Award-winning home brewer in Cotati opens Grav South Brew Co.

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Over the years Greg Rasmussen has been known as a number of things; lifelong Forestville resident, firefighter, bass fisherman and award-winning home brewer. Now he can add small business owner to the list.

This weekend officially marks the grand opening of Grav South Brew Co. in Cotati. Located at 7950 Redwood Drive, Suite 15, facing the Gravenstein Highway. The opening of this new watering hole represents the next step for a highly accomplished home brewer.

Rasmussen, 47, has won more than 150 medals in brewing competitions during the last decade, with his first win taking place at the Marin County Fair. His most notable honors were being named the Sierra Nevada Homebrewer of the Year in California in 2013 and 2014 and winning the Samuel Adams’ LongShot American Homebrew contest in 2015.

It was after winning the LongShot that the idea for opening his own brewery began to form.

“It was the week after winning Sam Adams that people started approaching me, asking me to brew for them or join new start-ups,” he said.

Rather than join someone else’s project, he decided to start his own. Corinne Barclay, 34, whom he met through a mutual friend, jumped on board and the two started planning what would eventually become Grav South Brew Co.

The name itself is a bit of a tribute to generations past, as both Rasmussen and Barclay’s grandfathers were Gravenstein apple farmers. That combined with their location on the southern part of the Gravenstein Highway made the name selection an easy one.

Inside the spacious brew house, more family connections are evident. Reclaimed wood found in the barn of Rasmussen’s father and wood from apple boxes from Corinne’s family farm have been sanded down and utilized in the rustic style interior. The interior work was mostly done by hand as both Rasmussen and Barclay put in countless hours to get their project off the ground.

Along with a bar that features a bar top from Sturgeon’s Mill in Graton, Rasmussen also has his brewing equipment front and center, where he looks forward to brewing beer while talking to customers.

“Making beer is my passion and I wanted to share that,” he said.

Grav South will feature 16 taps, of which eight will be Greg’s recipes and the other eight are guest taps for local start-ups in Sonoma County. While he can’t use his LongShot winning Robust Porter, Rasmussen is using slight modifications of many of his top beers.

“Things change slightly when you work up in size,” he explained, “now it’s like home brewing on steroids.”

His goal is to rotate in least two beers a month depending on the season and then use the guest taps to round out the options so that he has something for everyone. Currently his top seller is the 7 Figure IPA, named as a bit of an inside joke from his and Barclay’s experiences on the business side of starting up.

They are also featuring Top of the Hop. a wet hop pale ale that uses hops from the family orchard.

While Rasmussen is the brains behind the beer, he quickly gives Barclay credit for her business acumen. “She really compliments me and it takes the pressure off so I can focus on the things I am good at.”

Grav South Brew Company is located at 7950 Redwood Drive, Suite 15, Cotati. They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visit them online at Gravsouthbrewco.com or call 707-753-4198.

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