Category Archives: Vlog

Cheat sheet: where the beer flows in Bremerton

July + Bremerton = beer. And all you need is right here in Kitsap: Nearly 400,000 gallons were produced by the county’s 11 craft breweries this past year.


I’ve got some big brewery festivities to tell you about, starting with my tour Saturday of Bremerton’s four craft breweries and finishing with Bremerton’s massive Summer BrewFest taking place on the town’s waterfront July 18. Here’s your cheat sheet:


This free Kitsap Sun tour, at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 11, will go see each of Bremertons’ four breweries. It will start downtown at LoveCraft and Wobbly Hopps Brewery, which will open soon, and then venture across the Manette Bridge to see Silver City Brewery (at the Manette Saloon) and finish at Der Blokken Brewery.

Meet at the Norm Dicks’ Government Center parking lot on Fifth Street, between Pacific and Washington avenues. Wear comfortable shoes, as we will be walking across the Manette Bridge and back.

You can RSVP here.


The Horse and Cow Pub and Grill (536 Fourth Street) will host a first anniversary block party from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. The street will be shut down and beers from the local breweries served, along with live music, barbecue and $2 burgers.


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Did I mention I host a news trivia night? On Thursday, July 16, we’ll do a local beer-inspired quiz at the Manette Saloon (2113 E. 11th Street) starting sharply at 7 p.m.

For more details, check out the Facebook invite here and be sure to RSVP. Bring a team or just bring yourself. The winning team will get beer-related prizes to take home.


On the eve of the actual BrewFest, Toro Lounge (315 Pacific Avenue) is hosting a preview featuring several local breweries. It will run from 6-8 p.m.


Aaaaand we’ve come to the main event: from noon to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 18, 30 craft breweries from around Washington will pour around 100 different beers. This year — the fifth in the festival’s history — is the first time it won’t be located on Pacific Avenue, and instead will pack the Louis Mentor Boardwalk near the maria. Each year has drawn thousands of people from all over Western Washington. Tickets are $25 at the door or $20 if pre-purchased, which buys you six five-ounce tastes. Tickets can be purchased here.


That should do it, ladies and gents (let me know if I’ve missed any!). And please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have questions.

For more information about each of Kitsap County’s breweries, check out this amazing graphic my colleague Tad Sooter put together. Oh, and below, you’ll also find a full list of beers for the Summer BrewFest.


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Bremerton’s best kept — and most decorated — military secret

Did you know that the most decorated vessel in U.S. Navy history is perched right here* in Bremerton?

Next time you take a walk downtown — perhaps Saturday for the Armed Forces Day parade — be sure to go to the entrance of the Harborside Fountain Park. There, you’ll find the sail of the USS Parche, a vessel highly decorated but largely unknown.


Why? As you’ll learn in the above video, the Parche did a lot of spying in the Cold War years. While its missions are still classified, some believe it was tapping telephone cables within Soviet seas, unearthing a wealth of intelligence. Many details can be found in the book “Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage.”

In any case, president after president praised the boat and its crew just about every time it came home. As reporter Andy Binion noted when the sail was installed here:

The submarine earned 13 Expeditionary Medals, 10 Navy Unit commendations and nine presidential unit citations, making it the most decorated submarine in U.S. Navy history.


I’d encourage you to check out Mick Hersey’s master list here to check out all of the military memorials in Kitsap County.

Hope to see you Saturday at the parade. Oh, and don’t forget to take our quiz of Kitsap County military history.


*It’s the sail of the Parche submarine sits just outside Harborside Fountain Park. The rest of the vessel did not come with it.

Come walk the new Wheaton Way with me

Little known fact: there’s actually no such thing as “Lower,” or even “Old” Wheaton Way. It’s just a title we Bremerton residents use to distinguish a meandering little thoroughfare from the much larger commercial corridor nearby.

Roots of the road date back to the 1920s. Once lined with popular spots like the Maple Leaf Tavern and the hopping Bay Bowl, it became an oddly wide street with only a few businesses left (the Bay Bowl, I should add, is now home to a Thai restaurant).


But “Lower” Wheaton Way, as it became when the Warren Avenue Bridge was built, was just reconstructed, adding wide sidewalks, bike lanes, street lamps and a new surface.

At noon on Saturday, I invite you to come out and walk this nearly mile-long stretch of revamped roadway. We’ll tell tales of its history, discuss its transformation and contemplate its future.

We’ll meet at Whitey Domstad Park, the little green space next to the Manette Bridge roundabout and just above the Boat Shed restaurant.

And speaking of local merchants, the Boat Shed and FOUND in Manette have agreed to offer 10 percent off to those who go on the Story Walk, and The Weekender on East 11th will take 15 percent off an item that day following the walk.

This is the fourth story walk of the year. Here’s links to our previous walks:

Washington Avenue, past and present

The meandering Madrona Forest

Redwood Rendezvous in West Bremerton

Fourth Street’s Economic Divide



IN PHOTOS: The USS Ranger departs

Another day, another carrier leaves Bremerton for Texas. 

At least, it’s starting to feel like that. The mothball fleet — short for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard’s inactive ship maintenance facility — is indeed getting smaller. The Connie already left and the Independence will leave later this year.

I interviewed Amanda Jean, a lifelong Bremerton resident, about what the mothball fleet means to her, as a civilian. She told me:

“Mothball fleet means home. Bremerton is known for our shipyard — you see those carriers and you know you’re here. That’s what this town is all about.”

We’ll just have to get used to a few less carriers for awhile. The USS Enterprise isn’t due to arrive until at least 2018.

Here’s a few photos of the Ranger’s departure.

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Jack C. Harpel watched it leave from the pier Thursday. Great shot!
John Moore, a retired Navy captain who served aboard the USS Ranger in the 1960s, took this great shot from Annapolis.
John Moore, a retired Navy captain who served aboard the USS Ranger in the 1960s, took this great shot from Annapolis.
Coming into Sinclair Inlet.
Coming into Sinclair Inlet.
Passing Bachmann Park in Manette.
Another stellar shot by Patrick Kerber as the Ranger enters Rich Passage.
Another stellar shot by Patrick Kerber as the Ranger enters Rich Passage.


Vlog: The presidents who visited Kitsap


Hayes stopped by Port Blakely. Taft and the Roosevelts, the Navy Yard. Truman toured Bremerton. And Clinton came to Blake Island.

In honor of president’s day, I brushed up on my Kitsap County presidential history and found out some fascinating tidbits about those rare times POTUS stopped by. I was lucky to have a copy of historian and journalist Fredi Perry Pargeter’s book “Bremerton and PSNY,” which devotes a whole chapter to presidential visits.

Here’s a rundown of the Oval Office occupiers’ visits and why they came:

Rutherford B. Hayes: In 1880, Hayes came by ship to Bainbridge Island, where he helped cut a 150-foot long tree at Port Blakely Mill.

Teddy Roosevelt: Not long after the shipyard was built, Teddy Roosevelt came to see it in 1903. Roosevelt didn’t stay long — half hour or so — and thus let down quite a number of onlookers who’d hoped to catch a glimpse of Teddy. But later on his trip, he journeyed to Tacoma, where a man from Manette — who had been a roughrider alongside Roosevelt — came to see him.

William H. Taft: Taft also visited the shipyard, this time in 1911. During the visit, he apparently remarked that Charleston, then an independent city, was simply too close to Bremerton and that the two should be joined together. They were.

Franklin D. Roosevelt: No. 32 visited Kitsap more than any other president. He came twice as assistant secretary of the Navy and as president came another two times. The first, in 1942, was done in secret for war planning. The then Bremerton Sun didn’t know about the visit until nine days after it had happened. The second visit was public and Roosevelt made a speech aboard the USS Cummings, a picture of which you can find prominently displayed at the Bremerton Bar and Grill. He held himself up to appear standing, though he was afflicted with polio.

Harry S. Truman: The Missourian came to Bremerton in 1948 and gave a stump speech at the corner of Fifth and Pacific. It’s widely believed, even by Truman himself, that it was here someone shouted the phrase, “Give ’em hell, Harry.” While it’s in dispute, I’d say let’s just go with it.

Bill Clinton: In 1993, the former Arkansas governor brought together leaders from Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries on Blake Island. During the video we made, I misspoke — in an effort to be more causal, Clinton brought them all leather Bombardier jackets, not jean jackets, according to the Washington Post.

Additionally, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter are both believed to have come to Kitsap before they were president. And there’s a rumor that even JFK stopped by. But that will take some additional research.

Photo by Reuters.
Photo by Reuters.