The Tri-Cities’ fledgling craft brewery community is about to gain a new member.
Iconic Brewery will open in late June at Horn Rapids, bringing craft brew, wine and a family-friendly outdoor gathering spot to Richland’s Horn Rapids Industrial Park.
Iconic Brewery is the brainchild of Debbie and Matt Driscoll, veteran dairy farmers and vineyard owners, and their son Todd, a brewer and winemaker.
The Driscolls secured the final piece of startup funding in April when the Hanford Area Economic Investment Fund approved a $400,000 loan to buy equipment, including a 10-barrel brewing system.
Iconic Brewery will serve as a craft brewery as well as tasting room for Southern Cross Wines, which the Driscolls produce through their vineyard, Sunset View Vineyards, in Pasco. Ample outdoor space will serve as a gathering space and event venue.
Debbie and Matt Driscoll were longtime dairy farmers in Prosser who attempted to retire but found new careers instead. He worked as a feedlot manager for Simplot. She was a manager for Total Site Services.
They started a vineyard at their Pasco home and then added the winery to process their own grapes. But establishing a family business was always in the cards, Matt said.
Between their agriculture and business experience and Todd’s brewing background, a craft brewery was the natural outlet.
“We said, ‘Dammit, let’s do it,’ ” he recalled.
After scouting for a relaxed setting, they bought two acres at Horn Rapids from the city of Richland in 2019. They own the property as M&D Property Holdings LLC and lease it to Iconic.
They were attracted by the open atmosphere and the chance to be part of a cluster of consumer-facing businesses that includes Bombing Range Brewing Co., White Bluffs Brewing, The Dive and At Michele’s event venue.
Todd studied viticulture and enology at Washington State University and works in the wine and beer industries in Washington and Oregon. He is currently working at Chateau Ste. Michelle. His wife, Ashley Stevens Driscoll, is head winemaker for Mercer Wines Estates and will serve as assistant brewer. The family border collie, Sam, rounds out the startup crew.
Opening a craft brewery fulfills Todd’s dream of working for himself.
“It’s in my blood to want to do something for myself rather than be underneath somebody,” he said. “I’m ready.”
Todd brings a passion for the science behind brewing to Iconic and said he particularly loves working on barrel-aged brews. Iconic will serve a fixed menu of IPAs, pilsners, lagers and a rotating list of specialty brews such as hefeweizens.
“I’m real big on yeasts and how it affects the beer,” he said. “I love talking to people about beer, what they like, what they’ve been doing.”
Iconic is inviting food trucks to operate at the property and plans to serve pub-style food when the trucks are not available. Its 5,000-square-foot building includes ample brewery space, a 510-square-foot wine tasting room but no commercial kitchen to start.
Iconic Brewing will sell through its Horn Rapids brewery and tap room and by self-distribution to Tri-City area restaurants. The family already distributes its wines to the four local Yoke’s Fresh Markets groceries.
HAEIF, a public agency established by the state to promote economic diversification around the Hanford site, sees a potential winner in Iconic Brewery, said Skip Novakovich, a board member who serves as its spokesman.
The board was impressed with the Driscolls’ significant personal investment and in the potential to expand the number of craft breweries in the community.
“It’s going to be another good project for the Tri-City region,” he said.
Iconic applied for a microbrewery license from the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Control Board last fall and will finalize the paperwork when the building is complete.
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