HenHouse Brewing buys Marin County brewpub Iron Springs for first location outside Sonoma County

The Santa Rosa-based brewery has bought Iron Springs brewpub from Michael and Anne Altman for an undisclosed price.|

HenHouse Brewing Co. announced Wednesday that it has purchased the Iron Springs Pub & Brewery in Fairfax, marking its first foray outside Sonoma County as well into food service after almost 10 years in business.

The Santa Rosa-based brewery has bought the brewpub from Michael and Anne Altman for an undisclosed price.

Iron Springs will continue operations through mid-November when it will begin the process of transforming into HenHouse’s first brewpub that will open early next year. The couple were looking to transition out of craft beer while HenHouse had been exploring opportunities to grow outside Sonoma County, said Collin McDonell, co-founder and chief executive officer of HenHouse.

“Marin has been super good for us,” McDonnell said. “We really love the community.”

The company, which is known for its rotating series of hoppy India pale ale beers as well as a strong commitment to ensuring fresh, cold beer on tap handles and retail shelves throughout the Bay Area, already operates its brewery and tasting room in Santa Rosa and another tasting room in Petaluma.

The ownership structure of friends and families remains the same, McDonnell said, as HenHouse is not relying on private equity investors nor large beer companies for growth funding as other breweries have. The brewery has 78 employees prior to the purchase.

HenHouse intends to retain the Iron Springs employees and continue the pub’s live music shows. “The plan is to hold on to what makes the place special,” McDonnell added.

The brewery had been interested in adding its own food component as opposed to solely relying on food trucks, but McDonnell added that such service cannot be an afterthought, “like also we have burgers.” The brewery has been slow “to go there (on food), but with this there is a kitchen team already there,” he added.

The news follows on the heels of Crooked Goat Brewing Co. of Sebastopol announcing it would expand into Petaluma at the vacant property at Howard Street and Western Avenue just west of downtown. Crooked Goat has become a very popular brewery and taproom in five years in business and expanded its outdoor seating area during the pandemic in The Barlow to handle more crowds.

Bill Swindell

Business, Beer and Wine, The Press Democrat  

In the North Coast, we are surrounded by hundreds of wineries along with some of the best breweries, cidermakers and distillers. These industries produce an abundance of drinks as well as good stories – and those are what I’m interested in writing. I also keep my eye on our growing cannabis industry and other agricultural crops, which have provided the backbone for our food-and-wine culture for generations.

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