Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: 'New Beer Column' (88) Currently Viewing: 41 - 50 of 88

July 22, 2013 at 12:59pm

Pacific Brewing and Malting brewers to drink 100-year-old Tacoma beer

Photo courtesy of Pacific Brewing and Malting

Three years ago, a team of Swedish divers and researchers discovered what is considered the world's oldest unopened champagne in a shipwreck believed to be from the early 19th century in the Baltic Sea. However, the Swedes found another liquid treasure - a couple of bottles of unopened beer from the same era. The champagne was kept intact. What about the beer?

They drank it; even more startling was the fact that they actually liked it. Horrified Swedish beer experts shuddered. However, they admitted they'd be tempted to take a swig, too.

Oh c'mon, it was all in the name of science, right? And beer science at that!

Pacific Brewing and Malting, a new Tacoma based brewer who will open later this year, will put an American and scientific spin on a beer treasure from the past, too. They managed to get a hold of unopened bottles of 100-year-old beer. Hardly sunken treasure - the beer was discovered in an old California hotel.

OK, old beer. Nice.

The story continues. ... The beer is an extra special find for these Tacomans. The found beer was brewed locally by its predecessor of the same name, Pacific Brewing. The original company was the second largest beer producer in Washington state in the early 1900s. Due to prohibition in the state in 1916, the brewery relocated to California and underwent significant business changes.

Read more...

June 10, 2013 at 9:31am

Bands announced for Tacoma's Brew Five Three beer festival

Little Bill and the Blues Notes anchor Tacoma's inaugural Brew Five Three event June 22.

Tacoma is chock-full of fun community events and festivals this summer. With the combination of local food vendors, blues bands and more than 35 Washington craft brewers, Brew Five Three is one not to miss. This inaugural event, put on by Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, takes place Saturday, June 22 from 1 to 10 p.m. on Broadway in downtown Tacoma.

"The inspiration for Brew Five Three came from our city," said Aaron Stevens, Broadway Center programming manager. "Tacoma has a long-standing and wonderful relationship with craft beer. Further inspiration came from our city's blues fans. We get asked all the time to bring more blues shows to Tacoma."     

Read more...

June 6, 2013 at 3:11pm

Tacoma Craft Beer Festival tickets on sale June 7

FUTURE THINGS ARE COMING >>>

Remember how excited you were when you learned the Tacoma Craft Beer Festival was moving to Cheney Stadium? TCBF co-organizer Bennett Thurmon has been so overwhelmed with joy he had to be forcibly removed from Cheney Stadium. Every day, for the last two months, he's hung out at the stadium, measuring fences, calculating sun angles and "becoming one with the stadium" he claimed.*

Anyway, here's more good Tacoma Craft Beer Festival news: Tickets for the Sept. 7 all-day beer festival go on sale Friday, June 7. Tomorrow, click here to journey to the TCBF website, click "Tickets available online" and you'll be whisked to Ticketmaster's fancy site, select the $30.50 ticket or $60.50 VIP ticket, then feel content knowing you'll be one of many hanging out on that glorious Saturday, tasting goods from 70 craft breweries and hugging the hell out of your friends, which happens every year.

*OK, Thurmon wasn't removed, but he has been living at Cheney and actually used a protractor to calculate the stadium's coaster capacity.

June 6, 2013 at 9:25am

The Mouth: Shake Shake Shake's backyard beer garden, transporter on Pac Ave and more ...

Shake Shake Shake co-owner Robert Stocker supervises the backyard construction of his Stadium District burger joint this morning.

TIDBITS TO CHEW ON TODAY >>>

Within the week Shake Shake Shake, the burger joint in Tacoma's Stadium District, will sport a grassy backyard with picnic tables and a fenced area for alcohol consumption.

Old Mliwaukee Cafe on Tacoma's Sixth Avenue has water heater issue and is closed until Friday at 6 a.m.

Tacoma City Councilman David Boe has found a Star Trek-like transporter on Tacoma's Pacific Avenue. Check out his Facebook post below:

THIS IS NOT COOL: Swiffer puts Rosie the Riveter back in the kitchen.

WHO NEEDS TO SEE MORE BLOOD SPITTING ANYWAY: Showtime cancels The Borgias.

NINE INCH NAILS: The band is back.

JOY DIVISION: It's now a creepy video game.

Bring it!

April 16, 2013 at 7:45am

Local Alan Kropf and his Mutineer beverage magazine for Millennials

ALAN KROPF: He runs a magazine that actually lives up to its name, causing a mutiny in beverage culture.

A true story of "local boy done good," Alan Kropf is making waves in the realm of beverages. Kropf is the founder of Mutineer Magazine, and has been nationally recognized by Forbes, Zagat and Wine & Spirits Magazine as one to watch under the age of 30 in the world of wine, spirits and coffee. A graduate of Rogers High School and Pierce College, he is being recognized this week as one of Pierce College's 2013 Distinguished Alumni.

Kropf created Mutineer Magazine, a publication geared toward making fine beverages approachable to adults in their 20s and 30s, after working as sommelier of the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel. "After gaining experience on the service side of beverage, Mutineer Magazine was my way of combining my passion for art with my passion for beverages," he said.

Kropf credits his success to naive optimism and his experience at Pierce College as a part of the student leadership program. "The experience helped me understand team dynamics, organizational leadership and bringing a vision and mission to life. Something as ambitious as Mutineer requires the ability to look beyond the constraints of reasonable reality, or in my case, ignore it altogether."

When asked about what he thinks of the explosion of distilleries, breweries and craft coffee roasters in the South Puget Sound, Kropf, who now lives in Napa Valley, Calif., believes the area can definitely hang with the rest of the country. "I highly suggest supporting your local beverage producers with great enthusiasm. Washington has long been a touchstone for beverage in the United States, particularly in regards to beer, and I get giggly inside trying to comprehend the amazingness of the beverage renaissance taking place."

What's a 20 or 30-something to do when choosing a wine or spirit, according to Kropf? "Drink local and watch your beverage karma soar. Beyond that, I suggest seeking as much diversity in your drinking as possible. Try everything once, and before you know it you'll have an enviable palate that will earn you the honors of selecting the next bottle from the wine list with dinner."

April 9, 2013 at 11:10am

Tacoma Craft Beer Festival moves to Cheney Stadium

BENNETT THURMON: He was happy at his inaugural, sold out Big Beer Festival this past February. Imagine how happy he'll be at Cheney Stadium this September.

FUTURE THINGS ARE COMING >>>

In 2009 the Tacoma Craft Beer Festival organizers were overwhelmed. The inaugural event ultimately sold out, and repeatedly hit maximum allowed capacity of the Foss Waterway Seaport, leaving the line of people waiting for entry wrapped around the building. The following year, the exact same scenario happened. In 2011 and 2012, organizers went bigger, moving the festival outdoors to the 21st Street Park along Dock Street. People were turned away at the gate due to capacity issues and the fact that all the beer was drank.

So what will Tacoma Craft Beer Festival organizers do this year?

Go bigger.

In September, the largest single day beer festival in Washington state will be held at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma. The fifth annual Tacoma Craft Beer Festival will tap the kegs at Cheney, host 20 more breweries - bringing the total to 70 craft breweries - and welcome 6,000 to 7,000 beer drinkers. Gone will be the parking issues. Gone will be the lines at Honey Buckets. Enter more food options.

"This event is being held to bring together those that are passionate about craft beer, and to further build community while promoting this amazing beverage in the South Sound," states co-organizer Bennett Thurmon.

Mark a big "X" over noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7 on your calendar. You and a bunch of people will be drinking a bunch of craft beer.

March 8, 2013 at 1:03pm

Steampunk Vapory Lounge to open next month in Tacoma

STEAMPUNK VAPORY LOUNGE: The stairs leading up to the lounge will be a decorative focus. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

FUTURE (PAST) THINGS ARE COMING >>>

Last weekend, after a long, grueling day of floor sanding, JoAnna Farr fell into a chair, lifted the remote as if it weighed 10 pounds and pressed on. The show Modern Marvels welcomed her home. The episode featured "The Marvel of Steam" stating "the largest steam explosion known to modern man was Mount St. Helens."

A smile erupted on Farr's face.

She sat up, threw her hand into the air knowing the next giant steam explosion is going to occur at Steampunk Vapory Lounge on St. Helens Avenue in downtown Tacoma.

Farr and business partners Jim Oliver and Natalie Durflinger will open the vaping/beer & wine lounge next month, if all goes well. The shop will sell electronic cigarettes and e-cig accessories, in addition to providing an environment for vaping e-cigs backed with local beer and wine.

An electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, does not contain tar or carcinogens that can harm the body like typical cigarettes, but does contain nicotine. The nicotine is turned from liquid to vapor by a lithium battery-operated heating element inside the e-cigarette. It is then inhaled and exhaled simply as water vapor. The nicotine is absorbed into the system and the exhaled water vapor does not leave lingering odors or anything in the air.

"E-cigarettes satisfy not only the nicotine crave, but the entire habit and addiction of smoking cigarettes," told me as I toured the shell of the future Steampunk Vapory Lounge. "Many long-time smokers use vaping to quit smoking."

Farr says their vaping juices are made locally - many of which are organic. They are working with several local juice creators, including, Banzai Vapors in Tacoma, which will introduce a steampunk juice flavor for the grand opening of the Steampunk Vapory Lounge.

The Steampunk Vapory Lounge is the brainchild of Oliver and Durflinger. Farr met the two at her former business venture, the SideBar Bistro.

"Their office was literally next door to the restaurant and they were also our best customers," explains Farr.  "Natalie's daughter even worked with me at the restaurant.  Jim, Natalie, and I had plenty of time to talk - as the SideBar was usually empty - and they had mentioned they were in the process of opening their own firm.  Fast-forward a year. ... The Bistro had closed, and Natalie called me out of the blue to offer me job in their thriving law firm - Durflinger, Oliver, and Associates, on St. Helens Avenue. We found that we really enjoyed working together and soon after I started, they asked me to be part of Steampunk Vapory Lounge. So once we found this great new space, right down the street from the firm, we went straight to work."

Farr explains the SideBar failed because of "a terrible location, tanking economy and outrageously high rent. It was a business owner's worst nightmare. It cost me my marriage. Needless to say, I was more than leery to ever open another business."

The cozy space will easily morph into the trio's Neo-Victorian antique theme. Expect ornate tin ceilings, rich dark hardwood floors and plush leather seating. The color scheme will vary from beiges to velvety maroons - all laced with black trim to match the amazing original staircase that curves up to the upstairs lounge. Dotting the walls will be unique signage and artwork.

Unbeknownst to the trio during planning phases, The Tea Works - a few doors down in the St. Helen's Ave. Mercantile - carries a steampunk theme. Tea Works will add a few elements to the Steampunk Vapory Lounge's interior, including assisting the trio with signage.

While local beer and wine contracts are in the initial phases, it looks as if Pacific Grill will cater SVL's food, making proposed vape meetings and wine tastings more desirable.

If you have been dreaming of vaping e-cigs and sipping a local brew in a post-apocalyptic, neo Victorian parlor, keep an eye on this blog for more details on the Steampunk Vapory Lounge's opening.

STEAMPUNK VAPORY LOUNGE, 759 ST. HELEN'S AVE., TACOMA

February 17, 2013 at 9:24am

WORDS & PHOTOS: Big Beer Festival in Tacoma

BIG BEER FESTIVAL: 7 Seas Brewing was in the house.

Sure, you like beer - but have you ever worn it? Wrapped your entire being in it and then spent a day in a warehouse devoted to it? That's what the South Sound's most dedicated beer enthusiasts did at the Big Beer Festival, held at the Foss Waterway Seaport yesterday. Set in a more intimate environ than its larger summer Tacoma Craft Beer Festival counterpart, 20 small breweries poured 5.5-ounce shots of beers that contained a minimum of 6 percent alcohol by volume for 1,500 beer drinkers. By all accounts, it was a success.

What the Weekly Volcano also witnessed during the four-hour night session - the first session ran noon to 4 p.m. - was beer lovers know how to stagger in style, and many showed off just how crazy they could look. We also saw a few normal looking drinkers at the festival, which you will see below.

LINK: More photos from the Big Beer Festival in Tacoma

February 16, 2013 at 6:56am

Today's Big Beer Festival is sold out

SERIOUSLY, NO TICKETS AT THE DOOR >>>

Simple beer math - courtesy of the folks behind today's Big Beer Festival: Winter is cold and big alcohol beers makes you warm, so by way of beer logic, the Big Beer Festival is sold out!

"The BIG Beer Festival is officially sold out of tickets and will not have tickets to sell at the door :( [we are] sorry if any of you have missed getting your ticket but I promise you the Tacoma Craft Beer Festival on September 7th will be our largest yet." - Big Beer Festival management

Oh well. There are other awesome things to do today in the South Sound.

February 5, 2013 at 10:03am

Harmon brews Eleventh Street IPA, Tacoma bars to stock it

HARMON BREWERY: It makes beer in celebration of old things in Tacoma.

LET'S DRINK TO THE MURRAY MORGAN BRIDGE! >>>

Back in December I had a sit down with Harmon Brewery co-owner Pat Nagle to discuss local brews and his desire to collaborate with local businesses. Harmon has united with Dry Fly distillery, 21 Cellars and the Grocery Outlet. In celebration of the reopening of the 11th Street Bridge - renamed the Murray Morgan Bridge - Nagle continued his collaboration efforts, brewing an Eleventh Street IPA - with the blessing of the city of Tacoma and JayRay Advertising - and offering the brew to numerous downtown hot spots such as The Swiss, Office Bar and Grill, TwoKoi, The Mix, Puget Sound Pizza, Meconi's Pub, The Social Bar and Grill and Rock the Dock Pub, just to name a few.

Nagle took the bridge celebration a bit farther with his new beer, incorporating 11 different hops and bumping it to 100 IBUs (bitterness measurement) to represent the 100th year anniversary of the bridge. IPAs tend to be very high in IBUs, which is desirable by hopheads who enjoy that fuzzy tongue feeling.

"The City of Tacoma, along with JayRay Advertising and the Pierce Co. Chamber of Commerce, are putting together a christening of the bridge on Valentine's Day, Thursday February 14th," Nagle states in a release. "The goal is to have as many downtown retailers as possible participate by putting together an 'offer' for Valentine's Day that will tie into the 11th St. Bridge celebration."

The offers poured in. As part of Murray Morgan Bridge Week Feb. 11-16, downtown Tacoma businesses will offer discounts, as well as carry the Harmon Eleventh Street IPA as I previously mentioned. The list of participating businesses can be found at tacomachamber.org.

The official rededication ceremony begins with the Light the Bridge fun run/walk at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14. Light the Bridge organizers ask all participants to wear headlamps and/or carry flashlights or glow sticks. Advance registration is required.

A dedication ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Feb. 15. The event will take place near the bridge at the intersection of 11th and A streets.

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

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