Few financial institutions have a business connection to the Pacific Northwest’s brewing industry quite like O Bee Credit Union.
The Tumwater company was founded more than 60 years ago by an Olympia Brewery bottle house worker who organized his co-workers and created a company credit union: The Olympia Brewing Company Employees and Families Credit Union, which eventually was shortened to O Bee Credit Union.
Since then, the original brewery shut down and membership rules were changed to allow Washington state residents and workers at large to join the credit union, which has seven branches in Washington state.
But O Bee Credit Union continues to embrace its hoppy history. The company offers credit cards with the branded logos of Pabst, Oly Gold, and Rainier; is a member of the Washington Brewers Guild; and operates pub-style branches in South Sound locations such as Point Ruston, Tenino, and Tacoma’s Fern Hill neighborhood, which will mark its grand opening in July.
These pub-style branches are meant to conjure the aroma of hops floating in the air and the sound of bottles clanking along a conveyor belt, according to credit union officials, while featuring local beer taps, exposed brick walls, neon signs, and a chalkboard menu displaying specials, such as “RV loans served with a side of adventure.”
“It’s exciting,” said CEO James Collins. “We look forward to bringing our unique brand of banking to Fern Hill.”
O Bee Credit Union will celebrate the grand opening of its Fern Hill branch, located at 8002 Pacific Ave., on Sat., July 20, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The event will feature Fisher scones, raffles, and special guests.