SAN FRANCISCO – When Patrick Horn and Bryan Hermannsson began serving free homebrew out of their garage in the SOMA district of San Francisco, they didn’t anticipate breaking into the growing craft beer marketplace in just over a year.
But being voted the best Nano Brewery in San Francisco and routinely having over 100 guests show up for the free, bi-monthly tasting parties certainly helps speed up the process.
Horn, taking a cue from the dot-commers of nearby Silicon Valley figured offering his suds for free would be a good way to stir up business.
“We thought we would have more success if we built up a market rather than launching a new brand out into the market that nobody really knew about,” he said.
After kicking around the idea of starting a brewpub, Horn and Hermannsson eventually settled on contract brewing, choosing Devil’s Canyon in Belmont as their partner.
“We spoke to a couple different breweries but Devils Canyon really seemed to click with us,” Horn said.” At the end of the day we liked the working relationship we were able to establish with them, so i think it is going to be a nice fit.”
Pacific Brewing Laboratories, the official name of the operation won’t officially be able to produce beer until they receive licenses from both the TTB and State agencies. Horn expects this process to be completed by October, at which point they will brew their first beer at the Devil’s Canyon facility – Squid Ink Black IPA.
“The Squid Ink has been a crowd-pleaser,” Horn said. “Our hibiscus beer is probably our second most popular beer after that, and it’s pink!”
Pacific Brewing Laboratories beers will be available draught-only to start, but Horn eventually plans on bottling in either 22oz or 750 ML format.
Hoping to meet demand without saturating the market, Horn said initial production will be limited – only expecting to yield just 60-70 barrels by the end of 2011.
“I want to grow fast, but in a responsible way so that we are always looking out for our customers,” he said.
For now, its all about getting beer on the shelves.
“Our focus is getting to market as soon as possible with a limited amount to start working out the logistics,” he said.