The Tumwater Artesian Brewfest was a great place to sample beers from brand-new local breweries.
Newcomers O-Town Brewing and Triceratops Brewing Company and more than 30 other breweries from Washington and beyond set up their taps Saturday on the driving range at the Tumwater Valley Golf Club.
Event coordinator Becci Welsh — of the Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau — said that this year, the event featured two wineries and a distillery in addition to the breweries. It also included several games, such as giant beer pong.
“We’re getting a little better each year,” Welsh said.
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Neil Meyer, co-owner of O-Town Brewing, said he’s no stranger to the annual event, but this was his first time standing behind the taps. He and his friends Matt Smith and Bryan Trunnel officially started the brewery in January.
Meyer and Smith were home brewers before they joined forces with Trunnel, who formerly owned Kastellan Brauerei in Lacey. Now, the brewery creates European and German-style beers with locally inspired names. On Saturday, they poured beers called Sails and Gunpowder, O-Face and Kolsch Kobain. The team recently finished brewing a beer called South Sound Saison.
“We just like to have fun with the area when we’re naming our beers,” Meyers said.
Next door to the O-Town booth, Russ Barton poured beer for the west Olympia-based Triceratops Brewing. Barton said the brewery, owned by his son-in-law Rob Horn, recently celebrated its first anniversary.
At the brewfest, Barton poured a saison and a double IPA called Citrasaurus Down. He said the hilarity of the beer’s name is evident if you say it fast.
Barton said he believed Triaceratops makes the best beer in town — but conceded that he’s a little biased.
“All of the brewers around here are great,” Barton said. “We work together and give each other a lot of support.”
“I see this area becoming the Napa Valley for beer,” he added.