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2016 Best of Olympia: Three Magnets Brewing Company

Best Brewery

Frosty beer awaits menu selection at Three Magnets Brewing Co./3Mag Sammich. Photo credit: Jessica Corey-Butler

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There's more than just highly drinkable craft beers brewing at the Three Magnets Brewing Co. Owners Nathan (Nate) and Sara Reilly have recently moved their other Olympia enterprise, Darby's, into part of the all-ages side of the huge space, which led to a menu shift on the pub side of things.   But with Three Magnets, evolving to keep things growing better is just part of the process. 

The name was derived from the concept of garden cities, and refers to the concept of town, country and town-country; basically the concept embraces residence, agriculture and industry, and recognizes the balance of these components.  What it ends up looking like in real life is passionate people doing what they're good at, on a sustainable and mostly-local level when it makes sense.

For the brewery, that means hops come primarily from Yakima, and malt comes from a maltster in Vancouver. Generally, there are six to 14 beers to sample on tap, most of which are brewed in-house, though guest taps are opened up to a variety of independent local brewers who may not have taprooms of their own.  Seattle's Whitewood Ciders and a variety of regional spirits round out the liquid libations served.

While Patrick Jensen and Jeff Stokes incubate creativity on the brewery side of things, Kyle Nuk, formerly of Tacoma's Marrow restaurant, keeps things innovative and fresh on the food side.  With the recent inclusion of Darby's in the space, the identity of the food has evolved.  From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 3Mag Sammich is in operation, offering up soups and sandwiches that give a playful wink and nod to the food truck culinary movement; Korean-esque "kimchi tater salad" pairs unbelievably well with the "Kahlua pig grinder," a sweet/savory/spicy mouthful of yum.  Washed down with an ice cold guest-tap IPA from Triceratops  Brewing, it's a solid lunch under $20.

After four, the 3Mag Pubhouse is in effect.  Sandwiches and burgers on house-made bread average $15, and are joined by oysters, bread boards, salads and flatbreads. Flavors and ingredients are simultaneously local and worldly; it's a dining concept that could be described as "Northwest gastropub," but which Nuk likes to call "brasserie."

Ultimately, the food is only a part of the experience, which has a distinctively non-Northwest feel: long, shared planked wood tables and soccer on the screen recall a German beer hall, with friendly but relaxed service keeping the experience less harried, more come be with your community and stay awhile.

THREE MAGNETS BREWING CO., 600 Franklin St. SE, #105, Olympia, 360.972.2481,

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