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Gig Harbor brewery 7 Seas to open second location in downtown Tacoma

7 Seas co-owner Mike Runion stands in the bottom floor of the 80,000-square-foot building the company recently purchased in downtown Tacoma, which used to be the Heidelberg Brewery, before it closed in 1979. The taproom will be on the top floor and is expected to open to the public in late spring or early summer.
7 Seas co-owner Mike Runion stands in the bottom floor of the 80,000-square-foot building the company recently purchased in downtown Tacoma, which used to be the Heidelberg Brewery, before it closed in 1979. The taproom will be on the top floor and is expected to open to the public in late spring or early summer. Staff writer

The popular Gig Harbor brewery 7 Seas is expanding.

The company announced Monday it had purchased a second location in downtown Tacoma. The 80,000-square-foot building, located on 21st and Jefferson and spanning two city blocks, has functioned as a brewery previously, as the Heidelberg Brewery, which shut down in 1979.

7 Seas now becomes part of a large effort to continue revitalizing downtown Tacoma.

To be able to have a possibility of revitalizing a historic brewery was too good to pass up. It’s in the right part of town. Being adjacent to UW Tacoma and the Prairie Line Trail that currently goes through UW, it’s going to become a really fun, walkable place with lots of options and arts going on. It’s a great neighborhood.

Mike Runion

“To be able to have a possibility of revitalizing a historic brewery was too good to pass up,” said 7 Seas co-owner Mike Runion. “It’s in the right part of town. Being adjacent to UW Tacoma and the Prairie Line Trail that currently goes through UW, it’s going to become a really fun, walkable place with lots of options and arts going on. It’s a great neighborhood.”

The Tacoma space will operate as a second, fully operational brewery and taproom. The Gig Harbor location will remain in place, continuing normal operations. The 7 Seas space at Gig Harbor is about 14,000 square feet.

To put into perspective how large the space is: The Tacoma building is larger than the entire Peninsula Shopping Center, which 7 Seas occupies just a small part of.

“We’re out of room,” Runion said. “We viewed the downtown location in Gig Harbor as our long-term production brewery. As the landlord has looked at the site, they haven’t allowed us to expand into the rest of the space. When we understood there was no more space available, we knew it wouldn’t be able to be there long term. We’re not going anywhere from Gig Harbor. We still plan on producing beer in our current footprint.”

The taproom is expected to open to the public in late spring or early summer. The acquisition allows 7 Seas to expand while keeping an eye toward the future.

“We don’t need all the space immediately,” Runion said. “We were able to say, ‘OK, we understand what our needs will be long term.’”

Runion said the Gig Harbor location won’t be neglected.

“I consider the Gig Harbor (location) to be the flagship,” he said. “We’re a Gig Harbor company. I’m excited to see another one added.”

7 Seas has been voted the South Sound’s best brewery by South Sound Magazine for six years in a row.

All of the South Sound is looking for a brewery to be really proud of.

Mike Runion

“All of the South Sound is looking for a brewery to be really proud of,” Runion said. “That poll was nice to hear.”

The taproom will be located on the second floor. Preliminary plans call for two separate entrances to the taproom. 7 Seas also plans to open an outdoor deck during the warmer months.

“I’m excited for our company to have a future,” Runion said. “In our company’s timeline, to be able to control our own destiny, grow at our own pace and have the space available to do so. We’re excited to grow as a company. We’re super fortunate to have a team of people that work hard. We want to make sure 7 Seas is a viable business now and in the future.”

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