Weekly Volcano Blogs: Served blog

October 28, 2014 at 10:36am

Tacoma Brewing Co. celebrates year two

Tacoma Brewing Co. founder Morgan Alexander

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A recent Food and Wine article focusing on strange brews out of the Seattle area - including Port Townsend's Propolis Brewing, a frequent vendor at the Proctor Farmers Market (thank you!), and their Birch Saison loaded with Noble hops and birch tree sap(!) - reminded me of Tacoma's scientist of the strange brew, Morgan Alexander. The founder of the Tacoma Brewing Company began brewing beer in high school. He used Baker's yeast and apple juice, which Alexander says was horrible. He kept the lab coat on, home brewing with unusual ingredients for years before converting his beloved Tacoma Triangle District Amocat Cafe into a brewery a year ago.

The practice of adding flavor ingredients to a batch of beer has more or less created the craft beer industry. Brewers play with different fruits, tap into spices from different cultures and experiment with a variety of hops species because, why not? And thanks to Alexander - as well as Shane Johns at Engine House No. 9, Ken Thoburn at Wingman Brewers and other head brewers - South Sound drinkers are now more inclined to drink a peach strong ale, pomegranate porter or beer made with coffee, citrus fruits, various nuts and honeys, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, elderberries, toasted coconut, cocoa nibs, peanut butter, coriander and cardamom, chamomile and sage, all spice and pumpkin, jalapeño peppers, Serrano peppers, ghost chili peppers and even birch sap.

Apart from toying with hops for big flavor and aroma, Alexander turns to outside ingredients in order to stand out, and ultimately, create something new and, I should add, freakin' delicious. And hey, more beers to drink? Sign me up.

"Some of my more memorable experimental beers over the previous two years include Rum & Raisin Vanilla Porter, Bloody Mary IPA, Mexican Chocolate Chili Stout, Root Beer Porter, Cascade Quad - a quadruple IPA - Wacked Orange/Chocolate Stout, Pomegranate Porter and Pineapple Mango Wheat.

"The tricky beers for me have been the ones made with herbs - like the Root Beer Porter, because a little bit goes a long way and it's difficult to get the right balance," says Alexander. "I'm still working on that. Also, beers made with peppers can be challenging. I don't like the chili beers that are so spicy that you can't drink it. What's the point in that?!"

Tacoma Brewing Co. celebrates its second anniversary Saturday, Nov. 1. Alexander will have several anniversary stouts on the "Specials" board: sour stout, bourbon barrel-aged stout, licorice stout, vanilla stout and a coffee stout. On the IPA side, expect Fresh Mosaic Hop IPA, Fresh Citra Hop Broken Window IPA and Penalty Kick Triple IPA.

"I will also have a fresh batch of Dr. Alexander's Hard Ginger Ale," says Alexander. "This will be the first batch that will be sold in local stores starting this week."

The party will include hourly giveaways, and Finnwick's Food Truck will be parked outside from 4-8 p.m.

Drop by Tacoma Brewing Saturday and be a lab rat in a party atmosphere. Beer is about the experience, too.

TACOMA BREWING CO. 2ND ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, 2-9 p.m., all ages, Tacoma Brewing Co., 625 St. Helens, Tacoma, no cover, 253.242.3370

Filed under: New Beer Column, Tacoma,
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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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