So. CA "Industrial Park" Breweries compared to the rest of the US

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by RaulMondesi, Jun 19, 2013.

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  1. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Poo-Bah (4,360) Dec 11, 2006 California
    Society Trader

    The majority of breweries I have been to in Southern California (OC: The Bruery, Bootleggers, NobleAle, etc. SD: Ballast Point, Societe, etc. seem to be in your average, run of the mill industrial park. No frills, just a bunch of tanks and tasting rooms varying from small and dingy, to larger and more taken care of (yet still a bit bland).

    So, to everyone outside of Southern California: what are your breweries like and which are your favorite? (Based on esthetics, etc. Not the quality of beer.)
  2. kdb150

    kdb150 Devotee (448) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I think it's more or less the same everywhere. You need 20-foot ceilings or higher to accommodate tanks, grain storage, and other miscellaneous brewing stuff, as well as warehouse space.

    There are, of course, exceptions, but most breweries open, I think, with the goal of expanding and widening distribution. Hence, rather than limit initial space and pay drastically higher cost-per-square-foot to have a brewpub in a populated area, breweries pay for much bigger spaces further away, often spaces that once belonged to other businesses that were since abandoned - and therefore are dirt cheap. One of the cool things about this is that each brewery has a unique way in which they personalized the space for brewing beer, sometimes in very original ways.

    This fortunately does not keep them from having tasting rooms with a really good vibe. Two that come to mind are Port City in Alexandria, VA, and Yards in Philly. They have continually been moving more and more tanks into their giant spaces, and it's all good because they leased or bought all that extra space in the first place.
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  3. nsheehan

    nsheehan Devotee (421) Jul 3, 2011 Texas

    IIRC Russian River's main production place is in an industrial park, as is Lagunitas'. You can almost see Lagunitas' fermenters from the highway, and there's an empty field behind the brewery. I've been to Bear Republic, but I think their brewpub is not their main facility, so I won't comment. Moylan's in Novato, CA and Marin Brewing Co are brewpubs, and I quite like their look. They're both located in shopping centers (makes sense because food+beer). But I'm guessing you want comments on breweries, not brewpubs.

    Now that I'm in Austin, Texas, where beer laws are archaic and there WAS a significant brewery/brewpub distinction (new laws just went into effect), it seems like most breweries I've seen are in mainly industrial areas. There's not a steel forge next door, but it's mostly a bunch of warehouse looking places. As a production brewery, where selling beer on-site WAS prohibited, I think they had to locate there for zoning. Some other breweries seem to be located in somewhat isolated locations (no industrial park/town to be a part of; more like ranches) based on my internet searches, but I have not been to any of these in-person yet. There are some friendly Texas BAs that may chime in and add-on/correct what I've said.

    My favorite brewery based on looks is ... Lagunitas. I toured before or during their expansion in late 2011 I think and it looked like a brewery should. Beautiful shiny tanks. The tour guide was good, and the indoor/outdoor pub area is fun.
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  4. spicoli00

    spicoli00 Defender (639) Jul 6, 2005 Indiana

    Revolution has both a brewpub and a production brewery with a tasting room. Both are beautiful and a treat to have a beer in. The brewpub is in a gentrifying neighborhood that is a mix of residential and business. the production facility is in a more industrial part of town, but the interior is awesome.
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  5. GuzzLah

    GuzzLah Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Illinois

    Jolly Pumpkin has a nice pub in two locations

    Ann Arbor

    Traverse City

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  6. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,898) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    They brew most of the beer now in the large building in an industrial park near Dexter, which replaced the old small industrial building near downtown Dexter. The big system got moved from TC to Dexter, a 7 barrel is said to be going to TC.

    The finest brewery I have visited is Sierra Nevada, which is a purpose built stand alone brewery.

    Bells production brewery in Galesburg looks nice too.
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  7. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Poo-Bah (4,360) Dec 11, 2006 California
    Society Trader

    I've actually been to both Russian River and Lagunitas; well, RR's brewpub that is. Lagunitas though was really interesting. That whole outdoor/indoor green house beer garden was petty cool.
  8. Daemose

    Daemose Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2011 Texas

    Jester King is an awesome farmhouse on beautiful land.

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  9. Beezee

    Beezee Initiate (0) Jan 29, 2010 Illinois

    New Glarus is beautiful and well worth the trip.

    St. Louis has some great ones Urban Chestnut, Civil Life, Schlafly -both locations
    anticipation23 and hopfenunmaltz like this.
  10. samoblue

    samoblue Initiate (162) Apr 26, 2006 California

    Stone's pretty nice...
  11. StoutSnob40

    StoutSnob40 Poo-Bah (2,920) Jan 4, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Stone has enough aesthetics to make up for the rest of San Diego breweries.
  12. Swik

    Swik Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2012 Indiana

    Great example of the industrial park brewery, 3 Floyds, seeing it for the first time I was kinda weary, until you go inside. Total metalheads dream, cool but not really my scene. One of my favorite breweries to go to and soak up the randomness is Dark Horse. It's totally bohemian/eclectic, their mug club is awesome one time fee and you keep your mug for life, and they like like 80% of every cubic ft. yes cubic not square. Smart phone so google it haha.
  13. flayedandskinned

    flayedandskinned Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2011 California

    But its in Texas.
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  14. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poo-Bah (3,105) Jan 31, 2005 California
    Society Trader

    But you must know that Stone started off in an industrial park in San Marcos...where Lost Abbey is now. With Stone's success, thet invested wisely in a new brewing facility coupled with a beautiful restaurant/gardens.
  15. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey

    Here in NJ all of the brewpubs are required to overlook a meadow where Unicorns frolic in the clover filled fields.
    It is a wonderful way to enjoy a beer. Really magical.
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  16. Daemose

    Daemose Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2011 Texas

    Isn't that the point of the OP? It's outside of SoCal.
  17. DmouthCaliBrewz

    DmouthCaliBrewz Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2013 New Hampshire

    Just spent the day at Hill a SoCal kid.......woaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh
  18. TheRealDBCooper

    TheRealDBCooper Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2010 Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands

    It should be one giant rainbow flag.

    Edit: JK is actually a nice facility that they are continuing to put money in to and upgrade. Not one of my top right now (too much space in the hot Texas sun), but it improves all the time and the potential is great for a top notch destination brewery. (Actually, the pizza place might be open now with lots of shade, but haven't been recently.)
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  19. JuliusCaesar

    JuliusCaesar Initiate (0) Feb 18, 2013 New Hampshire

    Brewery Ommegang

  20. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,898) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Bohemian? Try a UP vibe, not Bohemian.
  21. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,898) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    What do you think of the Barber Shop in Dripin' ?
  22. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,983) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    ...And that's why we have so many brewpubs :wink:
  23. Daemose

    Daemose Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2011 Texas

    It's been open for a long time.
  24. Keffa

    Keffa Defender (610) Jan 8, 2009 Ohio



    Wish I had a picture from the patio to add.
  25. Daemose

    Daemose Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2011 Texas

    Where's that? Looks homely.
  26. Keffa

    Keffa Defender (610) Jan 8, 2009 Ohio

    Weasel Boy Brewing in Zanesville, OH. The windows look out over the Muskingum River.

    Edit: Might have to get a picture of the front of the building and a patio picture too. Can't find either online for the life of me.
  27. Ri0

    Ri0 Poo-Bah (3,070) Jul 1, 2012 Wisconsin

    New Glarus Brewery
  28. Denver_Beer_Guy

    Denver_Beer_Guy Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2013 Colorado

    Denver's got the full gamut: old-school big breweries with restaurants that look "stock" at this point like Wynkoop and Breckenridge; Smaller operations in unique spaces that have done a great job with their taproom interior like Renegade, River North, and Denver Beer Co; and then the super small nanos in industrial garages like Wit's End and Caution.
  29. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Initiate (0) May 29, 2011 Florida

    Two local startup breweries; Naples Beach Brewery and Fort Myers Brewing Company, both in industrial parks. It makes complete sense. Functionality > everything when starting a brewery (business).
  30. MisSigsFan

    MisSigsFan Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 California

    I went to Middle Ages Brewery in Syracuse and basically it's in a rundown red brick factory in a kinda sketchy neighborhood and the tasting room is pretty lame.


    Also, Stone is absolutely beautiful.
  31. Swik

    Swik Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2012 Indiana

  32. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,898) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Just saying that it fits more my experience of the places in UP, and not Bohemia in Europe.

    You might mean socially unconventional, but it does not fit into my experiences in some of the "Bohemian" places in the US like North Beach or Greenwich Village.
  33. ipas-for-life

    ipas-for-life Aspirant (249) Feb 28, 2012 Virginia

    [​IMG]View From Devils Backbone
    [​IMG]Devils Backbone
    [​IMG]Wild Wolf
    [​IMG]Blue Mountain
    [​IMG]Interlaken Switzerland

    The first 4 pictures are from breweries in Virginia about 30 minutes from Charlotesville. All three are off the same road within 10-15 miles. The last picture was in the swiss Alps. We hiked to the brewery and the bartender spoke no english or didn't let us know she did. Luckily all I had to say is Dunkel and she knew what I meant.
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  34. RichD

    RichD Champion (812) Mar 18, 2012 Rhode Island

    I personally loved Allagash's brewery. I didn't get a full picture of the outside or of the tasting room because they were doing construction. What I did see was awesome though.


    They were bottling Curieux when I was there.






  35. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (471) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    Besides Ommegang, as mentioned above, I've kinda partial to Harpoon's new beer hall in the Boston facility. I don't know if it counts more as a bar / pub than a tasting room, since the beer is for sale, not samples (that is part of the tour itself, and tasted as you go through, at least last time I was on the tour) but it's a really cool space, with brewery-only beers available alongside the usual suspects.
  36. Daemose

    Daemose Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2011 Texas

  37. Benish

    Benish Meyvn (1,304) Mar 13, 2013 Wisconsin

    Breweries all over WI are different IMO. For example New Glarus is stunning, its up at the top of the hill and you can see it as you enter the town. On the other hand Central Waters is in an industrial business park...nothing to look at although the tap room appearance was okay. And then you have Miller which is quite different from the other two. Because Miller has been around for ages, it was kind of cool seeing their brewery; it almost had a village like appearance as you enter their 'park.' A lot of old structures and buildings.
  38. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    These are the ones in my neighborhood.
    Indeed (in a building filled with artist lofts):

    612 Brew (first tennant in a building re-purpose, I know a coffee shop is going in as well):

    But, as a homebrewer, my favorite is the taproom @ Pour Decisions (big, empty, feels like a garage):
  39. ScottieD

    ScottieD Initiate (0) Jul 30, 2011 Connecticut

    Agree. I was there last year and thought it was tremendous!
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