The Olympia Brewing Company began brewing Olympia Beer at the Olympia Brewery in 1896 at the Tumwater Falls of the Deschutes River and continued until Prohibition. It was founded by Leopold Schmidt, a German immigrant living in Montana. After Prohibition ended, a new brewery was erected just upstream from the original.
As with many other regional breweries, ownership of this brewery eventually passed through several corporations including Pabst, G. Heileman, and Stroh's, until the brewery was eventually purchased by SABMiller. For a time, the Olympia brewery took over the brewing of other Pacific Northwest brands as their original breweries were closed one by one, including the Lucky Lager brewery in Vancouver, Washington, the Henry Weinhard's brewery in Portland, Oregon, and the Rainier Beer brewery in Seattle, Washington. Miller closed the Olympia brewery on July 1, 2003 citing the unprofitability of such a small brewery.