Our beer mugs runneth over here in Tacoma and Pierce County. Tacoma Beer Week 2023, the 10-day showcase of craft breweries and their beers, is an excellent way to experience Tacoma’s bubbling beer culture. The eighth annual edition of Tacoma Beer Week official starts today and continues through Sunday, Aug. 20. Whether you’re making your first visit to a local brewery tasting room, heading out on a craft beer special event, or exploring how beer and food interact, Tacoma Beer Week is the perfect time to dive into the craft beer scene. For a complete listing of Tacoma Beer Week events, visit www.tacomabeerweek.com. Thanks to Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: Tacoma Beer Week 2023, you can taste five Tacoma breweries in one sitting — as if Tacomans needed another reason to drink beer. For Peaks & Pints Tacoma Beer week events, click here.
Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: Tacoma Beer Week 2023
5% ABV, can
In Spring 2020, Duncan Susag, brother Alex Susag and cousin John Samuelson opened Sig Brewing on the edge of Tacoma’s Historic Brewery District, along Tacoma Avenue South in the building formerly occupied by Duncan’s concrete design firm, Studio Make. Head brewer Jeff Stokes has been cranking out delicious craft beers, including Pippa’s Pivo, a snappy and vibrant Czech-style pilsner. Using a dialed-in traditional Czech water profile, traditional European bready malts, and fantastically herbaceous European hops, Sig Head Brewer Jeff Stokes brewed a classic pilsner to remind smoothie fiends how beer tastes. Crispy, clean and adjunctless, Pippa’s Pivo offers bready malts, and lovely floral hop aroma and flavor.
5.5% ABV, can
Two young brewers teamed up to make the official Tacoma Beer Week beer this year. Amber Machado from E9 Brewing and Shelby Bible from Odd Otter Brewing brewed the 2023 Tacoma Beer Week Pale with help from the Tacoma Beer Week Committee. Peaks & Pints won’t tap the keg or sell the cans until tomorrow — after the official Tacoma Beer Week Pale at 6 p.m. inside The Rusty Goat in downtown Tacoma. To hear about how the Tacoma Beer Week Pale came to fruition, tune-in the Grit & Grain Podcast Episode 57.
5.8% ABV, draft
In 1995, Dusty Trail converted the early 20th century Tacoma firehouse into a brewpub, and brought back the Tacoma Brew, the famous Tacoma lager of 1888. Dick Dickens grabbed the reins in 2002, bringing in head brewer Doug Tiede. Heads turned and medals were hung. In 2011, X Group purchased Engine House No. 9, with former chef turned head brewer Shane Johns eventually breaking the brewery off from the restaurant, officially brewing as E9 Brewery. Johns and right-hand man Donovan Stewart fired up a barrel program. Gold medals followed. Today, the E9 brewhouse is loaded with talent and delicious beer, including Wild Tacoma Bing Cherry. This deliciously tart wild ale is blended from 1- to 3-year-old barrels of their house “Wild Tacoma” mixed culture ale. Racked onto whole Bing cherries from Diamondback Acres in Chelan, Washington, it’s crisp, and refreshing with a slight hint of barrel character.
6.7% ABV, can
In August 2016, 7 Seas Brewing opened a new location spanning two city blocks in Tacoma’s historic Brewery District adjacent to the University of Washington campus. Housed in the Heidelberg Brewery’s former distribution warehouse, the new facility was a 10-fold increase in brewing capacity compared to their former Gig Harbor location. Their Nomadic IPA embodies the versatility and ever transforming IPA spectrum. This golden hued IPA is aggressively hopped with Nugget, Simcoe, Citra, and Cascade for a big juicy, tropical fruit, citrusy hop aroma yielding way to an off dry, pleasantly bitter finish.
6.7% ABV, can
July 12, 2013, Scott Wagner, Gordon Rush, Matt Smith, Thair Jorgenson, Chris DeWald, and others opened the 15-barrel Narrows Brewing perched on pilings above the Narrows waterway. As guests gazed at the 700 feet of guest docking below and beyond to the Narrows bridge, Joe Walts, former quality control manager at Ale Asylum Brewing in Madison, Wisconsin, brewed in the back. After a couple years, Walts returned to Ale Asylum with former Harmon head brewer Mike Davis taking over the head brewing position. Davis eventually returned to his beloved Hawaiian Islands with Matt Rhodes — formerly with Stone Distributing and King Harbor Brewing out of Redondo Beach, California —letting his freak flag fly, injecting new recipes into the brewery, especially hazy IPAs, and crazy delicious imperial stouts. After Rhodes moved on to Fort George Brewery in Astoria, Parker Rush grabbed the brewing reins and the entire brewery as the new owner in November 2020. After graduation from the UC Davis Master Brewers Program, Parker cut his teeth brewing at Lowercase Brewing in Seattle before fulfilling his life-long dream to own a brewery. Brewer Zach Dowling has been with Narrows since the doors opened. Narrows’ Westerly West Coast IPA is piney and dank resinous brew that embraces the spirit of the West Coast with each crisp and refreshing sip.