Twenty brewers will pour more than 60 beers Saturday at Tacoma’s first winter beer festival on the Foss Waterway.
The Big Beer Festival has two sessions that will run from noon-4 p.m. and 4:30-8:30 p.m.
The $25 admission at the door comes with a tasting glass and tokens for six tastes.
Nine South Sound brewers will pour: 7 Seas, Dick’s, Duo, Engine House No. 9, Harmon, M.T. Head, Silver City, Tacoma Brewing and Wingman. Also pouring are regional and national craft brewers. The festival is produced by the same organizers who host the summer Tacoma Craft Beer Festival.
Among the big flavors at the festival will be one unique Washington collaboration that created beer with an unexpected flavor profile. Harmon Brewing partnered with Spokane distiller Dry Fly to barrel age three of its beers: a stout, winter ale and harvest ale.
Think of barrel aging the beer as you would wine or distilled spirits. Jeff Carlson, head brewer at Harmon Brewing, explained that the barrels used at Harmon “were originally used to hold wheat whiskey. When you put a beer in there, you’ll pick up residual flavors of the whiskey … you’ll get flavors of vanilla with the oak.”
Of the three, the harvest ale is expected to be the fullest in flavor. “I used a bunch of spices as well. After the beer was done, we let it age. I wasn’t trying to make a pumpkin beer, just create some complexity. I did a great job at that, the flavors of the pumpkin, cinnamon and spices on the finish of the beer. That one is the best in the barrels. That beer is amazing,” Carlson said.
Look for the barrel-aged beers on tap at the Harmon restaurants and other locations after the festival.
Here is the complete list of breweries pouring at Saturday’s Festival: 7 Seas Brewing, 21st Amendment, American Brewing, Big Al’s Brewing, Deschutes Brewery, Dicks Brewing, Duo Brewing, Engine House No. 9, Full Sail, Georgetown Brewing, Harmon Brewing, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Ninkasi Brewing Company, M.T. Head Brewing Co., New Belgium Brewery, Port Townsend, Silver City Brewing, Tacoma Brewing, Two Beers Brewing Co. and Wingman Brewing.
Tacoma Big Beer Festival
When: Saturday, two sessions, noon-4 p.m. and 4:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Foss Waterway Seaport, 705 Dock St., Tacoma (a new location)
Contact: tacomacraft beerfest.com
Cost: $25 buys six tasting tokens and a beer glass. As of deadline, door tickets to the first session sold out. Some tickets available at outlets – check website.
Pouring: 20 breweries pouring more than 60 beers.
Proceeds: Benefiting YWCA Pierce CountySue Kidd: 253-597-8270 email@example.com