There’s no longer an official Tacoma beer festival, but if there were, it’d be Brew Five Three.
The city’s largest all-purpose beer event, with an impressive turnout from Tacoma and South Sound brewers, begins at 1 p.m. Saturday in downtown Tacoma. A wide range of brews will be served at the pour-anything event. Beer fans will find IPAs, sour beers, Belgian style beers, flavored experimental beers and even a gose beer.
Eighteen of 38 breweries serving at Brew Five Three are from across the South Sound, from Tacoma to Silverdale. And don’t forget those Olympia breweries. They’ll tap their beers as well.
The event is sponsored by the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.
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Brew Five Three also is a chance for South Sound beer fans to sample Seattle breweries without the drive north. Thirteen Seattle-area brewers will attend the festival.
Beer’s not the only thing on tap — two cideries also will pour. Beyond beer, three food trucks — Fish Basket, VietNom Nom and Lumpia World — will serve a range of eats. The festival will include live performances from local blues musical groups, including Duffy Bishop, the Market Street Dixieland Jass Band, the Dean Reichert Band and Paul Green Blues Band.
I checked in with Tacoma-area brewers to see what they’ll be tapping this weekend:
7 Seas: The Gig Harbor brewery plans to serve its 253 Pilsner, a classic pilsner-style lager and the Ballz Deep Double IPA.
Engine House No. 9: This Tacoma brewery will serve its Belgian white and Todd the Bod Session IPA. (Tip: E9’s sour beer festival will be at the brewery Aug. 15-16).
Harmon Brewing Co.: The Tacoma-based family of brewpubs will serve its Double Dry Hopped Pt. Defiance IPA, which is hopped a second time with Citra and Amarillo hops, as well as the brewery’s Tequila Oak Soaked Styrker Stout, which is aged on American oak soaked in tequila. Also tapped will be the brewery’s Berry Pale Tart and Raspberry Sour, which is making its brewery debut at the festival.
Lake Tapps Brewing Co.: The Sumner brewery will serve its Hibiscus Honey Blonde, made with hibiscus flowers that give the beer a pink blush. They’re also serving the house coconut porter, Coco Loco, made with toasted coconut and chocolate, and the brewery’s Emmons Glacier IPA.
M.T. Head Brewing Co.: The Graham brewery will tap its Southern Hemisphere CDA, made with New Zealand hops; its Smooth Head Cream Ale and what the brewery calls its “experimental pepper beer,” the Chipotle Brown Ale, which is M.T. Head’s American style brown ale infused with habanero, jalapeno and chipotle peppers. Said brewer Tim Rockey, “You get a tobacco and pepper flavor with a little lingering heat on the tongue and throat.”
Narrows Brewing: This Tacoma brewery plans to serve its experimental anniversary beer made with Citra and Centennial hops, Area 13 Imperial IPA, as well as its Celeste Belgian Blond and Giant Pacific Octopus IPA.
Odd Otter Brewing Co.: This downtown Tacoma brewery will be serving its Ottermelon Hefeweizen, made with watermelon, the Notteronsense IPA and Ottzel Quatzel, based on an old Peruvian purple corn beer recipe.
Pacific Brewing and Malting Co.: This Tacoma brewery will serve its 1897 Pale Lager, which is named after the opening year of the historical Pacific Brewing and Malting (after which the modern brewery is named). Dirty Skoog IPA and Prairie Line IPA also will be poured by the brewery.
Tacoma Brewing Co.: This St. Helens neighborhood brewery will serve its Capo Blood Orange IPA and Hard Ginger Ale Cocktail. Said brewer Morgan Alexander of the ale cocktail, “It’s made with our Dr. Alexander's Hard Ginger Ale, pineapple juice and aromatic bitters, and a refreshing non-alcoholic sparkling Hop Tonic made with hops and cinchona bark, which is the quinine containing ingredient in tonic water.”
Wingman Brewers: This Dome District brewery will be pouring its Prop Wash IPA and a Lime Gose, which brewer Ken Thoburn described as, “a re-emerging German style of beer that almost disappeared as a beer style for many, many years. We are one of the breweries breathing new life to this old world style. It is a slightly sour beer brewed with sea salt.” The beer also is served with “a healthy serving of fresh lime juice.”
BREW FIVE THREE: TACOMA’S BEER AND BLUES FESTIVAL
When: 1-8 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Downtown Tacoma on Broadway between South Ninth and 11th streets.
Tickets: $30 at the door, with discounts for military ($25) and designated drivers ($10). 21 and older only.
Info: Entry buys six tastes of beers from 38 brewers. Food trucks will serve all kinds of cuisine. Live music throughout the event.
Also happening: An after-festival party will begin at 8:01 p.m. at Odd Otter Brewing. Details here.
Brewers: 7 Seas Brewing, Backwoods Brewing Co., Bainbridge Brewing, Big Horn Bewing/Ram, Black Raven Brewing, Brickyard Brewing, Diamond Knot Craft Brewing, Dick’s Brewing Co., Engine House No. 9 Brewing, Elysian Brewing, Everybody’s Brewing, Fremont Brewing, Hale’s Ales, Harmon Brewing Co., Hi-Fi Brewing, Hilliard’s Beer, Lake Tapps Brewing Co., Mac & Jack’s Brewing Co., Maritime Pacific Brewing Co., M.T. Head Brewing, Narrows Brewing, No-Li Brewhouse, Odd Otter Brewing Co., Pacific Brewing and Malting Co., Powerhouse Brewery, Rainy Daze Brewing Co., Schilling Hard Cider, Schooner Exact Brewing Co., Seattle Cider Co., Silver City Brewery, Snipes Mountain Brewery, Sound Brewery, Tacoma Brewing Co., Top Rung Brewing Co., Two Beers Brewing Co., Wet Coast Brewing and Wingman Brewers.
Up next: The Washington Beer Commision will hold an IPA festival featuring 30 Washington brewers, with several South Sound brewers serving. Tickets ($20 advance purchase) are on sale now for the Aug. 29 festival, which will be held at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall. More information at washingtonbeer.com.