WA ecology department grants $200K to brewery it once regulated out of business


By Delaney Foreman | Freedom Foundation

The Washington State Department of Ecology’s $200,000 grant to a brewery it once regulated out of business — taking with it 400 local jobs — comes 10 years too late and with a great deal of irony.

Excessive DOE red tape forced the Miller Brewing Co. to close its iconic Tumwater brewery in 2003, and the facility remains vacant more than a decade later. Now, the same regulatory agency that put it out of business is financing an environmental assessment and market feasibility study into the possibility of opening up another craft brewing and distilling center on the site.

Ironically, it was the DOE-permitted LOTT Clean Water Alliance’s $13 million sewage treatment and stringent wastewater disposal regulations that pressured Thurston County’s largest manufacturing employer to leave Washington state. The agency’s impenetrable maze of regulations discouraged Miller from maintaining the already oldest and most expensive location of the company’s breweries. The loss devastated the local economy and decimated the spirit of the community built around the 107-year-old facility.

at Freedom Foundation.