Fans of Moonlight Brewing Co. will have to wait longer for the opening of its taproom in its new brewing facility in Santa Rosa.
Owner Brian Hunt hoped almost a year ago to open up his new location at 3350 Coffey Lane, but he has experienced delays moving into the new place, especially in waiting for the permitting issues to get resolved and moving in new equipment.
In an interview, Hunt said he could not set a timetable on when the brewpub may open up, sad news to many of the devoted fans of the cult favorite most famously known for its black lager, Death & Taxes.
Hunt also said he does not know how large the taproom will ultimately be, which will dictate if he will serve pints on premise, or if it will be specifically be a place where customers can go to solely get their growlers filled. “I don’t know how many people will fit in there. It’s a very small space to do things,” Hunt noted.
Anticipation among local craft beer aficionados is strong, especially given Hunt is one of the pioneers of the North Coast industry, but has decided to chart his own course in operating Moonlight since it opened in rural Santa Rosa in 1992.
Hunt has kept his brewery more of an artisan production – at a 1,000 barrels per year – as opposed to massive nationwide expansion that is being carried out by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico and Lagunitas Brewing Co. in Petaluma as craft beer has become big business.
Disappointed local fans can have some solace: Hunt said he is about to release his Homegrown Fresh Hop Ale. The hops come from his property – dubbed “The Abbey de St. Humulus.” It’s a limited production release with only 25 kegs. Drafts can be purchased at Flavor Bistro and Toad in the Hole in Santa Rosa, and Bergamot Alley in Healdsburg, Hunt said.

Bill Swindell