Pacific Northwest Beer Chick

Breweries, Beers & Good Times

New Happenings in the Harbor December 27, 2018

What a time to live in Gig Harbor, WA!

New restaurants have been cropping up, finishing touches are going up on the new shopping center, and a couple more breweries have decided to set up tap rooms in Gig Harbor.

I’m talking about Gig Harbor Brewing Company and Fox Island Brewing. Both have beengh4 around for a few years, but now, us simple “Gig folk” (I just made that up) have easier access.

Gig Harbor Brewing was originally going to be housed here in the harbor. But, as the usual, a lot of red tape and headaches were coming with the project. The owner’s wanted to keep the name but were needed to find another place to brew. Tacoma, being just a bridge-crossing away, was the best choice for the brewery. The tap brewery opened it’s doors in the Nalley Valley area of Tacoma in 2015.

Ever since, they have been producing some fine beers. Finally, they were able to find a lovely little spot in the heart of Gig Harbor to secure a second tap room. Right where they should be! Located right on the water, the tap room is roomy, comfortable and inviting. The beer, is amazing! I sampled a few on my recent visit and all are very noteworthy. Oh, and the tap room is within walking distance to my apartment! Big thumbs up!

Blood Orange Blonde (5%) – Wonderful blood orange flavor and color. Not sweet, but plenty of luscious blood orange fruit from start to finish. The fruit tasted authentic, not syrup.

Blackberry IPA (6%) – I really like this one. Again, the fruit was real, not processed and balanced nicely with the hops. Quite lovely, refreshing, and flavorful.

Solar Tide IPA (5%) – This one was my favorite of the day! Such a well-balanced IPA. Tons of flavor but not so overpowering as to detour the hop novice. This is a really nicegh3 beer!

Fox Island Brewing opened a few years ago. Until recently, you could only usually find their beer locally, and I mean locally. Zog’s Pub on fox Island and a couple of local tap rooms, but that was about it. Now, they have acquired a tap room and took up residence at the Performance Golf Center and christened it the Tap-In. The great thing about this tap room is that they also serve food. Hooray! Gourmet hot dogs, Pizza, and a few other tid-bits will keep your tummy full while enjoying these tasty brews. There is outdoor and indoor seating. One can also enjoy a game of Cornhole or foosball while relaxing. A miniature golf course (I refuse to call it “put put”) is right outside the door to keep the kiddies occupied if you are some of those folk that insists on bringing your offspring to a tap room.

The food is good, the beer is tasty, the scenery is pretty. I purchased a taster tray and out of the 5 beers, these two were my favorite. I must tell you that two of the beers in the tasters tray were Hefeweizens. I like a good Hefe, but, I have to be in the mood for them. I was not in the mood on this day.

gh2No You Don’t Kolsch – Lot’s of lovely honey notes. Crisp clean finish. It’s no secret that Kolsch is one of my favorite styles.

Pale C’s American-style Pale Ale – well balance ale. Mild hops. Not overpowering, but a lot of flavor from start to finish.

The indoor lounge is nice, the outside is probably where you want to be…when the weather is nice. I immensely enjoyed the German Dog with sauerkraut. Not a bad place to hang out on a pretty day.

Gig Harbor may be a tiny town, but, the beer culture is gaining speed. I love the idea of the sleepy little fishing village that has stuff to do. At the same time, I don’t want our beloved village to become overrun with chain stores and restaurants. Keep the businesses local and lovely. I want Gig Harbor to be a quant destination without becoming gimmicky and cheap. Quality places to eat and drink with the Gig Harbor personality.

I love this town with every thread of my being. Let’s keep it moving forward and relevant!




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,IMG_2688 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!






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!

Huckleberry Wheat (5.4% ABV) – Subtle fruit from throughout. Crisp, clean, with a soft fruit finish. Lightly hopped. Very nice.IMG_1163

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?







Coming Soon: Seasonals from Pyramid Brewing Co, Slippery Pig Brewing, and Narrows Brewing. Oh, and the upcoming Gig Harbor Beer Festival. Wow! I better get going! April 15, 2014


Sailing the 7 Seas January 5, 2013

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The pride of Gig Harbor has moved to a new pad. 7 Seas Brewing, home of the “Ultimate Proper Pint,” re-opened their doors last month. Newly located in what was the QFC grocery store and just steps from historic Gig Harbor waterfront, the new spot is bigger, shinier, and full of 7 Seas’s best brews!
Co-owners Mike Runion and Travis Guterson started the brewery three years ago in a tiny tasting room just off of Hwy 16. Having a deep concern for the environment, Mike and Travis pride themselves on operating a “green brewery.” They can their beers instead of bottling and recycle spent grain to local farmers for livestock feed. When it comes to setting up the tasting room,439 Mike used reclaimed wood when he built the long, gorgeous tables for patrons to sit at. The benches came from the recently demolished Tacoma Elks Lodge. Want to know more about the artifacts and stuff around the tap room? Just ask! The entire staff is very friendly and fun.
But enough of my jibber jabber. Let’s get to the beer!
British Pale Ale (5.4% ABV) – One of my favorites of the bunch, this pale ale is crisp and clean. Biscuity with floral notes. Very easy to drink and great year round.
Rude Parrot IPA (5.8% ABV) – This one is for the hop heads! Simcoe and Citra hops give this beauty the kick IPA fans lust after. Lovely grapefruit aroma and taste. And at 75 IBU’s, this is one rude beer!
Ballz Deep Double IPA (8.4% ABV) – 7 Seas most popular beer, Ballz Deep is another delightful IPA that would please any hop head. Surprisingly malty for an IPA but that is a plus! This is a very lovely, very drinkable IPA. Don’t get me wrong, this is a hoppy beer. 82 IBU’s to be exact. But if you don’t like to get punched in the face by hops then I highly recommend this baby.
Wheelchair Barley Wine (10.6% ABV) – You may want to sit down for this one! Thick and syrupy with a raisin and plum fruit aroma. Very warming. Very strong. Definitely a sipper. There’s a reason they names this vixen “Wheelchair.”

441Cutt’s NW Amber Ale (6.15% ABV) – Very nice. Pretty hop aroma. Citrusy and floral characters with a nice malt/hop balance. Great choice for a growler.
Port Royal Stout (6.8% ABV) –Another one of my favorites! Ink black color. Brown head. Malty and full-bodied, this stout has a lovely warming, toasty flavor notes of dark chocolate and espresso. The finish is smoky. Great as a desert beer or sitting by the fire.
Depth Finder India Red Ale (5.9% ABV) – One of 7 Seas newest seasonal releases this beer has a pretty dark red color. Hoppy aroma with clear body. Crisp and clean with a hoppy, floral finish. Very nice.
Reign Man ESB (5.5% ABV) – Another new seasonal creation, this lovely beer is malty and sweet with a nice hop finish. Crisp and clean this ESB would go great with any meal.
Belgian Imperial Stout (9.0% ABV) – Do you like chocolate covered bananas? If so you will LOVE this beer. I do! Dark brown teetering on black color and full-bodied. Malty, dark, bitter chocolate aroma and taste with hints of banana and coffee. Very smooth, rich gem.
There is no food in the tap room but patrons are more than welcome to bring in food of their own. The tap room is now open 7 days a week : Sun through Tues from 11:00-8:00, Wed through Sat 11:00-9:00.
I can’t say enough about 7 Seas except that I love this brewery! I have been coming here since their opening in 2009 and will continue to come back for years to come.




Brewing for a Cure August 8, 2012

Dick’s Brewing Company

Second Annual Beer for a Cure

Centralia, WA based Dick’s Brewing company is giving back; and in a big way! For the second year in a row the brewing company is holding the Second Annual Beer for a Cure event featuring live music, a homebrew competition and awards ceremony. Throughout the day a silent auction will take place, while food and pints fresh from the brewery will be on sale.  Proceeds from the event will go to the American Cancer Society.

Professional brewers from Dick’s Brewing Company in Centralia have volunteered to help judge the homebrews and give the amateur brewers some words of advice on how to improve their crafts.

WHEN:     Saturday, August 18th, 2012, 2:00 to 8:00 p.m.

WHERE:  3516 Galvin Road, Centralia

For more info on how to enter your homebrew or on the event itself visit their website:

What better reason to drink beer than to help find a cure!




My Beer Vacation – Part 2 April 9, 2012

Filed under: beer,breweries,McMenamins Brewery,Micro brew,Pacific Northwest Beer,WA — pnwbeerchick @ 8:33 pm

The next leg of my beer vacation took me to the sleepy little town of Centralia, WA. What’s in Centralia you ask? McMenamins Olympic Club, that’s what! What is the Olympic Club? A gym? Ok, enough of the questions. The Olympic Club is a historic hotel located in old downtown Centralia. Built in 1908 and renovated in 1913, the Olympic Club has spent the last century reinventing its self and, as with most old hotels, has a colorful history. Spending most of its life as the Oxford Hotel, it was known as a gentlemen’s club, a pool hall and, of course, there are even tales of a brothel. Today it serves as a 27 room hotel with a full service restaurant, two bars, pool hall, and movie theater.

McMenamins Brewery bought the club in 1997 and lovingly restored it to the impressive retreat it is today. Now I could go on all day about McMenamins Brewery and their commitment to salvaging PNW history one building at a time but I will save that for a later article…back to The Olympic Club. Now if you have never been to a McMenamins establishment you are in for a treat. Except for the name change the Olympic Club has remained virtually unchanged over the last 100 years, right down to the Tiffany-style stained glass light fixtures and Belgian crystal to the ceramic tile floors and antique cash register. In fact, if you take a stroll through the building you will see many photos of The Olympic Club and the city of Centralia over the last century. The adjoining restaurant is kid friendly and more of the original establishment lurks in every corner. In the connecting pool hall you can choose your “stick” and play a few games on the original century old pool tables.

Down the hall you will find McMenamins movie theater. You can cuddle up on any of the love seats or choose a comfy chair and enjoy one of the latest releases. Food and drink are very welcome in the theater and they will even bring it to you when you order from the bar. Kid friendly matinees show during the day and the latest blockbusters begin showing in the early evening. Live bands also grace the theatre so check the club’s schedule for performances.

Up the creaky old stairs the hotel’s spirits greet guests in photo and art. McMenamins artists preserve the history of the club by whimsically illustrating stories on the walls. Each guest room is named for and tells a story of a different character in the clubs history. Guest room prices depend on bed preference: queen beds or bunk beds. Trust me… it’s great fun reliving childhood by sleeping in a bunk bed! One thing I must warn you about, if you are not a fan of European style restrooms (shared restrooms) then this hotel may not be for you. Only one of the guest rooms, the King Suite, has a private bathroom so you may want to check far in advance for availability. But in all honesty my husband and I have stayed at the Olympic club MANY times and have never had a problem with unavailability of the shared bathrooms.

Now you are probably thinking “Liz, this is all great, but where does the beer come in?” Glad you asked. McMenamins has been brewing beer since 1985 and is exclusive only to McMenamins pubs, hotels and restaurants. You can drink beer anywhere in Olympic Club including the hotel and theatre. What’s on tap? One of my favorites is also one of McMenamins most popular beers: Ruby. Not too sweet Ruby is brewed with 42lbs of Oregon grown raspberry puree. This Raspberry ale is crisp, light bodied, and fruity and a great beer for warmer weather but also enjoyable no matter what time of year you visit. Hammerhead is McMenamins top-selling beer and it’s not hard to see why. This lovely pale ale is brewed with Cascade hops and crystal malt creating an incredibly hoppy aroma and flavor but finishing very smooth.  For those of you looking for something a bit darker I would recommend the Terminator Stout. The black beauty is full-bodied and toasty with flavors of coffee and dark chocolate. I enjoy this one on the Olympic Club back patio next to the fire pit. The Olympic Club has seasonal beers on tap so always ask the bartender what’s new. McMenamins also owns a winery and a distillery creating some pretty potent spirits.

Tickets to the movie theater and access to the pool tables are free to hotel guests. I love the Olympic Club. One could spend the day browsing through the nearby antique stores or playing pool in the pool hall. It’s a great way to spend an evening or even a long weekend.




For those of you serious about the craft beer industry,….. March 24, 2012

Filed under: beer,breweries,Craft Beer Trade,Micro brew,Pacific Northwest Beer,WA — pnwbeerchick @ 9:51 am

   I received this publication from Valerie Chapman-Stockwell of Central Washington University.


CWU’s Craft Beer Trade Certificate Responds to Industry Needs

March 24, 2012

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — Central Washington University is one of a very small number of universities in the nation to offer an academic program about beer. The Craft Beer Trade Certificate is open to individuals 21 years or older who are interested in craft beer brewing and the craft beer industry. Launched in 2010, the goal of the program is to prepare students for careers in this important and growing Washington industry.

Craft beer is an important part of Washington’s economy. The state has more than 120 breweries, ranking second in the nation only to California in that category. Overall, the brewing industry is responsible for about 100,000 jobs in the United States. That means CWU’s certificate program produces highly sought-after graduates.

“One of our major challenges is finding new employees with the knowledge and skill set we need to staff our growing businesses,” says Dan Lee, owner of Odin Brewing Company in Seattle. “The CWU craft beer program is helping us meet that need by preparing qualified applicants for the job market.”

With an advisory board of industry professionals from companies such as Hop Union, Northwest Brewing News, Hale’s Ales, Diamond Knot, and other well-known Washington breweries, the program is geared toward industry needs. The board provides important feedback and direction to CWU faculty, ensuring that the program stays current and provides students with skills and knowledge that the industry is looking for.

Along with math and chemistry prerequisites, students in the certificate program must complete four courses (16 credits) to receive the certificate: Brewing Microbiology, Principles of Malting and Brewing, Merchandising Management for Micro Brewing, and Brew Process Technology. The program includes lectures, laboratory work, field trips, industry speakers, brewing, and tasting components. Most students can expect to complete the program in less than a year, graduating with a well-rounded knowledge of brewing and the craft beer industry.

In 2011, A.J. Keagle, a senior recreation and tourism major from Selah, was among the first to receive the certificate. ”In the courses, we explored not only the science and the equipment used in brewing, but also the business side of the industry,” he said. “I’d like to open my own brewery someday, and this program has given me opportunities that I would otherwise not have had.”

Last year’s program graduates are already working in the industry, and the second wave will graduate this spring.

The Craft Beer Trade Certificate program is a collaboration of CWU’s Office of Continuing Education and the departments of Biology, Industrial & Engineering Technologies, and Information Technology and Administrative Management.

For more information visit or e-mail

Media Contact: Franklin Pangrazi, CWU Office of Continuing Education, 509-963-1563,

Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,




Get your pig on! March 9, 2012

Filed under: beer,breweries,Micro brew,Pacific Northwest Beer,Poulsbo,WA,Washington beer — pnwbeerchick @ 8:41 pm

As many of you know I have been a big fan of Slippery Pig Brewing Company since its opening last year. And just when I think “the Pig” can’t do any better, they continue to surprise me! On a recent visit I noticed some great enhancements to the tasting area and got the chance to try some of Dave’s new creations.

The first physical enhancement of note is that the dirt road the brewery sits on has now been renamed “Slippery Pig Way.” This makes the brewery MUCH easier to find for the first timer and is a great nod to the efforts put forth by Slippery Pig’s owners: Dave and Shawna Lambert. After all, not everyone gets a street named after them! The tasting area has had a facelift as well. Still located on the farm the tasting area is now covered with reclaimed beams from the Alamo Theater that was once located in old Poulsbo. Now during any PNW weather we can sit and enjoy a pint.

Do you like scavenger hunts? Ask for a list of the “recycled” objects in the tasting area that highlights the farm and Lambert family history. Oh! And they have pigs!

Now I know you are chomping at the bit for the new beers on tap, so here goes…

Western Red Cedar Lager (6.4% ABV) – This crazy good beer has the most unusual of ingredients…Western Red Cedar tips. You read correctly. Three pounds of them are added at the end of the boil and steeped like tea giving a surprisingly beautiful, spicy flavor. The cedar is definitely present in the aroma and has a sweetness that tastes like it belongs there. I couldn’t get enough of this beer…  and neither could the other customers!

Hildisvini, Battle Swine (9.8% ABV) – One of the craziest beers I have ever had also has the craziest ingredients. Rhubarb, cinnamon stick, raisins, and caramelized squash just to name a few. Battle Swine is unfiltered, full-bodied, thick and syrupy. Lovely sweet, brown sugar and caramel finish. This is definitely a sipper and not for the faint of heart. Battle Swine is a great after dinner beer.

Slippery Pig is also a working farm with a lot of history and character so if you haven’t visited the brewery yet it is definitely worth the trip.






Coming soon: New beers from Slippery pig brewery, Hopworks beer dinner, my beer vacation, and some tasty 22 oz beers! February 24, 2012


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