Get ready for some serious sudsy action.
Monday through Saturday, more than 30 beer-themed events will be held at 15 Tacoma venues for the third Tacoma Beer Week, an annual ode to all things beer.
Brewers all over Tacoma have been busy coming up with new kinds of hoppy beer, sour beer, gruit beer, beer aged in a bourbon barrel and beer brewed with coconut.
Brewers, taprooms and taverns are planning a beer-tasting festival, brewer-tap takeovers, a collaboration beer created by nine Tacoma brewers, a five-course beer-themed dinner and an invitational challenge to see which brewer’s India pale ale reigns supreme.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The event is a collaboration of several Tacoma breweries. This year’s organizers include beer “commissioner” and event founder Zoe Brackney, Andy Kenser of Pacific Brewing and Malting, Ken Thoburn of Wingman Brewers, and Ron Swarner of the upcoming beer emporium, Peaks and Pints.
Brackney calls Tacoma Beer Week a terrific collaboration without pretense.
“This event is about our genuine passion for beer,” she said. “There’s so much camaraderie among the brewers and sure there’s a sense of competition, but at the end, there’s kindness and support. We think that’s what makes the Tacoma beer community so unique.”
The goal, she said, is to connect the South Sound community with breweries, taprooms, taverns and stores specializing in South Sound beer, and the brewers themselves.
Here are five events you won’t want to miss. For a complete schedule, see tacomabeerweek.com.
SudsPop: The Beatles’ Revolver in Beer
Details: 6-10 p.m. Monday, The Copper Door, 12 N. Tacoma Ave; 253-212-3708, thecopperdoor.net.
“When I heard the Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ album, my favorite, was celebrating its 50th anniversary the first week in August, I thought it would be wonderful to mark the occasion with local craft beer” said Swarner, the architect of this event and owner of Peaks and Pints, the Proctor neighborhood beer emporium and restaurant that might open by late August.
He corralled eight brewers to each brew a beer inspired by songs from the album.
Said Swarner, “Tacoma Brewing quickly grabbed ‘And Your Bird Can Sing.’ Owner Morgan Alexander will brew a beer with sunflower seeds, quinoa, millet, flaked corn and milk thistle — aka bird seed.”
“Bethany Carlsen, head brewer at Pacific Brewing and Malting Co., brewed an aromatic IPA called ‘Smelleanor Rigby.’ Wingman Brewers will brew an Imperial Stout called ‘Bigger Than Jesus.’ Harmon Brewing offers a take on ‘Taxman.’ E-9 Brewery will translate ‘Love You To’ into beer. 7 Seas Brewing’s has a ‘Yellow Submarine’ beer. Odd Otter has a beer adaptation of ‘Good Day Sunshine.’ Narrows Brewing will brew ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ into beer,” said Swarner.
Swarner will be the guy behind the bar sporting the trippy glasses.
Tacoma Beer Week IPA Challenge Invitational
Details: 5-8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Parkway Tavern, 313 N. I St., Tacoma; 253-383-8748, facebook.com/TheParkwayTavern.
This is the second year for the IPA Challenge — an epic, bare-knuckle brewing contest featuring India pale ale. Parkway Tavern manager Sean Jackson said any India pale ale can be entered, with a few guidelines. The beer can be dry hopped, but cannot include any of what Jackson described as “adjuncts.” Those would be “fruit zest, spices, fairy dust, etc.”
Here’s the fun part: It’s a blind tasting competition. That means tap handles will be numbered so patrons drinking — and voting — won’t know which beer came from which brewer. Jackson said flights of small tastes will be laid out on a tasting sheet, and patrons can vote for their favorites by number. The top three will earn a spot at the tavern’s annual IPA Festival, set for Aug. 27.
Returning for the competition are Engine House No. 9, Harmon Brewing Co., Narrows Brewing, Odd Otter Brewing, Pacific Brewing and Malting, Tacoma Brewing Co. and Wingman Brewers. New to the competition this year will be 7 Seas Brewing and the Ram Restaurant and Brewery.
Winners will be announced that night at the tavern, which will be celebrating its 81st anniversary with a party Saturday.
Brewer’s Dinner with Pacific Brewing & Malting Co.
Details: 4-11 p.m. Thursday at The Table, 2715 Sixth Ave., Tacoma; 253-327-1862, thetabletacoma.com. Call The Table for reservations.
This team-up event is a collaboration dinner between Tacoma chef Derek Bray of The Table and Kenser, the Tacoma Beer Week organizer.
The $40 five-course tasting menu at The Table will include heirloom tomato and Chinook salmon tartar, Peking duck with cherries and charred beet, calamari and pork chorizo with cantaloupe relish, seared elk with roasted mushrooms and hazelnuts, and fried banana with banana ice cream and anglaise for dessert. Paired with the courses will be the brewery’s Montamara Summer Ale, 1897 Pale Lager, Citra Pale Ale, Red Front Session Red and Pacific Brewing Porter.
South Tacoma Sour Tummy
Details: 6-11 p.m. Aug. 5 at Edison City Alehouse, 5602 S. Lawrence St., Tacoma; 253-301-3593, edisoncityalehouse.com.
Pucker up, Tacoma, it’s going to be a sour ride. The South Tacoma Sour Tummy will feature sour brews from far and near, said Robby Bessey, who co-owns the Edison City Alehouse in South Tacoma, where the sour festival will be held.
“Taking the lead from the wildly successful Seattle Beer Week, we think that Tacoma Beer Week should be an opportunity to bring in and offer people some great beer from outside our market that isn’t normally available to us,” said Bessey.
He sourced 15 sour beers, including brews from Oregon brewers Cascade Brewing, Great Notion and Block 19 and Seattle’s Holy Mountain. Tacoma’s Engine House No. 9 will contribute its sour beers, From Pasadena With Love, Barry Manilow and Nefelibata.
Dunagan Brewing, which opened last year in downtown Tacoma, has saved a keg of its gruit for the sour fest. Jesse Dunagan’s gruit is called Capetown, a take on an ancient style of brewing that used herbs such as heather in lieu of hops to flavor beer. Dunagan infuses his beer with heather, African redbush (rooibos) and honey. “This beer has a wonderfully herbal sour-citrus and tart profile,” said Dunagan.
Beyond those selections, there will be “... a couple very rare sour kegs that we’re keeping as a surprise,” said Bessey.
Food truck Ham Hock Jones, known for its pulled pork grilled cheese sandwich, will serve at the event, and Kareem Kandi will perform jazz.
Beer Fest of Destiny
Details: Noon-6 p.m. Aug. 6, hosted by Wingman Brewers but held in an adjacent building at 525 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma; 253-256-5240, wingmanbrewers.com.
What happens when nine brewers get together and each is asked to bring a bag of favorite hops?
A truly Tacoma India pale ale.
Earlier this month, brewers from 7 Seas, Gig Harbor Brewing, Harmon Brewing Co., Narrows Brewing, Odd Otter Brewing, Pacific Brewing and Malting, Tacoma Brewing, Wet Coast Brewing and Wingman Brewers gathered to make a collaboration brew, which has become an annual tradition for Tacoma Beer Week.
Brewers fished around in their hop stash and came up with a wicked blend of amarillo, azacca, comet, arcanum, citra, mosaic and bravo.
The collaboration ale, called 9 Way Collaboration IPA, will be on tap along with beer from at least eight Tacoma breweries at the Beer Fest of Destiny, which is co-hosted and presented by Wingman Brewers, Tacoma Beer Week and the South Sound Craft Crawl.
A $20 fee gets 10 5-ounce tastes; entry to the beer garden is $8, which includes live music from reggae band 3 Lil Birds, outlaw country band Forest Beutel and rock band Cashing in Karma. Food trucks will serve a variety of food at the festival.
Tapped at the festival will be beer from 7 Seas, Cockrell Hard Cider, Dunagan Brewing, Gig Harbor Brewing Co., Harmon Brewing Co., Narrows Brewing, Pacific Brewing and Malting, Wet Coast Brewing, Wingman Brewers and other local breweries.
Tacoma Beer Week
When: Sunday-Aug. 6
Where: 15 venues throughout Tacoma.
South Sound Craft Crawl returns
The South Sound Craft Crawl passport has returned for a second year. The program is a collaboration between local breweries, Travel Tacoma + Pierce County and the Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau. Visitors who collect 15 stamps, of the 21 breweries and cidery stops listed, will earn a 32-ounce mini growler. Find a passport at participating breweries or at southsoundcraftcrawl.com.