In 2007, after learning how to brew from friends, books and classes, Alex Dittmar became obsessed with crafting good beer. A longtime employee at Alaska Airlines, he had no idea at the time where his obsession would lead. But, in 2008, Alex won his first competition of many as a home brewer at the San Diego County Fair for what is now the Jet City ESB. The wheels were set in motion for Airways Brewing, and Alex and Dione began planning the brewery in 2009. The name Airways was chosen as a way to combine Alex’s love of both beer and airliners, two significant industries in this region.
Airways opened its doors to the public on March 11, 2010. The original Tap Room was small (it only seated 18 people indoors!), paired with a half-barrel pilot brew system. Shortly after opening, the team began brewing 7-barrel batches of beer at a friend’s brewery in the Seattle area and quickly started to gain recognition not only for their beer, but for their humorous take on the airline industry. In October of 2012, a new 10-barrel brewhouse arrived, dwarfing the original system and providing the ability to brew all Airways beer in Kent.
As if one location wasn’t enough, part of Airways’ plans included opening a second location in downtown Kent. This location would have a kitchen and allow Airways to share their passion for craft beer with a new part of Kent. The Airways Brewing Beer & Bistro opened for business on November 1, 2012. Offering a rotating menu and selection of locally made beer, wine and cider, the Bistro quickly became a favorite in downtown Kent, winning the Kent Downtown Partnership’s Economic Engine Award two years in a row.
To celebrate the brewery’s third anniversary in March of 2013, Airways launched an updated look as well as an expanded packaged product line including Sky Hag IPA®, Chocolate Stout, Pre Flight Pilsner™, and PSA® Summer Ale. Bottles and cans can now be found throughout Western Washington, the greater Portland, Oregon area, and on airwaysbrewing.com.