Mare Island Brewing Co

"Prepare to Give Way!"

We just received our lane assignments for the Whaleboat Regatta, the main event of this upcoming weekend’s (Oct 6/7) Vallejo’s Waterfront Weekend. This is a big weekend for us, and not just because our Ferry Taproom is the hub of whaleboat racing activity all weekend long. After bringing home the “Mike Thompson Warrior Cup” as champions last year, our whaleboat of 8 hard-rowing employees is once again in it to win it. We’ll be competing in the hospitality division against our arch-rival the Sardine Can, while welcoming the new local distillery, Savage and Cooke, to this distinctly Vallejo tradition (yes, we will welcome them … then attempt to trounce them). We’ve been rowing hard in practice, often escorted by sea lions, and capping off each row with an intense debriefing (read: team beers). Come on out and cheer us on (or another boat; it’s ok). Scotti has a killer special menu going, and our Octoberfest Marzen is flowing on tap.

Also, as part of Waterfront Weekend, we are doing a special opening of the Coal Shed from 12-4 both days for anyone who wants to come down and buy a pint, play some cornhole, and just enjoy the festivities from the Mare Island side. We’ll also offer a Coal Shed Brewery tour, casual and free, at 1:30pm each day for anyone interested.

Here’s a link to the overall event, including carnival stuff for the kids and an old car show.

Bigger and Better Ferry Taproom

Speaking of the Ferry Taproom, if you haven’t been down since we expanded the dining room and kitchen, you should also come take a look (and a taste). After enduring—and putting some amazing food out of—a 120 square foot kitchen for a couple years, Scotti finally got the kitchen she deserved (10 times that size).

She and Taylor, with their killer kitchen team, have been cranking out a fantastic new menu. We also blew out a wall and now have a larger dining room, more tables, more windows, couches, and even some new dart boards. If you visit now you can still enjoy the summer menu; then in a couple weeks Scotti will update the menu for the fall.



Our Yardbird (beer club) and events have really kicked into high gear. After a fun Giants game excursion in July, this past August we enjoyed a really cool Historic Brew Cruise where we took forty Yardbirds out for a three-hour sunset cruise and dinner (and beer), complete with a narrated tour around the Island and its history. Just a couple weekends ago we held our first ever Shrimp Boil at two giant king’s tables outside right on the waterfront at the Coal Shed; in addition to a ridiculously tasty shrimp boil feast, mother nature put on a great show with perfect temperatures, calm waters, a glorious sunset, a nearly full moon (and even passing sailboats). Our upcoming Yardbird Release Party is—as always—the Saturday before Thanksgiving (this year’s date is Nov 17). Since we can’t rely on the weather outside, this event will be sized down slightly (fewer guest tickets) to accommodate everyone in the Coal Shed (along with the band and the Yardbird Game). If you are a Yardbird, mark your calendar. If you aren’t a Yardbird, what in the hell are you waiting for? We even have two new brews to introduce you to with the Yardbird release this fall.


Coal Shed Brewery Special Events

Making sure you all know that our Coal Shed, in addition to finally cranking out enough beer for us to meet the demand, is also available for Special Events.

In addition to our Yardbird events, we’ve held birthday parties, graduation parties, company meetings, wedding receptions, and even a 500-person non-profit fundraising galas out on the waterfront under the lights. We’re in the midst of a number of improvements at the Shed (darts, more historic photos, and we’ve just expanded the parking!) to ensure it is a stellar place for your gathering. And now—with the new kitchen at the Ferry Taproom—we can even cater your event at the Coal Shed.

To inquire about a special event, contact us at:

Wet Wagon!

Or if you’d prefer that we bring a little Mare Island to you, we’ve also got the MIBC Wet Wagon for rent. It has already made quite a few appearances at private parties around town, and we’d love to park it at your next big event.

Or if the Wet Wagon is overkill, we can of course also provide individual kegs, taps, ice, and buckets if those are your needs. Now that we have the production to meet demand, we’d be willing and honored to provide beer for your home event.

You Asked For It... More Live Music 


We’ve had this awesome, longstanding friendship with Jimbo Scott, who is an amazing musician in his own right. Jimbo has connections with (and respect from) the broader NorCal indie music scene, and he’s been sourcing our “Last Wednesday” musicians for over a year now. Well, we recently decided we’re going to scrap “Last Wednesday” because … we’re now going to “Every Saturday.” Yup, every Saturday.

Starting November 3rd, we’re going to have live music at the Ferry Taproom weekly on Saturdays from 7-9pm. It has always been our dream to help fuel the independent music scene in Vallejo, and we finally have—along with Jimbo’s help finding talent—the venue and the resources to do it.

We hope to see you at the Ferry Taproom on Saturday nights...

Rowing Through History!

We mentioned Waterfront Weekend at the outset of this newsletter, and this weekend is always a special reminder of the incredible heritage of our Island and hometown. The Whaleboat Regatta is an incarnation of what was once a time-honored tradition of the ships docked at Mare Island lowering their monomoys (whaleboats), putting their eight strongest sailors in the boat, and having them race for bragging rights up and down the Mare Island Strait in front of thousands on the waterfront every October. It may now be a bunch of us civilian brewers, carpenters, and bartenders pulling on the oars, but the original spirit is still very much alive. 

The whole event just reflects so much of our raison dêtre. In addition to making killer beer, killer food, and creating a viable business in our town (we are now at 36 employees…crazy), we really strive to help celebrate—and re-package for the future, if you will—the incredible history and heritage of Mare Island. It’s a beautiful and spiritual thing for our employee team to row through history like this. Yet another reminder that we’re getting to live our dream. We thank you for that opportunity.

Kent and Ryan

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