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A taste for craft beer at BeerCraft

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 | Posted by | 3 responses

 

JT Fenn in the proposed tasting area. (Nick Walden)

BeerCraft, a very unique store tucked in between Sonoma Coast Divers and Mammoth Motorsports on Commerce Blvd., has become quite the destination for people who enjoy craft beers. Now they are looking to do more than just sell the product.

Fenn will be meeting with the Planning Commission on Thursday, Jan. 24 regarding his application for a tasting room inside of the current store. His concept is unique in that he would utilize video conferencing to involve brewers from all over a chance to discuss a particular brew that was available for tasting.

Most breweries that have a pub or tasting room only serve what they produce.

“It is an opportunity to sample new beers. Plus there is some really great stuff out there that is not always available in a bottle,” said Fenn. Smaller breweries might not have bottling capability but could still sell small kegs.

The store has been opened for five months and owner JT Fenn is slowly expanding the shop to meet his own plans as well as give customers what they are looking for.

Currently they stock about 200 craft beers from all across the U.S. They look to rotate in about 20 to 30 different beers each week to keep the emphasis on exploring the wide variety of great craft beers that are being made along with including seasonal specialties.

Fenn goes to great lengths to ensure that his shop has a vast range of available beers that you won’t be able to find elsewhere. “We are actually traveling now each weekend to visit breweries in California to pick up local options,” he said.

Not all breweries have distributors, but they might sell bottles on site, much like some of the smaller wineries. That means people outside of the area don’t have the same opportunity to sample them until now. Armed with Ken Weavers Northern California Beer Guide, Fenn is able to purchase cases of select beers to then bring back and sell in his store.

Inside BeerCraft. (Nick Walden)

Along with the tasting room, they are looking to grow in other ways. The very popular Craft Beer Club is currently full but will open a few more slots starting on Thursday in anticipation of approval of the tasting room.

Fenn also expects to launch online sales within the next 30 days which will include a separate online Beer Club opportunity and he plans on adding cider soon. Plus he runs his “Beer of the Day” special for those who have added BeerCraft to their friends list on Facebook.

 

“There are so many great beers out there, but it is hard to get them outside of their region,” he added.

BeerCraft is located at 5704 Commerce Blvd. and you can visit them on Facebook or at Beercraft.com. Their hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call 206-9440

 

 

3 Comments for “A taste for craft beer at BeerCraft”

  1. I can attest to his dedication to provide hard-to-find beers: Heretic Brewing, out near the Delta in Pittsburgh, is a very small producer and without JT’s efforts would most likely not have had their bombers (22 oz) for sale here in the county. But, thanks to him, I was able to pick up a couple bottles of Evil Twin, one of their best offerings, at Beercraft. Evil Twin is a red ale, with great hop flavor but well balanced so the rich malty flavor is there too.
    If you are a hophead like I happen to be, then their Evil Cousin, an imperial IPA is an excellent choice. They call it their dank hop bomb. I certainly agree.
    Finally, thanks for covering the local craft beer activities. It’s all good when we talk about beer.
    Best,
    marv

  2. I finally bougt a bottle of beer there last week and it was so unique and excellent. I cannot wait for them to offer the chance to taste beer before making a purchase, like Oliver’s Market does once a week. Who would have thought this place would be located in Rohnert Park? I guess the city has finally grown up!

  3. Hands down, THE BEST place in Sonoma County for craft brewed bottled beer. The sheer variety, the weekly addition of new beers the shelves, a great beer club (feel lucky to be in!), and the 1/2 price beer-of-the-day deal on Facebook cannot be beat. If you like good craft beers, you need to be here!

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Nick Walden is our Rohnert Park + Cotati correspondent.
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