History of OPBCO
We didn't start brewing with the idea it would be a commercial venture. We started because of curiosity, we started because of a desire to create something, and we started for the love of great beer. Like many of the great craft breweries, our first venture into making beer was as homebrewers. Like many homebrewers, our first attempts were from kits purchased at a local homebrew shop.
It wasn't long before we all wanted to do more, to have more control of the process. Dave Estis and Tom Karvonen began augmenting the kits with extra hops and extra malt extract to get more flavor and, frankly, more alcohol. Not too much time had passed before Dave ran out of things to tinker with and determined we should do "all-grain" batches. Dave built a stand with three propane burners and the pumps that would be necessary for the process at his home in Oak Park.
The Oak Park Brewing Company - essentially Dave's garage at this point - had arrived. We jokingly called our little brewery that, as we were working through process, equipment, and recipe formulation. In addition, many of our homebrew friends would bring equipment over and brew with us, and happily embraced the Oak Park Brewing Company moniker. This is how our identity was initially created.
It was through brew days that we were "nudged" into the idea of opening a commercial brewery. Our brew days would host 50+ people with six or more beers on tap, ranging from easy drinking pales to Stouts, Sours, and Belgian Ales. Many of our attendees encouraged us to take the plunge. We were skeptical at first, these are our friends after all, and they're biased. We just wanted to make great beer and share it with friends.
We entered our first competition to gain feedback and guidance on how to make better beer, not really expecting a ribbon. But our Belgian-Style Monk's Brown Ale, Bliss, won third place in the Belgian Specialty category at Celebrewtion, a local homebrew competition. Then our Robust Porter won 2nd place at the 2012 California State Fair. And our Citra IPA won 3rd place at the Napa Homebrew Challenge. Our friends were right, we can make great beer.
For our production batches we have a beautiful copper-clad 7bbl brewhouse that will be visible to everyone in the pub. We all can't wait until we can share our beers with the rest of Oak Park, Northern California, and beyond.
Tuesday, Jul 27, 2021 at 6:00am Pacific Time
Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 6:00am Pacific Time
Tuesday, Aug 24, 2021 at 6:00am Pacific Time
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