Moonlight Brewing‘s Brian Hunt (that’s him in his hop yard back in 2008) set off a wave of excitement among beer fans earlier this year when he said he would be opening a taproom at his new brewing facility at 3350 Coffey Lane in Santa Rosa. Previously, his beers were available in unpredictable spots around the region and at Flavor Bistro in Santa Rosa, the closest Moonlight has ever come to a stable tasting facility or brewpub.

“I have been fielding a ton of phone calls” asking when the new tasting room will open, he told me Tuesday.

He had hoped to be open by now, but he says the state is taking its sweet time processing the necessary licenses, so it is now looking like sometime this fall to get the tasting room open. He’s frustrated, but it actually turns out to be OK, he tells me, since he’s also in the process of rehabbing a house he just bought, moving into the new brewery, and, on top of everything, he’s had some trouble with one of his hands that has left him a bit of a one-armed bandit. Or one-armed paperhanger. Pick your metaphor.

Once open, the tasting room will feature six taps, including his regular lineup and at least one special creation. His latest one-off piece of work that might show up in the tasting room, for example, is a brown ale bittered with cedar branches rather than hops, a traditional beer technique dating deep into history, long before brewers discovered the utility of hops in the Middle Ages.

We’ll update you when he’s got a firm opening date.

– Sean Scully