Tumwater Oktoberfest about more than beer, food

lpemberton@theolympian.comSeptember 8, 2013 

At 7 minutes and 25 seconds, they agreed to call it a tie and split the $50 prize — and put an end to excruciating arm pain.

And then the winners of the 5 p.m. beer stein-holding contest at the inaugural Tumwater Oktoberfest shared their strategies.

“I kept tapping my feet,” said Patrick Alvarez, 49, of Chehalis. “And I was kind of dancing in my mind.”

“I was just trying to breathe,” said Jason Brewer, 38, of Tumwater.

Hundreds of people attended the event organized by the city of Tumwater and the Olympia Lacey Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau.

“Today is about celebrating the heritage of brewing in Tumwater,” said city administrator John Doan.

The event featured tastes of more than a dozen beers, German-style food, live music, games and informational booths about various history efforts related to the former Olympia brewery.

“This is the 10th year since the brewery closed,” said Carla Wulfsberg, a public history manager with the Olympia Tumwater Foundation.

During the event, folks were invited to share their stories about the brewery for an oral history project sponsored by the foundation.

They also could view architectural plans of the old brewhouse; learn about the Schmidt family, which brought the Tumwater brewery to life in the late 19th century; and view a 1949 Kenworth fire engine that was used by volunteer fireman who worked at the brewery.

“It brings back a lot of memories,” said Brewer.

“It’s a great start of a tradition,” said Alvarez.

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 lpemberton@theolympian.com @Lisa_Pemberton


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