top rung brewing

First Visit to Top Rung Brewing in Lacey

As if first responders don’t do enough to help us already, these guys also make beer. Sheesh. Now they are just showing off.

Looking around the tap room and brewery at Top Rung Brewing Company, you cannot help but notice a theme. Ladders, fire hydrants, fire extinguishers, and so on. The two people behind this newest of Washington’s breweries are Jason Stoltz and Casey Stobol, two firefighters in Thurston County who share a passion for good beer. At Top Rung Brewing, they’ve built a 10-barrel brewhouse and spacious tasting room. Jason is the one responsible for the brewing while Casey manages the overall operations.

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This Saturday in Lacey, WA, Top Rung Brewing Company celebrates its grand opening with a party at the brewery. We were there last Saturday to sample the beers and snap some pictures (below).

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Jason told me that he’s a graduated home brewer, but has spent time shadowing some local breweries to learn how to brew on the big system. He also noted that Dick’s Brewing in nearby Centralia offered lots of help in getting him around the learning curve. The beers are solid, especially for early efforts.

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One particular aspect of Top Rung’s beers that I appreciated was their reasonable alcohol levels. The IPA weighed in at 5.7 percent ABV and the Stout at just 6.0 percent. Both were delicious and satisfying. Jason said those numbers may change some, and the beers might get a bump as he achieves better extraction, but for the most part he wants to focus more on making beers that are balanced and less on making beers that are simply strong.

The grand opening celebration is Saturday, April 19, from 2:00 – 9:00. In addition to the beers, a local barbecue company will be cooking out front. I should note that the taproom only serves a few snacks, but you are welcome to bring in food or order it from nearby restaurants.

Top Rung Brewing
8343 Hogum Bay Lane NE, suite B
Lacey, WA 98516


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  1. Really good beer! That’s an excellent place to start. I like their model of concentrating on the beer and then introducing food to the tasting room later. Instead of BYOB, now it’s BYOFood. Inviting restaurants to showcase their stuff on the patio is another good idea. I’ll be back!

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