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.
The glowing red sign that adorns the entrance to Fire Creek Grill and Ale House, which depicts the pub's name surrounded by a raging fire, hints at the warmth inside. The sounds of clinking glasses and shuffling plates echo throughout the welcoming space, where touches such as rough stone walls lend the bar and grill traces of a rustic campground vibe. Outside, patrons can sit on a new patio complete with a gas fire pit for comfortable, cool-day lounging. The food, however, is anything but campground fare—cooks prepare a wide range of grill fare, including sizzling tacos and dungeness crab. Fire Creek offers more than just food and drink to entertain its customers, though: special events, such as Saturday-night karaoke andWednesday-night Texas Hold Em keep fun levels high throughout the week. Fire Creek Grill and Ale House also serves a weekend breakfast menu.
Avoid the industrial grapevine by putting winery work into your own grape-mashing hands. No specialized training is necessary to detect the quality and sophistication of Classic Winemakers' hand-inspected and hand-selected elements. Browse a nursery of ingredients in the pre-wine stage before the helpful winery staff ties its hands behind its back while guiding your hands through verbal and foot-signed instruction. In the kitchen, you'll mix a touch of A with a splash of B. Though, as every connoisseur knows, the answer to fine wine is always C, the yeast. Those who have never pitched eukaryotic microorganisms will discover the simplistic joy of bringing their creation some life.
Seven distinct wineries make up the South Sound Wine Trail, wrapping their vineyards along the southern end of Puget Sound from Lacey to Shelton. At each stop, visitors sample flights of handcrafted wines and meet the winemakers that produce them by tapping Washington’s majestic pine trees. Along with wineries such as Madsen Family Cellars and Scatter Creek Winery, the trail includes Vina Salida, whose wines were named “the next big thing in Washington” by the Seattle Times wine columnist in 2011.
To make their award-winning, handcrafted wines, Amy and Josh Stottlemyer source their grapes from the local eastern Washington fields in the Horse Heaven Hills, Yakima Valley, and Columbia Valley. From that harvest, they craft thirteen wines, ranging from classics such as cabernet sauvignon and malbec to less-common flavors such as barbera and viognier. At tasting rooms in Lacey, West Seattle, and Hoodsport, they raise spirits at public tastings held three to five times a week. Stottle Winery also breaks into the darkest corner of the cellar during tastings of limited and reserved wines held on the first weekend of each month, and welcomes groups for by-appointment private tastings with cheese and crackers for up to 20 guests. Revelry continues at the winery’s other private events, where up to 60 guests can mingle over munchies, hum along to live music, and aggressively sniff sommeliers to teach them what it feels like to be wine.
The saying goes that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are wineries, for that matter. That’s why though Scatter Creek Winery just passed its eighth birthday, its history stretches back many years before that, when husband and wife team Terril and Andrea Keary began cultivating the vines, recipes, and skills needed to create their unique wine blends.
Their hard work has paid off—their wines have racked up 10 medals and awards from local news outlets and festivals, most falling upon the glasses of Valley de Bon Blanco for the gewurztraminer’s dry flavor and elderberry notes. During tasting sessions, guests can sample the award winners and others, such as the spicy yet fruity Creekside Rossa pinot noir and the Glaciers End ice wine.
In the gift shop, guests can pick up bottles emblazoned with artwork from local artist Leslie Kilbourne or pick up supplies to brew their own beer or wine at home, ensuring that they no longer have to wait until their juice boxes ferment.
The unmistakable aromas of Yakima cherries, Greenbluff peaches, and Olympia strawberries perform a delicate parade across palates at Mill Lane Winery. The winery harvests and ferments berries and orchard fruit grown in Washington State, crafting wines that evoke the flavors of freshly picked fruit straight from the fields.
After moving to Tenino from Eastern Washington, Dan and Deana Ferris decided to transform their hobby of home winemaking and their passion for Pacific Northwestern fruit into a business by opening a winery. The entire family pitches in: the children help harvest the fruit each year and Dan and Deana continue to experiment with new winemaking techniques as they hope to capture the pure flavors of everything from locally grown fruits to imported Hawaiian pineapples. These fruits even appear in the winery's traditional, grape-based red and white table wines, each of which honors Dan's 40 years of experience as a basketball referee with names such as Point Guard, In Your Face, and Strawberry Wine, named after Darryl Strawberry Jr.'s Croatian League basketball career.
Although winemaking consumes most of the couple's time and energy, they also operate a smokehouse that allows Dan to continue processing and flavoring wild game.