Thurston County to become the No. 1 Destination for Craft Enthusiasts

Travelers are always thirsty for new destinations, and Thurston County can definitely deliver with its burgeoning movement in craft beverages. Local brewers and distillers are coming together to bring hands-on experimentation (and some almost mad-scientist experimentation that Dr. Frankenstein himself would tip his hat to) to the Tumwater Craft District and Talking Cedar Distillery, beginning this spring.

Following a rich tradition of craft brewing in the region, Tumwater Craft District is comprised of a nearly 6 acre development that will feature a wide range of makers and experiences, including a production facility, tasting room, and outdoor seating area that includes a 1,000-seat amphitheater for live musical performances, projected to open by April/May.

The district will also include a collaborative space with South Sound Community College in the form of a brewing and distilling education center. This center will include an extension of the degree program, bringing education to the field with classrooms, labs, and a small scale production space. Ninkasi Brewing Company will also be testing and pouring new product at an experimentation center and tasting room, scheduled to open fall of 2020.

In addition to these hands-on experiences, visitors can enjoy Tumwater’s Warehouse District featuring local makers such as Tart Cider, Triceratops Brewery, Matchless Brewery, 8 Arms Bakery, Alaffia, and Spuds Grocer. Tumwater will be opening in phases starting this spring and into the fall.

Lovers of craft beer can also look forward to the opening of Talking Cedar, a distillery scheduled to open May 2020 on Chehalis Tribal land near Grand Mound. Talking Cedar’s opening was made possible by groundbreaking new legislation repealing a nearly 200-year ban on the manufacturing of liquor on tribal lands. Keeping true to the area’s beautiful natural landscape, Talking Cedar’s craft production uses on-site well water sourced from the Grand Mound aquifer. Visitors will also enjoy the distillery’s immersive tour which includes an up-close look at the Italian-made still, the largest continuous stills west of the Mississippi.

Learn more about these and other exciting developments at

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