A young couple with deep roots in the county will be opening Sonoma County’s newest brewery at 3pm this Friday, June 26th. Head Brewer/Owner Tyler Smith and his wife Stephanie Smith will be opening the Cooperage Brewing Company doors to a highly anticipating crowd that knows the couple well from their time spent at local favorite wine and beer businesses.
Tyler spent 5 years running the Whole Foods Taproom in Coddingtown, where he developed a rapport with local beer enthusiasts that recognized the bar as one of the best managed places to enjoy craft beer in the county.
Stephanie, currently employed at Seghesio Winery, was born and raised in Sonoma County and didn’t have to persuade Tyler much to call Santa Rosa his home after meeting in college and eventually moving together to Sonoma County in 2008. “Our heart is in Santa Rosa. It’s our community, where we live,” responded Tyler when I asked him why he settled on the 981 Airway Ct. Suite G location in Santa Rosa. “The high ceilings help when stacking barrels,” continued Tyler, as he told me that he plans on releasing sour and barrel aged beers in the future.
He will stack barrels five high and patiently wait for the beer inside to age for somewhere between 8 to 12 months. “Sour beers tell us when they’re ready, not the other way around. That’s why they’re so exciting…you really just never know what they’re going to be,” said Tyler.
The sour and barrel aged beers may require some patience, but this Friday Cooperage Brewing Company will have four fresh beers on draught. A pale ale, IPA, Belgian style pale ale, and a Belgian style golden ale will all be available for your pleasure.
“A small hobby turned into a big hobby, then a passion,” said Tyler when he recalled his evolution from home brewing member of the Sonoma County Beerocrats to aspiring business owner. He was quite humble as he reminisced the opportunity that he won in 2012 when he collaborated as a home brewer with Bear Republic Brewing Company. Buddha’s Hand Pale was entered into the pro-am competition at the Great American Beer Festival that year.
The taproom has a cozy feel and will be family and pet friendly. The brewery will not be serving food, but will offer snacks and plans on setting up a food truck schedule. Outside food and pizza deliveries will be encouraged as well.
Tyler is aware that he has a large group of locals that anticipate the launch of Cooperage. “We’ve had a tremendous amount of support. It’s really amazing how many people want us to succeed and none of this would be possible without them. I only hope I can make them all proud,” said Tyler.
-Peter Lopez Jr.