gmhTODAY 25 gmhTODAY April May 2019 - Page 30

Alex Seaborne (Brew Master) with Nicole and Eric Ingram (Owners), Pomised Land. founded Promised Land Brewery in Gilroy. Promised Land has a small tasting room with about ten seats, but no food or general seating. They will, however, have cans, growlers, and kegs for sale. Promised Land will primarily supply the growing need for craft beer at eight other restaurants Ingram owns and operates. As brewmaster, Ingram will brew in small batches, for freshness: “We’ll produce about seventy- percent ‘hoppies’ [beer high in hop content], but we’ll also produce lagers, stouts, and darker beers.” In the words of Samuel Johnson back in 1776, “There is nothing that has yet been contributed by man, by which so much happiness is produced as a good tavern or inn.” Golden State Brew and Grill has brought “much happiness” to the city of Gilroy since it opened last year. It occupies the stately two-story Gilroy Elks Building built in 1931, a beautiful example of Spanish Colonial Revival. “We opened in February 2018,” co-owner and brewer Seth Hendrickson said. “The first-phase, from the beginning, was to test the waters for six months. Because of the great response from a very nice following of regulars, we closed to start phase two on October 1st. When we reopen—hope- fully this spring—we’ll have an occupancy of 280, a full restaurant, a stage, game room, and, of course, a brewery.” Golden State Brew and Grill is committed to Gilroy and plans to be the good tavern that Johnson wrote about. “At least six of the 30 taps available will be brewed and served only in Gilroy. They won’t be distributed anywhere else,” said co-owner Kirill Egorov. The remaining taps will be brewed in Gilroy for tasting and general distribution or supplied from their mother store in Santa Clara, with occasional guest taps added in. “We want to draw people to downtown by offering a place for them to be with their families to hang out and enjoy an American comfort-food meal,” he added. Head Brewer Ryan Brown believes that “lots of good 30 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN things are happening in downtown Gilroy, and we want to be a part of that.” “We were the first craft beer ever invited to participate in the Gilroy Garlic Festival with our garlic beer,” Hendrickson added. “And, it was approachable,” quipped Brown. “We’ll produce new beers all the time, while fine tuning the kinds of beer that people want,” Hendrickson said. The modern taverns—taproom, restaurant, microbrewery, or brewpub—are a valuable addition to cities because they foster community. In a world filled with social media and virtual interactions, taverns offer a welcome “third space”— a term coined by sociologist, Ray Oldenburg. After home, the first space; and work, the second space; a third space offers a chance to step away from the house and office to socialize with friends and others in real time, face-to-face. The tavern joins other third space establishments— bookstores and cafés—but adds the element of nightlife as well as social interaction. Mike Hickey, a community- development consultant, described the tavern as “a place at least one step removed from the structures of work and home; more random, and yet familiar enough to breed a sense of identity and connection. It’s a place of both possibility and comfort, where the unexpected and the mundane transcend and mingle.” Brewing beer is both an art and a science. What we relish, however, is the art: the taste, aroma, color, and complexity of craft beer. But we also relish the opportunity to get out and socialize at our local tavern, hanging out to watch a ball game on the wide-screen TV, playing a game of darts, eating a meal, or just enjoying each other’s company. The era of the craft beer is upon us, and the rising number of brick and mortar establishments in our neighborhoods provide the arena to enjoy them, enriching our communities and creating community at the same time. april/may 2019