Brewing up the past September 26, 2014
Incorporated in 1875, Tacoma, WA is bursting with rich cultural and architectural history. Surprising to many is that craft beer shares in much of that long history. In 1897, the Pacific Brewing and Malting company opened its doors in Downtown Tacoma. It quickly grew into the one of the largest breweries in the Northwest. Sadly, like many craft breweries of the time, Pacific Brewing was shut down due to statewide prohibition in 1916 (four years before the nationwide ban). Lucky for us, two lovers of craft beer, Steve Navarro and Brent Hall, decided to resurrect the old Pacific Brewing and Malting brand, right down to the original logo, and give it new life!
The brewery is located at the foot of the Old Town Hall on Pacific Ave in the shadow of the iconic clock tower. The building has been lovingly restored and looks amazing, both inside and out! Vintage style carriage doors grace the front and gorgeous reclaimed wood table line up on the inside. Exposed brick walls give a wonderfully warm and inviting feeling.
Opening day was a busy one but I was able to squeeze my way in and try a couple of pints. First up was Dirty Skoog IPA. This a very well-balanced IPA and a tad sweeter than you would expect which is a nice change from the “blow your head off” hoppy IPA’s. Quite lovely with a malty finish. Next up was the Citra Pale Ale. Very crisp and full of fruit notes and citrus. Just hoppy enough to make IPA enthusiast order another one. But my favorite of the day was the 1897 Pale Lager. Malty, sweet, light and refreshing. This lager is a nod to the original lager once made by Pacific Brewing but with modern brewing in mind. It’s quite a delightful beer. Other beers they brew are Grit City Porter, Moon Yard Strong Ale, Galaxy Smash (single malt/single hop IPA), and they are currently brewing a Smashing Pumpkin Ale. Yum!
This particular area of Pacific Ave is about sure to be a the craft beer epicenter of Tacoma. Odd Otter Brewing is opening soon and just a few doors down from Pacific Brewing, and the McMenamins purchased the gorgeous Elks Lodge building just behind and is in the process of restoring to its former glory. So, stay tuned!
Beat the summer heat July 19, 2014
Ah, summertime. Time for BBQ’s, beach picnics, mowing lawns, and horrendous heat! So how does one find refreshment when sitting in temperatures that feels like the Seventh Circle of Hell? Grab an awesome craft beer of course! There are so many “summer style” beers to choose from, I have chosen a few that have tickled my fancy as of late.
Ninkasi Wünderbier – This tasty beverage is a German-Style Kölsch. I love a good Kölsch and was very excited to stumble upon this one. Slightly sweet with a hint of Golden Grahams cereal, Wünderbier is crisp, light, and finishes clean. It’s a nice session beer at only 4.4% ABV.
New Belgium Summer Helles Lager – Hints of honey hit your nose before first taste. Summer Helles is very light in body, easy to drink, and has a nice, soft spice to the finish. It’s hard to put this one down!
Anchor Summer Beer – The very first craft beer I ever had was an Anchor Steam. That was 20 years ago and since then the Anchor Brewing Company has never disappointed me. This beer is no exception! This filtered wheat beer is crisp and light, with a hint a honey. Very refreshing.
Silver City Ziggy Zoggy Lager – One of my favorite breweries in Washington State, Silver City Brewing Company “kills it” with this awesome, unfiltered summer beer. Banana clove tastiness, honey everywhere, malty, and light. This one is a summer favorite for me!
For me, the key with any good summer beer is the body. It has to be crisp, easy to drink, and not too heavy with a slight fruit or honey note. These beers “nail it.”
Summertime at Silver City June 14, 2014
I have been a big fan of Silver City Brewing Co. for quite some time and always look forward to anything new. Recently I had the privilege to hang out with the guys at Silver City’s tap-room and sample some of the new seasonals and specialties on tap. I got to relax with the brewery’s owner, Scott, and with the brewers themselves enjoying some tasty seasonals currently on tap. A game or two of “Ziggy Zoggy Foursquare” took place, and fun was had by all! So let’s get to it!
Sour POWr Pear Lambic (6.2%ABV) – Gorgeous golden color. Pears are aged in the beer for a year creating a wonderful fruit sourness. Light honey top notes with a nice sour finish.
West Sound IPA (5.2%ABV) – For those who like a lighter hopped IPA, be careful! This beer is deceiving. The aroma is hoppy but soft. The first sip is mild but then suddenly, POW! The hops just punch you right in the face. Big citrus finish. Perfect for the IPA lover.
Rye Bock (6.5%ABV) – Sweet and hazel nutty. Rye character carries all the way through. Malty, sweet finish. Medium to full body.
Deluxe Spring Lager (6.2%ABV) – Once of my favorites of the day! Very nice with honey, floral character. Light, not too sweet. Reminds me of Golden Grahams cereal. Nice sweet finish. Perfect for spring or an early, mild summer day.
Happy Fun Time Ginger Beer (4%ABV) – I’m usually not a fan of ginger beer. Most brewers tend to overdo the ginger producing a much too tangy product. But this ginger beer is a delight! Big ginger aroma and nice ginger flavor throughout. Well-balanced and refreshing. The ginger is just right, not too overpowering.
B-Town Sour Red (6.3%ABV) – Sweet-tart candy sour. Slight hard-alcohol aroma. definitely a sipper.
Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged ImperiaI Red (8.5%ABV) – Thick, syrupy body. High alcohol aroma. Sweet, nutty first note. Finishes strong. Be careful!
Golden Mountain Pilsner (5%ABV) – Sweet, bubbly, effervescent. Honey notes, finishes crisp. Light and well, balanced.
The Silver City Flagship Restaurant is located at 2799 NW Myhre Road in Silverdale at the Silverdale Mall. The Brewery & Tap Room is located in Bremerton at 206 Katy Penman Drive. The tap-room does not serve food but you are welcome to bring in anything you wish to munch on. Many of their beers are available in bottles at your local market or bottle shop. If you haven’t stopped by one of these locations in person then all I have to ask is, where the heck have you been?
Southern-Style Spring May 14, 2014
I love Louisiana. I have only been there once, but my Cajun roots keep calling me to come back. I visited in 2005 and fell so much in love with the state that I booked a trip to go back the following October. I did not get a chance to visit Abita Brewing during my one and only visit so 2005 was going to be my year. Unfortunately, fate saw differently and Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf ruining my plans to visit, and shattering thousands of lives. Abita Brewery suffered about $30,000 in property damage from the hurricane along with the loss of 31 gallons of fermenting beer. Luckily, they were able to reopen two weeks later and have been going strong ever since.
Well, it’s 2014, spring has sprung in the south and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with Abita’s Strawberry Harvest Lager. The essence of fresh picked strawberries hits the nose immediately. This beer is lightly sweet with a touch of sour. Louisiana strawberry juice is added after filtering giving a fresh fruit flavor without tasting sugary or fake. Subtly strawberry flavor carries right through to the crisp finish. Though this is a “fruit beer” it is by no means “chick beer.” And at only 4.2% ABV this lovely lager is perfect for those hot, humid, southern afternoons and cool breezy evenings. It pairs well with any food because the sweetness of the fruit is well-balanced and not too overpowering. So instead of grabbing a sweet tea at your next BBQ, grab one of these.
Laissez les bons temps rouler!
What’s behind The Copper Door? May 6, 2014
A new bottle shop has opened in “T-Town” and boy is it a beauty! The Copper Door is more than your average bottle shop. Cozy in appearance and feel, there are approximately 550 American craft beers and a sprinkling of a few European beers fill the large coolers that stretch along the wall. Not only can you pick up a 220z, but there is no currently no corkage fee if you want to drink your purchase there. Pub tables and chairs, couches, and a side room are open for anyone to come in and enjoy a pint and there are 16 rotating taps behind the bar. YES! I said a bar! The decor is simple, warm and elegant. The beer selection is great and the prices are very reasonable. The Copper Door is open 7 days a week but check their website for hours. One can easily spends a few hours here.