Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tumwater Falls & Olympia Beer

You are looking at an old postcard of Tumwater Falls in Olympia, Washington.

Tumwater Falls is a series of cascades on the Deschutes River.

The term "cascade" is a northwest term that indicates a fall of water slightly short of being a waterfall, it being water cascading, rather than falling. It is a subtle distinction that has always been lost on me.

Tumwater Falls (or Tumwater Cascades) is located near where the Deschutes River enters Budd Inlet, which is a far south arm of Puget Sound.

Tumwater Falls was the location of a town, now gone, called New Market. New Market was the first European settlement in Western Washington. New Market was also the site of the, now sadly gone, Olympia Brewing Company.

The Olympia Brewing Company brewed Olympia Beer.

Olympia Beer was the first beer I ever tasted. I was maybe 8 or 9. Mom and dad took us to Tumwater, to the Olympia Brewing Company tour. At the end of the tour there was a sampling room, liberally dispensing samples. Kids got a soda of some sort.

But, I recollect asking if I could have a sip of the beer. I don't remember if it was mom, or dad, who introduced me to alcohol in this manner, but I took my sip, thought it tasted real nasty and did not sip beer again for a long, long time.

I don't understand how it is that the Olympia brand of beer somehow died. It was very popular. Had sort of a cult following. Not quite like the Coors cult following. But close.

What has become of the Olympia Brewing Company buildings, I can't help but wonder? The brewery was quite a noticeable site when taking a big bend on I-5, heading south to Portland.

Is Rainier Beer no more too? Is that brewery, previously so visible next to I-5 in south Seattle, gone too? How were these travesties allowed to occur?

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