Like most beer festivals, Brew Five Three: Tacoma’s Beer & Music Festival will begin with a branded taster glass, thirsty drinkers sporting pretzel necklaces and the faint whiff of sunscreen in the air. But once the organizer Tacoma Arts Live hands the guests the day’s tap list, the mood will shift. Some will grab for golf pencils and started crossing off old familiars while others start circling the can’t-misses from the 40 beer and cider booths. Many will grab an imperial stout and sip it while watching the Washington Scottish Pipe Band, Mirrorgloss, and other bands. Tonight, Peaks and Pints hosts Tacoma Arts Live for a Brew Five Three Prefunk with discounted tickets, volunteer sign-up sheets and other Brew Five Three flight of local breweries. The event begins at 5:30 p.m., but the Craft Beer Crosscut 7.10.19: Flight For Brew Five Three is available all day. Cheers!
Craft Beer Crosscut 7.10.19: Flight For Brew Five Three
5.7% ABV, 55 IBU
Founded in July 2013 by a group of friends, Narrows Brewing Co. is a 15-barrel brewhouse built on wood pilings next to Narrows Marina above the Narrows waterway with a glorious view of the Narrow Bridge and active waterfront. Peaks and Pints asks you to skip the view for one day and drink Narrows’ Proctor IPA. IPA? Indeed, the brewery’s double dry-hopped Proctor Pale has been reformulated and an easy-drinking IPA. Still brewed with spelt and dry-hopped with loads of Citra, Proctor IPA is similar to what you remember, just a bit more bitter and a bit more vibrant.
With the new 15-barrel brewhouse now up and running, E9 Brewing’s new location in Tacoma’s Historic Brewery District has been brewing more award-winning farmhouse and wild ales, hop forward pales and IPAs, led by Head Brewer Shane Johns. E9 Realize Real Lies is a slightly hazy IPA that starts on the “hot” side of the brew with late additions of Columbus and Citra, and finished with double dry hopping of Amarillo and Simcoe imparting fruity yet dank aromatics, followed by a fruity splash on the tongue.
8% ABV, 50 IBU
Morgan Alexander brewed 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 Tacoma Brewing Company, a tiny taproom that he eventually abandoned for a ginormous space up the street. His reoccurring Cigar Box IPA is aged on Spanish cedar opening an aroma of cedar, vanilla, tobacco and sandalwood. The rich, mellow, spicy hint of wood receives a puff of grapefruit, thanks to Chinook, Simcoe, Cascade, and Centennial hops.
7.5% ABV, 75 IBU
Late last summer, Kyle Maxwell and Caitlyn Byce opened Black Fleet Brewing, a 10,000-square-foot, two-story brewery equipped with a 10-barrel system in Tacoma’s Historic Brewery District. Named after a fleet of warships once operated by Jeanne de Clisson, a fierce woman known for her prowess on the English Channel with her Black Fleet — with a nod to Tacoma’s feisty female maritime Thea Foss — Black Fleet appropriately brewed a black IPA, or Cascadian Dark Ale, with a nose of sweet caramel and roast with fruity and citrusy hop notes. The flavor begins rich and smooth with notes of caramel, toffee, and roasted malts with a building bitterness that becomes slightly dry. Expect chocolate and orange-peel on the finish.
Anxious to start a business venture in the growing craft beer industry, homebrewer Ken Thoburn didn’t have to look far for inspiration for his brand, Wingman Brewers. With a grandfather who painted various nose art designs on a variety of World War II airplanes, Thoburn fell in love with the 1930-40s-era vintage military theme. Combine that with an area that has a large saturation of active-duty and retired Air Force and military members and Tacoma’s Wingman Brewers was born. Head Brewer Thoburn, including Derrick Moyer and Daniel Heath, started Wingman Brewers in April 2011, brewing beer to sell to local bars, restaurants and grocery stores out of a small storefront in Tacoma. Wingman Brewers took off in a big way, with a constant eye on their vintage military theme. Their Operation Oyster Stout uses the meat, shell and juices from oysters post-boil for a light-bodied stout that begins with light brine notes and ends with fresh oyster notes.