The brew-fueled business Peaks and Pints opens next week in the Proctor neighborhood and brings with it:
▪ A craft beer taproom where brew nerds can wave their geek flags.
▪ A bottle shop with a broad and deep selection of beer in bottles, as well as growler fills.
▪ A tavern with tasty sandwiches.
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The tavern/restaurant/beer emporium will open in a building that previously was a five-and-dime and movie theater. Opening day is planned for Oct. 26, but that’s contingent on permits and inspections. Check facebook.com/peaksandpintstacoma for updates.
It’s a project steered by Ron Swarner, who locals will know from his days running his family’s newspaper, The Weekly Volcano, where he was an entertainment writer and beer columnist.
He sold his interest in that newspaper to his brother in 2015 so he could parlay his love for fine beer into a business that is part neighborhood hangout ( grownups only) and part craft-beer geekdom.
When Swarner was devising his plan, he made a list of three potential business partners. He didn’t have to ask beyond the first names: Robby and Justin Peterson, who are tavern royalty in Tacoma.
The brothers are the offspring of one of the founders of The Swiss and co-owners of two taverns: The Valley in the Tacoma Dome neighborhood (they co-own it with X Group restaurants, owners of Asado and Engine House No. 9) and the Peterson Bros. Eleven Eleven in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood.
They’re known for producing tasty sandwiches.
That’s exactly what will comprise the menu at Peaks and Pints: sandwiches, along with soups, salads, appetizers and vegan/vegetarian offerings. The Peterson brothers are known for building sturdy sandwiches on hoagies at The Eleven Eleven, but at Peaks and Pints their bread of choice will be focaccia. As Swarner describes the menu, “It’ll be simple, comforting food.”
The old 3,800-square-foot building has undergone a major overhaul, which is why the project was delayed nearly a year. It was stripped to the bones of its early days as a 1920s-era movie theater, complete with the sloping wooden floor.
It’s being rebuilt with a Northwest lodge sort of feel. Swarner described a 40-seat glass atrium with a fireplace “right in front of the window, street-side.” It’ll look like a campfire inside the building, he said. The atrium is still under construction and will open in about a month.
Total seating will be around 100 and Swarner said table service will be offered. There will be 28 taps, but it won’t be just beer on those taps. He’ll also offer cider, cold-brew coffee from Tacoma’s Bluebeard Coffee Roasters, a tap for the fermented drink kombucha, and even wine on tap. The rest of the taps will feature — you guessed it — a far-flung selection of domestic craft and international beers. And, yes, he has nitro taps (nitrogenated beer is a smoother, richer beer drinking experience).
And those beers will be poured from a — tree? “Our tap tree is a true tree,” said Swarner. “It’s a Western red cedar that weighed 600 pounds.” It’s been drilled with 28 taps and polished. “It’s absolutely beautiful.”
The rest of the interior includes an expansive bar made from wood salvaged from Nalley Valley pickle barrels, tall wainscoting and hand-forged copper light fixtures.
And now for the beer geekery.
Taps will be listed on an electronic screen that provides not only the alcohol by volume and the international bitterness units for each beer, but also will alert customers when a tap is running low. The refrigerated case will go deep on choices with more than 700 bottles featuring domestic and international craft beers.
Then there’s this: Beers will be poured in glassware specific to the style of brew. That means barleywines will be poured into snifters; Belgian beers will be served in tulip glasses and pints will be poured in “nonics,” a style of glassware (that I had to look up) with a bulging edge near the top of the glass. “It enhances the aroma of the beer, so when you’re drinking it, you’ll get the full flavor and taste,” said Swarner.