Tell us how the idea of Barebottle came together. Over many years of entering and judging beer competitions, we noticed a simple, but largely unrecognized insight: some of the best, most innovative beers in America are being brewed by homebrewers. In almost every competition we judged, the award-winning homebrewed beers were more inventive and daring than the majority of commercially available beers on the market. That insight, along with an enduring passion for the craft of beer making, led us to create the Barebottle.
Who owns Barebottle and what are your stories. Barebottle Brewing Company was co-founded by Lester Koga, Michael Seitz, and Ben Sterling, three friends and former classmates at Cornell Business School in Ithaca, NY. After moving from Ithaca to the Bay Area in 2007, the three began homebrewing, became certified beer judges, and began winning medals at homebrewing competitions. That planted the seed to open Barebottle Brewing
How did you come up with the name? The name Barebottle is an homage to the experience of homebrewers who search for bare bottles to package their brews in bottles free from markings. Our own bottles will have peel-off labels so that homebrewers can clean and reuse the bottles for their own beers.
How do you decide what beers to create? We draw inspiration from local ingredients/places/culture, and use a competitive model to bring that to life in an innovative and unique way. At any one time, we will have 10-20 beers on draft in our tap room, categorized into three sections: (1) Competition Winners, (2) Current Competitions, and (3) Experiments. You can sample some of our previous competition winners, taste and vote for our current competition in process, and also sample some new beer creations that we’re playing with. Our goal is to continually push the limits of creativity and use ingredients and ideas from our surrounding area in fun and innovative ways.
How many kegs do you go through a week? A month? Our taproom typically goes through 30-40 full size kegs per week
What style of beer do you sell the most of? Undoubtedly Hazy IPA's. Everything else is a distant second
What is your personal favorite beer? As most brewers who make a lot of IPA's, when we finish working, we're going to our Cloud City Lager
How often do your beers rotate? Virtually every beer rotates. The modern craft beer drinker loves to graze and loves to experience new beers. Ironically, that lines up to how we like to brew - one off beers that we keep experimenting with
Why would someone come to the city to visit Bare Bottle? Very few places offer the combination of great beer, a diverse beer menu, and a place that was designed from the ground up to showcase local craft beer and how it's made.
What are the top 3 things to do in the Bay View area? (1) Experience all the great food and beverage spots in the City (2) Spend time walking through each of the different neighborhoods - no two neighborhoods feel alike (3) Grab a beer and sit on the grass at Dolores Park on a sunny day. It's a cross section of everything SF