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Harmon Brewery: Next 12 days and beyond

Chatting local brew industry with Pat Nagle

HARMON TAP ROOM: The Stadium District brewpub has them stacked. Photo credit: Patrick Snapp

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You can't snap a bottle cap without hitting a craft brewery or brewpub in the South Sound. OK, that's an over exaggeration, but South Sounders don't have any issues locating a tasty craft brew.

The Beginning

Pat Nagle and Fred Roberson opened one of Tacoma's first microbreweries in 1997, the Harmon Brewing Co., embedded in a brewpub in Tacoma's historic warehouse district. After a reorganization, Nagle and new partner, Carole Holder, subsequently opened sister restaurants The Hub and Harmon Tap Room, showing hometown pride with clever moniker beers such as Puget Sound Porter, Point Defiance IPA and Mount Takhoma Blonde

The Expansion

There's more to the Harmon backstory, but that's for another time. What matters is the Harmon Brewery Co. is still growing.

"We're really excited with the evolution of Harmon Brewing as the only local wholesale distributor," explains Nagle. "Our beers have made it all over the Northwest being served up here in Washington, Idaho, Alaska and soon to make it up to B.C. with the New Year. Being a wholesaler is really our new focus. Currently we are at 3,000 barrels a year. There's two kegs a barrel, in the next year or two we'd like to see that double."

If wholesale speak doesn't excite you, how about a seasonal brew a day?

The Next 12 Days

Another new piece to the Harmon Brewing puzzle arrives today. Now through Christmas Eve, the Harmon Tap Room will serve one of its seasonal beers - past and present - daily for the next 12 days. Participants who complete the difficult challenge of finishing the select beer a day will be handsomely rewarded with an engraved mug as proof of their brew dedication. Sip your way through the likes of One Hop Wonder, Vanilla Porter, Harmon's Rye IPA and Raspberry Blonde. One of the days will include Harmon's Sour Cherry ESB that has been conditioned in a 21 Cellars barrel, a lovely collaboration between two Tacoma establishments.

The Wish

Speaking of collaboration, that's what it really comes down for Nagle. He'd like to see more "Tacoma love" as in local eateries serving Harmon brews.

"How perfect would it be to dine at a waterfront restaurant and drink a Puget Sound Porter? Or, we'd even like to start doing beer pairing dinners with local restaurants featuring bites complimentary to Harmon brews like the event with 7 Seas Brewing and Brix 25 in Gig Harbor."

Apparently, the food's the hang up. Restaurants are hesitant to feature a local brew from an establishment that also serves up grub.

"We have 130 employees, all of which take their hard earned dollars and spend them at other establishments. Featuring one of our beers would only increase that relationship.  Having places like The Red Hot, Hub, Matador and Dirty Oscar's that are all different is what makes Tacoma great."

You see the kind of community teamwork Nagle speaks of with Seattle brewpub Elysian. Elysian manages to brew beers distributed throughout Seattle and surrounding areas while still running three separate brewpubs of its own.

What's Next?

Harmon Brewing Company has teamed up with Spokane distillery Dry Fly to create six different barrel-conditioned beers using Dry Fly's whiskey casks. The experimental beers will be released next month.




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Apocalypse now

Comments for "Harmon Brewery: Next 12 days and beyond" (1)

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x said on Dec. 13, 2012 at 11:13am

Well I know what this will be giving patrons for Christmas..A big, fat beer belly.

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