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Exploring Tacoma’s Historic Brewery District

7 Seas Brewing brews the iconic Heidelberg Beer. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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The Yakima Valley in Washington produces over 77 percent of the total United States hop crop according to the Washington Beer Commission. It is no wonder that craft breweries are so abundant in Tacoma. The historic Brewery District in Tacoma was once home to several breweries including iconic brands like the Columbia Brewing Co., the Heidelberg Brewery Co. and the Puget Sound Brewing Co. The Prairie Line Trail runs through the Brewery District paralleling Hood St. and there are several interpretive signs pertaining to the area.

You can't talk about the Brewery District without mentioning 7 Seas Brewing Company. In 2016, they opened a brewery and taproom within the historic Heidelberg Brewery which has a rich history going back to 1912. They were the first, but not the last, sparking a revitalization of Tacoma's historic Brewery District.  

The 7 Seas taproom is filled with a collection of historic Northwest beer memorabilia. In 2021, they decided to bring back the iconic Heidelberg Beer, the first beer to be canned in the Pacific Northwest. The pre-prohibition style lager is slow brewed to achieve a classic velvet tang. A Pacific Northwest classic brewed in the building where it was first brewed and canned in the originally designed can.

The Canteen by Camp Colvos is now open within the 7 Seas Taproom and offers an eclectic menu.

7 SEAS BREWERY AND TAPROOM, open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, 2101 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma, 253.572.7770,

The Camp Colvos Brewing and Pizza Company is in Brewery Blocks - a mixed-use facility with dining, businesses and residential space. The company is bringing historic buildings back to life.

In the heart of the Brewery District, you'll find 18 beers on tap and a great menu of food which pairs perfectly with beer. Craft pizza, sandwiches, and salads are featured, but don't let this simple menu detour you. So many ingredients are locally sourced including from Camp Colvos' farm on Vashon Island. Check their Facebook page for upcoming live music events.

Beer lovers will also enjoy "The Taproom" which opens in early 2023.

CAMP COLVOS BREWING AND PIZZA COMPANY, open noon to 9 p.m., Mon-Thurs; noon to 11 p.m., Fri-Sat; noon to 8 p.m., Sun; 2104 Commerce St., Tacoma, 253.314.5704,

Other Brewery District breweries include: E9 Brewing Co., Black Feet Brewing Taproom & Kitchen, Odd Otter Brewing Co. and Wingman Brewery.

Pretty Gritty Tours offers a Brewery Row tour which focuses not only on the beer but the history of Brewery Row and its importance to the Tacoma story. The tour showcases four local breweries carefully selected based on your taste and experience. You'll learn about their brewing techniques and get to meet master brewers. On the history side, learn the bawdy tales of Tacoma's railroad past and interesting facts about the Brewery District. The tour is three hours long and utilizes the free LINK Light Rail public transportation to explore the area.

PRETTY GRITTY TOURS, check website for availability, 253.480.4074,,   

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