Ready for a cold one? Moonshot Brewing has opened its taps in Kennewick

Take a look inside Tri-Cities newest brewery

Take a look inside Moonshot Brewing. It opened in a retail strip near Steptoe Street and Gage Boulevard, at the Kennewick-Richland border.
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Take a look inside Moonshot Brewing. It opened in a retail strip near Steptoe Street and Gage Boulevard, at the Kennewick-Richland border.

Moonshot Brewing is now open near the Kennewick-Richland border — just in time to host a series of major soccer events.

Moonshot is a soccer- and family-friendly dream come true for owners Ryan Wattenbarger and Hilary Bird, a young Kennewick couple who spent more than a year finding the perfect spot for a brewery, and half a year building it out.

Wattenbarger is the former head brewer for Sunnyside’s Snipes Mountain Brewery & Restaurant in Sunnyside. He left several months ago to prepare for his own moonshot.

The brewery opened to the public Saturday after passing its final inspections on Friday.

Wattenbarger said creating a business took longer than he expected. He’d hoped to open in time for 2018’s FIFA Men’s World Cup. But he’s happy to be open for the 2019 Women’s World Cup series.

On Wednesday, they will feature the U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) taking on Jamaica in the 2019 International Friendly Gold Cup tune-up match at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. Game time is 4-7 p.m.

Ryan Wattenbarger and Hilary Bird opened Moonshot Brewery in Kennewick Saturday.

Moonshot primarily serves beers and ales brewed in house. It has three modern takes on hoppy IPAs, a guest cider and several small-batch offerings that aren’t typically found in the region.

He’s serving an Irish Red and a coffee stout produced in collaboration with Kennewick’s Rockabilly Roasting Co.

Moonshot, at 8804 W. Victoria Ave., Suite 130, near the intersection of Steptoe Street and Gage Boulevard, near the McDonald’s, is family friendly but not currently dog friendly. Wattenbarger said the business hopes to welcome pets, but has to work out health department issues first.

“We’re trying,” he said.

Wattenbarger and his wife, Hilary, began scouting locations for Moonshot in 2017.

They leased 3,240 square feet next to Smile-A-Mile Painting, whose owner developed the retail strip as a permanent home for his growing business.

Tri-Cities restaurants and wineries with outdoor decks and patio for enjoying warm weather.

The couple, who welcomed a daughter last fall, spent the past six months building out the space to accommodate brewery equipment as well as guests.

The build-out was completed by Booth and Sons Construction. The bar top was made with a piece of live edge cedar Wattenbarger bought from White’s Finished Furniture and Hardwood in Kennewick.

“We’re really happy with the place,” he said.

Outside food is welcome to be brought in, and Wattenbarger hopes to attract a food truck to operate from the parking lot.

Business hours are 3-9 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon-7 p.m. Sunday. It will extend hours for certain games. It’s closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Moonshot joins a small but growing number of breweries tapping into the Mid-Columbia’s celebrated hops to produce Northwest brews and microbrews in the Tri-Cities.

  • Atomic Ale Brewpub & Eatery, 1015 Lee Blvd., Richland.
  • Bombing Range Brewery Co., 2000 Logston Blvd., Richland. Owners Dashia and Mike Hopp opened two years ago in the spot formerly occupied by White Bluffs Brewing Co., which moved to larger quarters nearby.
  • White Bluffs Brewing, 2034 Logston Blvd., Richland.
  • Ice Harbor Brewing Co., 206 N. Benton, Kennewick.

  • Ice Harbor at the Marina, 350 N. Clover Island Drive, Kennewick.
  • Horse Heaven Hills Brewery, 1118 Meade Ave., Prosser.
  • Kimos Sportsbar & Brew Pub/Rattlesnake Mountain Brewery, 2696 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Richland.

Washington’s craft beer industry began in the 1980s with Redhook and Pyramid and now reflects the national growth trend, according to the Washington Beer Commission's economic impact study released in 2019 for 2017.

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Wendy Culverwell writes about local government and politics, focusing on how those decisions affect your life. She also covers key business and economic development changes that shape our community. Her restaurant column and health inspection reports are reader favorites. She’s been a news reporter in Washington and Oregon for 25 years.