Sunday, March 28th, 2021

Peaks and Pints: Sig Terraformation and Point Defiance Park

Ron Swarner

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Peaks and Pints: Sig Terraformation and Point Defiance Park

Sig Brewing Terraformation IPA series was nominated as a 14th seed in the Southern Washington Region of the Peaks & Pints Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs, which will begin April 2, 2021. The tournament bracket will be released soon. Since we’re not touring breweries to preview the tournament this year, we enjoyed the Peaks and Pints: Sig Terraformation and Point Defiance Park pairing.

Hops: Sig Terraformation

Sig Brewing just released their fourth Terraformation 1.5x hazy IPA, V4 Ur, featuring a triple dry hop of Altus cryo, Comet cryo, and Strata hops. Technically, the V3 Vaalbara was nominated by the public into the Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs, but Peaks & Pints believes the whole series should be nominated. They’re all triple dry hopped with different hops, and all four versions have been life-changing, to play off the series name. Vaalbara featured a triple dry hop of Idaho 7 cryo, Simcoe cryo, Strata, and El Dorado hops.

Let’s Break It Down: 7.8% ABV • Terraforming or terraformation (literally, “Earth-shaping”) is the hypothetical process of deliberately modifying the atmosphere, temperature, surface topography or ecology of a planet, moon. • Although Sig calls the series a 1.5x IPA, it’s 7.8 percent ABV classifies it as a double IPA.

Hike: Point Defiance Park

Of Point Defiance Park’s 760 acres, the vast majority are old-growth forest, with paved and unpaved trails weaving through the trees. The easiest way to get acquainted with the trees is to park near the entrance or at Owen Beach and walk all or part of Five-Mile Drive, which is paved and mostly level and great for all abilities. One of Point Defiance’s biggest lures is its extensive trail system, which encompasses the entirety of the park’s peninsula. In total, the park has 15 miles of hiking trails weaving through forests, gardens and coastline. To ensure visitors can take full advantage of the trail system, the park’s outer loop roadway is only open to vehicle traffic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Let’s Break It Down: Spine Trail – 1.3 miles one way/2.6 miles round trip Rhododendron Garden to Gig Harbor Viewpoint • Square Trail – 4.6 miles Outer Loop • Triangle Trail – 3.3 miles Inner Loop • Rhododendron Garden Loop – .52 miles • High point 300 feet • Elevation gain 200 feet, rated easy • Tacoma, Washington

Haps: Post-hike Celebration

Since Peaks & Pints is close to Point Defiance Park, after hiking the trails we drank the Sig Terraformation V3 Vaalbara inside our craft beer bar, bottle shop and restaurant in the Proctor District. We discussed that although an estimated 3.1 million people visit Point Defiance Park, relatively few meander the trails. The hiking trails along the park’s cliffs have sweeping views of Vashon Island, Dalco Passage, Gig Harbor, and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Even though Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium sits within the Park’s boundary, we could see animals for free on the trails, such as mule deer, red foxes, pileated woodpeckers, bald eagles, and Douglas squirrels. We saw the park’s legendary 450-year-old “Mountain Tree,” an old-growth Douglas fir that stands 200 feet tall with 7.5 feet diameter. We also cheered Sig Head Brewer Jeff Stokes for his amazing collection of brewed beers at Three Magnets and now Sig: Keep It Like Vic Secret, What The Flocc, WHOHOO!, Big Tom Milkshake IPAs, Aroma of Tacoma IPA, MG2020, The Fair Is Cancelled, Communication Is Key Lime, Berried In Danishes, Grandma Pat’s smoothie fruit beers, From Tacoma To Vladivostok With Love, and many others.

Highway: Getting There

From I-5, take exit 132 to follow State Route 16 West. Take the Pearl St/Ruston exit and go north on Pearl Street. At the roundabout entrance to Point Defiance Park.

Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs

OK, Covid, we’ll just take the Peaks & Pints Tournament of Beer into the woods. …

The public nominated 64 Northwest double IPAs for the Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs in February. Beginning April 2, through online voting on this website, Washington and Oregon double IPA drinkers will pick daily winners until the best double IPA in the Northwest is crowned April 24.

Our pre-Tournament hype will be different this year. No brewery research tour. No candid photos of bartenders pouring double IPAs for review. No hotel parties.

Instead, Peaks & Pints will preview the Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs by taking the 64 nominated double IPAs on hikes relatively close to where they were brewed. After all, a post-hike double IPA can quench your thirst and begin to rehydrate you, lubricate your senses and, like the act of hiking, help maintain sanity, balance and perspective. Oh, believe us when we say the hike is still paramount to the experience. If it wasn’t, we’d skip the hike and just head to the taproom. Rather, Peaks & Pints is a big believer in hanging at the trailhead with our fellow hikers, divvying up a beer and discussing the hike, or whatever subjects, as we store away our gear.