Petaluma’s HenHouse Brewing Co. announced on Monday that is moving to south Santa Rosa and opening a facility that can handle up to 75,000 barrels annually, signaling continuing growth in Sonoma County’s craft beer industry.
The brewery, which has attracted a strong local following along the North Coast with its saison farmhouse ale, had been brewing about 2,000 barrels out of the facility at Petaluma Hills Brewing Co. for the past two years.
HenHouse will leave Petaluma and take over a portion of a food plant facility off Bellevue Avenue that had been originally intended for Amy’s Kitchen, with a goal to open a tasting room and initially produce 5,000 barrels next spring. The expansion should create 20 jobs within the next 18 months, the company said.
“This is so far beyond our wildest dreams,” said co-owner Collin McDonnell, who handles sales and logistics for HenHouse.
The company was started four years ago by Petaluma friends McDonnell, Shane Goepel and Scott Goyne to make beer with a special focus on quality, to the point that it still self-distributes its beer to ensure freshness when delivered — sometimes on the same day it is put into kegs.
The move will be funded by a more than $1 million Small Business Administration loan with Live Oak Bank in Wilmington, N.C., allowing the partners to retain equity in the business rather than solicit new investors, the company said.
HenHouse said it intends to keep much of its project spending local, ordering a new 30-barrel brewhouse from the Criveller Group in Healdsburg instead of sourcing cheaper tanks from China. It also uses ingredients from local vendors, such as biodynamic grain from a Healdsburg producer that goes into its saison, even though it costs three times that of traditional grain, Goyne said.
Some local brewers have expanded nationally, such as Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma and Bear Republic in Healdsburg, riding a growth wave that has brought craft beer volume to 11 percent of the beer marketplace.
HenHouse, which sells its beers in six Northern California counties, has no national expansion plans, preferring to focus on local distribution and developing along the West Coast, Goyne said.
“We want to be a quality beer producer that is regional,” he said. “We have no national aspirations.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The story has been revised to correct the spelling of Scott Goyne’s name.
You can reach Staff Writer Bill Swindell at 521-5223 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @BillSwindell.