This Friday, October 1st and Saturday, October 2nd will mark the second annual Tacoma Craft Beer Fest. There’s a few really great reasons to take a short venture south on I-5 to check it out. The first three are location, location, and location. Though I have never actually been to the Foss Waterway Seaport, from what I have heard from friends and from the pictures I have seen online, it seems like a pretty fantastic locale for beer drinking. We’re talking real deal waterfront here. You can get a beer, served by a sea-lion, poured into a hallowed-out buoy, all while romping with rock stars and CEOs on million dollar yachts! Now that’s a party!
Ok, that probably won’t happen, but only because there is no possible way that a sea-lion could properly pour a beer with those weird flipper things they call hands. The TCBF will not stand for allowing any of that precious liquid to go to waste. Speaking of precious liquid, that brings me to my fourth and final “great reason” to check out TCBF this year, the beer (and really, that’s the only reason you should ever need)!
Though the website is in severe lack of detail when it comes to what will be offered, we can look at the breweries that will be in attendance and make certain assumptions about the overall quality of the event. Below you will find the complete list of breweries that will be pouring. Overall, it looks pretty impressive to me. One gripe that a die-hard beer fest goer like myself may have, about beer fest in general, is that there is a lot of brewery participant crossover from one fest to the next. In a state with such an impressive and diverse brewing pedigree, you’d think that festival curators would make more of an effort to attract some of the Northwest breweries that you don’t see at every beer fest. Because of this, I have chosen to highlight some of the new and some of the uncommon festival participants.
192 Brewing – These Kenmore, WA guys are still relatively new. If you haven’t found their product on tap at the bars and you missed them at the Fremont Oktoberfest, here is another chance. I’ll be hoping to see the Bier de Garde.
21st Amendment Brewing
7 Seas Brewing
Airways Brewing – Haven’t had a chance to try this newish Kent, WA brewery yet? Here is your chance. Check out the ESB if it’s available. I think you will find it to be a supreme example of the style.
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Big Al’s Brewing
Burris Brewing – Rhett Burris makes his beer up in Everett, but he is a Tacoma guy through and through. It is very rare to see his Jackrabbit Pale Ale on tap anywhere other than in Tacoma, but it’s growing rapidly and expansion could be right around the corner. If I’m not mistaken, he will be pouring his brand new Oktoberfest at the festival as well. Swing by his booth and be one of the first in the world to try it.
Diamond Knot Brewing
Double Mountain Brewing – This is one of my favorite newish OR breweries. I absolutely swoon over their saisons, and their IPAs are killer as well. Pretty much everything of theirs that I’ve tried has been solid. I know I’ll be stopping by their booth, no matter what is pouring.
Emerald City Beer – Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few months, you know all about Dottie, the brand new dark lager coming out of The Old Rainier Brewery space. But, just because you’ve heard all about it doesn’t mean that you’ve tried it. I know I haven’t.
Engine House #9 – If you’re not a Tacoma resident, chances are good that you are completely unaware of this brewpub. Why not check it out and see if it’s worth adding to your next Tacoma bar crawl?
Everybody’s Brewing – I always get a little chuckle out of reading this White Salmon, WA brewery’s beers off of local bar’s taplists. “Everyboby’s Brewing Daily Bread Common Ale” it would read, and I would say to myself, “…really? Why is everyone brewing a common ale? What exactly is a common ale and how is it that I seem to be the only one not brewing it? Oh, Everybody’s Brewing is the name of a brewery. Dumbass.” I see these brews on at Naked City pretty often, but in general, they are still a bit rare in these parts. Check them out if you haven’t already.
Firestone Walker Brewing – Yeah, I know, I kiss the feet of Firestone on the daily. I only highlight these guys because, for me, the willpower does not exist within to allow me to walk past their booth and not fill up my glass.
Fish Tale Ales
Full Sail Brewing
Green Flash Brewing – I’d imagine that you know about Green Flash and their near unparalleled mastery of the hop. It’s not everyday that you see these guys pouring at a Washington beer fest. One might as well take advantage, right?
Great Divide Brewing
Iron Horse Brewing
Lazy Boy Brewing
Lost Coast Brewing
Mac and Jacks
Merchant Du Vin
MT Head Brewing – These guys are from Graham, WA and have been doing the brewing thing for a little over a year now according to the website. I have never actually seen their product before, so I would be excited to get a taste. It looks like they make a brown, a pale and a red. Let’s hope the flavors aren’t as MT as their heads.
New Belgium Brewing
North Coast Brewing
Odin Brewing – A good friend and periodic columnist of Beer Blotter, Mark Leavens, recently took a job with Odin as a sales rep. He is so damn smooth that our group of friends call him “Legend”. He could be peddling the worst beer on the face of the Earth and I would still mention it here, but luckily, Odin is decidedly not making the worst beer on Earth. In fact, it’s pretty great. If they have the sour stout, don’t pussyfoot.
Ommegang Brewing – Any time this Coopertown, NY brewery with Belgian ties has a new release, I freak out. You should have seen me a few months back, asking everyone I know to keep a look out for Zuur (Flemish brown sour) bottles. “Call me if you see them,” I would say. Now the search is on for Cup o Kyndnes (Scotch ale). If they happen to be pouring either, I’ll be getting more than one.
Oskar Blues Brewing
Port Angeles Brewing – I’m not sure if this is a mistake or what, but to my knowledge PAB is no longer. If I’m wrong, I can’t wait to see how good their resurrected beers are.
RAM Tacoma (Bighorn)
Schooner Exact Brewing
Silver City Brewing
Snoqualmie Falls Brewing
Trade Route Brewing
Two Beers Brewing
Walking Man Brewing – The Columbia River Gorge breweries are really coming out in numbers for this one. We love to see it! WMB is just one of those WA breweries that we can’t get enough of. Their Black Cherry Stout and Homo Erectus IPA can be found in the Seattle market with a reasonable regularity, but that’s about it. I’ll be hoping to see some of their other fantastic brews. Give me that Jaywalker!
If anyone has any information about specific beers that will be available at the fest, please let us know. Also, if you feel like me glossed over something special, drop us a line.
**Notes of a Beer Nerd is written by Timperial Stout, our resident cellar dwelling mammal. Reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or write a comment below.***
Tuesday I celebrated my 30th birthday. Well, actually, I use the word “celebrate” loosely. The real celebration was about 2 weeks ago when the greatest friends and family a man could ever ask for threw me a “Dirty 30” surprise party (thank you all so very much!).
I also just completed a long weekend away at Treehouse Point, yet another surprise provided by my wonderful girlfriend. Point is, I’ve already done a lot of celebrating, so Tuesday, the actual anniversary of my birth, was more or less comprised of a bit of self-pampering.
After a long day at the brewery helping out Rhett Burris of Burris Brewing cook up another batch of his delightful Jackrabbit Pale Ale, I stopped at Ballard Market on my way home and grabbed some ingredients for an epic Skooby-Doo style sandwich (you know, the kind that is so tall that you need to crush it down with both hands in order for it to fit in your mouth) and, of course, some tasty adult beverages.
A Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA paired very nicely with my turkey (and a ridiculously lengthy list of accompanying ingredients) sandwich. The scent of palisade hops that filled the air of the brewery earlier in the day made me crave this member of the Seven Wonders of the Hoppy World (doesn’t exist, but it should).
Honestly, the herbal and malty sweet balance of 90 Minute is so perfect that I believe it would pair nicely with just about anything. I mean, if you told me I had to eat a shoe but I could wash it down with a 90m, I’d eat the hell out of that shoe.
The most exciting and noteworthy element of this pampering came at the very end of the night. A simple pleasure, but a pleasure without a doubt – an ice cream float! I took the simplicity to the extreme, using Rogue‘s Chocolate Stout and vanilla bean ice cream, both of which are very easily obtained at almost anywhere selling foodstuffs. I decided to give it a little pizzazz and added a few fresh raspberries.
This made me think…surely, in the vast reaches of culinary creation, there must be countless ways to pair beer with ice cream and make it delicious. With all the styles of both out there, what possibilities await us? I did a bit of brainstorming and some research, and I thought I’d share a few thoughts. Maybe the next time your sweet tooth comes a knockin’ you’ll whip up a beer float and tell us your thoughts.
Sticking with the stout motif, The imperial stouts of Southern Tier would be killer combos with vanilla, chocolate, or even fruit flavored ice creams. Try Choklat, Jah*va, Mokah, Creme Brulee, or Oat.
How about fruit lambics and ice cream? Just about any offering from Lindeman’s would be killer with vanilla. A Cantillon Kriek or any of the New Belgium Lips of Faith beers would work wonderfully as well.
Playing mad scientist with beer and ice cream seems like a darn productive use of time to me. Beer Blotter suggests that you give it a whack and let us know what pairings work best.