Situated right in Tacoma’s downtown university-and-museum district, Harmon Brewery and Eatery buzzes with out-of-towners and locals alike, all in search of hearty food and frothy microbrews. With a 15-barrel brewery on site, Harmon maintains a steady flow of signature ales, including seasonal varieties, such as a black IPA brewed from five malted barleys and the One Hop Wonder IPA laced with melted Right Said Fred tapes. To complement the pints and the warm, cozy atmosphere—modeled after a ski lodge—the kitchen churns out belly-warming food, such as burgers topped with blue cheese and bacon, homemade stone-baked pizzas, and panko-crusted fish and chips.
Fremont Brewing Company has all the markings of a big-time brewing operation, but with smaller accents that make the place seem approachable. Just a little bit rustic, with big, wooden communal trestle tables and comfortable chairs in the adjoining taproom, Fremont also holds lots of industrial stainless steel vats and barrels inside their outsized concrete blue building. Seasonal brews on tap help to quaff the thirst of local craft beer fans, and a suppertime urban beer garden routinely fills up on sunny days. Pints are available to enjoy while on the premises, and growlers to go keep the regulars coming back. Each of the brewery’s small-batch artisan beers are made with local ingredients, and range from a handsome India Pale Ale to stouts, porters and assorted ales. The fact that the place is both kid- and dog-friendly also tells you a lot about the business.
Pyramid Alehouse pours a flavorful cascade of handcrafted draft beers, passing straight to the mug from the on-site brewery. Whether guests prefer a malty amber ale or a hoppy, Thunderhead IPA, Pyramid Alehouse’s vast menu of succulent cuisine and beer-infused bites are specially designed to complement every frothy glass. Pair down the sweetness of fruity apricot ale with a spicy platter of wheat-battered chicken wings served with extra spicy hot sauce and blue cheese ($11). Or, absorb a double dose of unfiltered Bavarian ale by pairing the Haywire Hefeweizen with a hearty helping of alehouse fish and chips, featuring Alaskan cod marinated in Haywire ($12). Though football and cheese-rolling season have finished, Pyramid Alehouse boasts a daily rotating lineup of food and drink specials to keep sports fans well fueled until the championship line-dancing semi-finals makes its triumphant return to prime time.
What to Drink
Where to Sit: Grab a table near the floor-to-ceiling picture windows that recall the building’s early days as an automotive showroom.
When to Go: during one of two happy hours, which take place every day from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close
While You’re Waiting
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: See art inspired by Star Wars, War of the Worlds, and other pop-culture staples at Ltd. Art Gallery (307 E Pike Street)
After: Catch an independant play such as Urinetown at Balagan Theatre (1524 Harvard Avenue)
The Beer: No bottles. No cans. Georgetown Brewing Company specializes in draft beer only. That means your options inside the brewery’s retail shop are limited to kegs or growlers. But if you’re lucky, you might get to sample the brewery’s latest beer before it’s released.
Kegs by the Numbers
When to Go:On Saturdays, when the brewery hosts tours.
Inside Tip: Check this list of area festivals, concerts, and other events where Georgetown Brewing Company’s beers will be on tap.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Flip through comics at Fantagraphics Books (1201 S. Vale Street).
After: Order lunch at Lect’s Soup Stop (5327 Denver Avenue S.), a small takeout restaurant with an ever-changing selection of housemade soups.
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: One of the many bars in the area that have Georgetown Brewery Company on draft; for example, 9 Pound Hammer (6009 Airport Way S) showcases the Georgetown Porter.