Eric Akeson is operating at warp brewery speed - not even a year ago he started his Puyallup River Brewery selling bottles of beer to local bottle shops and groceries stores like Tacoma Boys. Today, he opens his Puyallup River Alehouse - a taproom in downtown Puyallup where he'll pour his own craft beers and some of his favorites from other South Sound and nationally known craft brewers. Think of the alehouse as a craft beer emporium, something like The Red Hot or The Parkway. Akeson plans his unofficial "soft opening" today and tomorrow, with a more formal opening this weekend.
Although Akeson just started his brewery in 2012, he's long been known as a brewer and craft beer enthusiast. He started working in Kirkland's Rose Hill Alehouse in the 1990s and became a home brewer on the side. A career, marriage and parenting two daughters detoured his brewing for close to a decade, but he started planning a back-yard brewery in 2010. He built an outbuilding - about 20 by 24 feet - with a full one-barrel system producing about 32 gallons at a time. In that outbuilding, he started brewing beers with names nodding to Puyallup or Mount Rainier landmarks: Electron IPA, Frying Pan Cascadian Red Ale, Lahar Imperial IPA, South Hill Pale Ale. More beers followed, including specialty seasonal brews like the Jack O'Lahar Pumpkin Ale and Aketoberfest Harvest Ale.
His downtown Puyallup alehouse is just that - a place for beer and only beer. There's no kitchen or menu, although Akeson is hoping to someday attract mobile food vendors to serve door-side and outside food is allowed (tip: Trackside Pizza is nearby and so is My Cheese Shoppe - beer and cheese, anyone?). Akeson's alehouse used to hold Pioneer Bakery. The building was completely remodeled. The front of the space has tables and there's a pool table and other games, too. Check out the opening day tap list below. Warning: The taps change frequently, what you see listed may not be available.
Puyallup River AlehouseWhere: 120 S. Meridian, Puyallup Opening: Today at 3 p.m. No official operating hours have been announced.Info: Puyallup River Brewing Facebook page here. Find the website here.Read my other stories about Puyallup River Brewing here and here.