New Craft District Aims for Excellence in Tumwater

Always surround yourself with people you can learn from. This was a guiding principle of Leopold Schmidt, founder of the Olympia Brewing Company in Tumwater, Wash.

Leopold Schmidt, founder of the Olympia Brewing Company. Photo courtesy of Olympia Tumwater Foundation.

It’s been nearly 125 years since he established his famous brewery. Now, just down the road from where its legendary building still stands, SCJ is supporting a collaborative effort that will embody Schmidt’s motto.

The creation of the new Tumwater Craft District arose from a desire to have the City of Tumwater again be known as a center of excellence for things like brewing, cidermaking, and distilling. And with South Puget Sound Community College’s (SPSCC) new brewing and distilling program as one of the first occupants, education and learning will be at the very heart of the new District.

Leading the project are the City of Tumwater and the private development group Craft District, LLC, with SCJ playing a multi-disciplined role. We are providing civil engineering and transportation design services for the entire site, including designing sewer and water systems, complex traffic and site reroutes, and a new intersection for Tumwater’s primary corridor.

Being near the Deschutes River, a Habitat Protection Plan for the project was also created by SCJ, which outlines impacts to the river’s shoreline and steps to mitigate them.

A wall goes up at the Tumwater Craft District project site.

The project itself also has an element of Schmidt’s advice woven through it. “I’ve gotten to work with a team of extremely talented individuals,” says SCJ Project Manager Tyrell Bradley. This has included Tumwater’s Public Works Director Jay Eaton, Engineer Matt Webb, and Planning Manager Chris Carlson; developers John Peters, Mike Parsons and Dylan Parsons; and architects Darren Filand of Fi Architecture and Jim Cary of Cardinal Architecture.

Award-winning Heritage Distilling Company will be SPSCC’s neighbor in the initial 30,000-square-foot building, with future phases expected to bring a regional brewery, a cidery, and restaurants to the location. An amphitheater with capacity for 1,000 people is also planned.

As the project comes to life, Tyrell shares, “To be a part of creating a community hub for learning and innovation, while building on the knowledge and tradition that’s already here – it’s inspiring in every sense.”


  1. Thanks for the article post.Really thank you! Great.

  2. Is there a picture of what the finished project will look like to include the theater?

    1. The outdoor theater will be addressed in future phases of the project, so the design is still fluid and not yet available.


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