Subscribe

Multiple disasters couldn’t stop Geyserville, Cloverdale breweries from opening

If You Go

Wolf House Brewing

Where: 131 E. First St., Cloverdale

Hours: 3:30-8 p.m. Thursdays, 11:30 a.m.- 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays

Phone: 707-894-6438

Corner Project Ale & Eats

Where: 21079 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville

Hours: noon-8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, noon-3 p.m. Sundays

Phone: 707-814-0110

Two new brew pubs, Wolf House Brewing in Cloverdale and Corner Project Ales & Eats in Geyserville, have more in common than just crafting great beer.

Each was in the early stages of building renovations during last fall’s fires, mass evacuations and widespread blackouts. This year, each had to quickly shift gears to modify its grand opening and business plans because of the coronavirus pandemic.

When the former owners of the Cloverdale Ale Company decided to sell, 37-year old Kevin Lovett jumped at the chance to buy the business where he had been the Master Brewer for the past three years.

About the same time, his brother-in-law, 50-year old Dwayne Moran, owner of the Got Balls Meat Ball Factory food truck in Sonoma, was trying to open a brewpub and restaurant in Glen Ellen’s Jack London Village.

He had chosen the name, Wolf House Brewing, in honor of the late author. Two of the brews, Burning Daylight and Dutch Courage, are even named for two of London’s short stories. Although Moran still plans to eventually open a Glen Ellen location, it has been temporarily put on hold while he works on a number of building corrections required by the county’s environmental health and safety department.

Because the Cloverdale location already had brewing tanks and a kitchen set up, Lovett and Moran decided to become business partners, draw up a business plan, do some remodeling, and reopen the pub, also called Wolf House Brewing, early this year. While both locations will eventually house a full brewpub, the main production facility will be in Cloverdale.

Over in Geyserville, brothers Tom and Chris Adamian were close to realizing their dream of opening a brewpub and restaurant — a dream they had held since graduating college. A friend who had shared their goal at the time went on to become an executive chef in New York. Now, they felt it was finally their turn.

Before attending the culinary program at San Francisco City College and spending 10 years honing his cooking skills in restaurants throughout San Francisco and Sonoma County, 46-year old Tom Adamian had put his college degree in psychology to use as a social worker.

Chris Adamian, 45, worked as a software engineer for various tech and entertainment companies in the South Bay before moving north last year and buying a house next door to his brother in Geyserville.

The two began homebrewing in 2010. Chris started brewing partial batches on his stovetop burner before gradually upgrading his equipment and moving outdoors, where he could do the fermenting in stainless steel rather than glass or plastic carboys.

Their cousin taught him the basics of homebrewing and from there he learned through websites, discussion forums, YouTube videos, books and talking with friends. “Anywhere I can find knowledge, I will try to absorb it,” he says.

In 2018, Tom was laid off from a brewery restaurant job. He made up his mind right then that he no longer wanted to work for other people.

“Over time, I had become friends with Rian Rinn, owner of the Sonoma County Meat Company. When I shared my long-held dream with him and lamented about working for other people, he suggested I come check out this wine tasting room in Geyserville. My wife, Kate, and I fell instantly in love with the space and had an immediate vision for it.”

He says that having to hold down jobs to pay the bills, having two little boys demanding attention and being green to the process of opening a business, especially one of this nature, made the process arduous.

No one among he, his wife or his brother had ever started a business, so they first had to figure that out. Friends with experience helped them along the way.

“Everything people say about how hard it is to open a brewpub and restaurant is true. It’s been one of the hardest things we’ve ever done, but we’ve been lucky in many ways and a lot of things have fallen into place for us, as well.”

Wolf House’s Lovett, on the other hand, grew up in the microbrew industry in Ukiah. Shortly before he was born in 1983, his dad, Michael Lovett, and craft brewing legend Don Barkley were instrumental in starting the Mendocino Brewing Company and opening California’s first brewpub, the Hopland Brewery.

The younger Lovett began his brewing career by interning for Barkley at the Napa Smith Brewery, followed by a five-year stint at Moonlight Brewing Company in Santa Rosa. He went on to become the head brewer for Stumptown Brewery for two years before being hired as the master brewer at Cloverdale Ale.

Moran developed his passion for home cooking while working at the Honda R&D Proving Center in the Mojave Desert, where he ran the kitchen and trained under several great chefs who worked there.

If You Go

Wolf House Brewing

Where: 131 E. First St., Cloverdale

Hours: 3:30-8 p.m. Thursdays, 11:30 a.m.- 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays

Phone: 707-894-6438

Corner Project Ale & Eats

Where: 21079 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville

Hours: noon-8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, noon-3 p.m. Sundays

Phone: 707-814-0110

Over the years, in addition to the food truck business, he has provided catering services for corporate meetings, private parties, wedding rehearsals, festivals, and more. He has passed this love of cooking on to his son, Kyle, who now works alongside him in the kitchen.

While conducting research for their own venture, the Adamians were fortunate enough to be introduced to Barkley by the owner of their building. Barkley then introduced the brothers to Wolf House’s Lovett. From this, an alliance was formed.

The Geyserville location has no brewing facility of its own. Instead, Chris Adamian creates each new recipe and brings it to Lovett, who brews it on-site in Wolf House Brewing’s 10-barrel brewing system and sells the completed batch back to him.

In addition to local wines and several local beers that start at $6, Corner Project Ales currently carries two of Adamian’s beers; Anthem, an unfiltered West Coast pale ale, and Solidarity, a hazy IPA. He says Anthem is proving to be particularly popular, noting that a few regulars have started coming by to drink it each weekend.

Right now, Lovett brews about 250 gallons annually but anticipates ramping that up to at least 600 gallons per year when things become a bit more normal. Currently, he has 11 brews on tap, both dark and light, with names such as “Therapy Session IPA,” “Dutch Courage Pale Ale,” and “Gold Canyon Blond Ale.” Prices range from $6 for a 16-oz. glass to $20 for a Growler Refill.

His current pride and joy is a Pilsner he calls Burning Daylight, a California brew that is unique to Cloverdale because of the water used.

Neither brewpub envisioned opening as a take-out business, but so far, that and outdoor dining is what they are both doing. Wolf House anticipates hosting live music events when they are finally able to welcome guests inside.

Wolf House Brewing’s menu veers toward generous servings of comfort foods, like Meatball Parmesan Sandwiches, Classic Wolf House Cheeseburgers with Bacon, Portobello Swiss Cheeseburgers and Garlic Fries. Their most popular items are Blue-Eyed Wolf Burgers and Chicken Wings.

Tom Adamian sources local meat and produce for his lunch menu that changes weekly. Recent offerings have included Grilled Veggie Flatbread, Smoked Pork Butt, Grilled Chicken Caesar, House Pita and Hummus, a Fermentation Plate and, for dessert, a Chocolate Beer Brownie with Whipped Cream.

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Emerald Report
Spirited Magazine