NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2016
Mare Island Brewing Co

The Ultimate Remodel

We have undertaken a remodel job like no other. Let me explain.

This story goes back to Mare Island Shipyard at the turn of the century (1900, that is) when the Navy’s ships were steam-fired by coal. First, one Coal Shed was built on the waterfront (#151, our future home), then another, then another. Until eventually there were nine. 

Steam eventually gave way to diesel, and the Coal Sheds were repurposed. #151 became the shipwright apprentice workshop and served as such until the base closing in 1996. Today the nine Coal Sheds are on the historic register. Stand at our ferry landing taproom, gaze across the water to the right, and you will see them. They are lit up at night. 

Where Once There Was Coal 

 

The Coal Shed #151, the furthest north, is our home. It is currently torn apart; the walls are gone, so is the roof, so is the floor. Only the structural members remain. The Shed is being completely and painstakingly rebuilt, in partnership with Lennar Mare Island (our landlord), with historically accurate aesthetics but modern building materials and methods. In the upcoming days, we will pour new concrete floors that drain in the perfect pattern for our new 15bbl brewhouse. We’ll have 800 amps of new electrical service, new plumbing, and eventually even fiber optic.

Initially this will just be our brewery (we plan to always keep the ferry taproom). In the future, we want to do special events at the Coal Shed, and eventually put a restaurant there too. But that is a few years off. First, we brew. We hope to craft our first batch of Coal Shed Stout, from Coal Shed #151, by the new year. 

Yardbird

 

For those that attended the Yardbird Party last May, when we took over the waterfront promenade outside the taproom for the afternoon, you got a taste of the future Yardbird parties that we will eventually throw over at the new Coal Shed. But until that time (likely next fall), we have at least one more Yardbird Party at our beloved (but smaller) ferry taproom.

The fall 2016 Yardbird Pickup Party is November 20, 1-4pm; mark your calendar. If you are already a Yardbird, you’ll get another notice and an invite. If you aren’t a Yardbird, well, get on it so you can come to the festivities. We will be shucking oysters. The music will be live. The “Golden Subs” trophy will be up for grabs in a new Yardbird game (the nature of the contest will remain a secret until day of, but suffice to say you might not want to wear a skirt). And of course, we will be releasing the Fall 2016 vintage of our exalted General Order No. 99.

Calendar

New Taproom Hours (OPEN SEVEN DAYS PER WEEK!):
M-Th 4pm to 10pm
Sa/Su 11:30am to 10pm

Yardbird Spring Pick Up Party: Nov 20, 1-4pm, at the taproom.
Become a Yardbird

 

 

GO99

 

Our flagship, General Order No. 99, is our finest porter recipe, aged in a combination of former pinot noir and former whiskey oak barrels and bottle conditioned in our Mare Island bomb shelter. The original General Order No. 99 was issued by Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, prohibiting alcohol on all Naval bases. We hereby rescind that order on Mare Island.

As we’ve honed our GO99 recipe, process and style, we’ve been blending across different types of oak barrels, different ages of GO99, in small batches. It has been a great journey as we’ve explored the various levers we can pull to make a smooth, substantial barrel aged porter that does Mare Island proud. With the 2016 Fall release, we feel like we’ve nailed it, particularly in terms of its ability to improve with age (think 3-7 years in a cellar). 

First (and typically only) chance to get GO99 goes to our Yardbirds. We’d be honored to have you in the club.

 

Thank You 

 

As we enter our third year of brewing and serving, we want to thank you for all your support. A larger general momentum and energy has recently developed around Mare Island and Vallejo. There is already one winery tasting room on the Island, and a whole new, large winery is being discussed. A new distillery just got approved by the planning commission. There is a Tesla-competing electric car company that is negotiating for the north end of the island. And we are supporting efforts to try and get more breweries to come call Mare Island home. On the other side of the strait, near our taproom, the plans have been drawn up for a vibrate waterfront community; the developer is readying his shovels.

We like to think we were at least one little spark in this fire of activity. And our Coal Shed #151 brewery is the next logical step for us and the Island. It’s a huge undertaking for a couple blokes like us. The price tag has a couple more zero’s than we’ve ever dealt with, and we’re working nearly around the clock on plans, permits, and construction. But no complaints about lost sleep; it is exhilarating. This type of project is the raison d’etre of Mare Island Brewing Co: honor the incredible heritage of the Mare Island by repurposing into an artisan future. 

We’ll see you at the taproom, and eventually at Coal Shed #151 (we’ll let you know). 

Damn the Torpedoes,

Kent and Ryan

 

Mare Island Brewing Co.
289 Mare Island Way, Vallejo, CA 94590
tel: 707-556-3000

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