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Meet Three Magnets Master Brewer

Get to know Jeff Stokes, head brewer at Three Magnets Brewing Co. in Olympia.

By Doria Maselli

Jeff and his dog Kölsch, Photo credit: Ricky Osborne 

It’s a family affair for Jeff Stokes, head brewer at Three Magnets Brewing Co. in Olympia. His wife Brittany is the tap room lead at Narrows Brewing in Tacoma. A native of California, Stokes has called Washington home for over 20 years, graduating from The Evergreen State College with a degree in political economics. In college, he and friend Brandon Bock began learning about and experimenting with home brewing. Bock was formerly a brewer at Dick’s Brewing Co. in Centralia and is now a part of the Three Magnets team along with Stokes. 

In 2014, Nathan and Sara Reilly, also Evergreen alumni, opened Three Magnets Brewing Co. downtown. They hired Stokes and Pat Jansen as brewers. “Nate and Sara took a chance on hiring home brewers,” says Stokes. With eight Washington Brewers Awards and a Great American Beer Festival award under Three Magnets’ belt, this decision seems to have worked in their favor. Eventually, Jansen spun off to form Matchless Brewing, leaving Stokes at the helm of Three Magnets Brewing Co.

“Three Magnets doesn’t have flagship beers, which means we’re not tethered to the same 4 or 5 options,” said Stokes. “We can get creative and sell beer here that’s unique and esoteric in some ways.”

Three Magnets cans six to eight new beers a month is brewing more beer than ever and canned 60 unique beers last calendar year. Every quarter, Stokes collaborates with a chef to brew a custom culinary brew. “My favorite of these collaborations was the black garlic and vanilla bean rye porter,” says Stokes. He enjoys cooking, and when he’s not brewing, can often be found in the kitchen, experimenting with different flavor profiles that may work well in a future brew. Stokes also enjoys spending time with his family and recently started coaching his son’s T-ball team. 

And, of course, I asked him about his favorite beer. “A grisette is my favorite,” says Stokes. A grisette is a refreshing, low alcohol beer with origins in the Hainaut province of Belgium. Grisettes are crisp, medium/light-bodied and citrusy beers. Three Magnets’ beer is constantly rotating. They brew three new batches of beer every week, and can three new beers every month. They also occasionally release their country series of rustic and farmhouse ales in 750ml bottles. Their beer can also be found on draft throughout Olympia, Oregon, and Western Washington, in the package in those same locations, plus additional locations in California.

 

Three Magnets is also a great gathering space as well as a pub partner and official Seattle Sounders viewing location of the South Sound. They offer a full pub menu including burgers, seafood and more Sunday – Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. and Friday – Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Weekend brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. In addition, they offer catering services and private function rooms.

“It’s a great gathering space here, says Stokes, and we really encourage people to come down, sample a brew, and meet their neighbors.”

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