Long time coming

Marsha Hart, KP News Co-Owner Mike Runion and CEE (Chief Executive of Everything) at 7 Seas Brewing welcomed visitors to their new taproom in mid-October. Runion is a 2003 graduate of Gig Harbor High School and a frequent visitor to the Key Peninsula. His business partner, Brewmaster Travis Guterson, brings brewing experience from Rogue Brewery in Oregon and Silver City Brewery in Silverdale. The brewery is located next to the Inn at Gig Harbor. Photo by Danna Webster, KP News It’s the first craft brewery in the area, and just in time for the dreary rainy season, 7 Seas Brewery opened its taproom Oct. 15, complete with a handcrafted bar to go along with its handcrafted beer. The intimate tasting room pub is cozy, with a bar that overlooks the brewery, so visitors can watch the brewers in action and take in the aroma of freshly brewed beer. The natural wood of the bar and the stools blends an added warmth and atmosphere to go with the conversation and beverage. 7 Seas Brewing, located beside the Inn at Gig Harbor, delivered its first sale July 9. Owners Travis Guterson, the brew master, and Mike Runion, the CEE or chief executive everything as he refers to himself, are dedicated to providing the ultimate proper pint. In the 7 Seas taproom, beer connoisseurs will find Cutts NW dry hopped Amber Ale, British Pale Ale and Ballz Deep double IPA. A fourth beer is slated for release in late November or early December, this one will be a black beer with massive roasted and dark chocolate notes to expand the Foreign Export Style Stout lineup. Instead of a beer that is mostly fillers, watered down, and is designed to get you drunk, the two said a beer should be made from malted barley, water, yeast and hops. 7 Seas is starting small, and keeping the focus on quality, they said. “We’ve been approached (by distributors), but we want to make sure there is a face to the company, and that the beer is getting stored and distributed in the best possible conditions,” Guterson said. 7 Seas is already on tap at local pubs and taverns, including Tides Tavern in Gig Harbor, the Hy Iu Hee Hee, and the Blazing Onion in uptown Gig Harbor. The combination at first seems a bit unlikely. Guterson sports long braids, and a goatee; Runion is clean-shaven, has short blonde hair and is all about business. And the two make a successful combination. Guterson and Runion met while working at Silver City Brewing in Silverdale. Runion was interested in breaking into the business, and Guterson was working as an assistant in the brewery. Runion had a couple of years at WSU. He studied entrepreneurship, he said.
7 Seas Brewing Tap Room Hours: Thursday and Friday 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.For more information on 7 Seas Brewing, visit www.7seasbrewing.com, or call Runion at 253-686-3703, or Guterson at 206-851-5586.
“Our passions matched,” Runion said. “We’ve been working on 7 Seas for 2 ½ years.” When a microbrewery in Seattle went out of business, Runion and Guterson said they swooped in to buy the equipment. They set up a business in downtown Gig Harbor and were six weeks from opening when the building burned. That was in January. “We had put so much work in that place, and thanks to Mike getting on the ball with the insurance,” Guterson said. Though they lost everything except the stainless, the two immediately started rebuilding the business. They moved to the location beside the Inn at Gig Harbor and both said it is a better location.