Bourbon, Beer, and Bierstadt | Tacoma Art Museum

Tacoma Art Museum is celebrating the largest gift in the museum’s 79 year history with a limited edition spirit and a signature ale.

Tacoma Art Museum is celebrating the largest gift in the museum’s 79 year history with a limited edition spirit and a signature ale. In honor of the Haub Family Collection of Western American Art and the museum expansion, TAM partnered with Tacoma’s Harmon Brewing Company and Gig Harbor’s Heritage Distilling Company to craft these two special beverages in time for the grand opening in November.

Heritage Distilling Company has just completed the inaugural batch of Tacoma New West Bourbon Whiskey, created exclusively for TAM to honor the links between the Haub collection and Tacoma’s heritage. The project began serendipitously when Melissa Traver, TAM’s Director of Marketing and a Gig Harbor resident, stopped by the distillery. Heritage had recently opened and was quickly becoming known for its unique, personal small-batch approach. The distillery’s motto, “Every spirit has a story,” reflects the owners’ pride in creating spirits that are rooted in history. Traver’s impromptu visit led to a meeting with Justin Stiefel, CEO and Master Distiller. The two discussed TAM’s construction of the Haub Family Galleries and the masterworks of Western American art donated by Erivan and Helga Haub.

The historical ties between whiskey and the American West presented the perfect opportunity to collaborate. “We were honored when Tacoma Art Museum approached us about partnering on a special project to help commemorate the opening of the new wing and the Haub Family Collection,” said Stiefel. “With the focus on western art and subjects like cowboys and the spirit of the untamed West, it seemed fitting to unveil a special bourbon just for the museum. We decided on a limited edition called Tacoma New West Bourbon Whiskey. It is a 92 proof bourbon aged less than two years with tones of caramel and vanilla, leaving a light sweetness in the high center of the palate and a smooth lingering finish.”

Tacoma New West Bourbon Whiskey will be sold at Heritage Distilling Company locations and through regional restaurants and retailers; the museum is also pursuing the option of selling it at the TAM Store. “A portion of the proceeds of every bottle sold goes right back to the museum to help further their efforts in bringing art to the community,” Stiefel noted. “Our hope is that patrons of the museum, art lovers, and bourbon connoisseurs will seek out this product at bars, restaurants, and retailers around the region.”

Although this is the first time TAM has ventured into the “spirit world,” the museum had previously collaborated with local craft brewers. “We’ve worked with Harmon Brewing for years, creating signature ales to compliment some of our key exhibitions. Our first collaboration with Harmon was in 1997, they crafted Picasso Pale Ale for an exhibition of Picasso’s ceramics,” says Traver. “Harmon is great to work with; they are creative and involved in the Tacoma community so it is a good fit for TAM. Our visitors enjoy the relationship, too.”

“To toast the new Western American art collection and the museum expansion, we collaborated with TAM and arrived at Tacoma New West CDA, a unique Cascadian dark ale brewed with six different malted barleys and chocolate wheat,” says Jeff Carlson, Head Brewer at Harmon. “It is black like a stout and the flavor is hoppy like an IPA. It is a complex, wonderful combination of roasted malts with piney and citrusy hop notes. The flavor profile perfectly blends the Old West and the Northwest.” Tacoma New West CDA is sold in all Harmon Brewing locations, and a special limited edition will be available in the TAM Cafe.

The Haub Family Collection of Western American Art includes 295 works spanning more than 200 years by 140 artists, among them Albert Bierstadt, George Catlin, John Clymer, Thomas Moran, Georgia O’Keeffe, Frederic Remington, and Kevin Red Star. The museum’s expansion and Haub Family Galleries open November 15 with a day of exciting events inside and around the museum from 9:30 am-5:00 pm. Tickets are still available for the November 15  Evening Social and Members’ Party from 7:00-11:00 pm ($15 members, $50 not-yet-members), including live music by the Tallboys Band and, of course, a signature drink!

More in Life

Get your fill of winter activities on Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier’s landscape undergoes a dramatic transformation in winter.

Bonney Lake, Sumner gear up for holiday festivities

Plateau holiday festivities are right around the corner.

Enumclaw, Buckley busy during the holidays

What’s going on during the holiday season on the Plateau? Here’s a list of activities you and your family may enjoy!

Giving Trees help kids with Christmas

Nexus Youth And Families Enumclaw is asking local residents to help a child in need this Christmas by participating in the organization’s Giving Tree program.

Santa’s Mystery Brunch: An interactive family whodunit | Pierce County

At “Santa’s Mystery Brunch,” an interactive family whodunit, audience members become detectives to help solve who stole Santa’s magical bag filled with toys and presents.

Preventing a Hepatitis A outbreak | Public Health Insider

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by a highly contagious virus. A large outbreak in San Diego, along with outbreaks in Los Angeles and in Salt Lake City has Public Health officials concerned that a hepatitis A outbreak could occur in King County. Dr. Jeff Duchin, King County’s Health Officer, explains who’s at risk and what can be done to prevent an outbreak.

Rescue group aims to save dogs’ lives; Saturday fun run will benefit the cause

All great dogs end with a tail, but this great tale begins with a dog.

Annual quilt show coming to Expo Center

The Crystal Quilters are preparing for a return to the Enumclaw Expo Center, getting ready for their 22nd annual quilt show.

Scottish Country dancers return to Enumclaw for 23rd year

For more than two decades, this group of dancers — now led by Jim and Pat McDonald — has been encouraging people from all over South King County and East Pierce County to learn more about their Scottish heritage or, barring a clan bloodline, to just get out and try something new.

Learn to compost with some red wrigglers

The Dinkelman Worm Farm is hosting a vermiculture demonstration — or the cultivation of earth worms — at the Delvin Farms Good For All Plants event next weekend to help people create compost in their own homes to help benefit their gardens or farms.

Free series provides insight from expert on death, dying

As a funeral home director in the 1980s, Duane Weeks began wondering why people weren’t dealing with death very well.

Use our blessings to serve others | Church Corner

As the smoke and ash rolled in this week, and last, I stood in awe of it’s quantity and thickness. The snowflake-like ash fell to the ground covering patio furniture, cars and even settling like dander on my head and across my shoulders. It was a unique experience.