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The administrative buildings for the Olympia Brewery were next on the list. “We would move there tomorrow if we could.” But, when former owner, The Miller Brewing Company, left the site they took the railroad crossing privileges with them so the public can’t even access the space without a large amount of money being spent to change these regulations. Or, rather, it is a happy ending just beginning to be written.Unfortunately, they contain large amounts of asbestos and the current owner hasn’t even begun the process to mitigate them. Last, John explored the warehouse buildings in the valley near the train tracks. After a chance meeting with John Peters of the Craft District, LLC, Sandstone Distillery was offered a proposition they just couldn’t refuse.(Full story here) The buildings in the new Craft District will house not only Sandstone Distillery, but also a local brewery, a bistro, cidery, shrubbery and an outdoor amphitheater.“It’s going to be this amazing thing and every time we turn around, it’s going to be something even better,” John enthuses.Sandstone plans to use that recipe to make their new flagship spirit, Olympia Whiskey.
John decided to involve the community in the investment with his Click-A-Brick campaign.
You can go back to this for years with your children and say, ‘We helped bring this back to life.’” The outdoor bricks will be laser-engraved, and the indoor bricks will feature an engraved brass plate.
Sandstone Distillery has even trademarked the phrase “It’s STILL the Water” and plans to create something special and reminiscent of the past in the precious few original Olympia Beer barrels the Foundation had in their possession.
John Bourdon, owner of Sandstone Distillery, is at the forefront of this new venture, a dream he’s been actively pursuing for the past five years. We moved into our current space and it felt huge, but we knew we were going to outgrow it,” John shares. There are many places, but nothing is as cool as the old brewery.” Most people would agree, the old Olympia Brewery has deep roots in our community and most are eager for it to come back to life. First, he explored the original buildings at the base of Tumwater Falls but found it was not economically feasible for Sandstone to restore them. The cellars building next to the Schmidt House looked promising too.“I thought what we could do would be like Pike Place Market, open year-round with great views. But with the lease in hand he realized it was more than he could take on as an independent small business owner.
Persistence may be John’s middle name because he didn’t let this knock his idea down.