa list. 

Sobol, Stoltz and their 10 investors have a business plan that calls for slow, steady growth. Food can be brought in from surrounding businesses, which are listed on a hanging board. Strong beers are not part of the plan right now. In fact, a three-maximum pint limit has been instigated in the taproom. That's the firefighter in them.

In addition to the beers today, a local barbecue company will be cooking out front. Beer flights are available.

TOP RUNG BREWING COMPANY, 8343 Hogum Bay Lane NE, Suite B
Lacey, 360.239.3043

BERE HERE TODAY

As mentioned above, Wingman Brewers in TAcoma celebrates its third anniversary with a party noon to midnight. It will premiere its Double IPA Pocket Aces in 22-ounce bottles and on draft, which is basically a doubled up version of its Ace IPA. There is a significant amount of malt backbone in the Pocket Aces, which leads to some residual sweetness. It weighs in at about 12 percent, but with a massive amount of citra and centennial hops, along with a few other varietals to balance it out. Budha Bear Bagels will help soak up the suds. Here is Wingman's starting tap lineup today: Ace IPA 7.1% ABV, P-51 Porter 8% ABV, Pocket Aces 12% ABV, Coconut P-51 8% ABV, Stratofortress 11.2% ABV, Gratzilla Smoked Bacon Wheat Ale 3.4% ABV, Operation Crossroads Old Ale 16.8% ABV, Chocolate, Coffee, Oatmeal Stout 7.8% ABV, AO Supporters Outlaw Ale 4.8% ABV, Pacific Gose 3.3% ABV, Wit 4.6% ABV, Big Baby Flat Top Imperial Stout 11.4% ABV, Chocolate Fortress 11.2% ABV, Mighty HighPA 6.8% ABV and a cider from Seattle Cider Company.

The historic 1908 Olympic Club in downtown Centralia hosts its annual Brewfest from 1-11 p.m. Since it's a McMenamins' operation, you can expect its Oregon-based brews on full display, as well as beer from guest brewers and importers, including local treats from Fish Brewing and Dick's brewing. While you sip, you can take in the Olympic Club's history of railway bootlegging, captured train robbers, secret call buttons, subterranean tunnels, rumored hauntings as well as tour the Olympic Club brewery, relax in the outdoor seating area, play a round or two of pool. The cost is $12 per 1o-sample punch card. The overnight rooms at the Olympic Club have been taken so plan accordingly.

The Hopscotch Spring Beer & Scotch Festival takes over Fremont Studios in Seattle with the biggest and best pop-up bar you may ever see with 50 microbrews, scotch, whiskey and wine tastings flowing through the aisles April 18-19. Hopscotch 2014 has an impressive lineup of both Washington and out-of-state microbreweries and distilleries. Well-known breweries, from Deschutes Brewery to Full Sail, Ninkasi to Snoqualmie, will serve up familiar brews and more. A few wines from the Proletariat Wine Company will also be available. If your tastes run a little harder, Scotch aficionados (or newbies wanting to learn a bit) can sample five Abelour vintages and six Northwest whiskeys. "We are bringing back our scotch workshops, which are hour-long Scotch 101 workshops led by a master of scotch and feature 10 different kinds of scotch from the Aberlour, Glenlevit, and Chivas families," said Maddie Murphy, sponsorship and marketing assistant for the festival. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.hopscotchtasting.com.

SEE ALSO

The Swiss Restaurant and Pub celebrates 21 years.

April 17, 2014 at 3:07pm

The Swiss' inaugural beer dinner sets a high bar

Georgetown Brewing Company took over the taps at The Swiss Restaurant and Pub Wednesday, April 16. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Toward the beginning of last night's Georgetown Brewing Company beer dinner at The Swiss Restaurant and Pub, Manny Chao, Georgetown's co-owner and brewmaster, explained why it was an honor that his company be the first brewery Swiss owner Jack McQuade invited to dinner. The two go way back.

Chao met McQuade some 20 years ago when he was the first employee at Mac and Jack's. 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 back in front of McQuade, this time selling his Manny's Pale Ale, from his new Georgetown Brewing Company located in Seattle's Georgetown district.

That introduction set an appropriate tone for what was to come at The Swiss' inaugural beer dinner. Chao and his sales rep, Garrett Miller, knowledgeably guided about 25 diners through Chef Scott Cleese's four masterfully prepared courses, excellently paired with Georgetown's selection of beers.

As noted, it was McQuade's first hosted beer dinner. The smile never left his face. He was proud to have his friend Manny in the house, proud of Cleese's dishes and proud that the inaugural crowd was a joyous group, chatty and truly interested in the education and tastes. Inaugural also means a chance to learn. The beer pours were enormous. By the seventh beer, I was speaking in gibberish. McQuade, who debuted new dishware and glassware for the event, could have easily poured half the amount and still called it a success.

Before the food arrived, Georgetown passed out full glasses of Roger's Pilsner, with Yakima-grown Czech-style Sterling hops, just to get the ball rolling.

For the first course, Chef Cleese created a cheddar potato ale soup, incorporating Manny's Pale Ale into the mixture. Cleese's goal was to hold as much sweetness from ale as he could, which he pulled off.

For the salad course, the kitchen marinated red onions over in Georgetown's Superchopp Red Ale, then added them to their steak salad with malted certified angus ball tip sirloin, bleu cheese crumbles, cherry tomatoes and a balsamic dressing. This was paired with the Superchopp, a derivative of Chopper's Red Ale, which was named after the brewery's third owner and operations manager, Brett Chopp. The Superchopp is hopbursted, which means the bitter hop and the aroma hop are both added at the end of the process.

My favorite pairing was the third course, monkfish lightly floured and seared on a grill with orange butter sauce served over a pan seared potato patty with braised season greens. Tasty. The citrus flavors of the Lucille IPA paired well. Georgetown's IPA master, Reid Spencer, named the beer after the car wash scene in Cool Hand Luke.

And for dessert: a housemade chocolate brownie with vanilla bean ice cream; Lisa's Chocolate Stout was the brew paired with this one, and a special sweet reduction of the stout was used in the dessert.

Yum.

The night ended with, yes, more beer: a delicious 11.4 percent, fruity Kiss Ass Blaster Triple IPA, which was low on the bitterness for a giant IPA.

If you missed this dinner and are aching to go to one now, don't fret. According to McQuade, The Swiss will have pairing dinners regularly. In the meantime, here are a few awesome people I met last night.

SEE ALSO

The Swiss Restaurant and Pub turns 21

April 14, 2014 at 12:05pm

Beer Here: Georgetown Brewing dinner at Swiss, Brewfest and more events

The Fortnight sandwich as it stands today at The Swiss Restaurant & Pub. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

The kitchen wasn't complete when The Swiss Pub opened 21 years ago this month. Once it was up and running, the first menu item was a no-brainer.

"People would hound us asking when we were opening. We would always reply, ‘two weeks'," says Swiss Pub owner Jack McQuade, speaking for his former co-owners Gayl Bertagni and Bob Hill. "Two weeks, two weeks - we said it for months. When it came time to name Gayl's first sandwich out of the kitchen, ‘The Fortnight' seemed appropriates since it's the British term for ‘two weeks'."

The turkey, bacon, sauteed mushroom, onion and Swiss cheese sandwich spurred the other original Swiss sandwiches: Today's, Tomorrow's and the Yesterday's. All but Tomorrow's still grace the menu.

After Bertagni died in a freak accident in May 2009, McQuade and Hill stayed true to her menu, since their beloved partner created the menu and ran the kitchen at The Swiss. McQuade, now the sole owner, still keeps the sandwiches on the menu, with slick tweaks, in her honor, but has slowly changed the cuisine coming out of the Swiss' kitchen.

"We're moving from a bar with food to a restaurant with a bar," says McQuade. The Swiss is no called The Swiss Restaurant & Pub.

He hired a new chef, Scott Cleese, who has put modern twists on The Swiss' dishes, as well as added new flavors, especially for daily and weekly specials.

Wednesday, April 16, Cleese will running back and forth the kitchen to the main music room to explain his creations during his Georgetown Brewing beer pairing dinner, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Cheddar potato soup, steak salad, fried monkfish and other dishes will be paired with Georgetown's finest, such as the Lucille IPA and Chopper Red Ale. Cleese will explain how he incorporated each Georgetown beer into his dish, followed by tasting notes from representatives from the Seattle craft brewery.

McQuade says monthly brewers dinners are on the books.

The cost is $40 per person. Tickets are available at The Swiss. For more information, call 253.572.2821.

Thursday, April 17

Beer geek Erick Swenson will pair bacon and beer at 6 p.m. in 208 Garfield close to Pacific Lutheran University. For $10, you may drink local beers and eat bacon until 9 p.m.

Friday, April 18

The Eastside Club Tavern hosts a No-Li Brewhouse brewers night. Have you played on the downtown Olympia tavern's new shuffleboard?

Friday, April 18-Saturday, April 19

The Hopscotch Spring Beer & Scotch Festival takes over Fremont Studios in Seattle with the biggest and best pop-up bar you may ever see with 50 microbrews, scotch, whiskey and wine tastings flowing through the aisles April 18-19. Hopscotch 2014 has an impressive lineup of both Washington and out-of-state microbreweries and distilleries. Well-known breweries, from Deschutes Brewery to Full Sail, Ninkasi to Snoqualmie, will serve up familiar brews and more. A few wines from the Proletariat Wine Company will also be available. If your tastes run a little harder, Scotch aficionados (or newbies wanting to learn a bit) can sample five Abelour vintages and six Northwest whiskeys. "We are bringing back our scotch workshops, which are hour-long Scotch 101 workshops led by a master of scotch and feature 10 different kinds of scotch from the Aberlour, Glenlevit, and Chivas families," said Maddie Murphy, sponsorship and marketing assistant for the festival. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.hopscotchtasting.com.

Saturday, April 19

Wingman Brewers celebrates its third anniversary with a party noon to midnight. It will premiere its Double IPA Pocket Aces in 22-ounce bottles and on draft, which is basically a doubled up version of its Ace IPA. There is a significant amount of malt backbone in the Pocket Aces, which leads to some residual sweetness. It weighs in at about 12 percent, but with a massive amount of citra and centennial hops, along with a few other varietals to balance it out. Budha Bear Bagels will help soak up the suds. Here is Wingman's starting tap lineup for Saturday: Ace IPA 7.1% ABV, P-51 Porter 8% ABV, Pocket Aces 12% ABV, Coconut P-51 8% ABV, Stratofortress 11.2% ABV, Gratzilla Smoked Bacon Wheat Ale 3.4% ABV, Operation Crossroads Old Ale 16.8% ABV, Chocolate, Coffee, Oatmeal Stout 7.8% ABV, AO Supporters Outlaw Ale 4.8% ABV, Pacific Gose 3.3% ABV, Wit 4.6% ABV, Big Baby Flat Top Imperial Stout 11.4% ABV, Chocolate Fortress 11.2% ABV, Mighty HighPA 6.8% ABV and a cider from Seattle Cider Company.

The historic 1908 Olympic Club in downtown Centralia hosts its annual Brewfest from 1-11 p.m. Since it's a McMenamins' operation, you can expect its Oregon-based brews on full display, as well as beer from guest brewers and importers, including local treats from Fish Brewing and Dick's brewing. While you sip, you can take in the Olympic Club's history of railway bootlegging, captured train robbers, secret call buttons, subterranean tunnels, rumored hauntings as well as tour the Olympic Club brewery, relax in the outdoor seating area, play a round or two of pool. The cost is $12 per 1o-sample punch card. The overnight rooms at the Olympic Club have been taken so plan accordingly.

April 11, 2014 at 10:47am

Beer Weekend: Gratzilla, Leavenworth Ale Fest, Sour Sampler

Team Maxwell's - owner Steve Anderson, left, and Chef Hudson Slater - helped Wingman Brewers with the bacon side of the Gratzilla bacon beer. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Sometimes it seems like obsession with bacon know no bounds. Present company definitely included. However, in some cases the infatuation is deserved, as in the case with the Gratzilla bacon wheat beer created by Wingman Brewers and Maxwell's Restaurant, which I wrote about this week. The two Tacoma entities let their pork flag fly, and their porky and smoky beer is on tap now, well ahead of the Bacon and Beer Classic at Safeco Field May 17 for which they brewed it. Drop by Wingman Brewers by the Tacoma Dome for a taste.

Side note: 208 Garfield next to Pacific Lutheran University offers a $10 beer and bacon sampling at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 17.

SATURDAY, APRIL 12

The Leavenworth Ale Fest, which is the annual fundraiser for the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, will run from 2-10 p.m. on April 12. This year's Ale Fest will feature beers from more than 30 breweries, five popular food vendors and live music performances every 90 minutes throughout the day. The hop-tastic day also benefits Operation Ward 57, a nonprofit that provides assistance to wounded warriors, their families and their caregivers. In exchange for providing volunteers for the event, Operation Ward 57 receives a portion of the proceeds. Best of all, active duty servicemembers receive free admission by simply presenting their respective IDs at the entrance. Admission for military also includes a taster's glass and three drink tokens. Regular admission is $20 at www.leavenworthalefest.com. Tickets will increase to $25 when purchased at the door. The event will take place at the Leavenworth Festhalle, 1001 Front St., Leavenworth.

SUNDAY, APRIL 13

Pint Defiance will host Petrus sour beers as part of its "Sour Sampler" from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Flights of four 4-ounce pours will be served for the cost of a normal pint.

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.

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.

BEER NEWS

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?

BEER HERE

>>> 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.

April 4, 2014 at 8:57am

Beer Weekend: The Copper Door opens plus events

The Copper Door owner Craig Moore announces his starting lineup. Photo courtesy of Facebook

This afternoon when The Copper Door taproom and beer store opens in Tacoma's Stadium District you may toss back pints of 7 Seas Cascadian Dark Ale, Narrows Brewing IPA, Fremont Brewing Company bourbon barrel aged Dark Star, NoLi Empire No. 8 Session IPA and Chuckanut Brewery's Dunkel Lager.

If you're the kind of person who absolutely needs to be the first person to tweet about a new place - or you're a beer geek, or you're just looking for the absolute coolest way to end the work week (unless you have plans to test-drive a Ferrari or play with live monkeys) - The Copper Door will have its soft opening today.

That's right, Tacoma. When you stand in front of Gibson's Frozen Yogurt, you will have to make a life decision. Just to its right sits 1,700 square feet of taproom space, 866 square feet of store space for 750 bottles of refrigerated brews, and the local brews listed above.

Meet owner Craig Moore.

"I lived in Portland for about 10 years and did home brewing only. It is where I learned to appreciate craft beer and its impact on the community. I feel like that is where my palette was challenged and where I formed a love for all the different styles and complexity of American beer," Moore says.

Why Tacoma?

"Having lived in this area, I was able to see the impact and development that craft beer had on Portland and Seattle. My friend started a small business in Tacoma recently and has been supported by the community both economically and his ideals. He helped me realized that Tacoma was a pearl in the Pacific Northwest and with the lower costs of starting a business there with the potential support of the residents there it was a pretty easy decision," he explains.

It's a Door for all reasons - a store to purchase a wide variety of bottled and canned beers, filling a growler of a special run or kicking back and chatting over draft brews.

I imagine Moore has seen the 253 stickers. Certainly living in Portland he knows the importance of community.

"We want to showcase all the local talent around us and have been in conversation with multiple local breweries," he says. "We are focusing on the West Coast and surrounding areas primarily. A lot of that has to do with the ability to get special runs and one offs as well. We look at the entire nation for good beer and are not limited."

The official opening will happen in a week, but he'll discover Tacoma doesn't wait. A grand opening party is in the works.

"We do have a barrel room set up and hope to have yearly release parties for the beers we age. We will be working with breweries on this idea and hopefully they will be involved in the release parties as well."

He'll discover the tight local beer community. He'll also discover how Tacoma likes its beer.

Here are the beers on tap when the copper door swings open:

1. Deschutes (nitro) - Obsidian Stout
2. Ace Cider
3. Ninkasi - Spring Reign American Pale Ale
4. No-li - Empire No. 8 Session IPA
5. Narrows Brewing - Giant Pacific Octopus IPA
6. Coronado Brewing - Islander IPA
7. Sound Brewing - Quad Pro Quo
8. Speakeasy - Betrayal Imperial Red
9. 7 Seas - Cascadian Dark Ale
10. Avery - Ellie's Brown Ale
11. Full Sail - Recipe no. 6 - Black Bock
12. Sierra Nevada Brewing - Narwhal Imperial Stout
13. Green Flash - Palette Wrecker Imperial IPA
14. Stone - Go to IPA
15. Chuckanut Brewery - Dunkel Lager
16. Fremont Brewing - Dark Star Imperial Stout

THE COPPER DOOR, 12 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma, 253.212.3708, thecopperdoor.net

BEER HERE

Friday, April 4

Narrows Brewing head brewer Joe Walts hosts Skip Madsen with American Brewing for a brewer's night beginning at 5 p.m. Dark Horse Band kicks it at 8 p.m.

Saturday, April 5

The Harmon Restaurant and Brewery is one of the venues participating in the Gray Sky Blues Music Festival. From noon to 5 p.m., expect to hear Fistful of Dollars, The Mark Riley Trio, Maia Santell and House Blend, Jack Gaffney out of Boulder, Colo., and Nolan Garret. Admission is free.

About this blog

News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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