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Fall craft beer releases

Nothing says autumn like a seasonal brew

Wingman Brewers’ fall special comes in sassy silver cans. Photo credit: Ron Swarner

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Nothing says autumn like a hop-tastic microbrew. While breweries craft seasonal beers all year round, great ones often come with the fall - bitter fresh-hopped pale ales, roasty porters, pumpkin stouts and creative concoctions designed to help ease you into the chilly Northwest winter.

And nothing says beer like local brew guru (or would that be ... brewru?) Ron Swarner, blogger at Peaks and Pints on Facebook, and soon to open a new beer experience in Proctor, who has his finger on the pulse of the South Sound beer scene like no other.

What will Ron be drinking this autumn (and consequently - what should you drink?)

Narrows Brewing

Brewmaster Mike Davis has an entire lineup of autumn excellence at Narrows Brewing with not one, but five fall releases. These include: Dark Days Wheat, which will be smooth, dark down and with a powerful malt and bread aroma; an as-of-yet-unnamed porter that will be deep ruby in color with strong coffee, chocolate and malt flavors perfect for cool weather; Rusalka Imperial Stout which Davis describes as "big, chewy and luscious" and ideal for sipping or pairing with dessert; Wenceslas Wheat Wine - a light-colored powerhouse that will have an ABV around 9%; and Wild Rice Brown Ale, which will have a spice, nutty flavor due to 20% wild rice - a tribute to Davis' home state of Minnesota.

Wingman Brewers

You've seen their sassy silver cans in the store, but make your way down to Wingman's location by the Tacoma Dome to try their seasonal autumn specials. Wingman will release a Belgian Style Tripel called Miss-B-Haven in 22-ounce bottles this autumn.

"It's a spritzy, yeasty apple beasty for heavy dinner feasties," said Swarner. "Oh, and Wingman has their new We Cran Do It! Cranberry Sour on tap right now - a benefit beer to fight breast cancer. Their Cranberry Sour will hit stores in October, which should help you through Thanksgiving dinner with the relatives."

Wingman has also teamed up with Pacific Brewing & Malting Company for an Oktoberfest beer called Baron Von Huth, which is a full body lager with malty flavor and a clean, dry finish.

Odd Otter Brewing

Odd Otter Brewing will greet the autumn with an Oktoberfest beer.

Engine House No. 9

While many breweries go hoppy for cooler seasons, E-9 is venturing to the sweet side with Blackberry Wild Tacoma Sour and Apricot Wild Tacoma Table Sour.

Top Rung Brewing Co.

"Top Rung Brewing Co. in Lacey has rye on the brain," says Swarner. "They'll release a new Dark Pumpkin with Rye as well as a Rye IPA. I believe they also have a small-batch Bourbon Imperial Stout in the works."

Harmon Brewing

In late September and early October, head brewer at Harmon, Jeff Carlson, will debut the new Fall Ball Imperial Harvest Red and Pumpkin Blonde for maximum autumn effect.

Three Magnets

If you haven't sampled a saison, you're missing out. These unique brews have a higher alcohol content than your average pale ale as well as fruit and spice-forward flavors. Three Magnets will bring back a popular beer from previous years - Autumnal Saison, which has more maltiness and emphasis on the yeast-derived fruit and spice. They'll also release bourbon and port versions of both a Russian Imperial Stout and an Oatmeal Imperial Stout, which will come in both keg and limited bottle runs.

Peaks and Pints

Sometime in December, Swarner will open a craft beer store and taproom with partners in the Proctor District.

"Peaks and Pints will be a specialty beer store and taproom, with a robust food menu, which will be designed by Justin and Rob Peterson," says Swarner, "We'll have a long, showpiece bar, a cooler loaded with bottled and canned beer from the South Sound, Washington state, West Coast, the Nation and foreign countries. Peaks and Pints will also have a year-round atrium with a fireplace. We'll have craft beer on tap, as well as craft cider."

Watch for news about Peaks and Pints via Facebook (, Twitter ( and Instagram (

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