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Beer around town: Wingman Brewery will open a taproom near the Tacoma Dome, Harmon Taproom has pumpkin ale, Chambers Bay Grill hosts a beer dinner, the Ram wins a beer medal

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on Oct. 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm | 3 Comments »
October 25, 2011 4:55 pm

Wingman Brewers has been tapping its beer around Tacoma since the niche brewery opened in April. And now they’re about to expand. Wingman just applied for a permit to open a taproom and brewery at 509 ½ Puyallup Avenue –next door to the Habitat for Humanity store near the Dome. They don’t expect the taproom to be in operation for at least four more months. Until then, they’ll continue to operate out of their small space at 1727 Fawcett. Their new Puyallup Avenue location is an improvement for selling their beer – they’ll have a tasting room open to the public for the first time.

The brewery is owned and operated by four partners – Ken Thoburn, Derrick Moyer, Daniel Heath, and Jason Sabol. I first wrote about the small brewery here. Right now, their beer is on tap at Villa Caffe and Imbibery, 208 Garfield, Magoo’s Annex, New Frontier Lounge and Metronome.

“We’re at capacity at our space,” said Ken Thoburn by phone earlier today. That capacity is four barrels a week. The move to a bigger space will increase production and will also invite the public to watch their brewing process. The taproom “will be integrated with the brewery so people can see and watch the brewery process and see everything in the brewery. It’s just going to be a small space where people can come in and try some beer, talk to the brewers and owners, fill their growlers.” Thoburn said they don’t have plans to prepare or sell food. If you’re looking for a comparison, Thoburn said their new operation will look something like 7Seas in Gig Harbor. They’re not sure if they’ll keep the Fawcett location brewing.

Here’s something new from the brewery: They’re working on a Belgium strong ale right now, which will join their lineup of beers: the P-51 porter, the Pin-Up pale ale and Ace IPA. The Belgium strong ale has been tapped on a trial run basis at a few places, but has not yet been named.

CHAMBERS BAY GRILL BREWMASTER’S DINNER

Chambers Bay Grill will have a brewmaster’s dinner with Seattle’s Big Al Brewing at 6 p.m. Friday Oct. 28 at the University Place restaurant, Cost is $65 per person, call 253-460-4653 ext. 115 to reserve your seat.

Here’s the menu:
First course: Brioche Cuban sliders, lime grilled prawns with citrus-jalapeño gelée, chili dusted potato chips. Paired with: Papa Charlie’s pale ale
Second course: Hood Canal oysters 3 ways: Chelada shooter, serrano wrapped, and baked. Paired with: Irish Red
Third course: Spiced harvest bisque in a roasted pumpkin bowl with chicharrón and cinnamon crèma. Paired with: Brougham Bitter
Fourth course: Maple lacquered veal shank with tempura Walla Walla onion rings, root vegetable hash and roma tomato confit. Paired with: Smoked Porter
Fifth course: “Trick or Treat,” house-made candy bars. Paired with: Winter Warmer

GET IT WHILE IT LASTS: PUMPKIN ALE

The Harmon Taproom is now serving Pumpkin spiced blonde ale. They’re selling pints and growlers of the limited production brew. Click this link to find the taproom, which has an outdoor beer garden for lovely, sunny October days like today.

THE RAM WINS A MEDAL AT THE GREAT AMERICAN BEER FESTIVAL

The Ram Restaurant & Brewery won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival earlier this month. That’s the big-deal brewing competition held every year in Denver, Colo. The Ram’s Big Horn Blonde won the gold medal in the Golden/Blonde Ale category.

Ram head brewer Steve Samuelson told me by phone that this was the 39th medal for the Northwest brewery with locations in Tacoma, Lakewood, Lacey and Puyallup. The blonde is one of the most credentialed beers they brew, he said. “The blonde is one of our flagship beers. We’ve brewed it for 16 years.” The winning brew was created by Scott Barron, who previously was head brewer at the Lakewood location.

Said Samuelson of the beer, “It’s a real light, crisp clean easy drinking golden ale, subtle malt flavors and a subtle aroma. It’s crisp and clean and easy to drink, a step up form domestic ale. It’s more complex, a little more flavor and body.”

While the brewery does not sell the beer in bottles here, it’s tapped at the Ram restaurants, and also for sale in take-home growlers. Here’s a tip: Growlers are discounted to $5.99 on Saturdays for a 64-ounce take-home growler (the empty growler jugs are $5, and are refillable). The discount growlers are offered every Saturday at the Lacey, Lakewood, Tacoma, South Hill Puyallup and Puyallup Sunrise Village locations.

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