There’s a new brew in town… more than new, a first of it’s kind in a long time!
The boom of breweries has been growing for years, filling up abandoned buildings in cities far and wide, but it has been a little quiet in old Aberdeen until a recent spark finally brought those hoppy smells to a downtown street corner.
Jon and Stefanie Bennett, owners and brewers of Steam Donkey Brewing Co, didn’t just get this business running overnight. While working their full time jobs and living a typical small town life with their dog, Barley, in a cute house on a corner in Cosmopolis, they started to dream about a future in brewing. Years ago, the name was decided long before the lease was signed on their current location.
When Jon made a move to leave his job and explore the world of brewing as Head Brewer with a Brewing Company in Westport, he learned of the potential for a business based on beer in Grays Harbor; the flow of the seasons, marketing, and how do deal with disasters. Particularly, one big disaster when the brewery where he worked burned down on one terrible night.
This might have been a sign. Jon had been itching to get his own brewery going and now he was suddenly without a job… this is it!
Jon and Stefanie made their business plan and got to work searching out locations, buying up supplies and networking with fellow Northwest Breweries. They did plenty of “research” (i.e. drinking) in the year or so leading up to their opening day.
Besides research, they spent a year preparing their tasting room. The place needed more than just a coat of paint. Previously housing a small barnyard themed restaurant, almost every wall, ceiling tile and nailed on “decorative element” was torn down or adjusted to fit their vision: a bright and open room to house both the brewing equipment AND a collection of tables and bar seats for guests.
On March 17th, they opened their doors to enthusiastic crowds. The space was small for so many visitors, but the energy was extra large and carried over into a well populated tasting room after opening day.
A note about the author here: I’m currently 8 months pregnant, so I haven’t been able to partake in the beer for which this space was built. But, my husband is a beer nerd connoisuer and wrote this review of the Mountains Out IPA on Untappd.
Favorite of the opening day beers. Pleasant mouthfeel; soft and bubbly. Middle takes over through the whole sip. Watch the ABV!
While I do love beer, I actually love lemonade more. Which is why I’m not complaining, because Steam Donkey serves up a fresh and bubbly sparkling lemonade on tap. I can only hope we get some Radlers come time for Oktoberfest.
Steam Donkey is open Thursday through Sunday at their location on the corner of Wishkah and Broadway in downtown Aberdeen. They serve up a few of their beers in various sizes (including tasters and growlers to go) and have peanuts for snacking on. If you’re in need of a bit along with that brew, check out our list of favorite Aberdeen eateries here.