National grant program helps Walking Man Brewing expand outdoor seating

walking man brewing staff.


Walking Man Brewing recently received a grant that will allow it to enhance its role in downtown Stevenson, WA

Main Street America and The Hartford recently announced that Walking Man Brewing is a recipient of a grant from the HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program. In its second round of funding, the grant awarded more than $430,000 in funds intended to help 31 small businesses across the country adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and help revitalize and strengthen commercial districts, like downtown Stevenson, Washington.

“I am beyond grateful for what this grant means for Walking Man,” said Tabatha Wiggins, co-owner of Walking Man Brewing. “It means we can more than double our covered outdoor space. It means our guests will continue to have a safe place to unwind and enjoy a pint. It will allow our amazing staff to stay employed and keep our community thriving.” 

Walking Man Brewing staff members.

Walking Man’s grant of $10,000 will be used to cover and heat a portion of their beer garden, providing additional outdoor seating. 

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“This is wonderful news for Walking Man and our community,” said Kelly O’Malley-McKee, Executive Director of the Stevenson Downtown Association. “Walking Man is a pillar of our downtown district – brewing creative beers, serving delicious food and hosting unique events for over two decades. Any large investment in a downtown business is an investment in the revitalization of our local economy.” 

Just four communities from the west coast were selected in this second round of funding. Of the 31 grants awarded, 26 benefited diverse-owned businesses, as defined by the Small Business Administration as minority-, woman-, veteran-, disabled-, and/or LGBTQ-owned.

In the wake of the pandemic, Walking Man Brewing adapted to create new walk-up windows and expand its patio area. It created new products to suit the situation presented by the pandemic. To commemorate the brewery’s 20th anniversary, Walking Man collaborated with all former brewers to create a 20th-anniversary beer in lieu of hosting an event, which was not possible because of the pandemic. 

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Walking Man Brewing opened 20 years ago in Stevenson, Washington, introducing itself to the people of the Columbia River Gorge before small, independent breweries were a trend in the region. Since its founding, the brewery has contributed to Stevenson’s economic vitality, creating jobs and attracting locals and beer tourists to the community. 

“It’s exciting to look forward and imagine another 20 years crafting beer for our incredible community,” adds Wiggins, who also volunteers on the Board of Directors with the Stevenson Downtown Association. 

As a Main Street America Affiliate, the Stevenson Downtown Association is part of a national network of more than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities that share both a commitment to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development.

The Stevenson Downtown Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, with a mission to promote and revitalize Downtown Stevenson and enrich the local heritage. This coalition of local business owners, public officials and community leaders envision a historically preserved, economically vibrant downtown where locals and visitors alike come together for community, culture and connection to the Columbia River.



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