Downtown Gilroy is going to get a lot more brew-tiful in 2018.
By the end of the year, the downtown will add two new breweries, Promised Land Brewing Company and Lonely Oak Brew Pub and Pizzeria.
Bartenders Union, a place for the low-key lovers of the suds was followed by Golden State Brew and Grill, which later in 2018 is to include a full restaurant and an onsite brewery. Now Eric Ingram, co-owner of BBQ 152, plans to open Promised Land Brewing Company, a full-scale brewery, and bar at the old tortilla factory at 7419 Monterey Street.
He’ll be joined, just down the street, by Lorenzo Jaso’s Lonely Oak Brew Pub and Pizzeria at 7373 Monterey Road. Both will brew their own craft beers.
In keeping with a love of fine craft beer that has become a staple at Ingram’s chain of barbeque restaurants—which not only includes Trail Dust BBQ in Morgan Hill, Mission St. BBQ and others—Promised Land Brewing Company represents the entrepreneurs’ first foray into mass producing craft beer.
The idea for Promised Land Brewing Company has been brewing for at least 10 years for Ingram. After a search of potential sites, with the help of Christian Renz at Renz and Renz Real Estate, Ingram settled on the location after almost three years of looking.
“The building has a lot of character and we got a great deal from the owner, George Hall and we want to be there for the next 20 years,” Ingram said. “We see a lot of potential in downtown Gilroy. We saw a complete turnaround for downtown Morgan Hill and we think the same thing will happen in Gilroy.”
For Jaso, who is working in a partnership with his father, Greg Jaso, President of Integrated Building Systems, Lonely Oak Brew Pub and Pizzeria represents a new beginning for an old building that formerly was a brewery and bakery in the 1800’s.
“We’re pushing to open around July or August,” Jaso said. “We’re just getting through the permitting process. The building won’t need that much work. It already has a brick oven from the old bakery.”
Golden State Brew and Grill owner Seth Hendrickson is not afraid of the competition. He embraces it. For him, a rising tide, of beer, in this case, raises all ships.
“The entire Bay Area is an underserved beer market,” Hendrickson said. “There’s much more of a demand than there is supply for breweries here. We’re ready to see this whole town change in the next couple of years and we want to make the downtown a destination.”
Like Hendrickson, Jaso and Ingram both believe that new breweries will not deter business but will help to make downtown Gilroy a destination for bar hoppers looking to sample a variety of craft beer.
“Santa Cruz is about the same size of Gilroy and they have about a dozen breweries and everyone there does just fine,” Jaso said.
For Tammy Brownlow, President/CEO of the Gilroy Economic Development Corporation, the new breweries are a good reason to say, “cheers.”
“Golden State, Promised Land and Lonely Oak are spaced out enough that the foot traffic should help surrounding businesses downtown,” Brownlow said. “Now that many buildings have been seismically retrofitted which can now be occupied, along with the strong economy, we are seeing an uptick in businesses interested in downtown.”