As part of our Sacramento Beer Week coverage, News10 is spotlighting some of the local brewers serving up the area's finest artisanal beers.
In this spotlight, we speak with brewmaster Chris Miller who came down to Northern California from the state of Washington to launch Berryessa Brewing Company.
Can you tell us a little about the history of Berryessa Brewing?
We've been around about a year and a half. The tasting room's been open about 7 months.
How about your personal history with brewing?
I have 10 years of experience. I started working at a brewery washing out kegs and ended up running two breweries in Washington before coming to California.
Do you have a brewing philosophy?
Basically, make tasty beers and break rules without getting too far away from the point. Our rule of thumb is if you can't enjoy more than two pints in sitting, we scrap it. We're also making our beers food friendly - more balanced.
How would you describe your business philosophy?
I'd just say we're not in a hurry to grow too fast.
What is Berryessa's beer lineup?
We have two house beers; our Common Sense lager and House IPA. Other than that, we're always rotating. We make lots of session beers, some barley wines, sours, and cask-conditioned ales. We're always trying new things - spreading it out.
Do you have a flagship beer?
Definitely. Our House IPA
What's your most popular beer right now?
The House IPA and Double Tap double IPA
Where is your beer currently available?
We have on-premises sales of pints, and growlers to go. We have about 50 accounts from Davis to Sacramento and the outer areas like Rocklin and Folsom.
How about bottles?
We're not bottling yet. When we do, the Common Sense and House IPA will be the first.
What's your personal favorite?
What brewing ideas do you have in the works?
We're looking at bottling some barrel aged beers and limited releases down the road.
What are the brewery's goals moving forward?
Just to keep steady, manageable growth. People make the mistake of growing too fast. We're just trying to manage it properly.
Other than your beer, what sets you apart?
Our location. We're in an amazing setting. Out of the way. We're more of a destination. Somewhere you want to go.
What do you make of the growing Sacramento craft beer scene?
It's fun watching Sac grow. The customer is getting smarter and it's fun to see that too. It's really fun to be in a fledgling market.
What about the growth of the Sacramento brewing industry?
I'm all for growth. You just really have to know what you're doing. There's a huge learning curve. You should go out and get some hands-on experience before you invest a bunch of money. Talk to people in the industry before you just set out on your own.
What kind of marketing do you do
None. We have a marketing budget of nothing We just let the beer market itself. Good beer will sell itself.
You have 10 minutes left to live and you can only drink one more beer. What is it?
If I only had 10 minutes to live I'd have too many on my mind. Just surprise me - as long as it's delicious. I just like good beer, and there's a lot of good beer floating around out there.
27260 Hwy. 128, Winters, CA
Tap Room Hours:
Friday: 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Sat: Noon - 6 p.m.
Berryessa Brewing Company Facebook Page
Visit the Sacramento Beer Week website for a list of Berryessa Brewing Company's Beer Week events.