Tumwater's 'Olympia Brewery' could open again




Posted on May 23, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Updated Friday, May 23 at 6:11 PM

TUMWATER, Wash. -- Tumwater’s historic fixture, the Olympia Brewery, could soon be up and running.

Plans are in the works to reopen the century-old mainstay to its original purpose of a brewery within the next few years.

The city of Tumwater along with other public and private groups want to focus on craft micro-brewers and distillers, offering small, unique varieties.

“They can get a little bit of time in a larger facility, brew it for two weeks and then proceeded to sell it and then someone else comes into the brewery,” said Tumwater City Administrator John Doan.

A number of buildings make up the 32-acre campus, most of which haven’t been used since before prohibition.

“This is really the core of Tumwater. Tumwater is on the map because of this brewery and as long as it sits vacant, it’s an eyesore in this community,” Doan added.

An $80,000 project feasibility study is expected to be completed this summer and will give the groups a better idea of their budget and timeline.
“It’s a central anchor in the economy of Tumwater so the community can share both the activity and the pride on this site,” said Doan.

Along with an incubation space, these community developers hope to attract more established brewers and developers to stay year-round. The group is also working with  South Puget Sound Community College and WSU to offer unique two and four year degrees in brewing and distilling as part of a nutritional science major.

If the funding could come together, organizers hope Olympia Brewery could be operational in three to four years.