– by Casey McLain, South Sound Bureau Chief –
As 2014 ended, with Tacoma welcoming in two brand new breweries (Odd Otter Brewing and Pacific Brewing & Malting), Tacoma’s first craft brewery, Engine House No. 9, was planning to open a barrel house. A few years back when E9’s barrel program was in its infancy, I had the opportunity to walk through their brewery; I was amazed at the creative, world class beer that was coming out of such a small space. Shortly thereafter, at E9, I had some of the first sours I ever tasted and then was fully indoctrinated into sours at the first-ever E9 Sourfest, drinking mostly beers born of those barrels.
New space in their barrel house in Tacoma will allow E9 to spread their proverbial wings. This marks a large growth for a brewery that has evolved under new ownership and head brewer Shane Johns. Here is the press release concerning their new barrel house, expanded distribution, and E9’s first ever bottle release party.
E9 Brewery announces brewery and barrel house expansion
Tacoma, WA.— 2/27/2015 — Today we are excited to announce that plans are in motion to expand the existing brewery fermentation capabilities, as well as the creation of a new barrel storage facility that will increase our current barrelage ten-fold. The existing 7 BBL brew house will remain in tact with a few needed upgrades in the original space at 609 Pine St., next to the historic Engine House Nine restaurant and brew pub. The first phase of the new Barrel House addition will be located in the Stadium District, closer to downtown. Tacoma’s first craft brewery will now have the first Barrel House in Tacoma, and possibly the state.
Increased product availability
The increased stainless steel fermentation space will allow us to continue to keep up with the heavy demand of our brew pub next door, and increase the distribution of kegs throughout western Washington, which we began last year with Alpha Beer Distributing, based out of Kent, WA. The massive increase of oak barrels, combined with the purchase of a new bottling system, will allow us to start releasing some of (Head Brewer) Shane Johns’ award winning style beers, including American wilds, saisons, sour beers, and lambics. There will also be barrel space dedicated to higher gravity barrel-aged beers, like barley-wines and imperial stouts.
First-ever Bottle Release Saturday 3/7/2015
We will be releasing 375mL bottles of a raspberry wild ale and a farmhouse style saison. There is a very limited number of these first batches, and will be first come, first served. There will be a kegged version of the raspberry on tap at the brew pub, so you can try it before you buy. You will also be able to sign up for a new “Sour Club”, as well as a newsletter that will announce future bottle releases and events. This will be the beginning of hopefully a long line of bottle releases to come from one of the only true producers of wild ales in this state.
More event info here: https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/1609958445891962/
Casey McLain is the founder of North and South of Royal Brougham, a replacement-level Seattle sports blog, and can be found tweeting about beer and sports @TheCaseyMcLain. Casey also recently started a sports podcast called Offspeed Podcast with local comedian Aaron Kirby.