Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sad Day

The rumors in my part of the world have been swirling for some time. Weeks ago I heard they stopped brewing. Then I was told by the brewer to come by to make sure I tried a special beer. A few days back I was there and saw a line of empty fermentation tanks and a brewery that looked more like a stage that had gone dark. Tonight the inevitable news came that my local brewery, Beermann's Beerwerks, was closing at the end of the week.

I must admit the news hit me pretty hard, not because it's surprising or unwarranted, but because this is the place I cut my teeth on with craft beer. It was at Beermann's where I met some of my closest friends. People at Beermann's taught me to homebrew, introduced me to the BJCP and in general opened the doors of the beer world to me. In a life where I now work full time around craft beer, you can say I owe a lot to this local brewery.

Add to that some of my favorite folks spent time working at Beermann's, people like my BJCP teacher and friend David Teckam, owner and brewer at Auburn Alehouse Brian Ford and two of the coolest cats I know - Andy Armstrong and Tim Spinelli. The place oozed with character, some good and some questionable. The beers were always good, albeit inconsistent. The people were always fun and you couldn't help but love seeing birthday boys and girls drinking a yard of beer on Besty, the brewery cow. There were nights of debauchery, evidenced by the panties still hanging on the antlers of the stuff dear head on the wall (as well as scandelous photos pasted on the wall). I also spent several nights that turned into early mornings with the brew crew, playing dice and drinking a month's supply in one sitting. God, those were great times.

The place was bigger than the building, too. When I worked for a major computer manufacturer they came by several times a year to pour beers for us cubical workers. They were at fund raisers, fairs and just about anywhere the community gathered - this was OUR brewery in Roseville. Man, just thinking about the gaping holes here makes me need another sip.

I don't know. The whole thing stinks! Andy and Tim are both stand-up individuals, passionate and personable. I sincerely hope they find work at another brewery sooner than later - closer than further. They've done the dirty work for years, have proven to be capable - they belong in the beer industry.

On a bigger scale, the local brewing scene seems even worse. The BJ's Brewery in Roseville has, for lack of a better word, shipped out the brewery operations to Reno and beyond. Citrus Height's Oasis closed. Roseville's Greenhouse organic brewery closed. Now we lose the one brewery that seemed most appropriate for Roseville, Beermann's. Hopefully the closures stop here and I'm happy we still have Mary's Pizza Shack and apparently Basic in the coming weeks.

To the folks at Beermann's - thank you! From all of us here at Pacific Brew News, thank you! You've been so kind to us all these years, kept us in good supply whenever we needed and always made us feel at home. Your loss is our loss, and when you close your doors on Friday there will be a whole mess of people that will miss everything you represent, everything you gave to us over the past decade. We wish you the best.

Some Stuff:

Brewery Tour | Beermann's Beerwerks from Rick on Vimeo.