What city in the country is the most dedicated to craft beer? There are several contenders that immediately jump to mind, but how about Fairfield, Calif.?
Fairfield might not have been in your top 10 answers, but the San Francisco Bay Area city literally pushed out a press release to pitch itself to prospective craft brewers as a possible destination to open up shop.
So, what’s the pitch? Fairfield touts an ample water supply, a high capacity wastewater system and available properties with room to grow — all great qualities for a growing craft brewery business.
“Fairfield’s wastewater treatment plant can handle the high strength waste that occurs in a brewery’s operation, so brew masters do not have to concern themselves with treating the wastewater,” said Talyon Sortor, assistant general manager of the Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District. “The district’s treatment plant was specifically designed to handle brewery waste, because it was built to support the Anheuser-Busch facility located here.”
“We are an excellent location for a craft brewery because of our robust and reliable, high-quality-water, which is critical to the brewing process,” said Felix Riesenberg, Fairfield’s assistant Public Works director. “The city has done a tremendous job of water supply planning, resulting in sufficient water supplies to reliably deliver water, even in the event of a multiple-year drought scenario.”
Numerous microbreweries seeking to expand are currently in talks with Fairfield’s economic development department. The city believes its government is accessible, easy to work with, and capable of expediting building permits.
Recently, Heretic Brewing Co. moved its operations from Pittsburg, Calif., to an 8,500-square-foot Fairfield location. Its facility contains a brewery, tasting room and lab space. There are plans to expand in March 2014 to 16,000 square feet in order to do more barrel aging and further increase production.
“I contacted cities throughout the Bay Area to see which would be most interested in helping us find a location for our new, larger facility,” said Heretic’s Jamil Zainasheff. “Fairfield’s economic development team took the time to visit our business to learn about our needs. In addition, Fairfield has great water and a good supply of buildings appropriate for breweries.”