distilleries and cideries to announce their locations in the city soon.” The long-term hope is that through innovative partnerships all of the old brewery can be redeveloped, but it doesn’t have to all be one entity. Possibilities include brewing, cider-making, or distilling incubators, cooperage, barrel storage, canning and bottling facilities, malting facilities, and education centers to help these industries grow. This would also allow students to work on-site with private businesses to learn related skills. Doan says that when it comes to beverage industry education, “the brewing and distilling part is where people quickly focus, but most of the people who work in a brewery or distillery are not brewers or distillers. They are people who make sure that food safety laws are complied with, and that the cap is put on the bottle correctly, and that the equipment operates the way it should, and there are people who do marketing and do finance and do the business side of the operation.” Right now, any beverage education or service is open for consideration, and both Cerniwey and Doan emphasize that all these pieces are part of the “long game” vision for the Center of Excellence. Plans will evolve, but they feel that momentum is building. “Right now people are rolling up their sleeves and our partners in the community are starting to do their part of the job,” Cerniwey says. Partners and supporters include several beverage manufacturers who have yet to be announced; the City of Tumwater; the Cider
Institute of North America; the Port of Olympia; the American Craft Spirits Association; the Thurston County Chamber Foundation; the University of Idaho and Washington State University School of Food Science; the Northwest Cider Association; the Washington Distillers Guild; the Thurston County Economic Development Council; the Port of Seattle; property owners and others. Green of SPSCC says that widespread involvement is what solidified their decision to launch the new programs. “Heidi and John and the City have been terrific partners, I think what’s given us the confidence to move forward with these programs is that there is so much engagement from community and economic development partners,” says Green. “We know that when we can turn out these educated students with these skills that there’s going to be a place for them to go work.” With that opportunity for education, an educated workforce, and possible public/private partnerships down the road, Cerniwey and Doan hope beverage companies will continue to see Tumwater as a good place to set up shop, something they call “bringing brewing back.” “It wasn’t that long ago that this was the place to be for brewing, but the brewing industry has changed, so it’s our opportunity to reinvent that here in our community,” Cerniwey says. “It’s still the water.”
For more information about the Craft Brewing and Distilling Center, please visit www.craftbeerciderspirits.com.
The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.