Tag Archives: Will Kemper

The microbrew movement’s island roots

I had the chance to talk with former islander and microbrewery pioneer Will Kemper last week.

I was working on a story (read it by clicking here) about Kitsap County’s beer brewing history, which apparently had its start with Port Orchard’s Silver Springs Brewery in the early ’30s. After Silver Springs was purchased out and shipped away, Kitsap was brewery-less until Kemper teamed with the Thomas family of Seattle to form Thomas Kemper Brewery on Day Road in 1984.

Now best known for its old-fashioned sodas, the Thomas Kemper brand was one of the first of the microbreweries to sprout up in the 1980s. Only Redhook, Hale’s Ales and Hart’s predated Thomas Kemper in Washington state.

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