Consider this Saturday’s Brew Five Three beer and blues festival in Tacoma a comprehensive introduction to South Sound brewers. It's perfect for lazy beer grazers who want to plow through South Sound's beer arsenal in one convenient location. Just be sure to book that designated driver. You'll need it. Every brewery of note in the South Sound region will serve at the event.
South Sound brewers comprise almost a third of the 30-plus breweries and cideries from Seattle and the rest of Washington state that will take over the area between Ninth and 11th streets on Broadway from 1-9 p.m. Saturday. The festival, now in its second year, is hosted by the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.
Four bands will play throughout the day; food will be for sale. To see which brewers are coming, see the list below, as well as the entertainment and food lists.
In perusing the list of brewers, I’ve identified a handful of brewers that South Sound beer fans won’t want to miss:
Engine House No. 9: Head brewer Shane Johns is bringing his “Nameless IPA” and the E9 Belgian White. (The brewery will have its annual sour festival Aug. 23 at the Sixth Avenue brewery. Put it on your calendar now.)
Harmon Brewing Co.: Head brewer Jeff Carlson is bringing T-Town Blonde and a reserve series barrel-aged saison, which is the latest in the Harmon’s series of tap room reserves. The base of the beer is the Harmon’s Mt. Takhoma Blonde that’s been aged in a wine barrel and injected with two different strains of saison yeast. Candied ginger and tea blends from Ubi’s in Tacoma have been added. “This combination brings out a wonderful combination of aromas and flavors with a slight tart and dry finish,” Carlson said.
Puyallup River Brewing: Brewer Eric Akeson is bringing the cream ale that earned him a silver medal in June at the Washington Beer Awards. He’ll also tap his Cucumber Lemon Saison, Batch #175 NW IPA and Mud Mountain Milk Stout.
Tacoma Brewing Co.: Brewer Morgan Alexander is bringing a mix of seasonal and flagship brews. His tap list includes Dr. Alexander's Hard Ginger Ale, Broken Window IPA, Amarillo Summer Wheat Ale, Penalty Session IPA, Aristotle's Golden Mean IPA, and NW Pale.
Wingman Brewers: Head brewer Ken Thoburn is bringing the brewery’s flagship Ace IPA and a summer brew, Tangerine Wheat, which Thoburn described as “the refreshing flavor of a German style wheat beer paired with the fresh taste and aroma of tangerines.”
Don’t miss this newcomer: Odd Otter Brewing Co. is expected to open this year in downtown Tacoma on Pacific Avenue. Stop by its booth Saturday.
Brews Five Three: Tacoma's Beer and Blues Festival
When and where: 1-9 p.m. Saturday Aug. 9, between Ninth and 11th streets on Broadway.
Eats: Athena's Food Truck, Auto Pompa Pizzeria, Fish Basket’s Mobile Fish Bar, Ice Cream Social, Lumpia World, Murph's BBQ, Quack Dogs and coffee from B Sharp Coffeehouse.
Music: Junkyard Jane at 1 p.m.; West Coast Women’s Blues Revue at 3 p.m.; The Mark Riley Trio at 5:30 p.m.; and Stephanie Anne Johnson at 7:30 p.m.
Brewers: 7 Seas Brewing, Airways Brewing Company, American Brewing Company, Backwoods Brewing Co, Bainbridge Island Brewery, Big Al Brewing, Brickyard Brewing, Diamond Knot Craft Brewing, Dick’s Brewing Company, E9 Brewery, Everybody's Brewing, Fish Brewing Company, Fremont Brewing Company, Hale's Ales, Harmon Brewing Co., Hi-Fi Brewing, Iron Horse Brewery, M. T. Head Brewing Co, Narrows Brewing, No-Li Brewhouse, Odd Otter Brewing Company, Pacific Brewing & Malting Co., Puyallup River Brewing, Rainy Daze Brewing Co., Schilling Cider, Schooner Exact, Scuttlebutt Brewing Co., Seattle Cider Company, Silver City, Tacoma Brewing Co., Tieton Cider Works, Top Rung Brewing Co., Two Beers Brewing Co., Valholl Brewing Company and Wingman Brewers. As with all things in life, this list is subject to change.