Two winemakers toiling to handcraft beer worthy of this historic island.
Ryan and Kent, both formally trained on the wine side of fermentation (but long-time closet brewers), met and struck up a friendship on a crushpad in Napa during a winegrape harvest over a decade ago.
Kent Fortner originally and proudly hails from a long line of grain farmers in Kansas (many of whom were also ... teetotalers). After some schooling back east and a bit of time in the Rockies, he found his way to Napa for winemaking in late 1990’s. He and his wife Janet (and their two kids) bought and restored the old officer’s "Quarters U" on Mare Island in 2007, and the seed for the idea of Mare Island Brewing Co. was born. Kent’s winecrafting can be found at www.road31.com.
Ryan Gibbons made the move to California from Maryland at the turn of the century (this century), first finding work in restaurants, and then in winemaking. He eventually made the move from grape to grain (working for Lagunitas Brewing Company), making the creation of Mare Island Brewing Co. possible. When not wrestling a mash paddle or pouring Saginaws at the taproom, Ryan is an accomplished photograper and artist. He, his wife Alea, their kids, and their dog Coal (short for Coal Shed) live in Vallejo.