AKA: Claussen-Sweeney Brewing Company, Building, Georgetown, Seattle, WA; Seattle Brewing and Malting Company, Brewery Complex, Georgetown, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - industrial buildings - factories; built works _ industrial buildings - processing plant

Designers: Lohse, Henry, Sr., Building Contractor (firm); Henry Lohse Jr. (building contractor)

Dates: constructed 1884

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6000 Airport Way South
Seattle, WA 98108-2770

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This sprawling brewery complex began its development in 1884. It has housed multiple brewing companies, most notably the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company, producer of Rainier Beer. Before the onset of Prohibition, in WA State this occurred in 1916, Rainier Beer was brewed at this facility and at the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company's plant

Building History

Sweeney and Rule founded their brewery in Georgetown, WA, then an independent city, in 1884. After 01/01/1889, new ownership took over the firm, known as the Claussen-Sweeney Brewing Company. This firm lasted until it consolidated with the J. Hemrich and Company Brewery and the Braun Brewing Association in 1893, to form the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company. This facility was the original brewery to produce the locally-beloved Rainier Beer brand. It grew to be a huge producer, brewing over 1 million gallons of beer in 1893.

After the repeal of Prohibition, Canadian brewer, Emil Sick (1894-1964), used this huge factory to produce his Rainier Beer. This 855-foot long brewery and warehouse operated at one time as the 6th-largest brewing facility in the world. Its parts were added gradually over time in accordance with changing needs.

The Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board heard a report on the "emergency demolition" of a part of this building on 01/16/2008. Sabey Corporation purchased the 5.5 acre site and its buildings (containing 310,000 square feet) on 10/06/2006 for $9.9 million, and petitioned the city to demolish the Stock House on the plant's south end due to its structural condition. In 2006, the property housed 65 tenants.

Building Notes

Also known as the Rainier Cold Storage and Ice Building, Seattle, WA and the Rainier Cold Storage Warehouse, Seattle, WA. This building, at 885 feet long, had several components built incrementally. It contained a Malt-House (topped by a tall chimney), a Brew House (notable for its twin towers topped by false-fronted pediments), a Bottling Plant, the General Offices and a long Stock-House (demolished).

In 1894, Oscar Gyrth worked as a brewer at the Claussen-Sweeney Brewery. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1894, p. 386.)


Many additions were made to this brewery complex, particularly after 1893. In 1911, the Rainier Foundry supplied 32 iron columns for improvements at the Seattle Brewing Company plant in Georgetown; A portion of the Rainier Cold Storage Building, the original Stock House, was demolished in late 01/2008. It presented an Ice House Replacement Design in 05/2008 before the Architectural Review Sub-Committee of the Landmarks Preservation Board.

Seattle Historic Landmark (12/13/1993): ID n/a

PCAD id: 11796