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Toasting the folks who made brewery possible

IPA launch doubles as thank-you party at new San Ramon headquarters

Four guys who brewed an idea into reality celebrated with their first investors Saturday at their Schubros Brewery headquarters and distribution center in San Ramon.

"We're calling this a Family and Friends Event because you guys are really the family and friends who built Schubros," President Ian Schuster told a long table of folks eating ribs and barbecued chicken, many enjoying the product.

"We're situated here ready to tear the 680-580 corridor apart with good beer, and we ask you to toast yourselves," he added to a cheer.

The appreciation party also introduced the company's 680 IPA.

Mike Hall, who handles sales, described his marketing plan, which he called "hub and spoke." San Ramon/Danville is the hub where Schubros beer is already available. The next step is for spokes to branch out as far as Lafayette and Livermore.

They are planning to open their Tap Room and R&D Center at the San Ramon location on Alcosta Boulevard soon and are looking at offering their product in 16-ounce cans. For now the brewing is done in South Bay locations, including Santa Cruz.

The founders, who live in San Ramon and Danville, also feel it's important to give back to the community, and part of money made from each product will be donated to nonprofit groups. For instance, 1 percent of the profits from the 680 IPA are going to the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation.

"I raised my kids here and so has our entire management team," said Chief Infrastructure Officer Jon Piening, a 25-year San Ramon resident. "With that said, we are personally committed to keeping our community beautiful, safe and home to California's top schools."

Schubros recently donated a premium beer-food pairing event to the Semper Fi Foundation's silent auction at the memorial for Lt. Corporal Joshua "Chachi" Corral held in Danville.

"As an ex-Navy guy, I consider programs that support the young men and women who have made extreme sacrifices in service to our county and community to be very near and dear to my heart," Schuster said.

Chief Brewing Officer Mike Johannsen recalled losing sleep as the first products he developed completed their brewing process and were tasted. Nico American Wheat is named after his young daughter, Nico, short for Nicolina, his grandmother's name.

Nico Wheat is successfully paired with escargot or shellfish, the brewers noted, while their 680 IPA goes with pizza or beef. They plan events to highlight pairings of their beers with food, a new trend in the craft beer industry.

Schubros is entirely organic and sold in 100 percent recycled kegs, according to their website. It will be sold in cans, rather than bottles, for better quality due partly to less oxygen seepage, but also because cans are more often recycled, are easier to transport with less breakage, and are more affordable.

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