Those browsing social media might have come across the Twitter or Instagram account of a brewery called Hop Capital Brewing Co.
It turns out this isn’t a new business, but rather a rebranding of one of the Yakima Valley’s long-standing breweries: Yakima Craft Brewing Co.
When the brewery opened in 2008, it was one of just a handful of Yakima Valley breweries and the only one within the city of Yakima. More than a decade later, it’s now part of an active and growing local craft beer scene.
Since January 2017, the brewery has been under the ownership of Johnathon Thomas and Aimee Quast, who are based in the Portland area. The first significant change under new ownership came with the opening of a larger taproom at the brewery at 2920 River Road in early 2018.
The rebranding coincided with several new beers it released, said Austin Bradford, co-manager of the taproom. One of those beers is Color Me Hazy, which comes with a can people can color with markers. The brewery is holding a contest for those who post their colored cans online, with the winner getting VIP tickets to the Fresh Hop Ale Festival.
The Hop Capital name pays homage, of course, to the Yakima Valley hop industry, one that attracts craft and macro brewers from around the world to the area during the fall harvest months.
“You see these companies selling hops, growing hops, distributing hops,” Bradford said. “It’s vital to our community.”
The name change is complete at the taproom, where you can see signs and purchase gear with the new branding. There are new Instagram and Twitter accounts. A new website is in the works, and the brewery is in the process of changing the name on its Facebook page.
Bradford said the brewery’s focus now is to continue increasing distribution of its beers — this year it’s seen a 35 percent increase year-over-year — as well as a boost in taproom traffic.
The brewery is doing that by holding several events throughout the summer. Most recently it held Pints for Perry, in which a portion of sales of its flagship 1982 ale was donated to Perry Technical Institute of Yakima. There are also plans for movie nights and question-and-answer sessions with Hop Capital’s brewer.
Hop Capital is also continuing to offer beers from other breweries and cideries. The taproom has 24 taps, so there’s plenty of room.
Air Park Plaza to expand
There’s been quite a bit of activity in and around the Yakima Air Terminal in recent months, and it looks like there will be more.
Jerry Maggard said he’s in the process of securing a permit from the city of Yakima to construct a second 5,686-square-foot building at Air Park Plaza, a mixed-use development close to the Yakima airport, just west of the intersection of 24th and Washington avenues.
The first building, which was built in 2014, is now full. Maggard, a partner for the development, said he wanted to respond to demand for office and retail space, especially in west Yakima.
Maggard said he’s started talking to tenants about the new space.