Temescal Brewing is adding to the East Bay's robust brewing scene, debuting its unique, art-laden brand of brewery on Sunday, June 12. The brewery has been in the works for over a year, as founder Sam Gilbert and his team secured the last bit of funding through a very creative Kickstarter campaign. Now, the brewery is ready to open its doors to a a 35-seat taproom, and expansive beer garden to the public.
Originally the founder of Brewlab SF, a homebrewing collective, Gilbert is also a certified cicerone. Head brewer Wade Ritchey (previously assistant brewer at Cellarmaker in SF) is in charge of the beer itself, which Gilbert describes as "lighter and softer." That means easy drinking for those less familiar with craft brewing, but subtlety and complexity for hardcore fans. Gilbert says that for the first year, they won't serve any beer twice, in order to get feedback and evolve their style to match what the neighborhood likes to drink. At opening, drinkers can expect "Works like a charm," a dry-hopped saison, and "Block Party Pale Ale," among others. To accompany the beer, they'll serve fresh-popped popcorn seasoned with their proprietary "Temescal blend"; food trucks will also roll up regularly.
The brewery's style, which was dreamt up by creative director Tollef Biggs and design architect Erin Dwyer, is a major departure from more traditional taprooms, where dark wood and industrial details set the scene. Temescal Brewing offers a playful rejection of that aesthetic, offering up what Biggs describes as "Memphis Contemporary," a style loosely based on an early eighties design style. (The Max from Saved by the Bell is a good point of reference.) There's also a cozy nook for intimate hangouts, decked out with an art installation from Oakland artist Sarah Bowser. The outdoor beer garden is essentially a giant art installation, featuring colorful murals from David Polka and Marcos LaFarga.
Temescal Brewing will initially open with limited hours: Thursday-Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday starting at noon. Well-behaved dogs and children are allowed (though dogs are limited to the patio).