Coal Shed Brewery
Coal Shed #151 on the Mare Island Waterfront
Nine historic Coal Sheds, all built between 1898 and 1906, sit prominently on the waterfront of Mare Island; their original use was to protect and load the coal for the Navy’s steamships. Of course steam quickly was replaced by diesel (and eventually nuclear), and the Sheds were likewise converted to provide other ship services: pipeworks, shipwrights, electrical, etc.
Upon closure of the Shipyard in 1996, the Sheds found an eclectic collection of new inhabitants: artists, speaker manufacturers, a Renaissance Fair rental business, car enthusiasts, welders, and even a workshop where Burning Man was built. Mare Island Brewing Co. joined this mix in 2013, moving our offices and storage into Coal Shed #151.
In 2014, after that year’s earthquake shook shingles off the Sheds, the owner/developer started to make plans to refurbish the historic row of Coal Sheds. We sat and discussed with them our vision of a brewery and event/restaurant space that we agreed would make perfect use of the historic setting and structure.
We poured a crazy amount of money, time, and energy into restoring the inside of our Coal Shed (and the developer did the same with the outside). Construction is always a long process, but with a century-old, historic-landmark-protected building, on a 150-year-old former naval base, construction is a really long process.
As of late 2017, we have been brewing away at the Coal Shed. We also have plans for a full-blown restaurant, but in the meantime, have created a simpler (but glorious) event space that has seen a lot of fantastic birthday parties, graduations, retirements, weddings, receptions, sales meetings and tours. We have also started recently to open to the public on Sundays as part of “The Wet Mile” which is a coordinated effort of the artists, distillers, museums, and wineries that have moved into the historic buildings on the waterfront—we all open our doors on Sundays 12-4PM to welcome visitors to wander 142 years of naval shipyard history.
Ultimately—and we have plans already drawn—we will build a full-blown, open-to-the-public Coal Shed Taproom and restaurant, with ferry service that lands about fifty yards away. But that is a few years off as the Island develops.
You can plan your next event here, or schedule a private tour, or come visit us on a Sunday. Otherwise, we have our Ferry Taproom that is open daily 11:30-10 (with awesome lunch specials) just across the water on the Vallejo side of the Mare Island straight at the Vallejo Ferry Terminal. From there you can sip a pint and look across the water to see the Coal Shed in all its glory.