Almost-West Seattle scene: Return of the Rainier ‘R’


(Photos by Christina Chacharon)
In case you haven’t seen it for yourself yet, shining alongside the West Seattle Bridge ramps to/from I-5, there it is – the brand-new “R” atop the old Rainier Brewery. West Seattle photographer Christina Chacharon was among those at last night’s gala unveiling, which even included a “Batman”-style call into the clouds … er, fog:


After almost half a century, the old “R” (now on display at the Museum of History and Industry) came down 13 years ago, succeeded by a big green “T” for Tully’s Coffee. The newly installed replica, funded via a partnership between Rainier Beer’s owner Pabst and Columbia Distributing, weighs more than half a ton, has 235 light bulbs on each side, and is being permanently welded into place today.

14 Replies to "Almost-West Seattle scene: Return of the Rainier 'R'"

  • Curtis October 25, 2013 (10:47 am)

    Somewhere Mickey Rooney is singing……..

  • miws October 25, 2013 (10:55 am)

    Welcome back, R!


    (Or Child of R, I guess…) ;-)



  • PLS October 25, 2013 (11:14 am)

    I wonder why the bottom two sides are not lit or fitted with bulbs?? It looked tacky this morning because in the mid-light the bulbs are on but you can see the two swishy dark spots without any, so it looks like it’s got bulbs out. That’s going to bug me to no end. Bring the T back, at least it was fully lit.

    • WSB October 25, 2013 (11:30 am)

      Drove by it last night around 10:30 pm and it looked to me as if it was all white lights, wearing red neon shoes … but if you look VERY closely, the white lights are outlined in red. My memory keeps showing the old one as JUST red neon, but this is described as a replica, so I must be wrong?

  • JanS October 25, 2013 (11:51 am)

    wonder if there are any pictures of the old one archived somewhere for comparison?

    Mike , you’re always finding stuff like that (hint, hint – lol)

  • yobot October 25, 2013 (11:53 am)

    Now lets start brewing Rainier Beer back here, instead of Irwindale, California.
    If the flavor changed a bit too that would be ok. Its from Seattle so bring it back to Seattle.

  • miws October 25, 2013 (12:22 pm)

    I’ll see what I can find, Jan.


    Just did a quick search, but didn’t find anything with the original all lit up!



  • Steve October 25, 2013 (12:37 pm)

    I think that ‘batsignal’ spotlight is great! How about a permanent one?

  • flynlo October 25, 2013 (3:54 pm)

    Don’t know if this is what you’re after but…

  • Conor Musgrave October 25, 2013 (4:44 pm)

    I added a few photos to my site from the event Yesterday at and the “R-crawl” at check them out if you missed either event.

  • Rainier October 25, 2013 (8:55 pm)

    I still love the taste of Rainier beer. It sure as heck beats the snobby craft beers all of the beer yuppies foam at the mouth for.

    Yes, Beer Junction. Rainier beer beats darn near every brew in your store, except, perhaps, your Buckhorn on tap.

  • ttt October 25, 2013 (10:31 pm)

    feels like home again…

  • West Seattle Hipster October 26, 2013 (9:02 am)

    It looks like the original did have the white lights, but they were rarely lit up if I recall. Here is what I could find of the original online:

    @ Rainier; well put.

  • namo October 28, 2013 (8:37 pm)


Sorry, comment time is over.