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If your Centralia/Chehalis commute includes passing by Fairway Center, you may have seen the eye-catching yellow and black signs for Good Buzz Brewing Co. on the main roads. Once inside Good Buzz’s space, residents and homebrew fans alike will be treated to a cozy and inviting taproom specializing in mead. This honey-based alcoholic beverage has been around since the New Stone Age era and has been enjoying a resurgence among craft brew enthusiasts looking to add a new option to their favorite beers and ciders.

Good Buzz Brewing Co Centralia
The three brands of mead created by Good Buzz are available in bottles or on tap. Photo credit: Forrest Chesvick

Good Buzz Brings Mead and More to Lewis County

Owner Forrest Chesvick, who moved with his family to Chehalis in August 2022 after serving at Joint Base Lewis-McCord, first got into mead-making while still in the Army.

“It’s actually just a hobby I picked up while I was in the military and decided to bring it to the civilian world,” says Forrest. “Doing some research, according to the Washington State Brewers Guild, 426 breweries in Washington produce beer. There are countless wineries and countless companies that produce cider. Very few companies produce mead here in the state, so I figured that was a unique beverage that is hard to find, especially here in Lewis County.”

After initially selling mead at farmers markets and through local retailers, Good Buzz’s taproom opened in November 2023 as an opportunity to serve customers directly.

There are currently three types of mead available. Wildflower Mead is a semi-dry recipe that goes down smoothly like a top-shelf white wine. Bee Hoppy combines a moderate amount of honey with tropical citrus-flavored hops that will appeal to fans of IPAs. “Everyone’s coming together and enjoying that beverage,” says Forrest. “It’s a good middle ground for everyone.”

For people seeking the traditional mead experience, Bee Sweet will give you an excellent honey buzz. If patrons aren’t in a mead mood, Good Buzz also serves selected regional beers and ciders on tap, as well as non-alcoholic beverages and assorted snacks.

Good Buzz Brewing Co Centralia
Good Buzz’s tables are equipped with games and takeout menus from neighboring restaurants. Photo credit: Greg Carlson

It’s a Good Time for All at Good Buzz Brewing Co.

The taproom’s tables and shelves contain stacks of games and puzzles that will entertain people of all ages. “It’s family-friendly, and we encourage people to bring the kiddos on over,” notes Forrest. Canvases created by local artists grace the walls. If people are in a Mario Kart or Street Fighter mood, there’s even a Nintendo Switch connected to the 75-inch flatscreen TV.

“The intention here is to have a fun, welcoming environment for people to hang out and socialize,” Forrest states. “I don’t want there to be any pressure to drink alcohol here or that anyone ever feels unwelcome. I want this to be an enjoyable environment for all people.”

Good Buzz allows patrons to order food from the surrounding restaurants for dining options, creating a sense of community among the neighborhood businesses. “We have menus from the local restaurants in the shopping complex and encourage people to have a meal with their drinks, so they aren’t drinking on an empty stomach,” says Forrest.

The honey used for all meads is purchased from PNW Honey Co., and the hops used for the Bee Hoppy mead are provided by Yakima Quality Hops. Local establishments are also raising the profile of Good Buzz’s beverages, with The Juice Box including their mead on their meticulously curated tap list and several markets in Lewis County (and beyond) keeping bottles in stock.

“I want to make sure that as in my personal life and as a business, we are taking care of the people in our community,” Forrest states. “When you go down and purchase something, say from Happy Teriyaki next door to us, the money you’re giving to that company is directly helping them grow. That’s their business keeping their lights on.”

Good Buzz Brewing Co Centralia
Customers of Good Buzz Brewing Co. are given samples of mead as well as information regarding the history and production of the ancient beverage. Photo credit: Greg Carlson

Learn Mead Making at Good Buzz in Centralia

Good Buzz Brewing Co. has already set its sights on community events. The fun mead-making classes have proven to be very popular. They are held once a month, with the next class slated for Monday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The class will include a demonstration covering all stages of mead production. Afterward, each attendee will receive a mead-making kit with detailed instructions on honing their skills at home.

If mead enthusiasts need advice on their latest batch or have an idea for a new mead flavor, Forrest is more than willing to help. “I’m here Saturdays at the taproom,” he says. “People are always welcome to ask me if they have questions or concerns, whether it’s an issue with a recipe or they just want to know more. I’m happy to answer anything.”

Good Buzz Brewing Co Centralia
You can’t miss Good Buzz’s roadside sign on South Gold Street. Photo credit: Greg Carlson

Also in the works is an artisan market, slated for June 8. With Fairway Center providing ample space for outdoor events, Forrest sees an opportunity for residents to get out and experience local businesses, eateries, and vendors while enjoying a glass of mead. “We’re just looking to give people a space where the community has something to do, something to look forward to on the weekends, and something that supports other businesses.”

Good Buzz Brewing Co. is located at 1640 Gold Street in Centralia and is open Thursday – Saturday from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. For additional taproom information and upcoming events, visit their website or Facebook page.

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