Issue 29pulse

Cheers to Contentment, Cheers to Community


By Ashley Stinson

California has been in the midst of a beer brewing Renaissance in recent years, with independent breweries operating all over the state to make unique craft beers in styles not often made by the giant breweries.

The brand new Contentment Brewing Company carries that torch in Modesto, bringing both West Coast brews and European style beers. And although the brewery might be new, husband and wife owners Alejandro Serrato and Abena Darden are far from new to the beer scene. Serrato has been brewing his own beer since 1998, years before the craft beer wave. Meanwhile, Darden, who is Danish, has a proper European love for beer.

Contentment Brewing Company is very much a product of Modesto and the Central Valley, just as Serrato himself is a product of the Central Valley. As a Modesto local and graduate of both Modesto Junior College and California State University, Stanislaus, Serrato has a vision for the brewery that is focused on being part of the Modesto community.

“I’m very much a local person, and I’ve chosen to stay here,” Serrato said. “I want to be local, I want to be tied into the community. That’s my goal. We want to support veterans, my wife, and I feel very strongly about supporting womens’ empowerment, and we want to work closely with the Women’s Education and Leadership League. We’re just trying to represent the Valley well and accurately and support the community.”

Serrato and Darden have many plans for engaging with the community. Located just a block south of Modesto Junior College, Contentment Brewing Company hopes to support the school and has already worked with MJC on an Athletics Department fundraiser.

Although other plans have not been finalized, the owners are considering what else they can do to engage with the community. Right now, they are considering regular yoga days, where community members would be invited to come in, exercise with some mindful stretches, and finish off their work out with a light beer. Other possible events on the table are days geared toward cleaning up Modesto. In addition to being a committed member of the Modesto community, Contentment Brewing Company is also committed to running with as little environmental impact as possible. Being environmentally friendly is a matter of great importance to the owners, and Darden, who works as a green building consultant, is using her expertise to make sure that the brewery runs as clean as possible.

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