Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 3100 AIRPORT WAY / Parcel ID 7135400000 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Bayview Brewery Co./ Rainier Brewery Co. Common Name: Tully's Coffee
Style: Commercial, Modern, Other - Industrial, Queen Anne - Richardsonian Romanesque Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built:
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).


The buildings are now primarily associated with Tully’s Coffee and previously with Rainier Beer, but have a much longer history. They were originally part of the Bayview Brewing Company, founded during the later part of the 19th Century. According to some sources, the Bayview Brewing Company was incorporated in 1891. According to the same sources, the basis for this brewery was, in fact, a succession of breweries, previously created by brewer Andrew Hemrich with other partners. These included Hemrich and Company, created between 1884 and 1885 and an earlier steam brewery, created by Andrew Hemrich and John Kopp in 1883. Other sources simply claim that the Bayview Brewing Company was created as early as 1883.

Sources are fairly clear that in 1893, the Bayview Brewing Company joined with the Clausen-Sweeney Brewing Company founded by John Clausen and Edward Sweeney in Georgetown, as well as with the Albert Braun Brewing Company, to become the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company.  Operations continued at the first two facilities, while the former Braun headquarters eventually closed. The Seattle Brewing and Malting Company’s most popular product was “Rainier.” By 1904, the company was the largest brewery, west of the Mississippi. By 1913, after consolidation of the brewing operation at the Georgetown plant, the Bayview site became a bottling plant.


Under Prohibition, the sale of alcoholic beverages was outlawed in Washington State in early 1916. The ban was only lifted with the end of  Prohibition in 1933. In 1934, Fritz Sick and his son Emil bought the abandoned buildings of the former Bayview plant and founded the Century Brewing Company. In 1935, they also obtained the rights to the Rainier brand. Major production resumed at the former Bayview Brewing plant. A giant neon “R,” which rotated, was attached to one of the building roofs. It became a notable symbol of the plant. In 1944, the company became known as Sick’s Seattle Brewing and Malting Company. This name endured until 1957, when it was changed to Sick’s Rainier Brewing Company, which lasted until 1970. In 1970, the company was renamed the Rainier Brewing Company. In 1977, G. Heilemann Brewing Company of Illinois bought the company. In 1996, Stroh Brewery of Detroit bought the company, but then ceased its involvement in beer production in 1999. As a result, production of Rainier beer ceased and this facility closed.


The Benaroya Foundation bought the complex shortly thereafter. In 2000, Tully’s Coffee leased it. In 2003, the Rainier Commons group purchased the complex. By 2008, while Tully’s had set up headquarters in a few of the buildings, prominently located along Airport Way South, other buildings were remodeled to accommodate artists’ studios, as well as other commercial/artistic tenants, such as recording studios. 


Additional Sources

Greg Lange, “Saloons close on the eve of Prohibition in Washington state on December 31, 1915,” Essay 5604, HistoryLink, website at, accessed July 5, 2010.


Peter Blecha, “Rainier Beer -- Seattle's Iconic Brewery,” Essay 9130, HistoryLink, August 26, 2009, HistoryLink, website at, accessed July 5, 2010.


Rev. H. K. Hines, D. D., “Andrew Hemrich,” An Illustrated History of the State of Washington, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1893, p 485-486.


Clinton A. Snowden, “Andrew Hemrich,” History of Washington, The Rise and Progress of An American State,

              New York: The Century History Company, 1911, p 129-131.


Paul Dorpat, “Now and Then, Birth of the Brews,” Seattle Times, Pacific Magazine, January 17, 1988, p 22.


 Paul Dorpat, “Now and Then – Rainier Brewery (Seattle), Essay 3001, database available at  , retrieved November 26, 2008.


 Cynthia Rose, “Lift  a Glass: A Seattle landmark bites the dust,” Crosscut, available at,  retrieved November 26, 2008.


Dennis A. Andersen, “Breitung & Buchinger,” in Shaping Seattle Architecture, Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, Editor, Seattle and London: University of Washington Press in association with the American Institute of Architects, Seattle Chapter, Seattle, 1994.


“Bay View Brewing Company (1883-1919),” website at


This complex features at least 21 buildings, set closely together. Most of the buildings feature exterior masonry walls, as well as a variety of window openings. Segmental arches top some of the window openings, while others openings are trabeated. Corbel bands also often figure toward the top of building facades. Also prominent among the buildings is the masonry smoke stack. Most of the buildings are typical of late 19th Century or early 20th Century industrial buildings and form a striking ensemble.

Detail for 3100 AIRPORT WAY / Parcel ID 7135400000 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Site District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete, Terra cotta Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Processing Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: Various
Unit Theme(s): Commerce
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.

Photo collection for 3100 AIRPORT WAY / Parcel ID 7135400000 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 16, 2010
App v2.0.1.0