After the turn of September /
In the cloudy skies over Tacoma /
Came a roar and a thunder people had never heard /
Like the scream and the sound of a big war bird.
Up in the sky, a beer in a plane /
Baron von Huth is its name.
Many breweries tried, but two hit their stride /
Early October they’ll release it on the countryside.
Tacoma breweries Wingman Brewers and Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. have collaborated on an Oktoberfest beer titled Baron von Huth. The idea soared after Wingman head brewer Ken Thoburn and Pacific Brewing head brewer Steve Navarro chatted during the South Sound Brewery Medal Showcase, the Washington Beer Awards winning South Sound breweries celebration held at Puyallup River Alehouse in mid-July.
“Steve and I have been wanting to collaborate and as it turns out we both wanted to have an Oktoberfest, but we didn’t want 15 barrels of it,” says Thoburn. “So we decided to collaborate and split the beer we make so we will have a limited supply of Oktoberfest beer for the season.”
Andy Kenser, sales executive at Pacific Brewing came up with the beer’s name, Baron von Huth. With Wingman’s aircraft theme and Pacific Brewing’s longtime history, Kenser melded the World War I German fighter pilot Red Baron with Anton Huth, the German immigrant who, in 1897, founded Pacific Brewing in Tacoma’s Brewery District.
“We brewed the Oktoberfest beer at Wingman, and it’s still lagering right now,” says Navarro. “We used a base recipe Ken had used in the past. I came over and we went through it together. We tweaked a few things — water, mash temp, hops, type of yeast. I provided the yeast and he provided the malt. It was fun.”
The Baron von Huth is a Märzen-style beer, characterized by a medium to full body, a malty flavor and a clean dry finish. Navarro added his preferred German Lager Yeast.
The beer will be released in the taprooms of both breweries, with outside distribution. Pacific Brewing will let fly its taproom Saturday, Oct. 3 during its first anniversary party, complete with live music, special seasonal and limited edition beer, food, prizes and more. In addition to Baron von Huth, attendees will enjoy pints of newly released Doppelbock and Hefeweizen, as well as the brewery’s year-round offerings.
“As part of the celebration, we’re releasing the first of our Jubilaum Anniversary Series: Black Cherry Berliner Weisse too,” adds Navarro.
Be sure to put this Oktoberfest beer in your field of vision before it goes spinning out of sight.
PACIFIC BREWING & MALTING CO., 4-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, noon to midnight Friday and Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, 610 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.383.2337
WINGMAN BREWERS, 2-9 p.m. Thursday, 2-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2-9 p.m. Sunday, 509 1/2 Puyallup Ave, Tacoma, 253.256.5240