There are neighborhood pubs that beckon with warm surroundings.
They’re places for quiet pondering. Pub goers murmur quietly to barkeeps, who reply with careful words. The tap list is succinct, and the food tasty and uncomplicated.
Beer Star Tacoma is none of those things.
It’s as loud and hectic as a frat party with toddlers in charge.
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You can’t even hear the barkeep, so don’t bother confiding your secrets.
There’s nothing dull about a peanut butter and bacon burger served from the food truck parked outside.
Tacoma’s newest taproom opened Dec. 6 with a tap list 50 deep and a refrigerator case stocked with 400 kinds of beers. In the scheme of Tacoma taprooms, it’s not breaking any new territory. Its beer list isn’t as deep or beer geeky as The Red Hot, a neighbor just down the street. It breaks no new ground that Copper Door and Pint Defiance haven’t already cornered.
Yet it has one huge attribute that likely will be appealing to locals. It’s extremely kid friendly, which is a welcome to parents frustrated at having to hunt down a sitter to go anywhere that has decent beer offerings in this city. Think about it. The city’s best taprooms are mostly 21 and older. This will be life changing for some parents.
Here are five things to know before you make your first visit.
1. Get off my lawn! I instantly recoiled upon entry because the noise bounced against all the hard surfaces.
The deafening noise level was made worse by the loud music.
“We were getting used to our new Sonos music system the first few days, the sound/noise level is much better now,” said Galen Krohn, one of the business partners along with Patrick Riggs and Deveaux Hill.
Behind the project are James Weimann and Deming Maclise, who own multiple restaurants and entertainment venues from Seattle to Tacoma, including the Bavarian-themed beer hall Rhein Haus in the Stadium neighborhood.
2. The lineup of beers is deep with 50 choices priced about $5.25 to $9.75 a glass. I didn’t spot anything ultra beer geeky, but Krohn said cool stuff is on the way, and Beer Star will feature plenty of local pours from Engine House No. 9, Narrows Brewing, Pacific Brewing & Malting, Wingman Brewers and 7 Seas.
3. The beer-by-the-bottle selection is now in full swing in the refrigerated cases. There are 400 craft brews and ciders in bottles and cans.
4. The play area is magnificent. The mom stamp of approval goes to the ring of benches surrounding the area that will help corral unwieldy toddlers. There’s a chalkboard for drawing and a big play table to keep a preschooler engaged for at least 15 minutes. The bonus of the taproom being so incredibly loud is that nobody will notice a screaming baby in the corner. Bring your fussy kid. Nobody will care.
5. There’s a limited menu with snacks such as cheese at the ordering counter, but the real food draw will be the food trucks serving daily just outside. Find the truck schedule at the taproom’s Facebook page, https://bit.ly/2PSGofa. So far, Boss Mama’s Kitchen has served its over-the-top burgers, Sirius Wood Fired Pizza has baked its outstanding wood-fired pies, and Street Eats Mobile Eatery has brought its menu of exquisite sandwiches to the taproom.
Beer Star Tacoma
Where: 4328 Sixth Ave., Tacoma
Info: 253-300-7747, https://bit.ly/2PSGofa
Hours: 4-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4-11 p.m. Fridays, 12-11 p.m. Saturday, 12-9 p.m. Sunday