Weekly Volcano Blogs: Served blog

Posts made in: June, 2014 (42) Currently Viewing: 21 - 30 of 42

June 14, 2014 at 10:56am

Words & Photos: Day One of the 2014 Washington Brewers Festival

It's all about timing. ... Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Woot! Day One of the Washington Brewers Festival is in the history books; a glorious affair nestled between a bumpy field and cloudy skies. The state's granddaddy of beer festivals has returned to Marymoor Park in Redmond, with 88 breweries pouring 330 different beers, plus a lot of free bags of Tim's Cascade Chips.

If you're not a member of Washington Beer Lovers, a community craft beer organization, join on-site. A taller glass and extra tokens are an immediate payoff.

Warning, Marymoor Park's field is full of dips and mounds - it's a good excuse.

The Clise Mansion is closed to the public, but its front covered patio is a lovely spot for reflection and Instagram wrangling.

Like a South Sound dork, I aimed my drinking toward familiar faces. First of all, the South Sound produces mighty fine beer. Secondly, I needed a plan. If I wandered aimlessly, I would end up drunk and confused. I speak from experience.

Dick's Brewing's Friday night only Raspberry Triple Framboise didn't disappoint: tart, intense and plenty of personality.

I heard rave reviews of Wingman Brewer's Peanut Butter Cup Porter in three different waiting lines. It tastes like a freakin' Peanut Butter Cup, with bitter dark chocolate and nuttiness.

7 Seas Brewing CDA is my go-to beer: a smooth Northwest dark ale that pairs well with the Skillet food truck's grass fed beef burger. Veraci Pizza's mushroom slice is a winner, too.

Last minute addition Top Rung Brewing had its Good Jake CDA on tap. It's a must with hop-forard taste and dark roasty malts.

The RAM Brewery's Paradisi Pale is a sipper. The wheat pale incorporates grapefruit peel and citrusy Citra and Chinook hops for a heavy citrus aroma, fruity flavor and pine.

I enjoyed Silver City Brewing's Gold Mountain Pilsner while watching all-female AC/DC tribute band Hell's Belles rattle the crowd's four-ounce tasters. Easy drinking with a touch of lemon.

The longest line, by far, was the one in front of Iron Goat Brewing from Spokane. Six different beers aged in Dry-Fly whiskey and gin barrels kept them busy. Its Whiskey Barrel Cap n' Kidd Scotch Ale is malty, toasty tasty.

Day Two of the Washington Brewers Festival kicks off at 11 a.m. at King County's Marymoor Park in Redmond. It's an all-ages affair the next two days. At noon today, the Washington Beer Awards will be doled out, followed by live music and the BevMo! Brewers Keg Toss. Oh, and approximately 250 different beers will be on tap. Enjoy.

LINK: More photos from Day One of the 2014 Washington Brewers Festival

LINK: Vikings of the 2014 Washington Brewers Festival

Filed under: New Beer Column,

June 15, 2014 at 10:01am

South Sound breweries win medals at 2014 Washington Beer Awards

Brewer Shane Johns and E9 Brewery walked away with three 2014 Washington Beer Awards, basically owning sour beers. Photo courtesy of Facebook

Yesterday during the Washington Brewers Festival, Specialty Competitions LLC and the Washington Beer Commission announced the winners of the second annual Washington Beer Awards. Seventy-five Washington breweries submitted 460 beers to be judged by blindfold trained beer judges.

South Sound Breweries grabbed a few medals, including three Gold:

American Light Ales

Silver: Puyallup River Brewing - Cream Ale

Irish and British Stouts

Gold: Fish Brewing Co. - Over & Out Oatmeal Stout

American Brown and Black Ales

Silver: Harmon Brewing Co. - Black Tartan IPA

American Barley Wines

Gold: Fish Brewing Co. - 10-Squared Barley Wine

Belgian Strong Ales

Bronze: Wingman Brewers - Stratofortress

Farmhouse Ales

Silver: E9 Brewery - Farmhouse Quatre

Sour Beers

Gold: E9 Brewery - Golden Berry Wild

Silver: E9 Brewery - Verre Violet     

Spice, Herb, and Vegetable Beers

Silver: Puyallup River Brewing - Black Pumpkin Saison

Bronze: Northwest Brewing Company - Bad Panda Ginger Pale Ale

Specialty Beers

Bronze: Wingman Brewers - Gratzer

Wood and Barrel Aged Beers

Bronze: Puyallup River Brewing - Oak Aged Point Success Porter

LINK: Read a recap of Day One at the Washington Brewers Festival

June 16, 2014 at 8:42am

Served Blog Banner Girl: Q&A with Tricia Irwin of Doyle's Public House

Tricia Irwin serves at Doyle's Public House in Tacoma's Stadium District. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Every week we swap out the Served banner art above, introducing you to the people who serve food and drinks in the South Sound. This week, meet Tricia Irwin.

Server Banner Girl, June 16-22, 2014

Tricia Irwin

Tricia Irwin has been serving the patrons of Doyle's Public House for the last seven years. She truly adores the Tacoma Stadium District pub, especially her bosses and fellow employees. She was also named Tacoma's sexiest female bartender in 2010.

Why do you serve?

"Gosh, where do I start? My amazing guests, the creativity, the laughter - I thrive on it all. I've been in this industry for 11 years, so, I guess it just clicks."

Who is your favorite server in the South Sound?

"Joy at The Top of Tacoma rocks my world."

What are you most proud to serve?

"I'm really diggin' the banana Jameson my boss Russ Heaton has concocted. Mix that with some Bailey's, chill it up and you have a little cloud in heaven."

What's your current drink of choice?

"Oh, I think most people know I'm not too picky. But I'm usually pretty happy with whiskey and a good IPA."

Favorite movie?

"For the sake of this interview, let's just go with Cocktail ... 'Cocktails and Dreams.'"

What don't you serve?

"A bad attitude. Or anything blue."

What's on your radar at Doyle's Public House?

"WORLD CUP BABY! The tent is up in the parking lot until July 14 and we are having quite the party! Come join me and the rest of Doyle's awesome crew for some good footy and good times!"

Filed under: Served Banner Models, Tacoma,

June 16, 2014 at 10:55am

Eat This Now: Bleu Baron

I'm cheering for the Bleu Baron at the Hub Tacoma. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

I'm not a fan of basketball. It's just not my cup of tea. When my husband wanted to watch the final NBA throwdown on Father's Day I begrudgingly accommodated him as a token of appreciation for being the co-creator of our two little people. Since I was the co-creator, I added the stipulation that I picked the spot.

We anted up to the rail at The Hub in Tacoma's Stadium District, home to tasty craft brews, pizza, pasta and sandwiches - not to mention some damn tasty Cajun tots. He watched the game while I dived into this week's Eat This Now recommendation, the Bleu Baron ($10.99).

This sandwich is simply divine with thin sliced, surprisingly tender top sirloin topped with gratuitous amounts of bleu cheese crumbles, sautéed mushrooms and a horseradish aioli - all given a beautiful bread hug from a pretzel bun. The flavor profile is splendidly balanced with the beefiness, zing from the cheese, earthy notes from the shrooms, little bite from the aioli all presented in unity with the slightly salty pretzel bun. It's essentially a super rad French dip, though no aus ju is necessary because the meat and bun are oh, so good.

Pair with a craft brew such as Harmon's Puget Sound Porter and you're in for the win - regardless of the game's outcome.

THE HUB, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11-1 a.m. Friday, 9-1 a.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, 203 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma, 253.683.4606

LINK: Harmon Brewing Co. and other South Sound breweries win 2014 Washington Beer Awards

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

June 17, 2014 at 9:28am

Heather McClung: From Curtis Jr. High to Schooner Exact Brewing Co.

Heather McClung photographed in her Schooner Exact Brewing Co. taproom. Photo credit: Richard Baker

Former University Place photographer Heather McClung is rapidly becoming Seattle's Baroness of beer. As co-owner of Schooner Exact Brewing Co., she had never tasted a beer until she entered college. She is presently president of the Washington Brewers' Guild. Running a business can lead a person to drink, especially if the business is a brewery. Difficulties with personnel, equipment, inventory, payroll, taxes, customers, are just some of the problems a small businessperson encounters. Heather accepts the challenges with a smile and seems to relish the turmoil of business ownership along with the great joys.

Before her dip into beer, Heather developed an interest in photography while attending Curtis Jr. High, in University Place. Because of a great eye, her skills grew quickly and while still in the ninth-grade she entered a photograph she had taken with a borrowed Hasselblad camera into the 1998 Washington State Photographic Competition to outshine 2,998 participants and win "Best of Show." Since she leaned toward art, owning a business never entered her head, not even in college.

>>> Heather McClung's 1998 Washington State Photographic Competition "Best of Show" photograph

At U.P.S. she studied art with an emphases in photography and after graduating she landed a job as a photographer with a dotcom company. Unfortunately the glamorous and creative life of a photographer did not follow and she spent most of her time photographing car parts. She moved into teaching but found that job equally unrewarding. It also led her to brewing beer. She never enjoyed sweet, fizzy drinks and beer was a natural alternative. Beer helped fulfill some of her creative tendencies since she could experiment with different mixes and techniques.

Following her very short teaching career, where she met Matt, who was also brewing his own beer, she moved into supermarket management. Everything she learned along the way eventually helped her become a successful businessperson - her artistic knowledge, working with people, especially children, and her management skills.  When she and Matt decided to get married, they brewed all the beer for the wedding. Because the beer was a big hit they started brewing larger batches and eventually bought a half-barrel system they set up in the living room.

>>> Schooner Exact Brewing Co. brewery room. Photo credit: Richard Baker

>>> Schooner Exact Brewing Co. taproom. Photo credit: Richard Baker

Their reputation for great beer spread quickly and pubs, restaurants and taprooms started featuring everything from Profanity Hill Porter and Gallant Maiden Hefeweizen to 3 Grid India Pale Ale. Brewing was becoming a full-time job so they both quit their jobs and expanded the brewery from living room and garage to a business in South Park. Business grew quickly, however, as word of their beer spread, so they moved again to their present location at 3901 First Ave. S., Seattle.

Last year they sold 5,000 barrels of beer and, after landing a recent contract with several chain grocery stores, should increase production for a record year.

>>> Heather McClung's artwork hangs at Schooner Exact Brewing Co. Photo credit: Richard Baker

Heather maintains a relaxed atmosphere at the brewery and insists that the freshest ingredients be used in all the restaurant food. The storefront patio, adjacent to a Vespa shop, has an almost European feel. Her artwork and photographs decorate the walls and she has just bought a new Cannon camera.

Schooner Exact maintains an intimate relationship with its customers and offers various brewing activities. They now arrange field trips to a hop farm in Toppenish where participants enjoy a special lunch prepared by top chef Warren Peterson, and harvest hops for their own personally brewed beer.

As president of the Washington State Brewer's Guild, Heather spends time working with legislators in Olympia. The Guild is dedicated to educating Washington state policy makers about the advantages of small breweries, building a strong community of brewers, and fostering a balanced view about the benefits of moderate beer consumption.

Heather sees small breweries growing in Washington to meet the thirsty needs of residents and beer aficionados.

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BEER HERE

Wednesday, June 18

Fort George Brewery in Astoria has, once again, brewed its 3-Way IPA, a collaboration with Block 15 and Boneyard breweries. In celebration, its showing the IPA and its other beers the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Its 2014 IPA Odyssey tap takeovers tour will set up fort at the ParkWay Tavern (313 N. I St., Tacoma) beginning at 5 p.m.

Located in an historic 1992 warehouse in downtown Bellingham, Boundary Bay Brewing Company have been brewing beers since 1995. In fact, last week it began brewing its 5,000th batch of beer. The BBBC makes its way south for a 6-9 p.m. brewer's night at the Puyallup River Alehouse (120 S. Meridian, Puyallup). Expect Boundary beers, giveaways, raffle prizes and dollar tacos.

The Swiss Restaurant & Pub (1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma) hosts Double Mountain Brewery out of Hood Rover, Ore., for a brewer's night and raffle 6-9 p.m.

Pint Defiance (2049 Mildred St. W., Tacoma) welcomes Deschutes Brewing Co. from Bend, Ore., for a brewer's night and raffle. Expect Not the Stoic Quad, 2103 Abyss Imperial Stout, Fresh Squeezed IPA. Twilight Summer Ale and other beers on tap 5-7 p.m.

Thursday, June 19

208 Garfield (208 Garfield St. S., Parkland) will be pouring summer shandy samples 6-9 p.m. for $6. Beer Geek Erick Swenson will be pouring half-beer and topping them off with lemonade, ginger ale and orange soda.

Pint Defiance pulls a double-header with Deschutes June 18 and Boulder's Avery Brewing the next night 5-7 p.m.  Rub elbows with the Colorado team and drink White Rascal Wit, Karma Belgian Pale, Avery IPA and a rare keg of Out Of Bounds Stout. Raffle prizes o'plenty.

Wednesday, June 25

Puyallup River Brewing hugs it out with visiting Narrows Brewing Co. over beers, giveaways and raffle prizes from 6-9 p.m.

A Pucker Party will go down at Pint Defiance featuring special sour beer draft releases 5-7 p.m.

June 20, 2014 at 10:27am

Mac and Cheese Madness: Top of Tacoma Bar and Cafe

Top of Tacoma Bar and Cafe's mac and cheese is a decadent delight. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Trying to form consensus on the best macaroni and cheese is like getting Congress to agree on anything. There is precious little bipartisanship where this concerned.

Why? Because we're all convinced we make the best. Or our taste buds are attuned to familiar flavors - our mom's mac; that prized recipe from our favorite magazine or cooking show; the heart-attack-on-a-plate from a beloved restaurant.

Seriously, though, my mom's mac is the best. I never tasted Asian spices until college. I thought all meat was dry. But, oh mamma, my mom's mac and cheese is effing tasty - greasy, burned edges, gloppy cheese and all. It sings the comforts of home.

Sunday, I visited another home - Top of Tacoma Bar and Café. The Top's Sunday brunch bursts with laughter, hugs and deliciousness. These 30- and 40-somethings truly enjoy each other's company, and the flavors concocted in the kitchen - a kitchen that sprouted Marrow Kitchen and Bar - may shock those fooled by the bar's surroundings. Jaime Kay and Jason Jones, partners with chef Kyle Wnuk at Marrow, own the Top - the best bar in Tacoma, according to the voters in our Best of Tacoma issue.

The molecular structure of the Tops' mac might be straightforward - cheddar and Havarti(!) topped with herbed panko - but it reminds me of a recipe by my second mom, Betty Crocker. The ubiquitous elbow macaroni ($9.50) is tucked into a small soufflé dish blanketed with herbed panko-crumb to foil the very generous, rich cheese concoction. And, because the Jones' know flavor pairings, prosciutto, pork belly, tomato or pesto may be added for an additional 75 cents. I chose pork belly. Wise. The long chewy strips take the decadent dish to the next level.

When I have the jones, I head to The Top and into the arms of friends and cheesy elbows. 

TOP OF TACOMA BAR AND CAFÉ, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, 3529 McKinley Ave. E., Tacoma, 253.272.1502

June 20, 2014 at 11:49am

One-Minute Interview: Art House Cafe Chef Aimee Cox, creator of an amazing breakfast pizza

Art House Cafe Breakfast Pizza: eggs, meat, cheese, all baked together on top of fresh dough, yet so much more. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Many argue that breakfast pizza at restaurants is unnecessary. It can be said true breakfast pizza is called leftover pizza - cold, pepperoni-laden and eaten with one hand on the forehead.

The Hub and Milton Tavern have held a tight grip on South Sound breakfast pizza supremacy. Cue up the Game of Thrones' opening theme music (click below), as Art House Café has a worthy, crown-wearing version too.

Staving, I popped into the Stadium District bistro for a quick bite. In the afternoon, the Art House Café serves only salads and pizza. A fan of its mushroom risotto, I eyed the wild mushrooms pizza. The roasted butternut squash and caramelized onions also sounded delicious. My eyes played ping pong with the pizza menu, always bouncing back to the breakfast pizza, with prosciutto, house sausage, parmesan cheese, Monterey jack, shallots, cage free eggs, scallions and chives ($16). The breakfast pizza won.

Chef Aimee Cox has created a masterpiece. The thin, buttery crust is chewy, yet a fork makes its way through every time. Big chunks of sausage steal the prosciutto's thunder. The remaining ingredients decorate the museum-quality pie, producing a decadent food disc that I examined after every bite, as if I was a pizza scientist. Hiding the sliced points, the eggs reach the point just before running. Perfection.

I reached out to Cox for a one-minute interview.

WEEKLY VOLCANO: Hi Aimee. Were you working with chef Dustin Joseph when the Art House Café opened in February 2013?

AIMEE COX: I started at Art House in November 2013. Dustin was already gone. I came from Boathouse 19. I attended culinary school in San Francisco, California. I have been cooking in restaurants locally and nationally for about 17 years.

VOLCANO: What's the secret behind the breakfast pizza crust?

COX: The pizza crust is a pretty standard recipe. I can't give away all the good secrets.

VOLCANO: After each slice of breakfast pizza disappears, specks of black, gold and tiny pools of oil remain. What are the ingredients of this art?

COX: We use semolina on our pizza pans and house made garlic oil on the crust.

VOLCANO: Are you enjoying Tacoma's Stadium District?

COX: The Art House and Stadium District attracted me for many reasons. There is a fun, laid-back atmosphere along with great people and other local businesses.

VOLCANO: I think the Art House should sell the pizza by the slice and hand deliver it to idling cars. Please.

COX: I love your idea of a slice to go. Unfortunately, everything is scratch and made to order. We do offer everything on the menu to go if you call ahead or stop by.

ART HOUSE CAFÉ, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, 111 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma, 253.212.2011

June 20, 2014 at 3:01pm

Beer:45 - Time for SweetKiss Momma and 7 Seas Ballz Deep Double IPA

SweetKiss Momma's "Dirty Uncle Deezer" is blasting out of our publisher's office.

Every Friday after 2:45 p.m., when workday decorum is thrown out, Weekly Volcano publisher Pappi Swarner pops open a local brew, tilts back in his rickety office chair and cranks his Frazier Model Seven speakers. And as interns inappropriately learn from Pappi during their orientation, nothing tastes better than pairing local music with local beer. Pappi picks one song and repeats it until he can see the bottom of his glass. When the music stops, we know he has left the building.

Today, Pappi has paired SweetKiss Momma's "Dirty Uncle Deezer" with 7 Seas Brewing's Ballz Deep Double IPA.

"The song was inspired by a buddy of mine named Deezer Hooch, who is the front-man for the band Martha Dumptruck out of Seattle," explains Jeff Hamel, lead singer and guitarist with SweetKiss Momma, the rebel country-fried rock band from Puyallup. "He is a great performer, and I wanted to try and convey the swagger and sheer badass-ness that he emits on stage. It is somewhat biographical, in that he really is "half a gangster, half a pimp, three-fourths lover and all band news" and his wife's name really is Hannah, but I'm not certain if she was ever into Roller Derby, as the song suggests. She really is a sweetheart, completely the opposite of her portrayal in the song."

Musically, it started with a great riff from guitarist Aaron Arnold that initially sounded like a "Master of Puppets"-era Metallica rip-off until drummer Jimmy Hughs and bassist Jeremy Hamel helped slow it down and move it a bit more to the pocket.

"Really, the song is a warning about making room for love in your life, because you're going to need it when things get difficult, and it's going to find you whether you like it or not, so you may as well make a place for it," says Jeff Hamel.

"As we were recording the solo at the end, our producer Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo) kept asking Aaron to make it more "rough" and "sloppy" - terms not oft associated with Arnold's near virtuosic playing," continues Jeff Hamel, and since those are two extremely accurate descriptions of MY guitar playing, I got the ‘opportunity' to jump in and lay that sucker down. My first, and probably last, recorded guitar solo - though it was pretty awesome to use a POG pedal on it that once belonged to Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls."

SweetKiss Momma will tour Europe early next year.

Saturday, June 21, you can hear the band's dirty guitars, down-home lyrics and whiskey-licks for free at Doyle's Public House, beginning at 9:30 p.m.

Since Jeff Hamel is a fan of 7 Seas Brewing, Pappi is pairing "Dirty Uncle Deezer" with the Gig Harbor brewery's delicous Balls Deep IPA, a massive double version with resiny Yakima Valley hops, hard-hitting malt, leafy bitterness and caramel flavor. It rings in at 8.4 percent, right in Pappi's wheelhouse.

Filed under: Gig Harbor, Puyallup, Music,

June 23, 2014 at 9:32am

Served Blog Banner Boy: Q&A with Monkey at The Swiss Restaurant and Pub

Monkey has been serving drink at The Swiss for 10 years. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Every week we swap out the Served banner art above, introducing you to the people who serve food and drinks in the South Sound. This week, meet Monkey.

Server Banner boy, June 23-29, 2014

Monkey

Monkey has been serving the patrons of The Swiss for the last 10 years. He actually began serving drinks at the Hotel Bar & Grill, the short-lived restaurant and bar on Pacific Avenue, owned and operated by The Swiss. Today he holds court several nights a week at The Swiss Restaurant & Pub.

Why do you serve?

"I'm in it for the smiles."

Who is your favorite server in the South Sound?

Jesse motherfuckin' Turcotte - a gentleman who has served more Swiss Army outings (Swiss employees bar-hopping) than I can count, all the way from his Magoo's days to Doyle's. We would come twenty strong, pouring out of a limo after hours and hours and hours of celebrating. I'm sure we looked like a hot wet one. But you wouldn't know it by looking at Jesse. Nothing fazes that dude.

What are you most proud to serve?

The "Swiss Kiss." That bad bitch has helped facilitate more good times than I care to mention. It has been known to turn a conservative woman into a twerk queen.

What's your current drink of choice?

Jäger on the rocks. Always has been. Always will be.

Favorite movie?

The Breakfast Club. I know. You wouldn't think so. But, it is. You would think maybe The Boondock Saints or Barfly or Empire Strikes Back. But they aren't. It's The Breakfast Club. Best movie ever.

What don't you serve?

Douchebags on their phones. Hang up and join the other human beings making connections face to face.

What's on your radar at The Swiss?

Trying to convince the Mischief Makers to bring back the Hotrod-A-Rama. Ever since it went on hiatus there has been a rat rod sized hole in my heart.

LINK: Meet other South Sound servers

Filed under: Served Banner Models, Tacoma,

June 23, 2014 at 11:13am

Beer Here: Beer Float Social and a busy Wednesday

Beer Float: Is this level of decadence even legal? There should be a secret codephrase, at least.

One of my favorite memories of my Lakewood childhood was Career Day at Oakbrook Elementary, instead of sitting in on the physician's lecture or learning about animals from the local veterinarian, I helped a classmate's mom make root beer in a giant garbage pale. In my memory, the root beer tasted roundly sweet, like cane sugar soda does - I don't remember Mrs. Laakso dumping corn syrup into the concoction. After each of us took turns stirring, the principal - who also must not have cared much for the medical arts sessions - arrived with frosty (glass! not styrofoam!) mugs each with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The joy from our little room was far greater than those listening to heartbeats in the next room. Of course, those inspired by the stethoscope probably play gold every Wednesday and have a receptionist.

Along with carhops and car-bound family meals, having a root beer float seems like an equally bygone-era idea - rich and sweet and heavy yet utterly wholesome, like putting a slice of cheddar cheese on your apple pie, or so I hear.

All of this is a pretty lengthy preamble to this New Beer Column submission - and thanks, if you've stuck around this long.

I graduated from Oakbrook, and root beer for that matter. I now prefer beer with my ice cream. Seriously, stop scowling. Unwrinkle your nose. It works, thanks to stout's coffee and cocoa undertones, which pair well with the creamy vanilla.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to beer floats: "Ooh, that sounds delicious," and "Ooh, I'd rather drink Purina pet food runoff." But despite a small cadre of haters, beer floats have been slowly dripping into the mainstream. Red Robin has been leading the charge, offering shakes made with Guinness and Blue Moon. Los Angeles hosts a Beer Float Showdown. Maritime Pacific Brewing Co. in Seattle has been serving Jolly Rogers Christmas Ales floats for years.

Beer can help bring some bitterness and dryness to an ice cream, which is traditionally sweeter than other desserts. It has this great functionality. But as artisan ice cream makers seek local ingredients that push the envelope, craft beers offer new dimensions, preferably a strong stout or fruity ale, such as Bourbon Stout, Raspberry Stout, Cherry Stout, Vanilla Stout, Citrasicle Orange Vanilla IPA, Cherry Ale, Raspberry Ale and Jasmine Green Tea Pale ... from Tacoma Brewing Co.

Tacoma Brewing Co. will team up with Tacoma's artisan Ice Cream Social for a night of beer floats Saturday, June 28. From 2-9 p.m., Ice Cream Social will plop a scoop of its chocolate, vanilla, salted caramel, lavender, bourbon stout and non-daily coconut creations into parfait glasses. "Or pint glasses if I run out of fancy glassware," says Morgan Alexander, co-owner of Tacoma Brewing Co.

"The first time I had a beer float was at the ParkWay Tavern. It was on their Randall," says Alexander. "It was Southern Tier Brewing Company's Crème Brulee Imperial Milk Stout, which is so rich it's hard to drink a whole pint. Then the ParkWay added ice cream to it - so delicious. I knew then I wanted to hold a beer float night."

The darkest, most concentrated beers, such as stouts, tend to make the best base for beer floats as the water in beer tends to create icy textures, making it difficult to make a creamy ice cream with discernible beer flavors.

Ice Cream Social, which is scheduled to open Tuesday, June 24 on Sixth Avenue next to The Red Hot, began as a food truck, with the goal of sourcing locally.

"Ice Cream Social is all about providing the highest quality product to our customers. We believe the best way to achieve this is (by) purchasing local, all-natural ingredients," said Jamie Van De Wege, co-owner of Ice Cream Social. "Providing a consistent, high-quality ice cream also depends on the freshness of our ingredients. We can only guarantee this by sourcing locally as much as possible."

Besides beer floats, Alexander will run his delicious Broken Window IPA through a slushie machine. Someone will undoubtedly experience brain freeze that night.

For a little warmth, The Rolling Crust pizza guy will roll up with his portable wood-fired oven at 5 p.m.

Kim Thompson contributed to this column.

BEER FLOATS SOCIAL, 2-9 p.m., Saturday, June 28, Tacoma Brewing Co., 625 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.242.3370

BEER HERE

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25

Speaking of Tacoma Brewing Co., The Red Hot has ordered a couple of its kegs for its new space, which opens Wednesday, June 25. It will close at the end of today, spend Tuesday moving everything next door, and re-open at the corner of Sixth Avenue and North Junett Street.

Puyallup River Brewing and its Ale House (120 S. Meridian, Puyallup) hugs it out with visiting Narrows Brewing Co. over beers, giveaways and raffle prizes from 6-9 p.m.

Yo Sourheads! A Pucker Party will go down at Pint Defiance (2049 Mildred St. W., Tacoma) featuring special sour beer draft releases 5-7 p.m. Expect Oude Bruins, Berliner Weissebiers, Krieks, Sour Blondes from Petrus, Lost Abbey, Jolly Pumpkin, Cascade and many others.

About this blog

Served, a blog by the Weekly Volcano, is the region’s feedbag of fresh chow daily, local restaurant news, New Beer Column, bar and restaurant openings and closings, breaking culinary news and breaking culinary ground - all brought to the table with a dollop of Internet frivolity on top.

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