Rodger and Claudia Davis are the husband and wife team that own and operate one of the hottest new breweries in northern California, Faction Brewing. Rodger is the brewmaster making a large array of beers, while specializing in hoppy beers. Claudia runs the tasting room and is in charge of many business decisions.
Both have a long history of working in the beer industry. Rodger spent time as the head brewer at Drake’s Brewing as well as working for Triple Rock Brewery, San Francisco Brewing and Pyramid Brewery dating back to 1999. Claudia spent twelve years at 21st Amendment Brewery and also worked at Steelhead Brewing.
Now married eight years, Rodger recalls their friendship that started in breweries that Claudia worked at. He credits Shaun O’Sullivan, co-founder and brewer of 21st Amendment, as being the link between the two and asked Shaun to marry them.
When the time came to open up their own brewery the couple debated between Port Richmond and Alameda before ultimately choosing Alameda Point which is formerly known as the Alameda Naval Station. “It was probably around midnight on a Monday when Claudia came across a location on-line that stated it was perfect for a microbrewery,” said Rodger. “You look at the view and the parking and you think oh my god, this is awesome,” he continued when talking about the first time he went to check out the location where his brewery now stands.
The fact that Rodger was familiar with the neighbors running St. George Spirits right next door helped to make the decision to commit to the location. St. George Spirits and a neighboring winery are now providing Rodger with the wine and bourbon barrels that he needs for his barrel aging program.
Rodger acknowledges that many obstacles needed to be crossed to get to the point that they are now at. Permits and licensing took longer than expected and they had purchased brewery equipment that needed to be stored before securing the building.
On September 25th Faction Brewing celebrated its one year anniversary. Since those doors officially opened the response has been greater than expected. Through the first year Faction sold more than twice the amount of beer that they optimistically projected they would sell. Currently, the beer is not being bottled, but can be purchased on tap at many local taprooms that specialize in craft beer such as Rincon Valley Taproom and Bottle Shop, Belly Left Coast Kitchen and Taproom, BeerCraft and the Whole Foods Taproom in Santa Rosa.
I arrived at Faction when they opened at 12pm on a Sunday and within an hour and a half the place was jam packed. The line to order a beer snaked around the taproom for well over 100 feet. “My moto is make good beer and be good to those that choose to come out and drink it” said Rodger. He continued by saying “You will never have a bad beer by my cause. I will throw it down the drain, learn from my mistake and come back with a much better beer.”
If you would like to visit the brewery you will find it at 2501 Monarch St. in Alameda. For more information about Faction Brewing and the list of beers that they are currently making go to http://factionbrewing.com/
– Peter Lopez