Day Trippin’ Down South to the City of Destiny

October 20th, 2009 · 2 Comments · Beer Travels, Washington Breweries

Yep, Tacoma. That’s right. The “City of Destiny” (as it became known in 1887 after it was designated as the Northern Pacific Railroad’s western terminus) about thirty minutes south of Seattle has some kick-ass beer joints you should visit. It’s not far, yet with so much going on in Seattle I understand it can be tough to get yourself down there.

This past weekend a few of us visited what are two of Tacoma’s most worthy beer spots: The Parkway Tavern and the Red Hot.

Parkway Tavern
Located in the middle of a quiet street, the Parkway is like a beacon of booze set among a row of houses. It is, in fact, an old house converted into a bar. It’s got a laid back feel and really reminds me of the vibe and setting you find at the Beveridge Place Pub here in Seattle. There are about twenty taps of pretty spectacular beer, including on this visit: Deschutes Abyss (must have been 08, but she wasn’t sure), 08 Deschutes Jubelale on cask (fantastic!), Port Townsend Hop Diggidy IPA, Big Al Fresh Hop, RR Pliny the Elder, and a bunch of other great stuff I’m forgetting (you get the idea). We visited right in the middle of college football Saturday, and the back room is a pretty sweet area to hang out for an afternoon game. Not packed at all, and a nice big screen in the game room (pool, shuffelboard, darts, etc…) made us happy campers. We didn’t partake in the food, but I’ve heard it is solid. I would be here often if I lived remotely close by. The picture on the wall in back of the aftermath of an unhappy customer coming back and ramming his car into the front of the bar is priceless.

Red Hot
Take an unpretentious bar with a sweet tap list and add a simple setup of serving good hot dogs and other easily prepared food items, and you’ve got yourself a winner. It’s so simple, yet works out so freaking well. With offerings like Double Mountain Hop Lava IPA, 21st Amendment Back in Black IPA, Ommegang Abbey Ale, and Silver City Panther Lake Porter, it won’t be hard to sit down for a couple of pints. They had around twelve beers total on draft, plus a small list of bottles. The hot dogs seem to be half of the draw here, and for good reason. Their menu has around ten different preparations you can try. The Chicago Dog was perfectly prepared and tasted great. Extra points for having Italian Beef Sandwiches and Frito Pies on the menu…very tempting to keep eating. Overall, this is a perfect place to stop in for lunch and stay for dinner while sipping on beers and watching a game on their big screen projection TV.

That’s all we had time for this trip in Tacoma. But, other places such as Harmon Brewing. the Swiss, the RAM, and Engine House #9 all deserve a visit if you have time as well. As for us, we were on to the suburbs and a sports bar called “A’s Pub & Grill”, or something like that, in Milton, WA. One of our friends is from there and we agreed to watch the UW game (what a debacle) at his old haunt. Nothing beer-worthy to mention really, other than I tried a $3 pint of the new Bud Light Golden Wheat (yeah, I know…). It was like a lighter, less flavorful version of the already dumbed-down Blue Moon. As you probably assumed, don’t even bother trying it. The notable thing about this place is that it is as good of a sports bar as anywhere I’ve found in Seattle. Lots of TVs with the sound on the game, plenty of room, and a friendly atmosphere. They didn’t have anything resembling an outstanding beer selection, but as always in Puget Sound you could at least find Manny’s, Mac & Jack’s, Black Butte, and Pyramid Snow Cap.

Tap list at the Red Hot

Tap list at the Red Hot

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