The Olympia Brewery

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In 1933 after the repeal of prohibition, Peter Schmidt was ready to go back into the brewing business. There was a problem though. He could re-purchase the brewhouse, but that would cost him a fortune to refurbish it. He still owned the land, so he decided to build a new brewery just up the hill from the original. Another issue he faced was the new legislation that did not allow brewers to own any kind of a business that sold beer. They decided to sell the hotels and concentrate on a single brewery in Tumwater. The plant was completed in 1934 and once again they were brewing Olympia Beer. The company began to enjoy success. In 1965 the Schmidt family purchased the original brewhouse & related buildings. They used them for storage. Jump forward to 2003. The current owner SABMiller closes the operation & sells to a company that intends to bottle the artesian water. That deal never went through, and the bottled water company ended up going bankrupt. Since then there have been law suits, court battles and still no buyer. Until recently you would have seen a large for sale banner in this picture. I believe it in on the other side of the building now. Who knows what the future holds for this building and the others associated with it.


  1. This building just doesn't look as nice as yesterday's. It's huge, whatever becomes of it, it'll provide plenty of space.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    The plant was complete in 1934, the year I was born. No wonder it had been a success. I would guess, though, it would need an enormous amount of money to do all the fixing up that might be required to meet all the new laws and ordinances. Maybe that has had something to do with the building not being sold.

  3. I would imagine you're right Abe. The cost of re-fitting this one with modern equipment may be worse than starting fresh.

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