FRIDAY, DEC. 9 2016: South Sound events + craft beer …
The Valley + Peaks and Pints = Extra Special
Rhythm & Rye + The Eastside Club Tavern = The Highest and Lowest Pair
Tacoma Little Theatre + Rainier Growlers = Mother of Precociousness and All Storms
Baby Gramps is a complete enigma. Who is this man behind a wide brimmed hat and long gray beard? He looks just as comfortable busking next to the University of Washington in 1964 as he did performing on David Letterman’s stage. Baby Gramps picked up his first steel guitar when he was just a wee sprout. Initially influenced by his musical parents, Gramps soon discovered the work of Delta bluesman Charlie Patton. It was Patton whom he would go on to emulate musically while his stage antics were learned from Memphis-bred Fury Lewis. He is one part Tuvan throat-singer, one part guitar genius, one part rodeo clown and three parts unfiltered energy. He performs a distinctive bobble-headed dance; he stomps his foot and swings his arm around between guitar strokes while remaining seated in his chair. He revs up his audience and draws them into sing-alongs. He makes silly jokes such as, “I haven’t had this much fun since I fell off my dinosaur.” Catch Baby Gramps with Ghost Train trio and Bazooka Benny at The Valley, beginning at 9 p.m.
PREFUNK: The ESB, which stands for “extra special bitter,” is a derivation of the British bitter. It’s a very common style served in English pubs. The “extra special” arose as a marketing label given to premium bitter beers, and eventually it became a recognized style in its own right. The style offers deep copper to bronze color with malty, sweet flavors and mild hoppiness. A good ESB should be balanced, which is exactly what Holy Mountain’s Bitter Peace ESB is. The traditional ESB is brewed with the best English malt and hops the Seattle brewery could get their hands on resulting in a malty, hoppy, balanced, easy drinking craft beer. Holy Mountain’s Bitter Peace is on tap at Peaks and Pints, which opens at 11 a.m.
Hey kiddies, lace up your most comfortable shoes, coat your throat with some whiskey and get ready for some serious dancing and hollering ’cause Hillstomp is back in downtown Olympia. The rowdy, washtub, bucket band, rock ’n’ roll duo are taking over Rhythm & Rye for a night of old time enjoyment, with a funky twist. The Lowest Pair opens the show at 9 p.m.
PREFUNK: In today’s booming craft beer renaissance, there are plenty of breweries whose reputation is staked on brewing one style of beer particularly well. Some brewers make a name for themselves by almost exclusively brewing dry, West Coast IPAs. Others amass a following with a sludgy imperial stout that pours like motor oil. While these brews are often delicious, one-hit wonders don’t tend to fare well in the history books. Anybody remember who sang “Funkytown”? Right, we didn’t think so. Paso Robles’ own Firestone Walker Brewing, on the other hand, deserves a spot in the Beer Hall of Fame [note to self: create a Beer Hall of Fame]. The brewery not only churns out award-winning beers like it’s going out of style, but they do so across a wide spectrum of beer styles. This fact is on full display at 6 p.m. inside The Eastside Club Tavern when the downtown Olympia craft beer haven taps rare and specialty brews.
MIRACLE ON I STREET
Twice a major motion picture and featured on television in various iterations, the plot of Miracle on 34th Street is thoroughly woven into the fabric of our culture. Doris Walker — a high-ranking manager at Macy’s in New York City and single mom to the independent and precocious Susan — has taught her daughter that Santa Claus is merely a myth and does not exist. This rational, although perhaps premature, lesson is turned on its head, however, when Doris hires a new Santa for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The man is convinced he is the real Kris Kringle. Susan subsequently meets Fred Gaily, a former Marine and aspiring lawyer who hopes to inspire in the child a belief in Santa Claus. All this goes down at 7:30 p.m. at the Tacoma Little Theatre.
PREFUNK: In 1996, Jeff Schons and Mary Jones founded Pelican Brewing Company in Pacific City — Oregon’s only oceanfront brewpub. Celebrating its 20th year, the brewing company has created tasty treats such as Kiwanda Cream Ale, India Pelican Ale, MacPelican’s Scottish Ale, Tsunami Stout and Doryman’s Dark. Founding brewmaster Darron Welch and Pelican have won more than 300 awards including the 2014 World Beer Cup Champion Small Brewing Company and Brewmaster of the Year. Pelican Brewing will land at Rainier Growlers at 6 p.m. with a bunch of their tasty brews, including the first keg of Mother of all Storms 2016 to be tapped in the state.