Pub-style Banking Comes to Tacoma

Tapping into its brewery roots, O Bee Credit Union sets a new trend.

8/21/18

O Bee Credit Union has introduced pub-style banking at its Point Ruston branch in Tacoma, Wash. O Bee’s rich history as the original credit union of the Olympia Brewery is celebrated in the design of the branch.

The Pacific Northwest is known as a trendsetting region when it comes to popular culture, so it should come as no surprise that a new idea has been developed — and credit unions are on the cutting edge when it comes to reinventing the branch experience.

O Bee Credit Union recently introduced a unique pub-style banking experience to Pierce County. The original credit union of Olympia Brewing Co., O Bee has opened its new “Brewhouse” branch in the waterfront community of Point Ruston in Tacoma, Wash.

The new branch replicates a pub experience with a design that includes beer tap handles and brass railings along the teller line, wooden hop barrels, towering brick walls, hand-painted murals, and images of the regions brewing history, along with a chalkboard menu of specials.

Reminiscent of old brewery tasting rooms where workers gathered after the end of a shift to socialize, O Bee honors brewing history through its support of local craft breweries and as a proud member of the Washington Brewers Guild.

“It’s exciting,” said James Collins, CEO of O Bee. “We look forward to bringing our unique brand of banking to Pierce County. Banks shouldn’t feel cold or impersonal and having a brick and mortar establishment is important to our membership, so we decided to have some fun with the design with a nod toward our roots in the brewing industry.”

The credit union branch’s new interior mural.

In another acknowledgement of its brewing history, O Bee has added the iconic logo of Pabst Blue Ribbon as the newest card in the credit union’s family of brewery-inspired credit cards that include Olympia and Rainier Beer cards. Several current O Bee members are among the first people to open accounts in 1955 on the brewery floor. Olympia Brewery produced Olympia beer and other brands over the years including, for a time, Pabst Blue Ribbon.

“We are delighted to work with Pabst to add its flagship Pabst Blue Ribbon brand to our family of timeless and unique credit cards,” Collins said. “We know people feel a real kinship with the Pabst Blue Ribbon brand; for many it represents connection and community. It makes us proud to be a part of it.”

For those who’d like to check out the new branch, O Bee will hold a grand opening celebration at 5062 Main St. in Tacoma, on Aug. 25 from 3-5 p.m.