Thursday, May 3, 2007

Auburn Ale House

I have more on this in the works, but wanted to put out a notice for the beer lovers of the region.

I was fortunate enough to spend an evening at the still-under-construction Auburn Alehouse last night and feel I should pass on the word that Brian Ford will be opening shop by the end of the month - assuming there are no hiccups. He has just installed all the equipment and hops to boil some water this weekend to make sure it's all in order. If all goes well, first brew will follow shortly thereafter.

He has put together his beer menu and you can view it online -

He has also hired his executive chef, who I also met, and you can't help but be excited about things after a few minutes chatting with them.

A few notes:
- This place is beautiful! Carefully restored 100+ year old building, making every effort to maintain it's character while also adding some modern touches. 30 stool bar up front, a standing bar toward the back and even more bar seating in the middle.
- 12 taps with an opening offering (tentative) of 6 beers, all Brian's. He also hinted at bringing in some beers you won't find anywhere else.
- Outdoor seating is going to be prime real estate on warm evenings.
- If you like bold, rustic bars, this place is for you - big burley bar top, massive steel beams (if they're not steal, sorry - it some sort of metal), old brick and an overall homage to manhood.
- His IPA recipe looks damn good
- Find his beers at the upcoming Raley Field beer fest - he brewed twice last week at the Rubicon to make sure he'd have some beers ready for that (believe he said Lager and Brown ale)
- Growlers available for 'to-go' beers, would also like to bottle some limited edition items in 22oz or 1 liter bottles (but not initially from the sounds of it).

This place has all the makings of a major beer venue for the region. If you haven't met Brian before, then you should know he's about the most likable guy on the block - as are so many of our regional brewers. This has been a dream of his for years, and you can't help but route for him and his wife.

No official opening date yet, but he thinks he'll be open in three weeks. He has plans for a soft opening, then after a week or so a bigger 'grand opening'. Yeah, I am excited.

Auburn, California - the Old Shanghai location
Online at