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Moylan's Looking to Expand Brewing Operation

Owner is scoping out possible locations for a production facility.

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.

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NovatoAVID November 30, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Proud and thankful for Brendan's support of AVID, and college outreach for Novato students..all the success to him.
Mark Burnham November 30, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Try to keep it in Novato Brendan! Message to the city of Novato and their two new invisible, high priced employees.. economic development manager Chris Stewart and public communication coordinator Peggy Flynn.. Here is an opportunity to keep someone like Moylan here in Novato. We don't need to describe the benefits a production facility (perhaps a beer garden like Petaluma's Lagunitas compound) would bring to Novato... they are many and they are obvious. Get to work and make this happen.
Brad Curtis November 30, 2012 at 03:06 PM
We like beer Brendan...Bring it on!
Steve B November 30, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Swami says: Bel Marin Keyes please!!!
Sam Roth November 30, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Excellent! I'll have another Pomegranite Wheat Ale please
Betty Pancakes November 30, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Woot Woot, I'll drink to this! (Oh, ok, I'll drink to a lot of stuff) ... but 110% on board with this one. Let's put politics aside for but a moment, peeps ... Moylans ROCKS da house.
Bob Ratto November 30, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Great citizen, great product. Please, please keep it here. Something in the style of Lagunitas would be fantastic, this could combine the brewing aspect and retail at the same time...great for profit margins, great for city revenues.
Rick Voorhees November 30, 2012 at 05:24 PM
How about the vacant building where Pini's used to be, you have the parking lot for your trucks and employees parking. Not only that you could eventually have tours through the facility as well. What would also be cool is they could have windows facing the side street showing the tanks inside and you have your front windows showing them as well.
Bob Ratto November 30, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Need a "like" button for that idea...the back part where Pini used to put plants and garden stuff could be part of a beer garden...
Corrado Fabbro November 30, 2012 at 06:11 PM
I agree. We've got tons of warehouse space available in Bel Marin Keys.
Cindy November 30, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Please, please powers at be, take advantage of this opportunity, this is a "gimme". I just hope Chris Stewart and Peggy Flynn read The Patch, because these few comments regarding Moylan's are wise and Lord knows Novato could use some wisdom...
Kevin November 30, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Please keep it in Novato!
Betty Pancakes November 30, 2012 at 06:48 PM
That is RAD. Lovin' this idea.

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