New craft brewery planned for Gig Harbor

After two-years of planning, procrastinating, and persuading investors, a new brewery and taproom — the Gig Harbor Brewing Company — will be opening in the new year.

GIG HARBOR — After two-years of planning, procrastinating, and persuading investors, a new brewery and taproom — the Gig Harbor Brewing Company — will be opening in the new year.

The brewery will be a 10-barrel, multi-vessel automated system engineered specifically for Gig Harbor Brewing Company’s beer styles. Plans for the new brewery have the first kegs rolling out in late-November 2014, with more starting to show up shortly thereafter wherever great beers are sold in Western Washington.

The new brewery is the result of co-owner and sales manager John Fosberg’s long-held enthusiasm for craft beer.

“First we got hooked on the incredibly-creative beers produced locally — 7 Seas, Harmon, Duo Brewing,” he said. “Then it was attending and volunteering at beer festivals around the Northwest — then we starting brewing our own — and before we knew it, we were producing the Gig Harbor Beer Festival. Starting our own brewery is the next logical step in our craft beer dreams.”

Fosberg said that he had been kicking around ideas for a brewing company for several years, learning as much as he could about the industry through various organizations, the Gig Harbor Beer Festival, and talking with other brewers, but start-up costs and his busy creative agency, Fosberg Media Group, kept getting in the way of moving beyond the planning stages.

“I really loved the passion this industry has for its product, and I kept feeling that I really wanted to be a part of something like that. I couldn’t shake it,” Fosberg said.

A chance meeting during a trip to Europe in 2012 was enough to finally convince Fosberg to move forward with his brewery ideas. “I was walking along the streets of Nuremburg, Germany during the Christmas Markets. It was pouring down snow, so I stopped into a local pub, and there, sitting at the bar was a 40-something bloke from England wearing a “Beer Advocate” cap. I thought, ‘it’s a sign’. We talked for a long time about craft beer, breweries, and festivals in Great Britain, and all the places he had specifically traveled to in the U.S. just to visit craft breweries and taste the beer. Now that’s passion. That was the moment I decided to go forward. The Gig Harbor Brewing Company had to happen.”

On his return and with a renewed enthusiasm for the project, Fosberg said he quickly enlisted the help of several trusted advisors, two of whom were a lawyer and an accountant to put the final finishing touches on the new venture’s business plan.

Once the business plan was complete, Fosberg started talking to potential investors, and found it easy to convince people to get involved. “Everyone loved the idea from the start. We’re still looking for a few more investors to be a part of this, but a big chunk of the money has come from a small group of people who really fell in love with the project,” he said.

Trevor Nicol, a local brew master from Tacoma will be in charge of brewing at the new company. The brewery’s first three beers will be Galloping Gertie Pale Ale, Round Rock Pilsner, and Mosquito Fleet IPA™. The beer names have been chosen to represent some of the historical local icons and traditions of Gig Harbor, Key Peninsula, and Tacoma Narrows. “We wanted the beer names to be very locally tied to the area — a real Harbor flavor,” added Fosberg. In the future, other seasonal and limited-release recipes are also planned.

The location of the new brewery and other details will be announced later this year.