We have some big news we want to share with you. Both Nico and I have been brewing our craft beer at our pub in San Francisco for almost 14 years and for the last six in Cold Spring, Minnesota where we produce all of our great canned and draft beer for distribution across this country. All that is about to change, as we are excited to announce the next part of this great adventure. We are embarking on opening a production brewery here in the Bay Area in the industrial hamlet of San Leandro, California. The reason for this move is two fold, we are running out of capacity at our partner brewery at Third Street Brewery in Cold Spring, Minnesota and the other is more emotional as since we started this endeavor Nico and I have always wanted to bring the beer back to our home in Northern California. Also, because of strained capacity we haven’t been able to expand into other markets for a couple of years. We have received your emails about wanting to get our beer in your State and expand we will.
We really have come a long way from brewing 1,000 barrels of beer at Third Street Brewery in 2008 to this past year producing 57,000 barrels. We started with just producing two beers, our Hell or High Watermelon and Brew Free! or Die IPA, expanding our brand to three year rounds with seasonals, “Big Can Series” (draft-only) and special “Insurrection Series” beers like Monk’s Blood which is returning soon. Our experience as Cold Spring has been amazing. When we started with them back in 2008 we brewed beer on their older lager brewery and of course there were challenges, such as how to dry hop a beer in a large lager tank. But we grew with them and a couple of years ago they set out to build a “blue sky” project with state of the art brewing and cellar equipment and launched their new line of craft beers and invited other breweries our to their gorgeous new facility to brew and package beer. A great step, but we are up against the capacity wall with Cold Spring and it’s time for Nico and I to step up and build our brewery.
We have signed a lease for 95,000 square feet in San Leandro, California not too far from Oakland Airport at the former Kellogg plant where Eggo’s and Pop Tarts were once made. It’s an incredible building with lots of power and great water supply. The City of San Leandro is very exited to have us there as well. We are also carrying on great tradition in that city as Drakes Brewery is our neighbor and will make this area a destination for craft beer folks like you.
We have already purchased some equipment and our philosophy is that anything that touches the beer will be state of the art and high quality. The brewhouse is a 100 bbl GEA system that is German engineered and built in Hudson, Wisconsin. Which as a side note is a great town on the banks of the Saint Croix River and have some of the most amazing cheese curds at Barkers Bar and Grill. We have purchased a 40 head KHS filler with volumetric filling and can run upwards of 500 cans a minute. It’s really a marvelous piece of equipment. A packaging machine is where the tires hit the pavement in the beer world. You can make great beer, but if you can’t package it properly your beer will not fair well. We are really geeking out on the equipment and all the stainless (stainless steel is brewer’s porn) from fermentation tanks, to boilers, deaeration systems to keg fillers and all the pumps and pipes. It’s a huge undertaking, but we have a great crew and the whole project is being designed by our architects and all around great people at Aidlin Darling Design who happen to be neighbors of our pub in South Park. Initially the building’s primary purpose will be to make beer and we’ll have a tasting room, but phase two will encompass a full restaurant with outdoor garden, interactive customer experiences with retail area and tasting rooms overlooking the brewery and packaging hall. We will also be able to produce barrel and sour beers and expand our current packaged beer offerings. It will be quite beautiful and fun. It’s as big as time as it gets and we are excited and hope you are too.
We are set to start brewing by the end of this year.
Thanks for your support and look for updates as we move this project along. Here are some renderings of how the eventual brewery will look.
-Shaun and Nico