Our story is really the combination of several stories that all come together 1st in Oakland, CA and then finally in a small town called Hopland, CA (pop 817).
In 1933, the Hopland Brewery was established in Hopland, CA and became the 1st brewpub in California (2nd in the US) after prohibition (repeal of 18th Amendment). The Hopland Brewery became a destination and landmark on Highway 101.
By the 1920’s farming hops had become the main business in the town of Hopland and all of the Russian River Valley. It’s hard to imagine but all those beautiful vineyards and pear orchards you see along Highway 101 were once row after row of beer hops that supplied the major US Breweries.
The original Valley Oaks Ranch, now called Campovida, is located just over the Russian River from downtown Hopland and once the summer home and headquarters of John Haas and the John Haas Inc. hop empire. The John Haas, Inc. Hops Company was worldwide and for a short period controlled the entire US and World markets for beer hops. At this time the US was full of unique beer producers making some amazing beers.
The craft beer business and the California hops business eventually faded away in 1960’s. The craft breweries that used all if these hops disappeared. About this same time Oakland’s last brewery closed its doors and both hops in Hopland and beer in Oakland were forgotten.
Forty years later in 2004, two dreamers meet in Oakland…..Adam Lamoreaux and Gary Breen. Adam dreamed of wanting to re-establish Oakland as the beer capital of the Bay Area. He approached Gary, the owner of an 1890’s old brick warehouse called Linden Street near Jack London Square. With mostly handshakes and head nods over some handcrafted beers – they worked together to re-establish this little forgotten corner of Oakland. Adam’s dream is beyond a reality as his brewery, Linden Street, is considered one of the best craft breweries in all of California.
Meanwhile, in 2010 Gary and his wife Anna and two daughters moved from Oakland to Hopland to re-claim their lives and the old Haas Hops Ranch, formerly the Fetzer Valley Oaks Ranch and now Campovida. Soon after, Mendocino Brewing Company shut the historic Hopland Ale House and moved it closer to their brewery in Ukiah. Hopland the once proud town had no beer, brewery or hops.
So you can imagine….Adam and Gary, dreaming over a few Linden Street beers. “What if we were to bring hops and beer back to Hopland?” More handshakes, head nods and beer and here we are…bringing beer and hops back to Hopland.
Through the journey and in the future, we hope that we will always remember, learn and honor all the Hopland/Oakland pioneers before us. We hope you will enjoy our beautiful hand crafted beers. We hope that we inspire you to dream and DO.