Back when Mike and Dashia Hopp opened Bombing Range Brewing Company, they figured they needed to sell $300 worth of beer a day to cover rent and equipment payments.
Now seven years later, “we’ve surpassed that,” Dashia said with a chuckle.
That’s an understatement.
The Hopps have turned the Richland brewery into a Tri-Cities hotspot.
Their beers – from the golden Days Pay IPA to the Bavarian-style Awannaweizen Hefeweizen – have a large and loyal fan base, and so do the pizzas they serve up while the taps are flowing.
A few years back, the Hopps opened a second venture: The Dive, serving burgers, drinks and more.
Now, they’re taking another major step: they’re buying the building at 2000 Logston Blvd. that’s home to both Bombing Range Brewing and The Dive. The building is owned by the Port of Benton, and port commissioners in June authorized the $1.7 million sale. It’s expected to close this month.
The purchase means the Hopps will be able to expand the brewing area at Bombing Range, allowing them to increase beer production significantly. They’re planning to add a 15-barrel system, which they’ll use in addition to the seven-barrel system that’s already in place.
They also have plans to add more seating for the taphouse, plus party and event space.
And they intend to add an outdoor stage and enhance the outdoor area.
Along with the nearly 18,000-square-foot building, the Hopps are buying the 4.8 acres it sits on.
While the building has held a variety of businesses over the years, its only other current tenant is the visitor center for the Hanford unit of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.
The visitor center will remain at the building, with the Hopps as landlords.
The Hopps said they’re excited about the expansion plans, which will kick off with the brewhouse work. They hope to begin brewing using the new equipment in early 2024.
Port officials see significant benefits, too.
“The sale of this property supports the port’s economic development mission by facilitating further development and utilization of this property through the investment of private capital,” said Port Commission President Christy Rasmussen in a statement.
“The Hopps’ efforts have enhanced north Richland as a growing destination, which further augments the port’s mission. It has been amazing to see this family-run business grow and succeed, and the port is grateful to have been a part of the facilitation and support of a local small business. The port looks forward to their continued growth and success,” she said.
The Hopps make a variety of craft beers, with about a dozen on tap at any given time.
Bombing Range Brewing beer is already sold at several other restaurants and bars in the region, and the Hopps intend to move to canning and increase distribution in the future, thanks to the expansion.
They didn’t initially set out to open a brewery.
The couple met years ago when they were both working at the Richland Red Robin, and they dreamed of opening their own restaurant and bar someday.
They both moved into other fields – Mike went into law enforcement, retiring as Grandview’s assistant police chief last year, and Dashia worked for years as a paralegal.
Along the way, Mike picked up brewing as a hobby; he started homebrewing with friends.
While the other guys eventually dropped off, Mike’s passion grew, and eventually the Hopps’ dream shifted from a restaurant and bar to what became Bombing Range Brewing Company.
The success they’ve had with the brewery and The Dive – it’s been something special, they said.
“It’s the American dream,” Dashia said.
The Hopps have four children, and two of them – Ryan and Taylor – work with their parents. Ryan is the head brewer and Taylor helps with front-of-house duties.
The Hopps’ other two children, Michael and Madison, live on the East Coast.
Mike said the feeling of family runs throughout Bombing Range Brewing and The Dive.
“Everybody who works here feels like family, everyone who comes in on a regular basis feels like family. Even strangers who come in, we try to treat them like family. You’re a guest in our business, come share our passion,” he said. “Basically, we’re pouring our passion out on a plate here and sharing it with everybody, and to see them love it makes it all worthwhile.”
As their businesses grow and expand, the Hopps said they’re staying focused on what’s made them successful in the first place: their quality products and their care for customers.
“We hope that we can continue on a path of growth and make it even better and more fun for the community to come out,” Dashia said. “We’re going to strive to keep doing bigger and better, but yet stay focused on our customer service and what we’re here for and why.”
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