This Thursday, September 13, marks the 25th of anniversary of the signing of the California bill — AB 3610 — which removed the “tied house” restriction then present in California which prohibited any person or company from brewing beer and selling it directly to the public. The bill allowed beer to be sold where it was brewed, as long as the brewer also operated a restaurant at the same location. It was only the second brewpub law passed in the country at that time. The bill was written by then-state legislator Tom Bates, who is now the mayor of Berkeley.
California was home to three of the first five brewpubs in America. The second brewpub to open America (and the first in California) was the Mendocino Brewery in Hopland, California, which opened in August 1983. Mendocino Brewing has moved to a new facility in Ukiah and the Hopland location is now a bar, but the company is still going strong. The third brewpub in the U.S. was Buffalo Bill’s in Hayward, California, which opened in September 1984 and still a brewpub. And the fifth was Triple Rock Brewery in Berkeley, California, which opened in March 1986. It’s also the only one still owned by the same people who started it.
Join the California Small Brewers Association Thursday as we drink a toast to the law that changed our beer landscape for the better.
From the press release:
On September 13th at 5:00 pm, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates will join brew pub owners to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the signing of the California law that legalized brewpubs. The bill — AB 3610, authored by then-Assemblyman Tom Bates — was soon replicated around the country, creating the national brewpub industry and introducing millions of people to good beer.
The September 13th event will include a ceremonial “bill signing” by the owners of Bay Area Brew Pubs, an honor to Mayor Tom Bates for writing the legislation, and a special beer brewed just for the occasion by Triple Rock Brewery.
“In the early 1960s, I spent time in Germany as an officer in the U.S. Army. When I got home, I realized you couldn’t get a good beer in the United States,” said Mayor Tom Bates. “When a group of entrepreneurs and beer enthusiasts approached me about changing State Law to provide a market for smaller, craft breweries, I jumped at the opportunity. Every time I travel around the country, I am amazed to see the wonderful legacy of my legislation.”
Triple Rock Brewery, 1920 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, California
510.THE.BREW [ website ]