Mare Island Brewing Co


Greetings from Mare Island, where the rain is falling (but our restored roof ain’t leaking), March Madness is madness indeed (our brackets are busted, but whose aren’t?), and Ryan has a newly repaired knee (modern medicine is incredible; “The Six Million Dollar Man” wasn’t that far off).

Yes, it’s a busy time at our little brewing company, but, as our wives remind us, “when is it not?” We keep thinking we’ll take a little breather at some point. But so long as people are thirsty, we feel it is our sworn duty to try and quench such thirst. We happily are scrambling to keep up with you all!

We have a lot to cover here, so let’s get to it.

Doubling Down on the Ferry Taproom


As we emerge from the winter rains, we are in the throes of our Ferry Taproom expansion. If you have been into the Ferry Taproom in the last two months, you’ve seen that we doubled the size of the dining area. While we’ve not yet put the finishing touches on the area (look for more artifacts from Mare Island, more tables and chairs, and dartboards to come), we do have a sweet new set of couches, some new window bars, two new TVs (arrived just in time for Olympic curling…curling, who knew?), and generally just created a lot more elbow room with an even more expansive view of the water.

And in the last couple weeks we also finalized the permits and started construction on our new kitchen. Chef Scotti’s menu has always been a hit, but what's truly amazing is that she churns out all those specials from a kitchen measuring less than 200 square feet (in keeping with the “shipyard” theme, we often feel like we’ve forced Scotti to work out of a submarine galley). Well, we’re going to solve that in the next six or so weeks as we have taken over the adjacent space and are in construction of a brand new, 1000 square foot kitchen. Fries and burgers are coming! Look for a “new menu/kitchen” announcement by mid-May (and the kitchen might be closed for a couple days just before; we’ll keep you posted).

Coal Shed Brewery Tours and Tastings


Things are equally exciting and busy on the other side of the water. Our Coal Shed Brewery is humming with brewing activity (tanks are FULL!), and we're now welcoming visitors. We’ve begun a monthly group tour (advanced tickets required) and are offering private group tours (by appointment) as well. Check out one of these two options to come learn a little bit about the history of Mare Island and our Coal Shed, get a walk-through of the brewing process, and sit down to a curated flight of beers.

We’ve also outfitted the brewery so that we can host special events. From luncheons for a dozen, to formal fundraising auctions for 500, we put together the infrastructure to handle just about any shindig. Our very first event was the Yardbird “Winter Feast,” which was a glorious, fifty-person, Game-of-Thrones-worthy meal set at a king’s table right down the center of the brewery. And we’ve gone on to do birthday parties, corporate luncheons, after-work tastings, and fundraising galas.

For more information on tours or special events, contact

Yardbird Brewer Bootcamp

We almost hesitate to mention this, because it may be sold out by the time we hit send on this newsletter, but we are super excited about a new opportunity for our Yardbirds that we’re calling the “Brewer Bootcamp.”

In April we will welcome ten Yardbirds to our Coal Shed Brewery for a three session, hands-on, brewing experience with Ryan. Session one is an in depth tasting to determine a recipe. Session two is a complete brew day. Two weeks later, session three is packaging day where participants get to bottle (and take home two cases of) the new brew. We’ll also then have the resulting brew on tap in the Ferry Taproom. If you are interested, click here to see if there are slots available (and if not, we’re looking to add a second Bootcamp later this year if demand calls for it).

If this is your first-time hearing about the Yardbird Club, or you’ve heard about it but haven’t joined, click here for more information or allow us to change your mind.

The spring Yardbird Pick-Up party is not far away…

Upcoming Events!

Yardbird Brewer Bootcamp
April 7th, 14th, and 28th

Yardbird Pick-Up Party; Spring 2018
May 12th, 1:00-4:00PM, Coal Shed Brewery

Yardbird Giants Game
June 6th, Time TBD, AT@T Park

4th of July Fireworks Viewing
July 4th, Details TBD

Yardbird Brew Cruise
August 18th, Time TBD, Mare Island, CA

Yardbird Crawfish Boil
September 15th, Time TBD, Coal Shed Brewery

Waterfront Weekend
October 6th, All Day, Ferry Taproom

October 19th, All Day, Ferry Taproom

Halloween Costume Party
October 27, Time TBD, Ferry Taproom

Yardbird Pick-Up Party; Fall 2018
November 17th, 1-4PM, Coal Shed Brewery

On the last Wednesday of every month, we offer live music--with no cover--from 7-9PM at our Ferry Taproom.




On the First Saturday of every month from1:30-2:45pm we offer tour & tastings at our Coal Shed Brewery. Reservation required. 
Click here to reserve your spot!






New Brews 


In addition to preparing for the Yardbird Brewer Bootcamp (who knows what recipe they’ll come up with…), Ryan has been busy putting the finishing touches on our first double I.P.A. In a nod to Mare Island’s nuclear submarine cold war days, as well as this recipe’s origins with our Hydraulic Sandwich I.P.A., we’ve dubbed this hopped-up version “Nuclear Sandwich I.P.A.” While Ryan and I—having originally been trained as winemakers—value balance and elegance above all else, we have decided this one time to throw restraint to the wind and put an extra-hoppy foot forward.

We’re also prepping for a bottling of our new, reserve-level “Murphy-the-Pig” Fresh Saison. The name deserves some explanation. Our brewing company’s patron saint, Admiral Farragut (utterer of “Damn the Torpedoes”), started his Navy career as a midshipman at the ripe age of nine. When his ship was captured by the British during the war of 1812, young Farragut heard some of the British sailor discussing a “prize”; it was his ship’s pet pig named Murphy. Farragut claimed the pig as his own (maritime law protected a captured sailor’s personal possessions) and the British, always up for sport, decided a fistfight between Farragut and the British’s own young midshipman was the best way to settle the issues. Fisticuffs ensued, and Murphy lived to see another day. Farragut was indeed a badass, and we strive to brew a beer worthy of his legacy.

2018 and Beyond!

A couple weeks back, I (Kent) got the invite to go onto NPR’s “Forum” show and speak about Mare Island and our fair city of Vallejo. Besides the “kick-in-the-pants” aspect of being on the radio (as a card-carrying member of the San Francisco Bay area, I have dutifully listened to my share of NPR), it was amazing to see the historic Vallejo Empress Theater filled to the brim with excited residents and share the Mare Island gospel with the airwaves. 

When Ryan and I started this, we certainly envisioned a profitable business, but equally, we wanted to contribute to the community and help both preserve and propel forward the proud heritage of Mare Island.

As I looked out at the audience during the show, I saw so many of our regular customers, and I realized our brewing company had become both part of the fabric of town and had indeed helped weave some of that fabric. It was a great feeling. And for your part in that, we thank you immensely. Your support means everything to us.

Here’s to a great 2018. Damn the Torpedoes,

Kent and Ryan

Ferry Taproom
Food, Beer, Music
Daily 11:30-10

289 Mare Island Way, Vallejo, CA 94590

Coal Shed Brewery
Tours, Tastings, Special Events
By Appointment Only
851 Waterfront Ave, Mare Island, CA 94590

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