Tag Archives: TACOMA WA


E9 Firehouse & GastropubEngine House No. 9

After leaving Puget Sound-sited Harmon Pub, took the two-mile journey up the hill to former fire station, ENGINE HOUSE NO. 9 BREWERY & RESTAURANT. A historic Tacoma landmark visited December ’09, brewer Shane Johns keeps patrons comin’ with his healthy selection of barleywines, Belgian-inspired brews, and archetypal American ales.

A red-black courtyard with chairs and tables fronts the red-bricked antique wood-furnished restaurant (with archaic garage doors next to side entrance). Behind the dining area lies the crown jewel, a rustic 10-seat back bar with beautiful wood mural serving Johns’ surefire creations. A private banquet area upstairs adds to the charm. Windowed brew tanks on the attached right side maroon-bricked space served eleven libations this fortuitous autumn afternoon.

Best selections included sweet whiskey-wafted ’04 Barleywine, with its pureed banana-cherry creaminess illuminating candied apple, cotton candy, and coconut oil undertones. Rum-soaked medicinal-strength ’06 Oak-Aged Barleywine gathered butterscotch, almond paste, and bruised cherry illusions. Saison-styled Flemish Sour revealed oaken cherry dryness, white grape tannins, Granny Smith apple tartness, and lime-y cranberry pucker.

Another favorite, simply called Tacoma Brew, saturated grassy Saaz-hopped lemon-seeded orange-peeled bitterness with honey malt glaze. Equally impressive, Ecuadorian chocolate sweetened hop-roasted black cherry fruiting and dry cappuccino finish of mild Chocolate Stout. Coffee-roasted espresso-milked black chocolate-y Porter sufficed.

Onward, subtly fruited Rowdy Dick Amber allowed buttery crystal malts to sweeten lemon custard, green grape, red apple, and tangerine nuances. Both red apple-whiffed soft-watered crystal-malted Scottish Ale and hop-bitten wood-lacquered yellow-red-fruited India Pale Ale hit the stylistic mark.

Lemon-candied souring, subtle orange peel bittering, and grassy-hopped coriander spicing branded Belgian White. Hop-sharpened dried fruits inundated nutty tea-like cocoa malting of Engine House staple, Fire Engine Red.



harmon-tacoma-20141102-078.jpgTACOMA, WASHINGTON

Open since 1997, downtown Tacoma’s HARMON PUB & BREWERY sits across from the Washington State History Museum at Thea Foss Waterway’s Puget Sound base. Visited December ’09, green patio benches at the entrance welcome customers to Harmon’s ski lodge atmosphere.

Skiing paraphernalia bedecks the walls, exposed pipes lend an Industrial feel, and TV’s at all corners capture the eye from right side wood bar. American cuisine menu featured recommended halibut fishwich. Windowed brew tanks behind the bar served two dark seasonals alongside six regular brews.

On the wintry dark side, magnificent Scott’s Puget Creek Vanilla Porter poured creamy vanilla ice cream sweetness atop chocolate-y pecan-hazelnut-macadamia richness and port-burgundy illusions. Nearly as rewarding, Diamond Pete Dry Stout placed hop-charred barley-roasted dark chocolate above cherry-pureed cocoa-chalked vanilla-cappuccino conflux.

Mild-spiced wheat-honeyed cereal-grained Vienna Lager, with its biscuit-y cornbread midst and chestnut-pecan subsidy, bested lemony hard-candied orange-tart wheat-flaked wet-grassed dry body Mt. Takhoma Blonde Ale and mildly vegetal spice-hopped lemon-bruised herbal-tinged apple-orange-fruited Pinnacle Peak Pale Ale.

Malt-soured floral-scented orange-dried honey-nutty Brown’s Point ESB lacked initiative. Genteel in its soft approach, woody-hopped Point Defiance IPA shines grapefruit-centered apricot-apple-pear fruiting across creamy caramel malts.

Creamy mocha-caramelized Puget Sound Porter soaked hazelnut coffee into roasted chocolate, vanilla bean, black cherry, and sour raisin illusions, becoming an instant fave.