7 Seas Brewing Company to be Gig Harbor’s first brewery

For island resident Travis Guterson, passion comes from four basic ingredients. The 24-year-old Bainbridge High School graduate is harnessing water, malt, hops and yeast to create a set of unique brews that will be the cornerstone of Gig Harbor’s first brewery.

  • Tuesday, September 9, 2008 7:37pm
  • Business

Islander Travis Guterson (left)

For island resident Travis Guterson, passion comes from four basic ingredients.

The 24-year-old Bainbridge High School graduate is harnessing water, malt, hops and yeast to create a set of unique brews that will be the cornerstone of Gig Harbor’s first brewery.

The 7 Seas Brewing Company is the brainchild of Guterson and his friend and business partner, Mike Runion. The two are busy putting together their 1,600-square-foot facility in downtown Gig Harbor with an eye on opening before the end of the year.

Guterson, an island native, dropped out of college at the University of Washington to pursue his passion for brewing, something he doesn’t regret in the slightest.

“I think I am lucky to have found that one thing that motivates me,” Guterson said. “I enjoy taking four humble, basic ingredients and the process of transforming that into something magical. Brewing has been around in one way or another since humans have existed. I get a kick out of the historical and cultural aspects of it.”

Guterson met Runion while the two were working at Silver City Brewery in Silverdale. They quickly developed a philosophy of “why work for someone else when you can do it yourself.” Soon after, the pair began looking at starting their own microbrewery.

“I did some exploration of brewing on the island, because I love this community, but that was a bit too ambitious for us,” Guterson said.

Right now the brewery’s equipment is being stored on the south end, awaiting transport to Gig Harbor and it’s first batch.

Guterson, the brewmaster at 7 Seas, will be making three original brews to kick-start the business. A flagship Northwest style Amber Ale, a traditional British Pale Ale and, despite the high cost of ingredients, a double IPA that pays homage to the region’s quality hops. There is also another unique characteristic to the 7 Seas Brewery vision.t

“We’re going to be the first microbrewery to can,” Guterson said. “That distinguishes us in certain ways. People usually do bottles. It takes a little more initial investment, but cans are more eco-friendly, they are 70 percent recycled and it is the best way to package beer because no UV light gets in there.”

The company is integrating the canning concept into their marketing campaign, targeting Northwest residents who enjoy good beer and the great outdoors.

“They usually say ‘pack it in and pack it out.’ Our motto is, ‘no broken glass and no heavy trash,’” Guterson said.

Guterson and Runion are beginning to court restaurants and bars in the area that will be among the first to offer 7 Seas brews. Guterson has his eye on a few Bainbridge businesses, but can’t reveal details yet.

“It’s not as simple as getting beer and selling it, there is a lot that goes into this… we have a realistic goal to have product available before the end of the year,” Guterson said. “The anticipation, excitement and support is growing, now the big priority is getting this thing going.”

To see how 7 Seas Brewery is coming along, visit:

www.7seasbrewing.com.

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