Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. Swiss bartender Josh Hill, now, about to become the 2015 U.S. Open Redhook Putt Putt Golf Pub Crawl champion. It looks like a mirac… It has hit the cans! It has hit the cans! It has hit the cans! Hill wasn’t the only pub golfer not to score a hole-in-one in Redhook’s indoor miniature golf contest at three Tacoma pubs yesterday. Hill missed the hole-in-one on The Swiss Restaurant & Pub course. Many others missed the prize at the other two spots — Rock The Dock Pub & Grill and The Valley. This isn’t a cakewalk.
Rye has a long history as a brewer’s grain, but its prevalence in whiskey production has, until recently, overshadowed its use in beer. The explosion of craft brewing has seen rye become a more popular grain that gets used in both traditional styles and new hybrids. Brewers prize the unique dry and spicy character it lends to a beer’s flavor and aroma, and the proteins in rye can also provide a fuller mouthfeel and aid in head formation and retention. The Rye Beer Fest, a celebration of the revival of rye beers, was held at EastBurn on East Burnside yesterday
As if Portland’s status as Beervana was in danger of lapsing, the fifth annual Portland Beer Week brings a whole slew of chances to celebrate Oregon suds. I previewed Portland Beer Week a few weeks ago here. I have also listed a few highlights again below. Every year, PDX Beer Week organizer and New School Beer website founder Ezra Johnson-Greenough adds eats to the week’s beer treats. I ventured south for dinner during yesterday’s Portland Beer Week’s opening day festivities. The special Beer Week cake doughnuts made with Hopworks IPA were sold out at Blue Star Donuts on Washington Street.
One of the most incredible things I’ve witnessed covering the craft beer industry is the willingness and ability of its member companies to help out charity causes, campaigns and non-profit organizations. Prime example is the ParkWay Tavern’s Pints With Purpose Collab-A-Gasm Saturday, June 13. ParkWay manager Sean Jackson has elicited the help Of Columbia Distributing and six of the distributor’s client breweries/cideries. Hop Valley Brewing Co., Two Beers Brewing Co., Seattle Cider Company, New Belgium Brewing, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits and Georgetown Brewing will take over the ParkWay’s taps, host raffle drawings and help raise money for The Lost
This year’s Sasquatch Brew Fest moved down the street from Ninkasi Brewing to Hop Valley Brewing’s distribution parking lot for the second year in a row of sunny weather. Folks huddled under a spray tent indifferent that their program guides listing the 45 participating breweries were soaked; they were too busy studying the more than 75 available beers from local Eugene and Springfield, regional Oregon breweries and even Fish Brewing from Olympia. All the fun of Sasquatch — the beer, Friday night’s beer dinner, a home brew contest, silent auction, food trucks and live bands The Sugarbeets, Mexican Gunfight, Halie
Close you eyes. Now think about your favorite beer being poured into a glass vessel at the right, chilly temperature. Think about the first sip, the touch of frothy head and rush of effervescence, the flavor balanced between sweet and bitter notes. Now, open your eyes. You’re in the brewery where this beer was brewed. Bags of grain are piled in the corner and bottles are stacked in another. In front of you, a stainless steel tank holds thousands of gallons of this precious liquid. You can hear the light gurgle of liquid fermentation. There are posters promoting their Tuesday
Dick’s Brewing Raspberry Tripel Pull up a map of Europe on your screen. It’s almost evenly split into wine and beer. South of the Alps, where fruit grows better than grain, wine is the fermented beverage of choice. North of the Alps, it’s beer. In a few places, fruit and grains both grow well, and things get weird. Belgium is in between them, which is why the beers there can be so like wine — barrel-aged, wild yeasts, blends of different fermentations and, sometimes, with fruit. Every spring Dick’s Brewing in Centralia centers on Belgium and
More than a hundred new breweries have opened in Washington state over the past two years, and on a warm summer day, there’s no finer place to be than on one of their patios. There’s no finer place to be on a perfect summer night, either. Peddler Brewing, the bicycling-beer enthusiast’s dream brewery in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, officially opened its new beer garden today, a week after the backyard beer garden’s soft opening. What once was no-man’s land is now strings of white lights, outdoor taps, gravel floor, food trucks and enough picnic tables to seat 400 people. It has,
Running a brewery isn’t just waving a magic wand at grain and water and hops until beer appears; it’s dealing with dangerous gases, caustic chemicals, scalding water and a dozens of other things that can harm or even kill you. It’s not flipping a switch and you’re in business; it’s assembling a complicated, resource-hungry manufacturing system at the same time you’re building a neighborhood bar. Prepare to deal with bureaucracy at many different levels, and a mountain of ensuing paperwork to follow. Opening a brewery open is often hell. You have to be hell-bent to follow your dream. Today, four
Pairing beer with a meal — or courses within a meal — can be a delicate process. Trust me, it involves much more than grabbing a cold beer to go with your hot dog. Every chef will tell you, when he or she creates a dish they think about the intensity level first. Then, the chef seeks a beer with an equal amount of intensity. He or she doesn’t want a beer that’s going to get lost or overpower the food. The chef wants both to shine. Thankfully, Jacob Thacker, chef at The Swiss Restaurant and Pub, follows the same
For much of the last few years, if you wanted to drink beer from South Sound’s newer and smaller breweries you had to travel to their taprooms or seek it out on draft. Cans of 7 Seas Rude Parrot and Wingman P-51 Porter or bottles of Harmon Point Defiance IPA and Narrows Brewing Galloping Gertie Golden Ale might be ubiquitous at local stores, but for many other breweries, time-sensitive growlers have been the only way for fans to share beer at a party or drink a pint at home. Pacific Brewing and Malting Co. head brewer
Did you just turn 21 years of age? Well gather around and listen to my tale. There was once a time when those of us aged more than 25 years — you know, “old farts” — didn’t have a fully interactive, voice-activated GPS in our pocket at all times. We had to carry around giant, totally unfoldable pieces of tree carcass with directions scrawled on them in tiny, barely legible print to know where we were going. You know, maps. And in this age of smartphones, it would be almost inconceivable that anyone would still lug one of those dinosaurs
There are certain weird circles of the craft beer movement that refuse to acknowledge that one of the primary motivations for bending the old elbow is to get at least a bit of a glow going. And these buzz-deniers exist at both ends of the preferred-ABV spectrum. There are the session-beer zealots who insist that as long as your beer is below five-percent ABV, it is basically just extra-invigorating water that can be safely drunk round the clock. Then there are the tough people who mock the session-beer pansies for their inability to hold their liquor and/or control their intake.
If there’s one thing we know, it’s that happiness and deep sense of connection never comes from material success. Human connectivity doesn’t come from sitting around Instagramming, Twittering and Facebooking your soul into abject numbness. No, it’s much simpler. It can happen on a Saturday afternoon with strangers, over beers, of course. Yesterday’s BikeroBrew (by-kroh-broo) saw 35 or so participants ride bicycles between downtown Tacoma microbreweries, drink craft beer and learn about Tacoma’s history. The event wasn’t one of those Tough Mudder or Warrior Dash races where you beat the hell out of your knees for a T-shirt, cute selfies
Van Halen “Diver Down” vs. Narrows Brewing Diver Down IPA They both carry the scuba diver down flag on their frontsides. They both had frontman changes. They both have tasty licks. But between Van Halen’s “Diver Down” album and Narrows Brewing’s Diver Down IPA, who can truly claim they rule the red with a white stripe from the upper left corner to the lower right corner? Get ready for Van Halen “Diver Down” vs. Narrows Brewing Diver Down IPA. >>> Born On Date VAN HALEN: Their fifth album, 1982′s “Diver Down,” turned 33 years April 14, 2015. As a hastily-recorded
Seattle Beer Week Randall Night There’s this device called a “Randall the Enamel Animal,” or “Randall” for short. It was created and perfected by Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione. The Randall attaches to a draft line and infuses fresh hops, fruit, herbs, or almost any other ingredient of choice into a beer. Last night, as part of Seattle Beer Week, The Pine Box in Seattle hosted “Can You Handle My Randall,” 12 crazy-infused beers from Washington, Oregon and California. The Randall contraption looked straight out of a mad scientist’s lab. Crazy beer reps at The Pine Box’s
Narrows Brewing taste update, Octopus battle tonight There have been two high-profile changes recently at two Tacoma breweries. Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. assistant brewer Bethany Carlsen left for a head brewer job at Gig Harbor Brewing Co. Former head brewer for RAM Restaurant and Brewery Andy Kenser joined the Pacific Brewing’s sales team freeing up co-founder Steve Navarro to concentrate on brewing. Before Pacific’s change, Narrows Brewing head brewer Joe Walts, who helped build and open the brewery back in 2013, moved back home to Madison, Wisconsin, to be closer to his family and resume his old quality control
Saturday, May 9, a sold-out crowd packed a giant beer garden at The Gig Harbor Uptown Pavilion, 4701 Point Fosdick Dr., to enjoy suds and sunshine (fourth year in a row) at the fourth annual Gig Harbor Beer Festival. John Fosberg, festival organizer and founder of soon-to-open-Gig Harbor Brewing Company, wasn’t on site due to a family member’s college graduation many miles away, but the staff was on it, handling the capacity crowd and keeping the beer cold. Gig Harbor Brewing Company head brewer Bethany Carlsen donned a pretzel necklace and festival three-ounce shot glass, with news her budding brewery
Three Magnets Brewing forced to change Rainy Day IPA name Breweries do what they can to control their image, from their beers to their taglines to their Twitter feeds and Facebook pages. They hire publicists. They issue press releases. They give interviews. Sometimes, they even change their names in an effort to rebrand themselves, and sometimes these strategies work. Sometimes breweries are forced to make a name change, such as Three Magnets Brewing forced to change Rainy Day IPA name. In early April, Three Magnets Brewing Co. in downtown Olympia received a phone call from another brewery requesting that they
You could feel the excitement at 3515 Bridgeport Way W. next to the University Place Library. A large crowd milled about in the Whole Foods Market Chambers Bay parking lot, drinking free coffee, high-fiving the Sonics Guy, watching the Curtis High School Pep Band cranked out the tunes. Wood-fired pizza, live-mollusk tanks and more cheese than University Place roundabouts were discussed outside the closed doors. That’s right, Whole Foods opens and pours beers in University Place! Whole Foods Chambers Bay is now open in University Place. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner Then the countdown began: 10, 9,
My family and I spent the weekend beer and loafing in Westport Washington. I spent very little time on the beach. Two reasons. First, an invasion is afoot in Westport, Washington. Yes, there are millions of dead glassy purple, jellyfish-like sea creatures that look like sailboats stretching as far as the eye can see. Known as “by-the-wind sailors,” Velella velella typically live in the open ocean, but when warm water and storms draw them near shore, the wind blows them onto beaches, where they die in stinking piles — emphasis on stinking. Beach strolls ended up as eye rolls, so
How much do I loooove Cinco de Mayo? Every Fifth of May I bathe in salsa and ride a burro around Tacoma’s Proctor District handing out chimichangas and parasitic water. But even though Cinco de Mayo is dominated by idiots mainlining margaritas, it is, in fact, an actual holiday. Apparently, on May 5, 1862, a French army landed in Mexico to collect outstanding debts from the newly elected government of democratic president Benito Juarez. Well, there would be no dinero for those greedy dudes as 4,000 scrappy Mexicans beat the pommes frites out of the French army and protected their
Times have changed since the halcyon hedonism of yore, when Hunter S. Thompson — the most celebrated master of the fine art of spending a spell in a faraway locale, imbibing and debauching on someone else’s dime — was staggering drunk, weaving his half-remembered adventures into fabulist prose. Nowadays, when a beer at lunch is looked at askance, there’s a palpable button-down mentality that frowns on overindulgence. I prefer zippers. So when the folks at the Brewers Association gave me the green light to hang at the Craft Brewers Conference for a few days and a few hundred pints, I