On my way to a family vacation in Mt. Rainier National Park, I swung through Olympia, Washington to visit some friends. Of course, we ended up at a brewery, and one that has caught my attention of late. Brewing since 2014, I have found several of their beers at my local markets in Oregon and have been delighted by what I have tried so far, and I was eager to visit the source of these intriguing beers. So grab a beer, sit back, and relax as I review this brew pub that has really pulled me in (see what I did there?).
- Beer – Anchored by an impressive array of styles and options, their tap list has some well-crafted beers on it. They bring not only the standard beers (hello IPA!) but they also delve in to the experimental and unique too. Oyster beer? Sure why not. Sour beers more your thing? They have that on tap as well. There is something for every palate on tap, and that variety is underscored by high quality all around. Score: 4/5
- Brewery – From the street entrance the brewery appears non-descript, with a small door set in a new looking building. Step inside and you wander through the brew floor (wondering all the while if you are supposed to be back here). At the back of the brewery is the tap room and seating area, with large roll-up doors that open on to a moderately sized patio. Indoor seating comprises a large bar, two long high-top tables, and about a half dozen tables, while outside about the same amount of seating is available. They have a full menu, mostly burgers and sandwiches with a few vegetarian options. The food is quite good, and I strongly recommend going hungry so you can eat. Open 11 am until 10 pm during the week, they open a little earlier on the weekend in order to host brunch. The only downside to me was the price, which was considerably higher than expected when compared to many other places in the PNW. Expect to spend $60+ on food and drinks for two people. Score: 3/5
- Ambiance and Entertainment – One thing I found really neat about this place is the cabinet of toys and games they keep by the door. Full of board games and things to entertain, anyone could go grab one and bring it to their table (just be nice and return it when you are done). As for other entertainment options, beer release celebrations and Seattle Sounders watch parties dominate the list. Add in a few stand-up comedy nights, trivia, and various other local events and celebrations and I think there are plenty of opportunities to stop in when something fun is happening. Score: 3.5/5
- Location – I love breweries in the heart of vibrant downtown areas, and Three Magnets is no exception. Pick a direction and you will find various restaurants, bars, and other breweries within walking distance. In addition, the waterfront and accompanying green spaces are a short distance away, as is the state capital building. Parking for the brewery is mostly street level metered spots, so make sure you bring plenty of change. As I mentioned earlier, the brewery can be a little hard to find as the street signage is small and hidden under an overhang, so keep an eye out for it. Score: 3.5/5
- Customer Service – Score: This might be the only category where I wasn’t as impressed. While it was moderately busy, it still took quite a while to even get menus, let alone have orders taken or food delivered. On top of that, when we were ready to go, and had been for a while, our server was nowhere to be found. Eventually we just had to go up to the bar to check out. While the staff was very friendly and pleasant to talk to, it just left a bad taste in my mouth to be ignored for most of the time. Score: 2/5
Total Score: 16/25
Favorite Beer: Coffee Tompkins – 10.1% Imperial Stout
Final Thoughts: A solid brewery in a great location, Three Magnets is worth a visit if you are in the area, even with my concerns about their customer service. I imagine and hope it was just a one-off experience, and I’m all about second chances so I will be back next time I’m in town, and I’ll continue to look for their beers in store as I recommend everyone else do too.