This year’s expansion for Pacific Brewing and Malting is an especially meaningful one for the Tacoma brewery named with a nod to one of the city’s oldest breweries that ceased operation with Prohibition.
The Tacoma brewery will move its production later this year to a newly purchased pair of buildings in Tacoma’s old brewing district, a location with historic ties to the brewery’s namesake.
“It’s right next door to the original Pacific Brewing and Malting, so in essence we’ve come home,” said co-owner Brent Hall, who opened Pacific Brewing and Malting in downtown Tacoma with co-owner Steve Navarro in 2014. “Those buildings behind us, that’s all the original Pacific Brewing and Malting. The vacant lot next to us was all old Pacific Brewing. … We’re surrounded by the old digs.”
They’re also in close proximity to the new 7 Seas Brewery and production facility, which opened in 2016 at 2101 Jefferson Ave.
The company’s new buildings at 2523 and 2533 Jefferson Ave. will serve as a production facility with room to grow and a future taproom with plans for a full kitchen.
Hall and Navarro call the production facility the south building. That building with tall, 24-foot ceilings will allow the brewery to upgrade from its 16-feet-tall tanks if it decides to do so. The brewery’s capacity is now 13,000 barrels with plans to remain there with this expansion, but there’s room to grow, if it desires.
By the end of 2017, Navarro and Hall intend to move brewing equipment from the Pacific Avenue location as well as the brewery’s sibling brewery, American Brewing Co. in Edmonds (it purchased that brewery in 2015).
Hall and Navarro said they’ll continue to brew both Pacific and American labels as is. Both breweries will share the same production space at the new Jefferson facility.
“Having a brewery 50 miles away (in Edmonds) and having to travel that far is so hard from an operational standpoint,” said Navarro. “We don’t have to move things back and forth or move beer back and forth. From a manpower and efficiency standpoint, we knew we had to be under one roof.”
Moving equipment and storage to Tacoma from American Brewing Co. will also free up space at the Edmonds tasting room, said Hall.
Otherwise, there are no changes planned for the original Pacific Avenue tasting room or the Edmonds tasting room. This expansion is strictly to consolidate the brewery’s production. Staffing also will remain unchanged, they said.
In the north building on Jefferson, there are larger plans that the duo intend to begin in 2018. That plan includes adding a full kitchen for on-site dining as well as another tasting room.
Here’s something unusual for a city short on parking. The two Jefferson Avenue buildings have a parking lot between the two, which means Pacific Brewing will be the only downtown Tacoma brewery with ample parking. That lot also can act as an area to host events, said Hall and Navarro.