Two firefighters are opening their craft brewery Friday in Gig Harbor. The taproom for Wet Coast Brewing Co. opens at 3 p.m. on Kimball Drive.
The firefighters, Bryan Copeland and Aaron Johnson from West Pierce Fire and Rescue, are the brewers and co-owners behind the business, along with their wives Molly Copeland and April Johnson. They started planning their brewery seven years ago, but didn’t get serious until 2012.
They’ll keep their day jobs while they establish their brewery. For now, the taproom will be Fridays through Sundays only.
“As we get the hang of things, and making sure we can keep up with demand and our production can keep up, we’ll pick up other days of the week as well,” said Copeland.
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He described a working taproom that will produce a number of ales. The opening lineup includes a brown, pale and red ale, as well as a blonde and of course, the mandatory Northwest IPA.
“We’ll have a huge variety,” said Copeland, who described an ambitious production schedule for the 3.5-barrel brewing system. “Everything is Northwest-inspired. We’re as flavor-forward as we can be,” said Copeland.
The brewery name has a dual purpose in describing the region’s rainy weather, but also as a Prohibition-era descriptor for the region where alcohol was smuggled through coastal towns and islands.
What’s next for the brewers is thinking up more brews. Upcoming will be a black ale and an ESB, Copeland said.