Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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September 30, 2011 at 11:35am

Oktoberfest Insider's Tips with Herr Alexander

Let's hope this doesn't happen tomorrow in Opera Alley.


Beer! Pretzels! Beer! Pumpkin carving! Beer! Pie-eating contest! Beer! Yo-Yo Man! Beer! Tomorrow's Oktoberfest Tacoma has all of these fine things, but, most importantly, it has beer. Lots of beer. For a complete list of beers, check out our earlier blog post on the event.

I dropped by Amocat Café this morning to grab Oktoberfest Tacoma insider's tips from organizer Morgan Alexander. He came up with three tips.

Tip #1: Get your tickets early. It's like getting free beer. Tickets are $12 through Brown Paper Tickets, Amocat Café or 99 Bottles in Federal Way. Tickets are $18 at the event. The ticket includes five generous tastings.

Tip #2: If you like free pie, register for the pie-eating contest. The pies will be either blackberry or blueberry. And first pie finished wins a prize.

Tip #3: Get to the event early - the first 100 receive free collectors buttons for the event, which were designed by James Stowe.

[Opera Alley, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2-10 p.m., $12-$18 includes five tastings, Seventh and Opera Alley, downtown Tacoma, oktoberfesttacoma.com]

September 28, 2011 at 10:32am

Oktoberfest Tacoma: No Chets allowed

Beer Aficionados will converge on Tacoma's Opera Alley Saturday. Photo credit: Herr Dreyer


October hits Saturday, carrying fall along with it. So, what does that tell you? Yes, that's right, it's beer season. What, you may ask, does this time of year, specifically, have to do with beer? The venerable Oktoberfests, of course. The summer heat is dying down enough to allow a midday buzz to last longer than five minutes.

Now, to brazenly and brutally classify, there are two distinct types of people who typically attend Oktoberfest revelry. First, there are those individuals who support their favorite brews and breweries and go to sample the new variations that have made it into what have become Washington state's regal brewing ranks. We shall deem this group "Aficionados."

Now, the other group. Let me first pose a rather personal question: Have you ever begun drinking shortly after pulling yourself out of your disheveled bed, before breakfast was even a seedling of a thought, say at nine or 10 in the morning? You know, those times when you are clearly done putting the drink down the hatch by noon and are unsuccessfully trying to sleep off a nasty, nasty hangover in thy poor head by early afternoon? Well, this festival also brings out those who are extremely well versed in this routine. We shall tenderly call this group "Chet."

Chet season ends with the summer sun. Last weekend's Fremont Oktoberfest witnessed the last Chet spill another beer on the heat-soaked cement while stumbling awkwardly down the street trying to find the elusive empty port-o-potty.  A few die-hard Chets might show up for Oktoberfest Tacoma Saturday in Tacoma's Opera Alley, but it's geared more toward the Aficionados.

Presented by the Triangle Business District, Amocat Café and The Mix, Oktoberfest Tacoma will feature the following local beers for Aficionados: 7 Seas Brewing, American Brewing, Burris Brewing, Harmon Brewery, Lazy Boy Brewing, Schooner Exact, Trade Route Brewing and Wingman Brewers. As a bonus, Oktoberfest Tacoma spreads its fats arms to breweries in distant lands such as: Avery, Dogfish Head, Leavenworth Brewery and Silver City Brewing. Ciders will also be poured.

Mixed in with all the drinking will be pretzels, a pie-eating contest, chainsaw pumpkin carving and more.

Admission is $12 advance and $18 at the door and includes five generous tastings. Additional tasting tokens can be purchased for $1.50. Tickets can be purchased online through Brown Paper Tickets or in person at 99 Bottles and Amocat Cafe.

So leave your hanky tops and hair gel at home, pull on a woolly sweater, and learn that happiness is best achieved by tipping a brew.

Oh, and be on the lookout for Chet.

[Opera Alley, 2-10 p.m., $12-$18 includes five tastings, Seventh and Opera Alley, downtown Tacoma, oktoberfesttacoma.com]

September 24, 2011 at 10:30am

Last day to drink in the sun

Go outside and drink!


The Weekly Volcano Weather Guy says today is the last day of summer. He predicts rain for the next seven months. Today is your last day to drink a refreshing adult beverage outside at one of our area’s many bar and restaurant decks and patios.

The hardworking and stone-livered scribes that make the Weekly Volcano tick put together this list a few years back to help you through the day.

Enjoy, and drink up.

1675 Marine Dr. N.E., Olympia, 360.705.3473
With ample outdoor seating and an amazing happy hour, this restaurant/bar is a local favorite. Nestled along the waters of Budd Bay, the view alone is worth the trip. Patio and lounge are first come, first serve, so keep that in mind. Otherwise, come prepared to enjoy. — Nikki Talotta
Entertainment: Seal or kayak watching

229 St Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.2792
The Bayview’s got, well, a bay view. Commencement Bay, to be exact, and it’s a nice one. The deck has plenty of chairs — a whopping 40 — in which to sit while you choose from one of the best arrays of burgers downtown. — Paul Schrag
Entertainment: Watch the boats come in, and watch out for seagulls.

119 Capitol Way N., Olympia, 360.352.4153
Twentysomethings kicked back with PBRs and smokes while a single career-lookin’ lady sipps a bright pink cocktail and giggled into her iPhone. Fit to welcome bar patrons from all walks of life, the space is adorned with 10 or so tables, Christmas lights and a corrugated metal roof shielding drinkers from the sun. — Marie Landau
Entertainment: Pool table, shuffle board, pinball, Sunday movie nights (7 p.m., free!) and live DJs on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays

3017 Ruston Way, Tacoma, 253.752.8811
Megalophobia is the fear of large objects. Taken into the context of what C.I. Shenanigan’s contains (a restaurant), it can be kind of terrifying. It is a horrifically large restaurant. The outdoor patio is enormous and shockingly packed at 2:30 p.m. There’s a bus station and mini-bar just for the patio. The tables are nicely covered with umbrellas, and the hostesses are tasty. — Chuck Dula
Entertainment: Big televisions and tasty hostesses

535 Dock St., Tacoma, 253.272.5004
This joint has a manly deck. What in tarnation is a manly deck, you ask. Good question. A manly deck is a place that holds special appeal for men. Rock The Dock’s deck sits on top of a pier, is no-frills, sits across from the gritty Port of Tacoma, and fishermen often tie up to the dock and make their way up the plank. How’s that for manly? The Dock is sporting a new menu as of this week featuring manly burgers (half-pound patty, guys!). — Michael Swan
Entertainment: Sports on the flat screen, pool table and watching the fishermen make their way back to their boats

208 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.7468
Doyle’s is raw and simple. If you’re looking for a no-frills sidewalk in the shade with a smattering of tables, good people and plenty of fantastic beers, Doyle’s Public House, or its front patio, is your place. This is the beauty of simplicity in action with a solid draught selection. Pints of Smithwick’s Irish Ale, Hoegaarden Wit, good old Beamish and Carlsberg, Bellhaven Twisted Thistle, Fuller’s Mr. Harry and, all praises, Aventinus, will help you realize that a table by the sidewalk can be just like heaven. — PS
Entertainment: Sports on the teevee! Doyle’s opens early for soccer.

3327 Ruston Way, Tacoma, 253.752.5444
Although happy hour is not valid on this popular Tacoma waterfront deck, Duke’s has managed to compensate its guests in more ways than Denise Richards is an overrated celebrity. Take advantage of Duke’s “deck specials” as you hide behind your shades and inconspicuously check out the hot women at the next table.  (Don’t worry; they’ll never know you’re looking. Trust me on this.) — Steph DeRosa
Entertainment: Did you not read the lesson above concerning sunglass stalking?

611 North Pine, Tacoma, 253.272.3435
This Tacoma landmark tavern is best known as the place to go to hit on college boys and girls during the school year, but its summer schedule offers a quasi-picnic setting on the front patio. What makes this joint stand out is its neighborhood vibe and historical setting, complete with vintage firefighting bunker gear, photos and E9‘s version of Tacoma Brew — a close replica of a recipe dating back to the late 1800s. — Steve Dunkelberger
Entertainment: Coed eye candy, history

2761 Ruston Way, Tacoma, 253.752.8600
New to the area?  Then please allow me to educate you.  There are three facts every sworn-in citizen of Tacoma knows: Ski-caps are in style no matter what the weather; tan legs during summer months are optional, and Harbor Lights has the strongest drinks in town.  For this, we bow our heads in respect to Harbor Lights’ no happy hour drink specials policy. With just five tiny, two-person tables on the Harbor Lights’ deck, it’s no wonder there are removable walls inside the sunroom.  Housing this separate sunroom is a wall of windows that open fully onto the teensy deck, exposing its guests to all of the wonderful bay-side elements Ruston has to offer. — Steph D 
Entertainment: Eavesdropping is easily accomplished in this closely seated arena.

1938 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.383.2739
The Harmon just does it classic. Plenty of big tables, shade, cold beer, and a finely tuned outdoor serving staff. This hometown brewpub, resting at 21st and Pacific Avenue in Tacoma’s University and Museum districts, rocks a 15-barrel brewing operation that turns out five flagship ales and seasonal brews all on tap. Brews are backed by a diverse menu of pub fare, including stone-baked pizzas and tons of burgers and sandwiches. — PS
Entertainment: Crazy traffic.

204 St. Helens, Tacoma, 253-212-2725
Harmon Brewery Comapny has built a space where folks can gather to drink beer, eat pizza, watch the game and gab away. Pat Nagle and partner Carole Holder built a production facility for their Harmon beers that doubles as a dining and retail space in the spot that once housed Stadium Bistro. It also sports a large, European-style outdoor beer garden.
Entertainment: Watching wedding parties load in and out of the Temple Theater.

215 Wilkes St., Steilacoom, 253.581.3300
The Puget Sound has a lot to offer its community, and an exceptional view is just one of its perks. Jake’s in Steilacoom has captured that scene with a beautiful panoramic view from its dining patio. On a sunny day, you can absorb the wide waters of the Sound while absorbing the wide selection of delicious microbrews Jake’s has on tap (42 constantly rotating specialties!). These guys keep it real. You won’t find any mass-produced bottles here. Paired with one of Jake’s yummy menu items, this place deserves a regular spot in your summer agenda. — NT
Entertainment: Watching people try to find a parking spot.

1900 E D St., Tacoma, 253.627.3186
Beginning just outside Johnny’s Dock’s infamous lounge, this 45-person deck sits right in awesome view of what boating in Commencement Bay is all about.  Take a chance on the other side of the bay by nestling your weary bum in the middle of all of the action. Don’t fret that this waterfront dining area is mainly located lounge-side; families are welcome anytime. — Steph D
Entertainment: Perfect view of random boaters trying to park their boats. Maia Santell’s jazz/blues last Sunday night of the month.

3211 Ruston Way, Tacoma, 253.756.0771
No youngsters nipping at my flip-flop-wearing heels is what makes this sun-grubbin’ lush one very happy lady.  Twenty-one is the key to adult serenity on this deck, along with the gorgeous view and delectable deep dish pizza.  Grab your table quickly and don’t forget to save your spot; you have to go inside and order all items at the bar.  After your work is done, sit back and enjoy good times as your server waits on you for the rest of your childless Katie Downs mini-vacation. — Steph D
Entertainment: Beautiful boats sailing by and innocent victims running into Katie Downs’ sliding glass door

4015 Ruston Way, Tacoma, 253.759.2165
Located on Ruston Way, the Lobster Shop will serve you great seafood as you dine on its quaint patio. Here you will be able to watch the seagulls fly overhead wishing they had any sort of currency at all to trade for a plateful of Copper River salmon. The servers are experienced, knowledgeable, and quite nice while the drinks are almost as exceptional as the food. — CD
Entertainment: Small little television behind the bar

2811 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.254.0560
The environment is stylish, metropolitan minimalism with spicy and exotic Mexican fare, handcrafted, exotic drinks, and one of the most popular dance spots in the South Sound. But when the sun is out the hottest place to be is on Masa's rooftop deck.
Entertainment: Watching people jaywalk at Sixth and Pine.

721 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.627.7100
Matador’s patio makes me feel like I’m in an L.A. suburb for some reason. Black wrought iron gates, beautiful, handmade, wood-inlaid tables, not a lot of shade during certain times of day, lots of street traffic on good days, massive tequila selection, and amazing Southwestern fare. Maybe that’s it. Two words. Steak nachos. And margaritas. — PS
Entertainment: Sports on a bank of 46-inch plasma screens

114 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360.357.6444
The McMenamin brothers have great eyes for detail and hearts for the restoration and presentation of history in a business. I eat and drink there all the time since it is such a great location with its crafted brews and privacy curtained booths. Its patio offers beer chuggers a vantage point to watch the street theater that is Fourth Avenue, complete with artsy geeks, homeless students and counterculture types. — Steve D
Entertainment: Fourth Avenue

709 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.383.3388
Take note: Meconi’s Pub & Eatery’s patio has three tables seating four people each.  That’s just enough room for all of your friends and 10 other people to sit.  Stake out one of these in-demand patio spots and you could be well on your way to becoming a professional Pacific Avenue people watcher. — Steph D
Entertainment: Pacific Avenue, televisions

2220 Sixth Ave., Tacoma 253.272.4814
In this unassuming building reside some of the most delicious sandwiches you’re likely to find. Its interior is a somewhat surreal combination of deli/convenience store. The smell of sandwiches wafts past cigarettes, refrigerators full of beer and a selection of wines. It’s satisfying in the way that drinking in a 7-Eleven might be. The patio seals the deal. Grab a beer and a sandwich, sit out in the sun on Sixth Avenue and tell me it doesn’t feel like Tacoma. — Adam McKinney
Entertainment: Television in the back

2403 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.383.3144
Look, O’Malley’s is unabashedly divey, and consequently as welcoming as a broken-in pair of jeans. It should come as no surprise that its “patio” doesn’t resemble a Las Vegas cabana.  But hell, they might have the most drink specials in town. It’s a cheerful, no-nonsense watering hole. I hug four people every time I’m there.  That right there makes a patio. — Michael Swan
Entertainment: Pool, darts, shuffleboard, jukebox, television, karaoke, poker, music

815 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.6963
Paddy Coyne’s is the coziest bar in Tacoma.  There are few places I’d rather be than riding a stool by the parade of taps — a throwback to a time when barkeeps knew when to talk, what to say and how to pour — and contemplating the bizarre, beautiful, hand-carved by French monks bar back.  So why venture outside into the elements?  Why abandon ship for a sidewalk table?  Well, to smoke, I guess.  Or because the bar’s full.  Or because you had the corned beef and cabbage.  Or perhaps to enjoy the cool air and the stars and the joyous din of summer in the city. — MTD
Entertainment: People acting Irish

454 E. Main, Puyallup, 253.845.1370
Iron gates and established ivy give a girl the feeling of being in her own backyard.  Well, if her backyard was a perfect backyard, like the ones in those Sunset magazines, then yeah — it’s a backyard just like that.  Iron benches and concrete patio floors lend nothing but aesthetic to what I consider to be one of the most calming patios I’ve ever caught a lunchtime buzz in.  So what if my lunchtime buzz list is bigger than your junior high mix-tape collection?  Don’t judge me. — Steph D
Entertainment: Voltage ignites inside the Powerhouse each time a train passes by, at least.

3001 Ruston Way, Tacoma, 253.756.7886
While the Ram International location on Tacoma’s waterfront walks the tight line from being a corporate-chain beer hole, its waterfront deck is one of the best in the business since it spans the length of the joint to overlook the best view of Commencement Bay as booze chuggers down their favorite libation as twilight hits the water. Patrons can watch people, birds, boats, and water life play out their lives through the glass at the bottom of their oversized drink tumblers. — Steve D
Entertainment: Television, waterfront

5429 100th St. S.W., Lakewood, 253.584.1919
The South Sound is home to a few nautically themed bars, but the Schooner Pub feels like the kind of place a commercial fisherman might go for a pint before riding his Harley to the docks for a month on the sea. Granted, that might have a lot to do with the accoutrements — ship wheels, bows, ropes, and other nautical bric-a-brac. The city of Lakewood in which it resides doesn’t exactly scream “seafaring,” nor does the sports fanatic patronage. Still, with fenced-off outdoor seating, friendly service, decent beer selection, perfume and rubbers in the bathroom, this moms and dads pub by day/girls gone wild at night is a happening spot in Lakewood. — Suzy Stump
Entertainment: Traffic mess at 100th and Bridgeport

115 E. 34th St., Tacoma, 253.473.7300
Stanley and Seaforts isn’t bad with the food. Hit the patio, if you can get into one of several umbrella’d round spots that are nestled on a small deck off the main bar. Tables are plush enough to make it at a golf course patio, and you’ll be served by some of the best trained wait staff in town. Now’s the time of year to order some calamari with plum sauce and a pomegranate martini. The deck is a nice spot to post up with one of Stanley and Seafort’s legendary desserts. Oh, and there’s a view. — PS
Entertainment: TVs inside

1202 Rainier St., Steilacoom 253.584.7693
There has never been a better place to peruse an assortment of wonderful bottled beers from around the world while at the same time being accosted by short-tempered bartenders and stared at by shady customers. By day the Steilacoom Pub serves up deli sandwiches by sweet old ladies and teenage neo-employees, but at night the beer flows like the spit that the bartenders dream about extricating into your beverage of choice. There is a tiny patio out front that provides a partial view of the Puget Sound. — CD
Entertainment: Calling the Steilacoom Pub and asking about its happy hour: This is really what the bartender said when I called and asked about it:  “This is my happy hour right now — hanging up on your ass.”

913 Martin Luther King Jr., Tacoma, 253.272. 4904
Settle in and sip a handcrafted cocktail in peace at this sweetheart of a mellow, classy, ’50s-style influenced lounge. Check out the daily double happy hours, above par bar fare, hummus, beet salad and addictive roasted garlic Old Bay potato wedges. Love the Recession Relief drinks. Dig the resident DJs spinning House. Relax in ultra comfy chairs, and soft lighting that makes everyone look good. But most of all, head to the back patio and check out who’s hanging under the heat lamps. It’s where we check first on a hot, summer night. — SS
Entertainment: Dude, I just explained it all above.

2925 Harborview Dr., Gig Harbor, 253.858.3982
Take a break from the hustle and bustle.  You’ve been living the big life of a Tacoma resident, and it’s time someone told you to relax.  Sustaining your community and fighting The Man can take a lot out of you, so why not escape to the hidden confines of Gig Harbor, specifically Tides Tavern in Gig Harbor.  From the street, those secret service agents will never guess that behind Tides’ small entrance lies one of the best hidden decks west of the Narrows.  Let the servers bring you fish ‘n’ chips as the gentle rolling of water creeps beneath the wooden deck and your Tacoma worries melt away.  — Steph D
Entertainment: Each other.  You’re escaping, remember?

3529 McKinley Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.1502
If we’ve learned anything about proprietor Jaime Kay Newton it’s this: That girl knows how to throw a party.  The Top has become an instant success for all walks of life with affordable drinks, tasty pub food, stocked music box and an outdoor patio that’s the place to be seen. The front patio has a backyard sort of feel that makes patrons — most head to toe in black — feel like they could kick off their shoes and threaten to walk around the joint wearing just their boxer shorts and shower shoes. Most don’t as they’ll lose their spot. — Steve D
Entertainment: Big Buck Hunter Safari, Centipede, Wi-Fi, pool table

1552 Commerce St., Tacoma, 253.274.8999
TWOKOI is a minimalist venture for couples. It has a half-dozen tables for two, which makes TWOKOI the place to take your lunch date. The patio overlooks the Museum District and the loveliness that is Tollefson Plaza. On a sunny day, it’s actually kind of a nice view. TWOKOI offers some fantastic lunch deals, with menu items including a nice selection of teriyaki, tempura and sukiyaki, and udon. You haven’t had teriyaki until you’ve had teriyaki at TWOKOI. No stringy beef, no marginally edible chicken, no wilting veggies. This is the apotheosis of teriyaki. — PS
Entertainment: Tollefson Plaza ... wait.

5302 N. 49th St., Ruston, 253.752.5939
Large rusted coffee cans littered with old cigarette butts rest beneath the patio tables on Unicorn Sports Bar’s serene patio as I prepare to meet some friends for a sunny afternoon beer. Unicorn’s outdoor space is well-crafted with accents including English ivy, flowering plants, landscaped rock, and a towering waterfall. Wood fencing is built with Plexiglas windows in order to not deter from the beautiful view of Commencement Bay. — Steph D
Entertainment: Serene waterfall and picturesque view

1114 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.627.1229
Varsity Grill offers one of the most expansive patio situations in downtown Tacoma, with plenty of tables for four and one for that six-person power lunch or outdoor beer fest. Nestled in the shade of street trees along busy Broadway, a lunch at Varsity Grill is likely to have you running into someone you know. Bring the family, and kids will eat free, which is nice. You’ll feel better when they chuck French fries at passing cars. — PS
Entertainment: Mega-big screen, plenty of plasmas.

610 Water St. S.W., Olympia, 360.709.9090
Off the beaten path of Fourth Ave in Olympia is Water Street. And nestled next to Capitol Lake is Water Street Café. A sophisticated, yet casual restaurant, Water Street is the perfect alternative to the usual downtown array of dive bars and Thai restaurants, not to mention one of Oly’s few spots for enjoying food and libations outside. The covered patio is the perfect place to cool off with a view of Capitol Lake, a pretty fountain and greenery to please the eye. — NT
Entertainment: Occasional bands 

1715 Dock St., Tacoma, 253.301.3835
During the warmer months, nothing beats enjoying a beer — or three — on a really nice patio. Social’s patio is smooth and polished: just the place for an after-work happy hour rest stop, a drink after perusing neighboring Museum of Glass or to get liquored up after sailing on Commencement Bay. Fifteen or so outdoor tables, East-to-West sun exposure on side patio, few kids, and piped-out music make it a pleasant spot to drink away the afternoon.
Entertainment: Watch rich people sail and dock their yachts along Thea Foss Waterway

Yes, this is an old list. What did we miss?

September 13, 2011 at 3:55pm

Plan Ahead: Beer and breakfast pairing


Over in the "Restaurants" section on this website the lovely Jennifer Johnson posted a little ditty on Jake's Bar and Bistro's "Dogfish Breakfast for Dinner" going down this Saturday. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery will visit the Steilacoom pub with crates and crates of its unusual beers loaded with ingredients such as juniper, honey, grape and lemon grass. Check out her story here.

One of the beers Dogfish will bring is its Sah'tea, a rye-brewed beer based on a 9th century Finnish brew, which will be paired with Grand Marnier syrup-topped spiced French toast stuffed with Gruyere cheese and black tea smoked bacon (cured in-house).

So nice.

Anyway, we found a couple videos by Dogfish explaining the story behind the story of Sah'tea beer. Enjoy.

September 3, 2011 at 5:24pm

PHOTOS: Funny hats and hands at Beer Fest


After a slow start to the summer season, many South Sounders share a common fantasy: It's a sunny Saturday afternoon in Tacoma, and hundreds of your friends and neighbors are out to partake in more than 80 (yes, 80) different beers that have been lovingly chosen for your drinking pleasure. That dream is a reality RIGHT NOW at the 21st Street Park as the Tacoma Craft Beer Fest has been going strong since noon.  The last beer will be poured at 9 p.m. so there's still plenty of time to join the masses.

The Weekly Volcano has been a part of the buzz since the gates opened. The vibe has been amazing. Part enthusiastic thirst for beer knowledge, part kickback chill on the green lawn, part loopy fun with props - oh yes, beer makes people do funny things. Check it out:

Like we said, the Tacoma Craft Beer Fest runs until 9 p.m. C'mon down!

LINK: Let's look at a map

August 27, 2011 at 11:41am

Kayaking toward tasty brew


Unlike its glamorous cousin, white water kayaking, flat-water or sea kayaking is easy to learn and pays immediate dividends.  The key difference between white water kayaking and sea kayaking is that if you're not really sure what you're doing, it's a lot harder to drown doing the latter.  And no matter how great the thrill of careening down the runoff-swollen Wenatchee River, drowning sucks. Banging your head on a rock while floating upside down in a piece of plastic barely big enough to serve as a change purse is no particular bonus either.

What's so great about sea kayaking? For starters, it's like going to the zoo - except there are no crowds. The wildlife is really wild; it comes from Washington, not Africa; and it doesn't look at you with a doleful expression or beg for vending-machine peanuts. Second great thing, you can paddle right up to an outdoor beer festival.

That's right Paddleheads, Metro parks will host Paddles & Pints, a kayaking excursion to the Tacoma Craft beer Festival Saturday, Sept. 3. Those older than 21 may enjoy an easy paddle on the Thea Foss Waterway and Commencement Bay, then tip over at the outdoor beer festival at the 21st Street Park.

We assume it's a roundtrip excursion. Sign up here.

Paddles & Pints

Saturday, Sept. 3, 10 a.m.
$30, $50 with kayak rental
Includes free admission to the Tacoma Craft Beer Festival
Tacoma, 253.594.7847

August 26, 2011 at 11:57am

One Minute Interview: Tacoma Craft Beer Fest announces music


Woot! Tacoma's festival of craft beers celebrates the best in regional brews by serving 80 craft beers from more than 40 breweries, including Widmer Brothers, Stone Brewing, Red Hook, Pike Brewing, Mac & Jacks Brewing, Deschutes Brewing and many more. There is nothing like the Tacoma Craft Beer Festival anywhere on earth. OK, maybe that's an exaggeration, but it's pretty freakin' cool nonetheless.

This year TCBF crams it all into one day, Saturday, Sept. 3, and takes it outdoors to the Foss Waterway park next to the Museum of Glass. Tickets are currently available online for $25 here, which is $5 less than the door price. Military with ID will receive a discount at the door. Admission includes a souvenir taster glass, plus 10 tasting tokens. Additional 5.5-ounce pours are $1.50.

I sat down with TCBF co-producer Bennett Thurmon for a one-minute interview:

WEEKLY VOLCANO: OK, come clean with the festival's music line-up.

BENNETT THURMON: We have John Lenord, Rich Bundy, Tiger Fighting Free Masons and a notorious bearded karaoke host who isn't confirmed.

VOLCANO: A Toss Across-like game was a huge hit last year. What games are on tap this year?

THURMON: This year we have a lot more room so Joel is dreaming up some new stuff. Not sure what all will be there. I wanted to bring back Hasbro's Lawn Darts from the '70s, but was voted down.

VOLCANO: The South Sound will be in the house.

THURMON: Yup, we have E-9, The Harmon, 7 Seas Brewing, Fish Brewing and the new upstart Wingman Brewing.

VOLCANO: What are you most proud of this year?

THURMON: The festival benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound. Some of the beer has been donated, which really helps out our non profit.

[21st Street Park on the Foss Waterway, Saturday, Sept. 3, noon to 9 p.m., $25 pre-sale at brownpapertickets.com, $30 door, military discount at the door, 2101 Dock St., Tacoma, website]

July 22, 2011 at 7:57am

The Harmon thanks soldiers

The Hub staff member Ashlie Koechner would like to ring your bell.


The Harmon group in Tacoma is feeding 60 soldiers from the 1st Special Forces Group, along with their spouses. Not only will dinner and beer be provided, but also each Soldier will be receiving a dozen roses to give to their loved one. Finishing the night in style, each couple will be a guests aboard a sunset cruise from Commencement Bay to Gig Harbor.

That's awesome.

Pat Nagle, co-owner, says the event is filled with soldiers who have just come back from deployment, or are getting ready to leave.

For those interested in donating, visit their Tacoma locations; The Harmon Hub located at 203 Tacoma Ave, the Harmon Brewery & Eatery at 1938 Pacific Ave., and The Tap Room, at 204 St. Helens. Those who donate will be given a voucher for the restaurant, like a free appetizer.

If you donate at The Hub, a staff member will ring a bell followed by cheers from the entire staff.

The dinner will take place at their Tap Room location, July 28, from 1 to 4:30 pm. For more information, visit harmonbrewingco.com/.

July 21, 2011 at 11:28am

Plan Ahead: Tacoma Craft Beer Festival


Hop head. Sounds like a euphemism for a speed addict, no? Or a professional pogo stick stunt artist. Maybe a bunny-loving furry. Well, it's none of those things. Hops go in beer, and hop heads like 'em crafty. Drink 80 craft beers from more than 40 breweries the first weekend in September when the Tacoma Craft Beer Festival sets up at the 21st Street Park along Dock Street. Read this press release for the scoop:

Tacoma, WA. - The third annual Tacoma Craft Beer Festival presented by Fred Meyer will be held Saturday September 3rd, from noon to 9pm at 21st Street Park located at 2101 Dock St in downtown Tacoma, with all profits benefiting The Boys & Girls Club of South Puget Sound. 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. Please hop on board for our third year! This event will surely be one to look forward to annually.

Admission includes a 5.5 oz commemorative taster glass and ten tasting tokens for over eighty craft beers from over forty breweries. There will also be food vendors, live entertainment and games. This event is 21+ with ID.


July 18, 2011 at 7:14pm

PHOTOS: 7 Seas Brewing Second Anniversary Bash


They called out to ye faithful, and all ye faithful answered. Saturday afternoon, at 7 Seas Brewing second anniversary party, we watched the Gig Harbor brewery's parking lot space slowly but surely fill up with the most faithful of beer-goers. Let us assure you, don't miss their third anniversary party. This laid back affair was filled with tasty brews, great music and battles over two giant Jenga games.

We also saw a sign of summer for a few hours. It felt great to soak up some sun and suds.

LINK: 7 Seas Brewing

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