7 Seas Brewing to roll out new beer to stores

Company continues to grow and expand in its downtown Gig Harbor location

Staff writerJuly 16, 2014 

7 Seas Brewing employees are hard at work in the company’s distribution center in downtown Gig Harbor, which is also home to the popular taproom.

JON MANLEY/GATEWAY PHOTO

As a sign of the brewery’s continued growth, 7 Seas Brewing will roll out a new beer in stores within the next couple months. Owner and co-founder Mike Runion declined to say what the brew will be, but offered a helpful hint.

“It’ll be a lager,” Runion said.

The brewery just celebrated its fifth anniversary with a big party at its downtown Gig Harbor taproom, which owners view as the most important area of the harbor.

“If you’re going to be anywhere in Gig Harbor, we feel strongly about downtown,” Runion said. “That was a big focus. Maybe we could help with a little revitalization.”

The company started off producing about 1,200 barrels of beer per year, equivalent to 2,400 kegs. Its now producing about 6,000 barrels per year, or 12,000 kegs. 7 Seas also expanded to distribute beer to the entire state, and 600 to 700 retail locations now carry the brand. Still, it’s a small operation. The downtown location at 3006 Judson St. has room to expand to about 20,000 barrels per year. “That’s what we’re growing into,” Runion said.

The company has no plans to grow to distribute to other states in the near future.

“We want it enjoyed fresh, close to the source,” Runion said. “Why would we go any further?”

The philosophy is different than some other breweries of the same size. For 7 Seas, staying local is important, and the brewery wants to be an important part of the community — a source of pride for Gig Harbor residents.

“We do our best to try to make the community proud,” Runion said. “People take a lot of pride in their local brewery. When your local brewery is crushing it, people like to talk about their local beer. We’ve been really grassroots. It all comes down to our community here.”

And the Gig Harbor community has been very receptive to 7 Seas.

“We are extremely lucky to have such a supportive community,” Runion said. “It’s the only reason we’ve been able to do what we’ve been able to do. It’s pretty rare. Most communities aren’t that tight or supportive. It’s a rare, special place.”

7 Seas doesn’t take the community’s support for granted, and gives back to the community in many ways. For one, it sponsors a Pierce County Aids Foundation dinner every year at the taproom site, donating 100 percent of the proceeds to the cause.

Runion also hinted at a partnership with Peterson Brothers 1111 to do a food truck. While he wouldn’t give too much away, he said it’ll be different than the average taco truck.

“It’ll be really versatile,” Runion said.

As the company continues to grow, Runion continues to look for creative ways to promote its products and build the 7 Seas brand.

Jon Manley: 253-358-4151 jon.manley@ gateline.com Twitter: @gateway_jon

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