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Drink, eat and then go for a run to celebrate the reopening of the Murray Morgan Bridge

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on Feb. 13, 2013 at 11:20 am | No Comments »
February 13, 2013 6:37 pm

harmon 11th street ipa label

There will be p-l-e-n-t-y of beer, cocktails, sandwiches and even truffle soup served downtown this week to celebrate the reopening of the Murray Morgan bridge in Tacoma. To burn off all those calories – how about a fun run across the bridge Thursday? Here are all the dining events through this weekend:

11th Street IPA – served all over downtown beginning tomorrow, Feb. 14

When beer guys celebrate – they really know how to party. As a nod to the reopening of the Murray Morgan Bridge – also called the 11th Street Bridge – Harmon Brewing is shipping kegs of its commemorative 11th Street IPA all over downtown. The beer will be on tap tomorrow. Hop heads – find it fast, the brew will be in limited supply.

The reopening of the bridge is big news for downtown – not only because the bridge connects downtown businesses with the Tideflats, but because business owners like Pat Nagle of the Harmon have a quirky affinity for Tacoma landmarks (TNT columnist Pete Callaghan covered that sentiment in this story) “I’m a big Tacoma history buff and Murray Morgan – I actually met him down at the Harmon when we first opened,” said Nagle in a phone interview last week. How do beer guys celebrate a landmark? With an homage in hops. Nagle and Harmon head brewer Jeff Carlson went digging in the Harmon’s storage for 11 kinds of hops and decided to shoot for 100 IBUS  – those are units that measure the level of bitter in a beer – to commemorate the bridge’s 100th year.

Carlson said they used a combination of hops that would give the beer a memorable flavor profile. The beer was brewed with zythos, falconer’s flight, columbus, centennial, magnum, horizon, rainier, palisade, amarillo, summit and simcoe hops. And because he just couldn’t get it hoppy enough? He dry hopped with amarillo. I really wanted to know how you dry hop a large quantity of beer. Carlson described the bags of hops suspended in the brew as enormous. “It’s like pulling a body from the river, they’re sitting in the beer for so long. You pull them out, they’re just dripping. They’re a tasty treat to take some runnings off those bags – you want to talk about some bitter,” said Carlson.

The Harmon is distributing small kegs of the brew all over town. Find the beer starting Thursday – while supplies last – at these restaurants and bars: Rock The Dock, The Swiss, Pacific Grill, Melting Pot, El Gaucho, Harmon Brewery on Pacific, The Office Bar and Grill, Meconi’s, Anthem, Two Koi and Matador. The beer also will be served beyond downtown at the Parkway, Red Hot, Puget Sound Pizza, The Mix and the Ale House. The Harmon Tap Room on St. Helens also will serve it.

How about some truffle soup and a cocktail before your fun run across the bridge?

El Gaucho will serve 11 items for $11 each from 4-9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 4-6 p.m. and 9-11 p.m. Friday and 9-11 p.m. Saturday. Find the full menu here.

The magic words are “I LOVE the Murray Morgan Bridge” to redeem dining specials at downtown area businesses, which include:

* Get $5 sandwiches or salad or $3 16-ounce coffees at Vinum Coffee and Lounge.
* Get a free cup of coffee or tea at the checkout at Tacoma Food Co-Op
* Get free smoothie boosts or a $2 pour-over coffee at Smooth & Juicey
* Get 11 percent off the Murray Morgan Brat through Feb. 15 at The Red Hot

Light the Bridge 5K Walk/Run, Thursday, Feb. 14, 6 p.m.

The city will host a fun walk and run Thursday over the Murray Morgan Bridge. Participants should wear head lamps, carry flashlights or put on glow stick necklaces to be safe. The run/walk begins at 11th and A Streets. Registration is $15 through the Tacoma City Marathon Association. Shirts are $10 and may be in limited supply for those who did not advance register. Registration info here.

Re-dedication Ceremony – don’t miss it.

It’s 10 a.m. Friday Feb. 15 at 11th and A Streets. Here’s something really neat – Nagle told me by email this morning that Murray Morgan’s daughter intends to use a bottle of 11th Street IPA to christen the bridge Friday.

More details about the re-dedication are here.

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