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Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

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Beer Stats:
Active Beers: 37
Beer Ratings: 1,840
Beer Avg: 3.62

Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
88
very good

27 Ratings
Ratings: 27
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.21%
$$ - reasonable


[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

515 Jefferson St. SE
Olympia, Washington, 98501
United States
phone: (360) 943-3650

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 27 | Reviews: 25 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

I went to the Fishbowl twice on my vacation; once on the way down to the coast and once on my way up from Portland.

This is a great funky pub that located just off the I-5 in Olympia. Lots of parking and located in a cool neighbourhood. The place is decorated with lots of fish related art and has two levels. The beers are divided into Fish and Leavenworth with the latter only on tap. There is a wide spectrum from the Leavenworth Light to the Old Grumpy barley wine. Almost all first class examples of the styles with the IPA's being a must try. The food is well made and big portions. The nachos are great with the burgers looking very tasty. Good service especially of you sit at the bar.

07-19-2008 04:33:17 | More by canucklehead
Photo of jcurtis55
jcurtis55

Indiana

4.08/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

I recently spent some time in Olympia on business and it didn't take us to long to locate this brew pub. It appears they made have changed the name to the Fish Tale Brew Pub. At least that's what it says on the door. I had dinner here 3 times and lunch once during my four weeks in town. It's a popular place and was generally pretty crowded of an evening, but we found the back area was pretty quiet if that is what you are looking for. We never tried the loft. I did not encounter the snobby attitude some reviewers encountered and the wait staff was quite friendly and willing to give out samples before you decided what to order. We did see a local bring in a small dog and actually set him on the table. Not something you see in a restaurant very often, but it didn't seem to bother anyone.

Food wise, I was especially fond of the Cod fish and chips, the seafood stew and the Summer Breeze sandwich. The reuben was decent as well. The summer breeze is a grilled sandwich with Black Forest ham, melted brie, apple slices and a horseradish sauce that all blends together into a wonderful flavored treat. I forget the name, but I had a chocolate cheesecake one evening that was completely decadent. The only downside to the food is the selection is somewhat limited.

I tried the Pear cider, which was really good. I'm taking a bottle of that home for my wife to try. Beers tried included the Fish Tale Organic Amber Ale, 50 Fathoms ESB, Old Woody ale, and the Leavenworth Whistling Pig Hef. All were very good, but I have to give the 50 Fathoms ESB the nod as my favorite.

03-21-2008 04:35:21 | More by jcurtis55
Photo of dnichols
dnichols

Washington

2.98/5  rDev -22.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$

I visited the pub with my son and his friend. I was excited to try and carry out a quantity of Monkfish Ale which is only produced during in limited batches. I arrived after checking to make sure the Ale was "in season" only to be told that they did not have any at the pub for sale (none for carry out, none in bottles for sale at the pub and none on tap)! The wait staff seemed hurried and not very knowledgeable about the brewery products that were available so I ordered dinner and a pint. The food was good but not great and the service was fair but not good. I doubt I will ever try the pub again.

09-12-2007 22:07:36 | More by dnichols
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$

I went to Olympia with a friend who was under 21 recently and visited Fish Brewing. Unfortunately he was not allowed in since it was a Sunday and only the bar area was open. I noticed the fish nets and Keg decorations with fish as I walked in. The beer menu was prominently displayed on a chalk board with descriptions. The place has a cafeteria type feel with wooden tables and bar. I took a stroll around a picked up some shwag at first, then settled down to order us some food to go.

I was impressed with the menu - Gyros, Ostrich burgers, falafels, salmon, bratwursts and oyster sandwiches. I got to sample 4 different ales including a cask barlewine and belgian triple before choosing a Mudshark Porter. I ordered an Ostrich burger with mushrooms and blue cheese which was delicious even though the add-ons cost extra. the fries were delicious and the number of Organic ale choices was out of the ordinary. the Leavenworth beers: Pilsener, Ipa, Weizen etc. were a nice alternative.

The place is spacious with beautiful art and signage on the exterior and they offer three types of hard cider also. I found the visit to be enjoyable albeit brief. I picked up a growler of Hodgson's IPA to go and I hope to return since the service was prompt and friendly. The selection will leave you satisfied with the many styles and even a cask and guest tap choice.

06-19-2007 17:18:54 | More by Slatetank
Photo of Ruddiger
Ruddiger

Washington

2.9/5  rDev -24.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | $$

This place was very very loud, hard to have a conversation with the other people at your table as sound seemed to echo off of the walls on the top level we were sitting at. The server was also rude and seemed snooty.
The beers were good though, and the prices reasonable. The barleywine on cask was very delicious. I probably would stop in again, but I didn't really enjoy my visit, and the other people in my party didn't either. I would maybe go back, but I'm probably not enough of a yuppie to fit in here on a regular basis.

06-08-2007 19:25:51 | More by Ruddiger
Photo of wingedeel
wingedeel

Indiana

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

Had a really nice time at the Fishbowl Brewpub.

The place is bright and open, newly remodled I am told. The crowd was modest on a Sunday afternoon. The atmosphere was pretty laid back and casual.

The food menu was interesting, and the food was very good, and reasonably priced. My wife had the oyster burger, and I had the ostrich burger. The seafood stew was also good.

I was driving, so I only could try two beers, a dubbel, and an oak aged Barlywine. Both were quite good. My wife had a Hefe, and while it was odd for the style, it was actually very good in its own right.

We sat at a table, and our server, a young man, was quite friendly and helpful,and was well versed on the beers I asked about. Service was just fine.

Cant wait to return to the Fishbowl, next time with a designated driver, or a motel room/cab as they had many more beers I was eager to sample.

02-26-2007 23:33:17 | More by wingedeel
Photo of udubdawg
udubdawg

Kansas

4.08/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

After renovation this place is much improved. A little better service, especially in regards to educating their servers about their beers, and they'd be great.

Fish Tale makes many quality beers, and a few truly great ones. Three of their beers (and some items on the menu too) are even certified organic. Unfortunately they don't bottle everything, so some of my favorites like the Mudshark Porter can only be enjoyed on draft. Note that the beers on tap are even better than bottled, but I'd still like to have them more widely available.
Unfortunately they no longer barrel-age their Poseidon Imperial Stout. (They used to have a red-wine barrel aged 10% beer bottled, and a lighter 8% unaged beer on tap...now they just bottle the 8%)
A highlight is that they've always got one of their beers available on cask. Delicious!

Quesadillas are good, and the fish and chips (especially the salmon) grilled oysters, and smoked salmon sandwich even better.

(Note that if you're looking for more upscale food and don't mind it a bit more pricey, I highly recommend Sorrentos, which is the corner of the the same building. Trule awesome Italian cuisine! )

02-25-2007 01:31:23 | More by udubdawg
Photo of idResponse
idResponse

North Carolina

2.48/5  rDev -35.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3 | $$$$

The Fishbowl Brewpub is the place to pick up anything Fishtale Ale related. They always have something on tap you can't find in bottles, and you can always buy a growler there. I really enjoy many of the Fishtale Ale products, however, I have been put off by the pub.

The place is a haunt for the local yuppie crowds and the place fills up rather quickly at night, especially on the weekends. The people there are rather snobbish and don't seem to enjoy new faces showing up in their territory. The staff there tend to be about the same way and really don't understand the products they are serving or care to talk much about them.

Once during an early day when there wasn't a crowd there, a friend and I went for lunch. We had a plate of nachos and a couple pints. We stepped outside for a quick (horrible!) cigarette and upon opening the door to finish half a pint and some more nachos, the bar had already been cleared.

Thanks for throwing away some perfectly good beer and losing a future customer, Fishbowl.

05-03-2006 21:55:41 | More by idResponse
Photo of carln26
carln26

Missouri

4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

The Fishbowl is the favorite brewpub of a good friend of mine who lives in the Seattle area. I’ve been fortunate to visit this place 3 -4 times when in town to see my friend. They’ve recently remodeled and vastly expanded the pub, so I thought I would take the opportunity to write a review.

The Fishbowl is located in a light industrial area on the southwest side of downtown Olympia. The pub itself is across the street from Fish Tail’s brewing operation. Inside the newly restored pub is open, airy and bright. The bar is now a U shape, and is rather small, but there is decent seating for 30-40 people at tables surrounding the bar. There is now an upstairs area for dining, but this was closed for a private party on this visit.

The staff is very friendly and helpful. We couldn’t find a place to sit, and the waiter quickly spotted that a table was opening and ushered us over to get a seat before anyone else grabbed the chairs. They know their beers, and are quick to help out.

The beers I’ve had on site are great. I’ve had Poseidon, Leviathan, Winterfish, Organic IPA, and a couple of the beers brewed under the Leavenworth brand. All are quite good. In fact, the beers fresh from the tap are unbelievably good, much better than the same beers from the bottle. Specifically the IPA and Winterfish. It’s almost 2 different beers. The bottled versions of both are good. The tap versions are mind blowing.

The food is simple and focused on local ingredients. Smoked and fresh salmon, locally raised mushrooms, and even Ostrich can be found on the menu. Prepared simply, delivered hot, I’m always satisfied with my meals.

My friend local to the area is concerned that the new expanded pub has lost some of it’s charm, and is drawing a more upscale crowd. If it helps this brewery to succeed and grow, I’m all for it.

03-14-2006 19:53:52 | More by carln26
Photo of lostbearbrew
lostbearbrew

Georgia

4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

As we were arriving at night, it was hard to scope just what neighborhood the brewery and pub were in - seemed blue-collar to me. Street parking no problem. Brewery is on one side - pub on the other.

At the bar area are maybe 8-9 tables and although there was more seating outside, it was raining so no one was out there. The lighting was not anything to write home about and there was an industrial twinge about it - but I like that side of life, and although the atmosphere wasn't what many would call "great" I thought they pulled off the idea of being an "industrial pub" really well.

We sat at the bar. They had about 10-12 beers on "normal" tap, two ciders and a cask had pull. Bartender was a really nice guy, although he was not real knowledgable about the brews, or maybe he was shy to offer opinions...who knows?. Had whole place to himself with one other helper.

Between my wife and I, we sampled the Mudshark Porter, Hodgson's IPA, Cask Organic IPA, Winterfish and the Dantes Infernal. We started off with the hummus - quite tasty, and the pita was warm upon arrival in front of us - bonus points! Also, I had the seafood chowder and the oyster sandwich, which were both awesome. Lisa had the falafel wrap which was good as well.

Had some great talks with those around us, all of whom called this place their local - love seeing people who stop in to have growler's filled and stay for a pint or two in the meantime. Learned a lot about the upcoming two days in Olympic Natl Park, and got some valuable advice as well. Always a good thing.

Was the perfect lil stopover on the way from SEATAC to Aberdeen. Would go back tomorrow if this were my local - really enjoyed the beers, the atmosphere, the patrons and the food.

Cheers!

10-24-2005 21:52:11 | More by lostbearbrew
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub in Olympia, WA
88 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.