After two years of serving locally crafted beer in Tacoma, John Fosberg is happy to open a new Gig Harbor Brewing taproom in its namesake city.
The Gig Harbor Brewing taproom opened its doors on Harborview Drive next to Skansie Brothers Park as a part of the Gig Harbor Marina and Boatyard building. The local beer is not brewed in the new space, but the 21-and-over establishment features draft local beer, cider and wine in a relaxing small space with a fireplace and views of the water.
“This is a great space,” Gig Harbor Brewing owner John Fosberg said. “This is exactly what I wanted.”
Fosberg opened Gig Harbor Brewing Company over two years ago in south Tacoma at 3120 S. Tacoma Way, after a year and a half of searching for a spot to open a brewery in Gig Harbor.
Fosberg said his family sailed into Gig Harbor in 1999 and fell in love with the community. His love for this city inspired him to create beers named after local spots and legends.
“My other company, Fosberg Media Group, started helping produce the Gig Harbor Beer Fest,” Fosberg said. “I started connecting with the beer brewing community and it seemed those people were having a good time. So we wrote up a business plan and started looking for space in Gig Harbor.”
Fosberg and his wife searched for a space that could house a brewery with a willing landlord that would also appease his investors.
“There is not a lot of warehouse space,” Fosberg said. “And the few places we found did not have a willing landlord, which was a surprise because of the success of (Seven Seas Brewery). The people who were behind this really liked the concept of Gig Harbor Brewing, the names are based on historical events. So I started looking outside of Gig Harbor, everywhere, … but I was having a hard time because all of the pot people were setting up shop and taking all the places. But we found the place in South Tacoma and it was inexpensive.”
Fosberg’s brewery has expanded twice in Tacoma but he still had hopes he would bring his libations to Gig Harbor. A couple of Fosberg’s investors found the space on Harborview Drive and talked to the Gig Harbor Marina and Boatyard owner, Ron Roark, to work out a plan to bring beers such as Sturdy Gertie Double IPA to the city.
“I came down and looked at it and instantly decided to (lease) it,” Fosberg said. “There is no production here so we are 21-plus only.”
The taproom features bar-top seating, couches and lounge chairs near a fireplace with outdoor deck seating for views of the harbor. Food is not served at the taproom but customers are allowed to bring in their own food or order food from The Trolley @ the Boatyard, located next door to the taproom.
Fosberg said his brewery in Tacoma allows all ages, but because the taproom is not a brewery he applied for a city tavern license to serve wine which put an age restriction on the location.
“We’ve gotten some complaints about that,” Fosberg said. “But for every complaint about not allowing kids, I’ve received five or 10 hallelujahs for various reasons.”
The taproom had its grand opening April 7 and was packed with locals.
“The turnout was spectacular,” Fosberg said. “With the park right next door and the events they do down here … I think we are going to do just fine here.”
About the taproom
Where: 3155 Harborview Dr. in Gig Harbor next to Skansie Park.
When: 2 – 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 12:30 - 6:00 p.m. Sunday.
Specialty beers: Flagship beers include Giggly Blonde, Round Rock IPA, Sturdy Gertie Double IPA, Racing Rooster Red and Gig Harbor Imperial Stout. The taproom will serve a variety of exclusive barrel-aged and specialty beers created specifically for the Harbor Taproom and the Tacoma taproom and brewery. The taproom also serves local wines.