Three Magnets Brewing Co. Opens New Brewpub In Downtown Olympia
By Kathryn L. Casterline
Beer drinkers, rejoice! There is a new brewpub in downtown Olympia. Cancel your plans to visit the craft breweries in Seattle and Portland and go check out the Three Magnets Brewing Co. as soon as you possibly can.
Three Magnets is owned and operated by Evergreen alumni Nathan and Sara Reilly, who have been running Darby’s Cafe for the past nine years. The couple thinks that the restaurant should be fully operational in about a month or so, though they’re going to keep it open as a 21+ establishment in the meantime.
I was invited to attend the brewpub’s secret soft open on Nov. 7 and was among the first to test out their brews and sample their fries, which was the only food they had available that night. “You’ll have to come back another time,” said head brewer Pat Jansen. “All we can offer people tonight is fries or more fries.”
The brewpub has already expanded their food menu and will continue to add more options as time goes on. According to Jansen, Three Magnets will serve primarily local and organic food. When he isn’t working on new beer recipes, Jansen keeps busy working as the local food sourcing liaison for the company, using knowledge and connections he gained during his time as a student at Evergreen.
There’s more reason to be excited about Three Magnets’ opening than just their beer. Brian Wilson, the downtown liaison for the City of Olympia and friend of the owners and brewers, said that opening up this brewpub created 40 new jobs. “To see this level of investment from an existing business owner shows their commitment and belief in downtown.”
Olympia beer may not be brewed here anymore, but this is still a beer town. “When the brewery went out, it was a big hit to our economy. We’re finally starting to reestablish Olympia as the beer city it once was. It’s great to see it happening, even if it is on a smaller scale,” said Wilson.
You’ll definitely find a sense of community at the brewery. A lot of the beers at Three Magnets are named after local businesses, like their Rainy Day IPA and the Brotherhood Brown. While I’ve yet to try all of their beers, the Rainy Day IPA is one of my favorites. I got to sample it at the Tumwater Artesian Brewfest earlier this year and have been waiting to get another taste ever since. Three Magnets has actually made an arrangement with the record store—every time they sell a pint of that delicious brew, Rainy Day will donate 25 cents to help out The Northern, an all-ages venue that has been struggling to keep its doors open.
The cheapest beers on the menu right now are $4.25, which isn’t bad given their quality. Jansen has been home-brewing for about eight and a half years now. He and the other brewer, Jeff Stokes, work on the recipes together.
A lot of the beers currently featured on the menu are recipes Jansen has worked with before, but the final product is always a group effort. Before anything gets added to the Three Magnets menu, Stokes takes a look at the recipe and adds to it, making it a collaborative effort. Right now they’re offering half “repeat” recipes Jansen developed on his own, in addition to the new recipes the two developed together. “Really our goal is to make clean beers with no flaws,” said Jansen.
Right now, customers can only sample one brew at a time, but Three Magnets will eventually offer sampler trays. “It took us a while to design a tray that would work with our logo but we finally found something we could work with. Right now we’re just waiting for the order to come in,” he said.
They will also be ready to open up the all-ages, family-friendly section of the bar soon. “The building was still undergoing construction two hours before the opening,” said Wilson. The bar still isn’t as complete as the owners would like it to be, but they’re making more progress each day.
Three Magnets has been posting updates on their Facebook page on an almost daily basis. While they don’t currently have set hours, they plan on opening every day around 4 and closing around 10.