Things you don’t know about Rainier Beer

You might think you know much about Rainier Beer. But you will be surprised that its name does not come from a Native American word meaning you will miss it when it is gone! Sit tight as we unravel many more things about Rainier beer that you know nothing about.

Rainier beer is a collection of nature from Northwest water springs with a combination of barley and leafy hops to produce a rich-tasting beer. The mixture is left to ferment slowly with yeast culture, under tight, controlled conditions. The end product is Rainier with a satisfying malty flavor and texture yet with a fruity background with Chinook and Willamette hop notes spices.

Rainier beer

Rainier’s new advertising campaign sheds light on brand history with fun and tech-fused times we live in. Before there was a surge in Seattle in craft bars, Rainier happily entertained locals with classic ads like wild Rainiers roaming the Pacific Northwest. Famous people like Mickey Rooney and Rick Peanut Man have tracked big beer bottles trotting on human legs.

Things You don’t Know about Rainier Beer.

Rainier was founded in 1878, and today it is brewed out of state by Pabst Brewing Company. Its famous red neon “R” still glows at the old brewery atop. Now let us dive in and expose what is not known about this beer. 

1. It has no German roots. 

The story that a German immigrant first made rainier is not true. There is no ounce of truth to this statement because the Rainier Brewing Company started in 1878 in Seattle. It was a famous brand in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Rainier was founded in 1884, but the site in Seattle has been brewing since 1878. 

Today, the beer is not brewed in Seattle, and the company is not locally owned as it was sold to Stroh in the 1990s, which later sold to Pabst Brewing Company. Pabst subsequently closed then sold the brewery in 1999.

2. The last major American brewery to use stubbies

Stubbies are short glass bottles used for packaging beer. It was initially called a stubby or a steinie, and it is shorter and flatter than the standard beer bottle. They were easy to transport because they occupied little space. 

The bottles are also made from thick glass, which makes them re-usable before recycling. But, you might not know a thing about stubbies because no one uses these 11oz bottles anymore.

Rainier Beer

3. People still debate how it is pronounced.

People have different opinions on the pronunciation of Rainier beer. Anyone who watched the TV in the 80s will likely pronounce it as RaaiiNiieer Beer.

4. Thank Rainier for Georgetown.

Georgetown was the company town that was incorporated in 1904 as a way of safeguarding the brewery’s interest. The superintendent was elected as mayor and fire chief, a smart move that doubled taverns and bars in a year. 

5. A bear at a campsite drank Rainier he found at a campsite.

There must be something endearing about Rainier because a bear drank 36 cans of the beer not because it was the only brand in the campsite, but he ignored Busch cans that the campers had left behind!

6. The current brewer is in Irwindale, CA, licensed to Miller Brewing.

It only means that where Rainier is brewed, it is closest to Mt. Baldy, 4,193ft.

7. The “R” was not put back on the old SoDo brewery space. 

Yes, the “R” was put at the old brewery, but it’s a new one that’s lighter with modern LED lighting on each side. However, the original still exists but in the Museum of History & Industry.

8. Today it is produced in both old Rainier breweries.

The Emerald City Beer Company has many pubs in the SoDo space. And, in Georgetown, Machine House Brewery is also set up.

9. Rainier’s been to the top of Mount Everest.

In 1963, the first American made it to the Peak of Mt. Everest, and he brought the beer with him.

10. A faraway Galaxy.

The advert by Flash Gordon, which is Star Wars-inspired, the beer takes him to another galaxy far, far away. 


The iconic Rainier brand was known as Seattle beer for decades, but it is a subsidiary of Pabst Brewing Company for many years. It is brewed in California, a brewery the size of a small city, but that might soon change as it will be brewed in Woodinville and packaged in pounders.

Rainier beer is not your regular beer. It has a brilliant golden color, and one sip might give you a familiar memory. It is smooth and easy to drink with a firm malt texture balanced with fresh citrus hops.

For the last 17 years, the iconic Rainier lager was brewed in Irwindale, California. The brewing will go on, but there are expansion plans to Woodinville, then the beer distributed to other states like Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Northern California.

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