Wingman Brewers

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509 1/2 Puyallup Ave
Tacoma, WA 98431
(253) 651-4832

Beer and Wine Only, Credit Cards Accepted, Take-out
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Weekly Volcano Review Reviewed by: Volcano Staff

Anxious to start a business venture in the growing micro brewing industry, head brewer Ken Thoburn didn't have to look far for inspiration for his brand.

With a grandfather who painted various nose art designs on a variety of World War II airplanes, Thoburn fell in love with the 1930-40s era vintage military theme. Combine that with an area that has a large saturation of active-duty and retired Air Force and military members and Tacoma's Wingman Brewers was born.

Thoburn, along with three other investors, started Wingman Brewers in April 2011, brewing beer to sell to local bars, restaurants and grocery stores out of a small storefront in Tacoma. The four worked hard to build a brand keeping close with their vintage military theme.

Jason Sabol, another co-owner, helped develop that style by visiting the front lines. Sabol's uncle, Air Force Maj. Gen. Marshall Keye Sabol, retired after a 32-year military career, and Jason attended his retirement ceremony at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The base, the largest in the Air Force, is home to Air Force Materiel Command headquarters and the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Wingman Brewers began with three distinct beers, all with vintage military names. Ace IPA Thoburn describes as "Belgian meets American-style IPA." It features distinctly Belgian malts that complement a healthy portioning of Citra, Centennial and Cascade hops.

The P-51 Porter is "a robust and clean-finishing porter" that features rich, malty flavors that highlight hints of chocolate, coffee, nuts and smoke.

And the Stratofortress (named of course after the B-29 airplane) has notes of figs and ripe fruit- and features an 11.4 percent alcohol by volume rating.

The three beers quickly built up a strong following and required a change of location. Wingman is now at 509 1/2 Puyallup Ave, Tacoma, a quick walk from the Sounder Station.

The taproom and brew house are open 2-9 p.m. Thursday, 2-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2-9 p.m. Sunday. They always have their own beer on tap, and do our best to include a guest beer or two along with a craft hard cider. They don't serve food, but food may be brought in.

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