San Francisco’s Fort Point Beer Co. has gained attention and won fans since it launched in 2014, but its older sibling, Marin brewpub Mill Valley Beerworks, put the whole thing in motion eight years ago. Now, owners Justin and Tyler Catalana have decided to combine their two beer businesses behind the scenes, absorbing Mill Valley Beerworks into Fort Point.
That means Mill Valley Beerworks will become Fort Point’s first official Marin destination, though it will keep its name. The new structure also keeps Mill Valley Beerworks’ chef and food menu, which has been celebrated by critics like Michael Bauer, and its 22 employees, who join Fort Point’s 104 workers.
The change will give the Catalanas more focus, Justin Catalana tells Eater SF, and allow Fort Point to use Mill Valley Beerworks’ smaller batch brewing system as a test brewery for experimental new beers.
“When we opened [Mill Valley Beerworks], the craft beer scene was very different in the Bay Area,” Justin Catalana tells Eater SF, citing its earlier players like Magnolia and 21st Amendment. “There hadn’t been that pop that happened in the last few years.”
Rather than following the brewpub model as they did in Mill Valley, Fort Point was built on self-distribution, producing a much higher volume of its beers like Villager IPA and KSA Kölsch and distributing them in cans covered in artwork that resembles architectural blueprints.
There’s still no taproom at Fort Point’s San Francisco Brewery, located in an old military building by Crissy Field. The beer company does have a small Ferry Building taproom, and it’s floated plans for a larger Mission District brewpub space as well. For now, fans can head out to Marin for a full taproom experience, complete with brunch, dinner, and beer.
- Mill Valley Beerworks [Official]
- Fort Point Beer Co. Plans Mission District Brewpub [ESF]