Mare Island Brewing Co


As we sit to write this semi-annual update, we’re basking in the glory of a repeat victory again this year in the hospitality division of the Waterfront Weekend Whaleboat Regatta. The Regatta is such a vintage and classic piece of Vallejo: years ago, when the shipyard was active, on the first weekend in October every year, thousands of spectators would line the waterfront as the ships that were in dock would lower their monomoy lifeboats (whaleboats), drop their eight strongest and craziest rowers into their boat, and the various teams/boats would race up and down the strait for bragging rights. Fast forward to today, and a full modern Waterfront Weekend festival has formed around that same concept (only add in bands, food trucks, and all sorts of other frivolity). Seven of us employees and one Yardbird, fueled by beer, rowed our way to the hospitality division trophy, splitting races with the Sardine Can, but winning on overall time. Pain is temporary, but trophies are forever.


We’re thrilled to announce the hiring of our new Chef, David Starr, who now spearheads menu and food prep at both the Ferry Taproom and for our special events at our Coal Shed. Chef David comes to us straight from Charlie Palmer Restaurant in Napa where he was Executive Sous Chef. He walked in the door with a crazy-impressive resume, and had us at “I’m a Vallejo boy.” Yup, born, bred, and living in V-town, and eager to leave Napa behind and help us raise the bar on artisan food in our fair city. As David works on a new menu for winter, we invite you in the meantime to come try out some of his daily specials. Welcome David, we’re excited to have you back home where you belong.



Beginning on Sunday, November 10th, The Wet Mile of Mare Island is finally going to happen. For the uninitiated: when Savage & Cooke distillery opened (a half mile away down the waterfront) about a year ago, we cooked up this idea that they, Vino Godfather Winery, ourselves, and the Mare Island Art Studios would all band together, make sure our doors were open at the same time, and visitors could come make a Sunday of it and “Wander The Wet Mile,” experiencing/tasting through the historic waterfront of Mare Island. We’ve finally got this pulled together, and beginning Sunday, November 10th (we’ll email you), we’ll have our doors open every Sunday between 11:30AM-4:00PM. That means that—only on Sundays, mind you—we’ll welcome the public to the Coal Shed where we’ll have the taps flowing, a few simple lunch items from Chef David, and be offering a free group tour at 1pm for anyone interested. Look for more information on visiting The Wet Mile at (going live soon).


We have a number of upcoming events that we’ll preview here. Back by popular demand after a roaring and raucous debut in Spring is “Comedy Hops!”; come join in the laughter of multiple professional comedians (and Yardbirds, your first beer is free with ticket purchase). Later that night is our annual Halloween Party, but this year at the Coal Shed with prizes for best costume. The Fall Yardbird Pick-up party is always the highlight of the Yardbird year. And back again this year is “Santacon”, a chance to dress up as Santa and come enjoy a pint at the Coal Shed as well as wander The Wet Mile. Final note: we have live music at the Ferry Taproom every Saturday from 7pm to 9pm; come enjoy a pint and support independent musicians.

COMEDY, HOPS! (Returns)
Saturday, October 26th, 12-4pm
Mare Island Brewing Co. Coal Shed Brewery
Click here for tickets.

Saturday, October 26th, 8pm-12am
Mare Island Brewing Co. Coal Shed Brewery
Open to the public. No tickets required.

aturday, November 23rd, 1-4pm
Mare Island Brewing Co. Coal Shed Brewery
Yardbird +1
Click here for tickets.

SANTACON (Wet Mile Style)

Sunday, December 15th, 12-4pm
Mare Island Brewing Co. Coal Shed Brewery
Open to the public. No tickets required.



The Yardbird Pick Up-Party is coming! We only do this twice per year, and it is always everybody’s favorite event: food, Yardbird game, live band, and of course…pick up your beer release.  Though we can spill out to the waterfront in the spring, the fall version is restricted to indoors in case of inclement weather, so we have to keep invites at Yardbird plus 1. If you need to update any information on your Yardbird account (address, credit card), please do so here to avoid any glitches. More details to follow.

More information to come in a follow up email specifically to Yardbirds. 

NOTE: If you're not yet a Yardbird, you can join now and still be included in the fall release and party! Click here to join or for more information on the club, events, and perks. 


That leads us right into the new beers for this fall. With the Yardbird party coming up, Ryan, Alan and crew are hard at work brewing and bottling up the new recipes for the Yardbird shipment. We have some new offerings to preview for you.


Our first is “The Wet Mile” Barrel-Aged Weizenbock. Knowing that we were going to start The Wet Mile at some point, we went to our new neighbor, Savage & Cooke Distillery, and got one of their used whiskey barrels and put our well-received Weizenbok into the whiskey-infused oak for over a year. It’s a heavy-hitting gem.


Second is the “Seasoned Mug” Coffee Stout. This is a new stout recipe we’ve developed, infused with a hint of local Moschetti coffee. Just a hint, mind you, but enough to make the point. Many a sailor and submariner on the Island has told us about the importance of the coffee on the boat. But they also tell that—particularly for the top brass—it was important tradition not to wash the mug between cups; to have an exceptionally “Seasoned Mug” was a coveted thing of glory.


We’re brewing some pilot batches right now on our 1-barrel system to test them out. Name and style to be revealed at the Yardbird party.


We started this newsletter with the Waterfront Weekend, so let’s close it with another festival. We’re still celebrating the success of the first-ever Mare Island PedalFest bike festival, held a few weeks ago, which included a family-friendly bike ride of the Island, a BMX exhibition and bike rodeo for the kids, and the signature event: The Wet Mile Urban Cyclo-Cross. Urban Cylco-cross is the hot new thing in amateur bike racing, where cyclists complete multiple laps through an obstacle-ridden urban environment: jumps, water, mulch, stairs, logs...anything goes, and you can imagine what we cooked up here on Mare Island. Cyclists raced through 142 years of Naval Shipyard history, with the start/finish, music, and beer garden here at the Coal Shed. 300 riders showed up to ride, and we had over 500 with spectators. It was a roaring success. The expectation is that this will be a huge event next year as the families loved it, the racers couldn’t get enough, and Cyclocross Magazine is writing a feature article on the event because it was unlike any other race in the country. It was a proud day for us here to find yet another way to celebrate the incredible history of Mare Island and package it up in a way that helps shape and forge the Island’s future. It is a special place we call home, and as always, we’re thrilled that you all come help us celebrate the incredible heritage and history that is Mare Island.

Damn the Torpedoes,

Kent and Ryan (Co-Founders) 

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