|From its home in beautiful Olympia, Washington, Fish Brewing Company has been hand-crafting ales of Northwest proportions since 1993. Founded by Crayne and Mary Horton and a few dozen local investors, Fish began operations humbly. With a 15-barrel brew house, two 15-barrel fermenters, and one dairy tank, we brewed for our neighbors up and down Puget Sound. Growing steadily since, Fish is now an award-winning craft brewer with distribution throughout the great Pacific Northwest and beyond.
Fish Tale Brew PubToday, three distinct brands make their home under Fish Brewing’s roof. In the beginning there were Fish Tale Ales, English-style beers born in our brewpub on Jefferson Street. It wasn’t long before our brewery outgrew its cradle, though. So in 1996, we moved brewing operations across Jefferson Street and into the historic and spacious Skoog Building.
How spacious? Spanning the block from Jefferson to Cherry Street, the building once housed Olympia Knitting Mills. More recently, Skoog Manufacturing built and serviced lumber mill machinery there. The building was so spacious that the move provided ample room for both brewing and bottling. And bottle we did, introducing our first six packs in 1997. Subsequent equipment up-grades allow us to now bottle in both 12-ounce and 22-ounce sizes. And our original brewing space back across Jefferson Street? It’s now the Fish Tale Brewpub’s kitchen.
Fish Brewing BreweryAt the turn of the century, we stepped in a greener direction with the release of our first Certified Organic beer, award-winning Fish Tale Organic Amber Ale. Since then, Fish Tale Organic Pale Ale and Fish Tale Organic IPA have joined our Organic family. In 2009, we reintroducing Fish Tale’s summer seasonal as Fish Tale Organic Blonde Ale. An Organic Winterfish Seasonal Ale can’t be far behind. With an eye ever toward the integrity of our recipes, it’s our commitment to continue this transition as the proper ingredients become available in Organic form. The day will come when all beers bearing the Fish Tale name will be Certified Organic.
Then we have Leavenworth. In 2001, a year-long courtship culminated in the marriage of Fish Brewing and Leavenworth Biers, the Northwest’s Original German-style craft brewer. Founded by Scott Hansen in Leavenworth WA—home of the Northwest’s famed Bavarian Village—Leavenworth Biers have been winning fame of their own since 1992. With this union of breweries, Leavenworth Biers moved its own operations to the brewery on Jefferson Street.
Three years later, the Fish family celebrated another happy addition. Spire Mountain Ciders, the nation’s oldest operating commercial craft cider maker, came into the Fish fold in 2004. Today, award-winning Spire Mountain’s cidery occupies its own special space in the brewery on Jefferson Street.
The year 2006 saw another giant leap for Fish. That year, we retired our 15-barrel brewing system and replaced it with the famed 40-barrel brew house that we use today. We’ve expanded fermenting capabilities, as well. With the addition of our fifth 120-barrel fermenter, our twelve fermenters have a total capacity of 1,015 barrels.
What’s next? Without doubt, more delightful beer and cider. Making these is simply how we enjoy ourselves. Here at Fish, we believe that fresh beer and cider, fine food, and enduring friendships are what life in the Great Pacific Northwest is all about. We’ve been proud to be a part of that tradition for over 15 years, and thank you for joining us in it.