Ahh, Tacoma. There’s nowhere else quite like it. Quintessentially Northwestern, and yet, it’s as if an industrial town from the Rust Belt washed ashore on the Puget Sound, then proceeded to blight its banks. Even locals who love it the most will occasionally cop to hating its guts. It’s the city where dreams are made, friends get stuck, and the road to the 2012 United States Barista Championship begins. And for one weekend a year, there’s no place else we’d rather be.

Your opening portal is here, via the official USBC website. For quick reference here are some links to our text-form schedules for the NWRBC and the Brewers Cup. Friday night there’s a party being held up in Seattle by Milstead & Co. – for those staying in Tacoma, we’ll be informally hosting a cocktails and karaoke get-together Friday night at Puget Sound Pizza (317 S 7th St), which is easily reachable from the Convention Center by light rail. Saturday night there’s a giant party being held at Metronome (3518 6th Ave).

Last year we published this Tacoma field guide, from which absolutely nothing has changed, because nothing ever changes in Tacoma. Click that link to learn about acceptable dining options and fun bars in the area, or feel free to chat us up at the event. Both your Sprudge Supreme Leaders will be in attendance this weekend to provide you with exhaustive coverage of the NWRBC, including fresh video content, wide-eyed imitative literary gazetteering, and live tweets to annoy our casual followers. For those following along at home, there’s this top-notch NWRBC drinking game from Say Hey Girl Hey.