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About Us & Our Spirits


Olympia’s story begins with founder Leopold Schmidt, born in Germany in 1846. As an adult Leopold was an adventurer with the blind ambition of sailing the high seas, exploring the American Frontier, and mastering the art of German brewing. After training as a brewmaster in his homeland, the wild beauty of a new world was beckoning – Leopold set his sights on America. In 1895 he arrived in the Northwest and the following year founded Capital Brewing Company, which would become the famous Olympia Brewing Company. 


While brewing operations left Washington almost two decades ago, the Olympia brand has recently returned to its roots in Tumwater, Washington with the opening of Olympia Distilling Co., home of Olympia Artesian Vodka – an unbelievably smooth vodka distilled and bottled locally. Like the pristine Pacific Northwest from which it comes, Olympia Artesian Vodka is untamed yet refined. This special Vodka is made for a discerning guild of people who place equal value on premium quality and authentic local heritage.


Like Leopold Schmidt, we encourage you to follow your nomadic spirit, inviting you through the horseshoe for the adventure within.

Olympia Artesian Vodka bottle on counter next to bubbly vodka cocktail with limes


Picture of Lesa Givens (left) and Ray Watson (right) in front of Olympia Distilling Co. located in Tumwater, Washington
Picture of Lesa Givens on the distillery floor


Born and raised on a farm in Washington State, Lesa learned about hard work from an early age. She spent nearly 3 decades working in the insurance industry before retirement from that industry in 2020, allowed her to go full time with her passion of being self-employed. She enjoys the marketing and sales aspect in addition to the production of products. In her spare time, Lesa enjoys fishing, traveling and spending time with family, including daughter, Kara (with granddaughter, Addison) and son, Jacob.

Picture of Ray Watson looking at distiller


From Western Washington's Cowlitz Prairie to Central Oregon's Crook County and Eastern Washington's Yakima Valley, Ray is a true PNW native. As an original founder in the distillery in 2010 Ray has always had a knack for building something out of little or nothing. A graduate of Perry Tech in Yakima in 1990 led to a career in refrigeration, instrumentation/process control, sanitary tig welding, and overall process design. Ray firmly believes that you can always make something better and more efficient and seldom sits idle. One of Ray's favorite quotes is from Leopold Schmidt - "Surround yourself with people you can learn from". Occasionally Lesa can get him to take a vacation. He loves to spend time with his daughters Kayla and Ali when he gets the chance. Very seldom is he without his dog Hurley.

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