Saturday, August 5th, 2017

Brew Five Three, Tacoma Beer Week and Central Washington University craft brewing certificate program

Ron Swarner

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Peaks and Pints will celebrate Tacoma Beer Week with the craft breweries and cidery from the Columbia River Gorge at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6.

MORNING FOAM FOR SATURDAY, AUG. 5 2017: A seven-taster flight of craft beer news, from the fluffy head all the way to the computer craft beer program. …

Brew Five Three, the annual beer and blues festival, starts at 1 p.m. today, and it’ll have seven hours of live music, 39 breweries and cideries offering small tastes, and seven food trucks at a block party that sets up on Broadway between Ninth and 11th Streets. News Tribune food and drink editor Sue Kidd has the scoop on what to drink at the downtown Tacoma craft beer festival today.

Tacoma Beer Week starts Sunday, Aug. 6, and continues through Aug. 12. In all, more than 40 events are happening at 15 venues. This is the best year yet for collaboration among brewers, which is the one element that consistently takes place every year during the week-long celebration of South Sound suds.

Peaks and Pints, the craft beer and cider bottle shop, taproom and restaurant that opened Nov. 1, 2016 in Tacoma’s Proctor District, celebrates its first official Tacoma Beer Week with a packed week of events. “We trained nine months for Tacoma Beer Week,” says Peaks and Pints co-owner Ron Swarner as he typed this story. “We opened our doors with an event and held what seems like another 253 events since that Nov. 1, 2016 day. We’ve worn wigs. We’ve flown paper airplanes. We’ve hosted feats of strength. We’ve held a lumberjack disco. Our staff has been one a special diet (craft beer) preparing for this week. We’re ready.”

pFriem Family Brewers is celebrating their golden birthday — their 5th anniversary today. “The five-year anniversary party kicks off on August 5th, and you’re invited to take part,” states pFriem anniversary hype. “Hood River’s Waterfront Amphitheater is our meeting spot for a day of live music, lawn games, kid’s entertainment, food, and plenty of pFriem beer! Come one, come all, bring guests, and hang loose. This is going to be epic! This event is free to attend, family-friendly, and open to the public. We encourage our guests to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets as we won’t have seating available. August is typically very warm and sunny in Hood River, so please remember to bring sun protection! Parking is available along Portway Ave.” The party runs from 4-9 p.m. Congratulations pFriem!

News that San Francisco’s craft brewing stalwart Anchor would sell to Sapporo has made the rounds. That means it’s time to process it: Here are six key facts to know about what changes — or doesn’t — with Anchor owned by Sapporo.

Jeff Backman, who grew up in Tacoma, was working as a mechanic when he decided he wanted to do something else with his life. He had long been interested in brewing – even becoming an avid homebrewer – and thought that might be an option someday. Then he learned about Central Washington University’s craft brewing certificate program. After receiving his certificate, Backman quickly found work as an assistant brewer at Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg. Eight months later, he was hired on as the head brewer at the Ram Restaurant and Brewery in Lakewood.

Janelle Shane, a research scientist and author of the Lewis & Quark science blog, wondered what would happen if a neural network — a type of computer program that can learn to imitate datasets by reviewing examples — tried to come up with craft beer names. She fed hundreds of thousands of real craft beer names, organized by broad categories, into the program and put it to work.