By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Pity the poor city dweller: Getting a decent drink of good tasting water usually boils down to buying bottled water, or maybe chucking some money in a vending machine for a gallon of “purified” tap water. If you’re in Western Washington, the story can be different. Remember the old “Olympia Beer” commercials of yesteryear, featuring the always invisible but certainly mischievous “artesians”?
Olympia Beer was brewed in Tumwater, Washington, and claimed its fame in its company slogan, found on every bottle and can of the golden liquid, “It’s the Water.” And indeed it was, as Olympia Beer and all other brews produced in the Tumwater facility were based on water drawn from artesian wells. Well, drawn may be a misleading word, because artesian wells are those in which the water freely flows upward from the ground, not requiring pumping due to the dynamics of the geology surrounding an artesian aquifer.
At any rate, at one time a visit to the Olympia Brewery would provide you a good hour’s worth of interesting history and viewing, and in the end, a visit to the tap room where you could sample the various brews from the plant. But several years ago the plant shut its doors.
The beer may have stopped flowing from Tumwater, but the artesian water still gushes. In downtown Olympia, a freely flowing artesian well gushes forth crystal clear, cold, fresh and tasty water for all who’d come by and fill their jugs.
If you’re in the area and in need of good water, you’ll find the well in a parking lot bordering the south side of 4th Avenue, between Adams and Jefferson streets.