As most of my friends are aware by now, I give consistent love to any bar with the PNW approach to their business. Relax, have fun, wear a beard or get out! Well maybe not that last one, but wearing flannel wouldn't be out of the ordinary. We have a number of these spots scattered within Tacoma, but until recently nothing had quite broken into the Tacoma scene North of 21st. Then the guys who brought you such great places as Eleven Eleven and The Valley decided Proctor was next. And I just have to say, "Thank Goodness!". Right off of 26th and Proctor is the new Peaks & Pints. A craft beer tavern at its core, but oh so much more. Peaks & Pints brings a much needed high capacity neighborhood tavern to the Proctor District. We've all been waiting for this. The Peterson brothers with Ron Swarner have done it right.
Just to be clear about myself, I'm no food or restaurant critic. However I am a restaurant veteran. Fifteen years in this industry and just about every job within it gives me some valuable insight. The rest is just my humble and often outrageous opinion.
In all fairness the tavern has been open long enough, and crowded enough, for most everyone to have a couple trips through already. But I know a few of my colleagues and many of my friends have yet to enjoy the spoils of a visit. So for those that don't know yet, you're missing out and here's why.
To start, you're probably not a bearded flannel wearing, fixie bike riding, methanol plant protesting, beer nerd. Great! You'll still find this place like home. Tacoma's entire mixed crowd belongs here. And it's quite evident they've already figured that out. The place is full of bankers, office workers, stay at home parents, policemen, real estate agents, longshoremen, and yes the occasional UPS hipster.
The tavern's name hints at beer and mountains. If there wasn't a more natural place to put all the beards and flannel than the mountains, I haven't heard of it. And of course we know the staple beverage for every lumberjack hidden deep within us is craft beer. Craft beer poured from 28 taps that adorn a beautifully refinished and chainsaw hallowed log. Or feel free to explore somewhere around 700 bottled beers showcased within 14 feet of reach-in coolers stretched along the back wall. Don't forget you can take these home unopened. That's right, stop in and grab your favorite for the couch at home. Not a beer fan? How dare you! But it's okay, they have you covered. Also on tap are a couple wines along with the occasional kombucha, hard cider, and cold brew nitro coffee.
The decor embraces a mountain motif with a grizzly bear hug. Just look around when you're there. Old lantern light fixtures hang at great length from the 35 foot ceiling. Although newly built from reclaimed wood, the rustic appearance of the bar itself appears to already hold stories waiting to be shared. As usual the walls are decorated in oddities only a PNW fan would recognize. There's also a giant projection screen, two large TVs and the beer menu board itself is digital. These may seem out of place, but when The Good The Bad and The Ugly is playing, or the Seahawks are having a thrilling game, or if you want a perfectly detailed beer menu, you'll be thankful.
The staff is professional and patient, knowledgeable and downright fun. They dress casual and stay upbeat. Not because they need to, but because they just are.
As usual, don't expect your average bar food from the brothers. Well designed sandwiches are their thing (Ever been to The Valley?) and they deliver once again. This time the sandwiches are pressed and if you need a beer to pair don't be afraid to ask. In fact, ask for Will. Then ask him about the history of beer, his favorites, and the history of the Tavern's sprinkler system installation. Make sure and tell him it was my idea. He loves beer way too much and jumps at any opportunity to share. The food menu is simple, but perfect. No need for fifty hamburgers, pasta, and fried chicken choices. Great sandwiches/salads, a couple apps, and some bad ass beer. One word, Reuben.
At the risk of being long winded I could go on, but I'll let Peaks & Pints speak for itself when you make your first visit. If there was ever a place you could visit without a friend and leave with more than one, this is it. But take your friends anyway, they'll thank you.
Tell them John sent you.