Not too long ago, my boyfriend and I were trying to figure out something to do on a Saturday in the Pacific Northwest. We both really enjoy exploring and trying out new beers so I had that in mind as I stared at a map of Washington on my computer.
I live in Seattle (I’m not from Washington originally, so keep that in mind) and I hadn’t yet explored Olympia so I suggested we go there and try out some breweries. He agreed and we invited a few other friends (along with a designated driver) and hit the road south to our state’s capital city!
I had contacted a few breweries in advance to see if we could potentially get a tour and maybe meet the brewers and I did hear back from Hoh River Brewing, Headless Mumby Brewing, Well 80 Brewpub, and Puget Sound Taps. I did also hear back from Three Magnets Brewing after our trip too!
As the day would have it, we ended up being unable to make it to Hoh River, Three Magnets or Puget Sound Taps, but that just means we will have to go back and try them out! Headless Mumby was hosting their first day of Oktoberfest, but due to COVID restrictions, we were unable to sit in the brewery as they were at capacity, so again, that just means we have more beer explorations to do!
We did end up trying three breweries though, Well 80 for lunch and some beers, Matchless Brewing and we ended the day at Triceratops Brewing Company!
Well 80 Brewpub
Well 80 is located in downtown Olympia. Their name comes from an artesian well located right in the brewery, and on the tour, you could hear the water coming up through the pipes. We met with the Head Brewer, Paul Pearson and Pub Manager, Donnie Wong and had some grub to go along with our beer tasting and brewery tour. I ordered the Oly Style Bacon Burger, cooked with yellow mustard and grilled onions, and finished with smokehouse bacon, cheese, tomato, lettuce and drive-in sauce. Oh and I ordered TOTS with it. The burger was delicious, and side note, the bun is a Martin’s Famous Potato Roll, which has been selected as the best bun in America by America’s Test Kitchen. As for the beers, I tried their Patio Porter, which is jet black with hints of roasted coffee smoke and French chocolate. After going with my dark, I tried their Volle Pulle! Hefeweizen, which took me back to my vacations in Germany and I was very happy. Paul and Donnie took us on a brewery tour as well and we tried their IPL right out of the lagering tanks and let me tell you – IPA’s are not my thing as they are too hoppy but holy moly, I could drink an IPL all day! I also found out Paul and I have the same birthday, I am just a year older. 🙂 I highly recommend visiting Well 80 Brewpub next time you are in Olympia!
Matchless Brewing and Triceratops Brewing Company
Both Matchless and Triceratops are actually located in the Tumwater area, right next to Olympia Regional Airport. The breweries are located in a warehouse area with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating – perfect for a COVID-friendly, socially distanced day. I have to throw this out there, the inside of Matchless looks EXACTLY like the inside of Skookum Brewery in Arlington, WA – I could not believe my eyes. Then I began to wonder if there is some sort of warehouse brewery designer?
Matchless has 12 rotating taps and the occasional food truck on rotation as well (there wasn’t one there while we were there). I tried their Mow Lawner, a Pilsner Malt & Flaked Rice spiced with Hallertau Mittelfrüh & Tettnanger hops. That ended up being the only one I had as I was so full from Well 80! I also forgot to take photos. But I do recommend checking out Matchless, the outdoor seating area was great and the one beer I had was very tasty! On a rainy day, the inside seating area is plentiful for COVID restrictions as well.
After Matchless, we walked over to Triceratops which is basically next door, but on the other side of the building. Triceratops has a smaller indoor area but a decent amount of outdoor seating on a nice day. I had to go different and tried their Peachy Keene, brewed to celebrate the birth of their sales rep’s first child. Peachy Keene is loaded with the bright, tropical aroma of Azacca hops, the juicy flavor of ripe stone fruit, and a touch of flaked wheat to add body. It was smooth and tasted like biting into a peach! Again, it’s the only beer I had there as I was so full (one can only drink so many beers – but lets be real, I think the tots at Well 80 did my stomach in, nothing else could fit!). When it’s raining, sitting outside Triceratops isn’t happening, but you can always visit and grab some beers to go!
We didn’t get to Olympia until later in the day and had a late lunch and then had to drive back north, so clearly we didn’t have enough time to explore! We plan to be back in the future and hit up some more breweries for your reading enjoyment. If you have any you’d recommend, let me know!
Until then, stay safe everyone, and always have a designated driver!