“There is an ancient Celtic axiom that says good people drink good beer. Which is true, then as now. Just look around you in any public barroom and you will quickly see: bad people drink bad beer. Think about it.” — Hunter S Thompson
How lucky we are to have 7 Seas Brewing to keep us from becoming one of Dr. Gonzo’s “bad people.” Although good beer is certainly a subjective passion, Thompson may have been on to something: Whether you’re a taproom snob or a casual appreciator of well-crafted local libations, 7 Seas Brewing’s community is strong, friendly and likes to party.
And, they did.
Hundreds of people showed up to celebrate 7 Seas Brewing’s seventh anniversary yesterday, which consumed their taproom, patio and massive parking lot. The entire 7 Seas staff worked from noon to 8 p.m., manning the tie-dye T-shirt booth, merchandise room, multiple game fields and two extensive tap systems, which meant we never had to be far from another cup of delicious beer. All of 7 Seas regular brews could be found, as well as the special crisp and refreshingly hoppy 7th Anniversary Golden Birthday Golden Ale. There were also several “special release” beers such as the Tides 40th Anniversary IPA and Tides Long Ass Day Double IPA, brewed for neighboring Tides Tavern.
7 Seas Brewing founders Mike Runion and Travis Guterson managed to break away from party duties to chat with their fans. Guterson says after six anniversary parties they have it down where they can grab a few moments to celebrate their accomplishments with family, friends and partygoers. And the accomplishments are many: upgrading from a cramped warehouse location to the sprawling Gig Harbor taproom and brew facility were the party was held, developed the 253 Pilsner charity program, voted “Best Brewery in the South Sound” seven years running by readers of South Sound Magazine, blazed a path of environmentally friendly packaging, voted “Best Brewery” by Weekly Volcano readers and opening a ginormous brewing facility, taproom and market in downtown Tacoma next month.
For a brief period the 7 Seas beer and its creators weren’t the spotlight of the party. Bob Hill, one half of The Hillbaileys band with Gretchen Bailey, who joined The Twang Junkies onstage, led a crowd sing-a-long, incorporated crowd members into songs and coerced Ruinon and three of his brewers to sing with the band. All four of Hill’s sons watched, Troy and Josh from their seats, Justin and Robby from their Galley food truck, which they co-own with 7 Seas.
Joining the Americana band on the party bill were rockers The Sound and Fury, alt country band The Silver Dollars and Southern blues band C-Leb & the Kettle Black. Led Zeppelin tunes filled the gap between bands, providing a soundtrack for Jenga games, cornhole matches, giant beer pong bouts and HOPportunities for folks to enjoy delicious craft beer.
It was a fun time with good people and good beer.