Moylan's can't make enough beer. High demand for a coveted product ... That's a good problem to have, especially in this economy.
So Novato resident Brendan Moylan, who opened Moylan's Brewery & Restaurant on Rowland Way in 1995, is looking for a warehouse-type building to expand his brewing operation. Such a brewery would then supply the wide variety of ales and lagers to the brewpub near the Vintage Oaks Shopping Center and serve orders from accounts across the United States.
"We need a production facility and I'm looking around the North Bay," he said Thursday. "... We've always had a demand for more product and never really met it. We've casually gone on and on and kept brewing at the brewpub, but it's time to open a real beer factory."
Market share of beer from craft breweries (small, independent and traditional breweries) keeps on growing. It represents about 9 percent of the U.S. market but has been increasing by about 1 percent each year, according to the Brewers Association. In 2011, the production of craft breweries grew 13 percent over the previous year. There are nearly 2,000 breweries in the country — the highest number since the 1880s — and the growth has been about 150-200 per year.
Moylan's is known as a brewpub, which is a combination microbrewery/restaurant. A new production facility would split the Moylan's operation in two, although the back rooms of the Novato location could remain in use for smaller or experimental batches by award-winning brewmaster Denise Jones and chief brewer Jim Grbac.
"Craft beer obviously is killing it right now, and Moylan's is considered a longstanding brand," Moylan said. "We're in a really good spot."
Moylan is a co-founder of Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur, which opened in 1989. The brewing operation there is confined to tight spaces because of its location in the Marin Country Mart shopping center, leaving no place to expand. Meanwhile, North Bay craft brewing powerhouses such as Lagunitas of Petaluma, Russian River of Santa Rosa, Bear Republic of Healdsburg and Mendocino Brewing of Ukiah have all built new plants or are in the expansion planning process.
"Times are good for good beer," Moylan said.