Kicking Up Dust
By Noel Daniel
Back in the earlier days of Turlock’s Downtown, Dust Bowl Brewing Company’s taproom settled on West Main Street in 2011 and started to make a name for itself. “Growler” became a part of local parlance and the drought of business in Downtown seemed to lessen through the years.
2013 saw new growth, thanks in part to the Turlock Business Incentive Program, and new eateries sprung up around the tidy, old-town Turlock streets like Memo’s Cocina and Lisa’s Cookie Jar. But that rustic little taproom is still there—and soon it will be supplied by the company’s new brewery by summer.
“We’ve simply outgrown our current facility and are not able to meet the demand for our brand,” said Founder and Owner Brett Tate. “There’s no more room to add capacity and we’re already running 24 hours a day to produce as much as possible off our current system. When it comes to manufacturing, volume and efﬁciency are critical. Our new brewery will feature state-of-the-art equipment, which will enhance our quality control on the larger scale.”
Any local worth their salt will know the name “Dust Bowl Brewing Company,” Tate’s little slice of Central Valley heaven. After working so long with such a serious demand for supply, this brewing company is set to grow from 5,500 barrels annual production to 17,000 in the ﬁrst 12 months. This increased volume will help them meet the demand from their six distributors in Northern California. Not to mention, they’ll be able to expand their reach to the Central Coast and throughout Southern California. But they won’t be forgetting their roots.
“We’re excited about the positive effect our business will have within the community and on the local economy,” said Tate. “The scale and scope of our new site will draw visitors who seek beer tasting or happen to be traveling down Highway 99 and are looking for a convenient, cool place to stop. Not only will we be generating more revenue in Stanislaus County, we’ll also be providing more jobs.”
It’s impressive for such a small brewery to jump up in production the way that Dust Bowl Brewing Company did. This move is accompanied with the responsibility to hire those who can help the company reach the new goals, as well as promote the site so that all of California can enjoy a growler or two of their brewhouse’s specialties. They’ve not only been adding to the brewing team, but plan to hire an entire restaurant staff, from cooks and beer servers to catering staff and event management.
“It’s been a huge endeavor for all of us at Dust Bowl Brewing,” Tate said. “We broke ground in May 2015, and it took at least a year to get our permitting and design in order before that. It’s been challenging to keep our current brewery and downtown location thriving, while also sharing our focus on the new site. Now that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I think the best word to describe how we’re feeling is ‘excited.’”
The downtown eatery has won over locals and established itself as a restaurant of serious repute. Their brews are some of the ﬁnest in Central California, and their bar food is as inventive as it is delicious—like Okie Nachos or Pulled-Pork Quesadillas. The new brewery and restaurant will have a different menu, however, offering artisan pizza, sandwiches, and salads.
“It’s going to be so much bigger and we wanted to make sure we created a menu that offered a nice variety of foods that went well with beer and could be prepared quickly,” Tate said.
The facility spans 30,000 square feet, and both the inside and outside patio are planned to seat 150 each. There will also be an outdoor beer garden, a ﬁre pit lounge, a hop garden for private events like rehearsal dinners or anniversary parties, and an expansive lawn area.
“Our vision is for people—locals, travelers and day-trippers—to immerse themselves in the Dust Bowl brand and as a result, increase product demand throughout California and into the Paciﬁc Northwest,” Tate said. “You’ll see our Dust Bowl branding and aesthetic throughout the facility. It will truly be unique and an awesome addition to the Central Valley.”
And while you’re waiting for the new brewery to open this June, settle down for a sip of Dust Bowl Brewing Company’s new Twisted Monk Belgian-style Abbey Ale with cherries. It’s been available since Feb. 1 as a spring seasonal, so make sure you don’t miss it.
“Twisted Monk offers an aroma of cherry pie with a hint of Belgian yeast esters that draw you into this sweet and tart ale,” said Brewmaster Don Oliver. “It was a natural choice to bottle Twisted Monk, originally named Cherry Picker. Our fans really enjoyed it, plus it’s surprisingly approachable at 7.7% ABV.”
So stop in, crack open a cold one, and mark your calendar for the Grand Opening of Turlock’s biggest brewhouse.
For more information, visit their website at www.DustBowlBrewing.com