New brewer taking over at Narrows Brewing

Narrows Brewing Company announced today that a new brewer is taking over the duties at the waterfront brewery in Tacoma. Joe Walts, who helped build and open the brewery back in 2013 (pictured at right), is moving back home to Wisconsin to be closer to his family. Stepping in to take his place is Mike Davis, a familiar name to beer enthusiasts around here because of the many years he spent working as head brewer at Harmon Brewing.

That’s not all. Narrows Brewing recently added ten new taps in the taproom, which now offers a total of 16 beers on tap. They’re featuring guest beers to supplement their own beers until they catch up and can fill all the taps with Narrow brews.

Here is the press release from Narrows Brewing regarding the changes.

Narrows Brewing Company Announces New Head Brewer and 10 New Tap Lines

Mike Davis joins Tacoma’s waterfront brewery as their taproom lineup increases.

Tacoma (February 16, 2015) – Pick your favorite adage about change; “The only constant is change,” or “When one door closes another one opens,” or maybe “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”   When Narrows Brewing Company’s head brewer Joe Walts told management in December he was moving back to his roots in Wisconsin, and his previous job at Ale Asylum, it was a challenge for them not to panic.

“We certainly understood the desire to be closer to family,” said Scott Wagner, managing partner of Narrows Brewing. “But from our perspective, we had depended on Joe to help us open the doors of the brewery, and we were looking forward to seeing his creativity fill our new tap lines in the taproom.”

Enter Mike Davis, Narrows’ new head brewer and a familiar name in the Pacific Northwest. Mike has a rock solid history of brewing northwest style beer for the last 18 years. He began as head brewer with the Harmon Brewing Co. where he spent 15 years. He helped open Hi-Fi Brewing in Redmond and was helping Twelve Rounds Brewing in Sacramento, CA get started when Narrows Brewing called. He has won multiple national awards from the Great American Beer Festival, and the North American Brewers Association.

When asked what styles of beer he likes best, Mike said, “I love IPAs, and bigger beers like Imperial Stouts, and Porters.  I also love Scotch Ale’s maltier style, kind of the opposite of an IPA with almost no hops.”  He went on to list many other beer styles that he loves.  It appears he will have no trouble imagining beer to fill all the new tap lines.

Narrows opened their doors with only 6 tap lines.  In January they increased that capacity to 16 by building a new cooler system in the loft of the brewery.  Front of house manager, Mary Asami, is thrilled to be able to offer her customers more choices, and has been having fun with guest taps until they can fill the lines with their own beer. “It’s like every day is Christmas when new kegs arrive,” she said.

“I think the taproom has a great feel to it, and the additional taps will give us lots of flexibility,” Mike said. “I want this to be a place for the community to gather and build relationships over great beer. We all have a place we call home, and a place we work, but we need another place to go have fun and hang out. We want Narrows Brewing to be that place.”

Scott Wagner added, “We’re thrilled to have someone of Mike’s caliber joining us as we look to our future. We’re excited about his experience brewing northwest style beers and his ties to the community.”

Mike will begin work on February 16th, and take the helm on February 23rd.  Narrows’ assistant brewer Zach Dowling will stay on to help Mike after Joe’s departure.  A send-off party for Joe is planned for Friday night, the 20th; his last day working in the brewery. Everyone is welcome to come down and say thank-you, good-bye and good-luck to Joe and to help welcome Mike.  If you want to talk about something other than beer with Mike, you can ask him about his past in the Peace Corps in Borneo, teaching SCUBA diving in the Virgin Islands, studying reef ecosystems as a National Park Ranger, owning a coffee, macnut, and avocado farm in Hawaii, or even tennis and golden retrievers.

It looks like another door opened for Narrows Brewing, and it might just make them stronger.

About Narrows Brewing Company

Narrows Brewing Company is a waterfront brewery and taproom located in the Narrows Marina, at 9007 S. 19th Street, Tacoma, Washington 98466.  They opened their doors in July of 2013.  The brewery and taproom were built in a 100 year old mill building and have scenic views of the old and new Tacoma Narrows Bridge.  The taproom also overlooks the boat slips of the marina, the Boathouse 19 restaurant, plus 100s of feet of dock space. Food truck vendors are available on week-ends and additional days during summer months. Food is always welcome to be brought in from Boathouse19 or any other restaurant.  Taprooms are available to rent for your private parties by calling 253-327-1400.  Taproom hours are noon–11pm Friday and Saturday, noon-6pm Sunday, 2pm-9pm Monday – Thursday. For more information visit or follow Narrows Brewing on Facebook at

Cheers to our sponsors, like...