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Posts made in: 'New Beer Column' (88) Currently Viewing: 51 - 60 of 88

January 3, 2013 at 11:03am

Checking in on Tacoma Brewing Company's Kickstarter


Kickstarter has helped many big thinkers get the funding necessary to make hopeful projects come to fruition. The crowdfunding model sprung up in part due to the squeeze of the financial collapse. Small business loans have become more difficult to get in the wake of the recession; even if a business does qualify, it can take a long time for it to see the money.

Morgan Alexander knows this. The burgeoning brewmaster operates his Tacoma Brewing Company out of his teensy-weensy coffee shop - the Amocat Café in Tacoma's Triangle District. His unique and experimental brews - such as Bloody Mary IPA and Bourbon Oaked Imperial Stout - are damn tasty. Problem is, his batches are small due to space confinement. Therefore, he has launched a Tacoma Brewing Company Kickstarter.

If he hits his Kickstarter goal, Alexander aims to upgrade his brewing equipment and secure a warehouse space. His goal is a measly and attainable $5,000. These funds will help Tacoma Brewing to brew more, maybe even making it accessible to local pubs tap list, which is a good thing.

Contributors will be handsomely rewarded with swag such as car decals, buttons and T-shirts. And for the high rollers awaits an invite to the exclusive VIP release party, and a chance to brew beside Alexander.

"The response has, overall, has been really incredible. It's great to see the community rally behind these really great projects like the South Sound Users Guide, Tacoma Makes Playing Cards and Libertine Salts. We want to be a part of that."

Tacoma Brewing Company has until Jan. 14 to fulfill its dream of large-space brewing. To donate visit the TBC Kickstarer.

Every Friday night Tacoma Brewing Company invites the public to whet its whistle and try new brew recipes at Amocat Cafe. Currently, Alexander is focusing on winter flavors such as a coffee stout and pomegranate porter, but there are light brews too.

Follow the Tacoma Brewing Company's Facebook for updates and event invites.


December 19, 2012 at 11:31am

TOMORROW: Burlesque Pub Crawl, Fa-La-La-La-La Edition

GRITTY CITY SIRENS: The burlesque troupe has the Christmas spirit. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner


Tomorrow, burlesque troupe Gritty City Sirens will shimmy-shake its way through Tacoma bars, singing carols and spreading holiday cheer to those who drink beer.

And wine.

And booze.

The troupe's Caroling Pub Crawl launches at 7 p.m. inside Puget Sound Pizza, then hits The Office Bar & Grill, The Swiss, Jazzbones, Doyle's Public House on the hour, ending the shenanigans at The Mix around Midnight.

This won't be the usual burlesque eye-full (though sure to tantalize) as the Sirens intend to enliven the holiday spirit with some caroling - and all for a good cause. Every dollar donated will go to Pin-Ups Against Cancer Fund. If you purchase a raffle ticket, you'll be entered to win some cool prizes.

Goodie bags will also be given out at each stop.

Between the booze, the boobs and the benefit you're bound to get some of the warm 'n' fuzzies.


December 14, 2012 at 9:12am

"The Works" party added to February's Big Beer Festival in Tacoma

BIG BEER FESTIVAL: Come all ye faithful.


Ed. note: The venue for the Big Beer festival has been changed to the Foss Waterway Seaport.

Beer brewers are constantly pushing the boundaries of their craft, often times brewing beers that defy mainstream beer styles and/or looking at other alcoholic beverages for inspiration. Strong, or big, beers are just one of the many byproducts of this artisanal approach to brewing. The processes involved to create such beers aren't simple. Brewers spend a lot of research time, money and trial and error to cultivate their super yeast strains that can survive the high-alcohol brewing environment and produce well-attenuated beers that have a minimum of six percent alcohol by volume.

These brewers should be rewarded for their big beer efforts. These brewers should be celebrated. More importantly, beer drinkers should be able to taste the big beers - maybe 60 or so of them under one, rustic roof.

Enter the Big Beer Festival

Bennett Thurmon and Roxi Lee, two forces behind the annual Tacoma Craft Brew Festival, will celebrate strong, big beers at their new, winter beer get-together, the Big Beer Festival. Twenty regional vendors and around 60 beers will be housed Feb. 16 in the Petrich Marine Dock Foss Waterway Seaport (705 Dock St.) along the Thea Foss Waterway. The festival will be divided into two sessions, one from noon to 4 p.m., the second from 4:30-8:30 p.m. The brewer list is still being finalized, but Lee and Thurmon said they received thumbs up 18 brewers including local brewers such as Engine House No. 9, Tacoma's Harmon Brewing Co., Wingman Brewers, Tacoma Brewing Co., 7 Seas Brewing, DUO Brewing, M.T. Head Brewing Company, Bremerton's Silver City Brewery, Eugene's Ninkasi Brewing Company, Deschutes Brewery from Portland and Edmond's American Brewing Company.

Advance tickets will be $20 at brownpapertickets.com, which includes a 5.5 oz., commemorative taster glass and six tasting tokens. Additional pours will cost $1.50 each. Admission will go up to $25 the day of the event. Proceeds will benefit YWCA. Northwest Mini is the main sponsor.

Big Beer Festival updates will be posted every Tuesday on the Tacoma Craft Brew Festival's Facebook where you may learn a thing or two about the brewers and beers participating.

The latest news out of the Big Beer Festival camp is a private, pre-festival party to be held 7-9 p.m. Feb. 15 inside the Petrich Marine Dock. Titled "The Works," this preview party will serve five to 10 beers brewed exclusively for The Works - beers not available at the Big Beer Festival. For $50, you may taste samples of these special one-offs, as well as gain access to both sessions the next day. Only 200 tickets will be available for The Works. Works tickets go on sale today at Brown Paper Tickets.

December 10, 2012 at 11:47am

12 Beers of Christmas coming to Tacoma

HARMON TAP ROOM: You must have a beer a day. There are worse things in life.


The warm and fuzzy feeling you get when in good company, complimented by a delicious and unique local beer, is what makes the Harmon Tap Room's 12 Beers of Christmas a worthy holiday merriment.

Dec 13-24, The Harmon Taproom is hosting 12 days of 12 different beers for customers to imbibe. If beer-lovers enjoy a brew for each of the 12 days, they will receive a complimentary engraved mug.

"I was just looking for something fun to do," says brewer Jeff Carlson. "Throughout the year people get excited about certain beers, and instead of making more, I hid them away. Now I can bring them out and let everyone relive their memories and drink the fancy stuff they've been dreaming about."

For some reason, the holiday lyrics "visions of sugar plums danced in their heads," just danced through my head. See, the thoughts of extra special beers are already invoking the spirit of the season.

While sugar plum beer is not on the menu, Sour Cherry ESB/Amber and Raspberry Blonde are. Oak aged Vanilla Porter and Candy Cane will also be on tap. Expect to also taste St. Helen's Anniversary IPA, Striker Stout and an Imperial infused with coconut.

Expect to also bump into Carlson, who says part of the fun of the event is making new friends.

"I will be here and around," he says. "Come say hi and share a beer."

Be sure to pick up the Weekly Volcano's print edition Thursday for the inside scoop on the 12 Beers of Christmas, as well as other local brew thoughts, from Harmon Brewing co-owner Pat Nagle.




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November 21, 2012 at 9:21am

"Honey, Parkway ruined your Thanksgiving ... again"

THE PARKWAY TAVERN: Have your honey pick up up tonight.


"Honey, Parkway ruined your Thanksgiving ... again," - famous last words to be spoken by an attendee of another Thanksgiving eve at Tacoma's Parkway Tavern.

The event is aptly named and according to manager John O'Gara, "It all started a few years ago as a bit of an accident. I'm not sure when the day before Thanksgiving became the biggest drinking holiday of the year but it is."

Think about it: college kids are home visiting the family after months of studying (binge drinking), pulling all-nighters (binge drinking) and worrying about midterms (binge drinking). And it's not just the college-aged drinkers who have transformed this evening as the most popular drinking holiday of the year. It's the men and women who get Thanksgiving Day off, which let's face it is most people as almost all businesses shut down or close early to allow the practice of thankfulness, football watching and stuffing ourselves full of tryptophan and gravy.

The first pre-Thanksgiving party at the Parkway was so off the hook O'Gara recalls thinking, "If this group of people were to join forces not only would they take over here but they could conquer Tacoma. It was almost riot status."

The Parkway Tavern is known for its eclectic, tasty beers and seasonal brews - specifically potent that can knock you on your ass. And your ass could be in trouble again tonight. The Parkway will offer extra seasonal brews on tap, just for the occasion. The hops lovers who like that fuzzy tongue feeling can chug on the likes of Schooner Hoppy The Woodsman and Supergoose IPA. If you prefer to make your brew into a meal and chew your way through it Jolly Rogers and Dog Fish Head Miles Davis Bitches Brew will hit the spot. And naturally for those looking forward to Thanksgiving go-to desserts there will be a couple of pumpkin ales available.

Here's what's on tap tonight: Maritime Pacific Jolly Roger 2010, Maritime Pacific Jolly Roger 2011, Southern Tier Pumking, Southern Tier Old Man Winter 2011, Russian River Temptation, Avery Samael, Avery duganA IPA, Boneyard Aleias, Schooner Hoppy the Woodsman 2011, Hale's Bourbon Barrel Aged Supergoose IPA, North Coast Barrel Aged Grand Cru, Dogfish Head Mile's Davis Bitches Brew, Port Brewing Santa's Little Helper and Timmermans Pumpkin Lambicus.

This year is sure to have another poor soul in the doghouse for being so hung-over that contributing to or even arriving to the obligatory family gathering is simply out of the question as they opt for aspirin, water and moaning in agony.

Drinking holidays are fun, until the morning after.


November 14, 2012 at 10:05am

Wingman Brewers hooks up with 21 Cellars winery

21 CELLARS: It's really must-y in its cellar right now.


You know what's awesome? Making beer with wine must - the quite flavorful and useful "leftover" grape skin, seeds and stems from wine mashing - is what's awesome.

You know what's more awesome? If it was produced in Tacoma.

That's Wingman Brewers intention, pairing with Tacoma winery 21 Cellars to produce unique flavored beers distinct to Tacoma.

Two beers - White Betty, a Belgian-style tripel, and Black Widow, an abbey-style beer - will be released at the end of November, says Ken Thoburn, Wingman's head brewer. 

White Betty is a twist on Wingman's Miss-B-Havin, swapping out bitter orange oil for Sémillon white wine must. Fermented together, the result is a hit.

"It has a really cool flavor," says Katrina Lange, assistant winemaker at 21 Cellars. "It has great age-ability, which is right up 21 Cellars alley. There's a really fruity round quality to it."

The Black Widow uses the same technique, but with Tempranillo grape must, providing the dark beer with a "great red wine nose to it," says Thoburn.

Both beers ring in at 10 percent ABV.

Wingman tried mixing the two imbibing favorites last year when it aged it's beer in Pont 21 2007 Cabernet barrels, creating a inspiring and intoxicating (11.4 percent) brew.

"We felt like we had such a good product, we wanted to have something more complex," says Thoburn. "We are really happy it turned out so well, it was a fun experiment. We were very happy to again get the chance to work with 21 Cellars. We enjoy collaboration and it doesn't get any better than working with another local Tacoma business to create something together."

Weekly Volcano will keep you posted on when and where you can find these dynamic duo beers.

November 8, 2012 at 12:56pm

Treos coffee/beer/wine coming to Old Town Tacoma


Ed. note: Treos has opened. Read our firet bite report.

There it is. The sign in the window.

Treos is coming to Old Town Tacoma, in the spot once occupied by Tully's.

Apparently, Treos is a gathering spot serving coffee and pastries in the morning and beer, wine and small plates in the evening. It's about life ... cubed.

Let's see what it says on its website:

What is treos? A gathering Place! Apart from the workplace and home – your third place, a place to gather, rekindle relationships and recharge your life. The name treos is additionally representative of our core values for service. We believe faith is first, friends, family and guests are second and we are third. The manner in which we live our lives – treoslife.

The term “treos life” is a commitment to service and passion for our guests, and our suppliers. We will serve only the finest coffees sourced directly from the farms in regions throughout the world where our roaster has a personal sustainable relationship with each of our arabica growers.

You may like them on Facebook.

October 26, 2012 at 3:28pm

Say goodbye to one of Tacoma's longest-standing dive bars

THE GOLDFISH TAVERN: Say goodbye to your post Five Mile Drive run beer. File photo


The Goldfish Tavern will close its doors Wednesday, Oct. 31 at the bar’s location for nearly 80 years at 5310 N. Pearl St. Tacoma. Past-due rent and fewer patrons contributed to the decision to close.

The tavern lived a full and interesting life, serving hundreds of patrons, kicking out handfuls of hooligans and providing an atmosphere of a “home away from home.”

“We’ve been able to stay open this long because of the people who care,” says bartender, co-manager and patron Laura Collins. “We’re like a family.”

Collins tells stories of customers coming together in time of need and always being there for one another. Like when the bar needed firewood for the year to keep their fireplace cozy and inviting, regulars got together and rented a wood splitter, chopping and stacking to keep the supply full.

Collins tells other stories of back in the day, about 45 years ago, when all the tables were goldfish tanks and bikers and college kids would make bets until someone ended up having to eat a goldfish, and at the end of the night, there would be goldfish puked out in the parking lot.

Or another time, when Collins was going through a family loss, and the bar got together to bring her food and comfort.

"It really is a cool dive bar, one of the last in Tacoma," says Collins.

So come out sometime before Nov. 1, order a beer from their 36 varieties and pay homage to a bar that will be greatly missed.

“We want to show gratitude to the people who have been coming here for years,” says Collins. “There are a lot of good memories.”

What are your memories of The Goldfish Tavern?

October 24, 2012 at 8:34pm


Friday, October 26, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., a unique way to celebrate autumn comes to Museum of Glass. MOGtoberfest is not just a weird word. MOGtoberfest is a delightful pairing of art and beer, Bavarian festivities and fine wine, and-of course-some art glass.

What to expect? For the cost of admission, you'll get a 6-ounce Pilsner glass, four beer or wine tastes, German food to sustain your celebration through the evening, live entertainment in the Hot Shop, and the chance to win two pint glasses. The Hot Shop Team will also have created their first artist growler series and you can check those out, too. All of this will be to the tune of oompa music wafting through the museum.

Get your tickets in advance and save. Advance tickets are $35. At the door costs $40. 21+ only.

Filed under: New Beer Column, Tacoma,

October 16, 2012 at 6:35am

Oktoberfest at Katie Downs

And you thought Oktoberfest was over. As long as brats and beer are produced in this world, you can indulge your every German whim somewhere. Friday, October 19, from 6 to 10 p.m. celebrate Oktoberfest at Katie Downs on Tacoma's Waterfront.

For your German entertainment purposes, the Gary Hausam Band will be in the house to cater to your oompa-music needs. There may be a chicken dance in there somewhere, too.

For your German dining purposes, there will be a special menu of Oktoberfest delights, including a German sausage chowder, bratwurst and giant pretzels. There will also be two or three Oktoberfest beers on tap. Of course, the regular menu is also still available.

If German food and music just isn't enough to turn your torque, there will also be door prizes and no cover charge.

Filed under: New Beer Column, Tacoma,

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