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Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

Not Rated.
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl BrewpubFish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
BA SCORE
88
very good

34 Ratings
Ratings: 34
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Active Beers: 42
Beer Ratings: 1,966
Beer Avg: 3.65
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask:
Beer-to-Go: N
[ 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: 34 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of idResponse
2.48/5  rDev -35.9%

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.

idResponse, May 03, 2006
Photo of Ruddiger
2.9/5  rDev -25.1%

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.

Ruddiger, Jun 08, 2007
Photo of dnichols
2.98/5  rDev -23%

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.

dnichols, Sep 12, 2007
Photo of yeaprolly
3.25/5  rDev -16%

yeaprolly, May 11, 2014
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%

Average atmosphere inside, horrible marketing, their apparel is super expensive, not at all creative or distinctive. I usually like to roll out with something from a place while on beercations, but this place, just couldn't drop like 45-50 on a hoodie.

Decent enough beers, haven't had the stout, but wouldn't really stray far from the pale or ipa here. Nothing too exotic have I ever seen from these guys. Enjoyed my salmon there, but seemed a little pricey overall. In downtown Olympia, cooler artwork and ambiance outside as opposed to inside the place. Worth checking out, but don't go out of your way to get here. Streets can be kind of weird downtown.

Beerandraiderfan, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%

A: I was a regular here for years, before and after the rennovation. The sound attenuates alot here since the rennovation. Parking is available on the street or the lot to the side and its always warm and cozy inside. The bar is big and greets you when you walk in.

Q: The beer has always been good but since about 2006 I have noticed a big decline in quality on many beers, a few have improved and some how manged winning at GABF

S: Service was always decent to me, I mixed and mingled with the staff and they never forget me or my name. If you are new and you sit in a corner that is how you will be treated. This place is BIG on locals and the college crowd nearby.

S: Usually a dozen handles or more including a Cask. Growlers and bottles to go..kegs too. You won't find anything uber exciting here.

F: Has always been pretty good

barleywinefiend, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of DrMindbender
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

DrMindbender, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of hawkseven
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Have made one visit here so far...The beers on on tap were all good, (had the Mud Shark Porter,Organic ale, and the Hefe).

Food was great, would have tried more items if my appetite would have allowed. Interesting interior, open and roomy.Came in on a Sunday around mid afternoon so not very crowded.

Service was slow, and the wait staff was aloof, don't know if it was my military style haircut or not.(maybe).

Definitly the yuppie and old 60's hangout, for the area, but that seems to be the standard in Oly. Will go back again as long as the beer is good and food is hot.

hawkseven, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of olympuszymurgus
3.6/5  rDev -7%

my local brewery is a place i don't visit often, mostly because they make average beer. granted it is organic, or most of it, but that does not mean you have to make a beer that tastes merely ok. they have their fish lineup, consisting typically of about 7 beers, as well as the leavenworth line that they bought a few years back, which is another 6 beers or so. i only come here to see what they have on cask, which occasionally is awesome, like 10 squared or leviathan, but more likely it'll be the mudshark porter which is ok. they do beer to go, and growlers, but not of everything. they also have 3 ciders on tap, one of which, the dark and dry, is of incredible flavor. however, i just found out that they make their cider from concentrate, which hardly counts. it makes me a little sad. the food is pubby, and on the good side of pubby. personally, i always get the emu burger, because its the only place i know that'll serve me ground emu on a bun. cooked, too.

olympuszymurgus, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of dunix
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

dunix, Jul 22, 2014
Photo of chad_e_martin
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

chad_e_martin, Apr 15, 2014
Photo of nickfl
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%

This place is located right in downtown Olympia, but with plenty of parking if you are driving (as I was). I was there relatively late on a weekday night, but there was a pretty decent crowd in the bar area. Low key but not weirdly quite, just what I want in a brewpub.

The service was good as one would expect when sitting at the bar. My glass never sat empty for too long and the food came pretty quick.

They had a good selection with probably eight house beers on tap and three house ciders. I didn't try any of the cider, but its a nice option if you are into that sort of thing. The beer ranged from average to good with the highlight being an IPA on cask

I ordered a salad and a pitcher of mussels. The salad was a pretty mediocre, romaine lettuce and way too much dressing affair, but the mussels were much better. They actually did come in a pitcher and were steamed in the standard broth of beer, spices and onions. I have had better mussels, but these were good and there were a hell of a lot of them.

Overall it was a good experience and I would definitely stop by again if I was in Olympia.

nickfl, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of beerceller99
3.83/5  rDev -1%

Located in the business / industrial part of town , the brewery bar is in a small building. Parking is pretty easy here. The interior is on the small side with lots of fishy decor. The atmosphere has a small town bar feel to it, very casual. Seafood and sandwichs highlight the food menu here, which isn't too bad. Service is friendly enough, but like most brewpubs I've been to the staff is not very beer savvy. Lots of Fish Tale and Leavenworth brews on tap highlight the beer selection, with some 750's of their big beers available to go. They'll fill your growler or container with any of their on tap brews. Last time I visited I got a gallon of the Poseidon stout to go... for $9.95,a pretty reasonable price by any standard.
Worth a visit if only for the great growler prices.

beerceller99, May 25, 2005
Photo of Slatetank
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%

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.

Slatetank, Jun 19, 2007
Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%

The artwork on the building is very becoming, but the parking seems not although on this rainy day it was my luck to find such (later I found out the lot was specifically for the brewery, other areas parking was more limited). I ordered a sampler after some wait and while the beers were solid, there was nothing really exceptional at least to me. It appeared to be a popular place, which made me question my Midwestern palate versus one possessed by a local. I am unsure if they have any food, for I did not have any. They did have a many choices, but only a few deviants from standard pub fare. I would consider stopping again if I was in the area again, but I wouldn't make a special trip with so many other options in the area.

MilwaukeeCrusher, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of weefisheads
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%

Had to make a trip to Fishbowl as an homage to the maker of some of the finest PacNW beers - Leviathan, 10squared, and the highly coveted Poseidon. Needless to say, my hopes were rather high.

Located just a few blocks away from the main street in Olympia, it's but a short walk to the State Capitol building. From the outside, Fishbowl looks much like many other small brewpubs replete with it's own back loading dock. Nothing very memorable.

Inside, the decor obviously was themed to match the Fish theme as there were a number of fish-like pictures and a fair sized tank with a few fishes in it. The room we were in was pretty small sized - large only to accommodate 5-8 people at the bar and only a few tables aound the room - but there appeared to be another room next door that was undergoing to work. Expanding, maybe?

The food, too, was fish themed, though there were also a few items for the non-seafood fan. Alas, the pretzel I had was...pretty poor (soggy and no flavor) and the food me wife had was described as bland. Quite a shame.

In addition, while the bird behind the bar was pleasant when we asked questioned and fairly knowledgable of the beers, she didn't really do anything to make me happy to be there besides bring me what I ordered.

But there is the silver lining to a visit to the Fishbowl - their oh-so impressive beer! I had few of their beers that are not bottled - Dunkleweizen and Harvest Ale - and thought they were lovely. I wish they had more of their beers on sale at reasonable prices (their Old Woody and Monkfish were all they had and each was $5 MORE than I can get 'em in Portland!), but what they had to drink were very, very good.

All in all, I don't think I'd detour very far to go back for another visit. While I LOVE their beer, the Fishbowl is pretty average.

Sorry, Red...

weefisheads, Oct 19, 2004
Photo of wingedeel
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%

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.

wingedeel, Feb 26, 2007
Photo of jannunziata
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%

jannunziata, Oct 04, 2014
Photo of crnhusker
4/5  rDev +3.4%

crnhusker, May 13, 2014
Photo of woemad
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%

This is my second attempt to post a review of this place. The first time, my computer locked up when I hit review, and it never showed up on the site. That was a number of months ago. For one reason or another, I never got around to trying again until now.

I stopped by here last August on my way to meet my brother at his about-to-become-in-law's place, which was the staging area for his bachelor party. I got into town around 10AM, spent a good hour trying to find the place (I'd forgotten to print out info from Beerfly). I finally had to buy a 6-pk of Fish's IPA just to use the map on the bottom!

The Fishbowl is in a somewhat industrial part of town. When I entered, I was greeted by lots of aquatic-themed artwork, a large fishtank featuring some exotic (to me) looking fish, and a friendly barmaid. Being still somewhat early, there was only one guy in the place when I arrived. While I was there, the lunch crowd began to filter in.

I had three beers, a bowl of their seafood stew (which was rather tasty), and a competently made yet unmemorable sandwich. The beers I sampled were the mudshark porter, the amber ale, and the Leavenworth blind pig. The amber was average - I was mainly trying it because my brother had told me they were going to have a keg of it at his wedding - but I really liked the other two. I asked the woman behind the counter why the Mudshark was no longer bottled. She said, 'Yeah, we don't like to bottle it anymore," then left for the kitchen! While she didn't leave me hanging for any length of time, the service was rather perfunctory, and she seemed uninterested in talking about the beers, which kind of put me off.

I was pressed for time, so I didn't attempt to try any other beers. I hoped to get back to the place again while I was in the area, but my time wound up being monopolized by pre- and post- wedding tasks. Not a bad place, the beers are mostly outstanding, but the service needs to be improved a notch if my time there was any judge.

woemad, Mar 25, 2005
Photo of jcurtis55
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%

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.

jcurtis55, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of udubdawg
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%

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! )

udubdawg, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of ds21tango
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%

Have had their beers numerous times but have just recently decided to check out the place. The food is really good but the portions seem a little small. The prices are relativity decent. You do get your food really quick. I ordered food to go and barley had time to finish my beer. The beer selection is good and they sell full gallon and half gallon growlers, but they did recently raise there prices. They have WiFi and a comfortable sitting area. Overall a good place to hang out. Will definitely be going back.

ds21tango, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of canucklehead
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%

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.

canucklehead, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of Hopmodium
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%

4/19/12 - Visited the Fish Tale Brew Pub while on vacation after a long day on Hurricane Ridge.

It was a busy Thursday night and we seated ourselves next to some dude heavily engaged in his electronice device, after asking him if the seats we wanted were occupied and seeing his reaction on his face, we decided to sit elsewhere. The group of people we chose to sat next to wound up being rude and self-involved to the point where we wondered if we had stumbled into some dimension where the ego is all that exists. Luckily the patrons were the worst part of this visit.

Our patient waitress talked to us about some of her favorite brews so we decided to try Soundkeeper Organic Pale Ale. I had tried an organic beer from Deschutes the day before and was pleasantly surprised by the presence of flavor and lack of gimmick so once again I was happy with my choice to go with organic beer on recommendations. I liked it so much I went with their organic IPA to join my Wild Salmon & Chips which was tasty and fresh. Since I had to drive back to Seattle after dinner I convinced my wife to order the Hodgson's DIPA to go with her Fishbowl Salad with smoked salmon and she quite enjoyed the unusual pairing. Fair prices, quality service, above-average pub fair and diverse beers will keep me coming back here next time I am in town.

Hopmodium, Jun 02, 2012
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Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub in Olympia, WA
88 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.