Peaks and Pints bottle shop/taproom/eatery owners, from left, Robby Peterson, Ron Swarner and Justin Peterson / photo credit Oona Copperhill Photography

It may seem as though you’ve driven all the way to the mountains — just for a craft beer. But you’re actually in the grand confines of Peaks and Pints at Basecamp Proctor in Tacoma. Peaks and Pints is no makeshift tavern in a one-horse town. Co-founded by longtime media pooh-bah Ron Swarner and restaurateurs Justin and Robby Peterson, this craft beer store, taproom and eatery is planned down to the metal plates and tall tree in the corner.

Step into Peaks and Pints and the first thing you notice is … up. The sky-high ceiling is compliments of the movie theater that occupied the space in the early 1900s. A five-and-dime store moved in in the early 1940s and we have the pine floor to prove it. The walls teem with vintage mountainscapes and alpine accouterments, making guests feel like they’re being beckoned by an old mountain saloon where they’ll get good eats and likely know a few people by name. The 3,600 square foot joint looks like Paul Bunyan’s vacation home.

Thankfully, Peaks and Pints carries its mountain motif past the racket of most theme joints. Only one ginormous silent TV plays above the 13-door beer cooler; what we call “SudsPop” provides awesome background tunes of all genres. The “Green Room” with skylights and a fireplace waits just off our 35-foot long bar.

The Peaks and Pints staff has high energy and a passion for craft beer. Expect consistently outstanding service and exceptional beer knowledge from a team that has been trained to really know their stuff. Peaks and Pints packs a mind-boggling array of suds: more than 800 different bottled beers and cans, with another 23 on tap, including nitro lines. That’s some serious brew. While craft beer remains our foundation, you don’t have to be embarrassed for ordering artisan craft cider, wine, cold brewed coffee and kombucha as those delights are from our Western red cedar tap log too.

Its mountain feel (original wood-slat floors, reclaimed wood bar and tall tree) and expansive bar seating make it a comfortable stop for everyone from suits to sweats. Where else can you enjoy a craft beer from around the world, handcrafted sandwiches on fresh French and rye, freely surf the Internet from your wireless laptop below a ginormous circular saw blade? Answer: nowhere but Peaks and Pints in Proctor. If we don’t have the craft beer you desire, we’ll climb the mountain to find it.

Don’t let all that beer fool you, though. The food at Peaks and Pints is more than the standard array of brewpub fare. (You won’t find a hamburger on the menu.) Oh, don’t leave Peaks and Pints without trying the spicy deviled eggs. And, all of the menu items pair well with craft beer.

Because what Peaks and Pints really did was create a cool tavern, damn near the perfect tavern, with a razor’s-edge menu that walks the line between too much and just enough without ever seriously overstepping; a crowd that most owners would kill for — a collaboration of local nuts, college students, Tacoma runners, moneyed neighbors, bearded beer geeks, fixed-gear cyclists, Saturday market shoppers and tourists. Peaks and Pints took a cue from the boutique taprooms of Portland, Asheville and San Francisco that cater to the walkability and bikeability of an active neighborhood district.

Our philosophy focuses on contributing to our community’s betterment in any way that we can. Whether you want to stop in after work and unwind, meet up with friends to solve pothole problems, spend an evening learning brewing secrets from a knowledgeable brewmaster, listen to music paired with specific beer, or chat about Tacoma Tree Foundation, our goal is to make this neighborhood a better place to live.

That’s about Peaks and Pints at Basecamp Proctor in Tacoma. Feel the love, Tacoma. Here we go.