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No. 15 WSU vs. Colorado: Baxter’s beer of the game

After a week off, Baxter is back.

Baxter is back, and he’s no longer in a cage. He still needs to take it easy, and he must wear a harness for his leash from now on, but he is really happy to be able move more freely this week.

You may have noticed that Bax took a week off, but what better way to honor WSU’s performance in Berkeley? Apparently he knew something was off, and wanted the beer of the game to stay undefeated on the season.

For WSU’s Homecoming tilt with Colorado, Baxter has decided to honor his new city of Tacoma. We moved there just before football season, and Bax is finally getting around to featuring something from Grit City.

No better way to show off Tacoma beer than start with its first craft brewery, Engine House No. 9 (E-9), which was founded in 1995. Many breweries that were started in the mid-90s have uninspired offerings, as they seemingly can’t escape the core brands that helped craft beer move into the mainstream. Unfortunately, a lineup of the standard amber, Irish stout and pale ale no longer cuts it. The market now demands innovation, with new takes on old styles.

A few years ago, E-9 made a move into the the new era of craft beer by starting a farmhouse and sour barrel-aged beer program. That means lots of belgian-inspired brews such as saisons and wild ales, many of which are blends of multiple brews with fruits added. Pop in this weekend and you’ll see a saison that is dry-hopped with Saaz, and a wild ale aged on rhubarb.

But to highlight E-9, Baxter decided to go for one of the best: Meraki No. 3, a blended farmhouse ale aged on “Pinot and Cab grapes” as the label describes. It has an understated tartness with a nice funk and a nose that wine drinkers would certainly enjoy.

If you haven’t checked out E-9’s farmhouse and sour beers, I highly recommend giving them a shot. Only 312 bottles were made of Meraki No. 3, so if you are looking to try it out, you might want to get yourself down to Tacoma to visit the E-9 taproom soon. If you miss out on that one, don’t worry: E-9’s other fruited beers consistently knock it out of the park.

That’s what Baxter and I will be drinking while the Cougs battle the Buffaloes. What will you be having?