Local Artist + Craft Beer = Narrows Brewing Seasonal Siren Series
Local Gig Harbor charcoal artist Lita Dawn never imagined she would be designing beer labels, but this summer that changed. She was approached by Narrows Brewing Co., in Tacoma, to help them create a series of mermaid inspired labels for a seasonal beer rotation in stores. “They provided me with some elements that were important for the first siren of the series; a moonbeam, pearls, red hair - then I had to work around the space limitations of the label itself based on the brewery name and logo. It turned out to be a lot more challenging to achieve the effect we were after than I thought it would be”, said Lita Dawn. Each label also includes the legend of the mermaid on its side panel. The legends are intended to be a splash of entertainment. “Drinking a great craft beer already means you’re having a good time, so we just wanted to tell the mermaid’s tale and have some fun with it”, said Sue Wagner, one of the brewery owners who helped Lita Dawn with the label design. “Now that we’re done with the first one, we are already busy working on the next”.
Currently Narrows Brewing has two beer styles in stores; Giant Pacific Octopus IPA and Galloping Gertie Golden Ale. The beer style of the third bottle going into stores will change with the seasons. The plan for the first year rotation is Imperial Red Ale, Imperial Stout, Hibiscus Saison, and then Belgian Blond. Each year they may replace one or two of the seasonals with a new style.
“Channary”, the name of the Imperial Red Ale, means “moon faced girl”. It is a deep amber colored beer and contains 9.4% abv. Crafted by head brewer, Joe Walts, this strong, full bodied beer was created with dark caramel which provides a rich flavor without making the beer too sweet. A generous addition of hops lend a citrus note to the beer. “One of the things that people often point out about our strong beers is that they don't taste as strong as they are. Making a lot of alcohol is stressful on the yeast, and can result in a lot of harsh flavors that people associate with strong beer. We try really hard to keep our yeast happy and healthy, and the smoothness of our strong beers is one of the places where it really shows. It's also one of the things I really enjoy about drinking the Imperial Red” Joe states. Joe has just taken the widely known Imperial Red and given it to the Pacific Northwest for our own local presence of this flavorful beer.
Channary is being bottled now and can be found in the Narrows Brewing Taproom, and will be on store shelves in November. Look for the Imperial Stout to start showing up in February.
Narrows Brewing Co. just celebrated its one year anniversary in July. They are located on the waterfront in the Narrows Marina at the bottom of S. 19th Street, Tacoma. They also serve wine and hard cider, and have rooms available for booking private parties. Joe gives tours of the brewery the first Tuesday of every month at 7pm.