SAN FRANCISCO — Long wooden tables, bright colored chairs, colorful artwork, brewing supplies and FDR in block letters decorate this family owned brewery in Portola.
Ferment Drink Repeat is a new brewery, taproom, homebrew shop and classroom owned by husband and wife, Kevin and Shae Inglin, in the Portola neighborhood of San Francisco.
“For us, we wanted to be here in a place where there was nothing here,” said Shae Inglin. “People [in this area] aren’t really familiar with small batch or craft beer brewing and so we settled on a place where we felt like we could introduce new communities to what craft beer really is.”
FDR in the making
The Inglins talked about the two year process in opening FDR, with the homebrew shop being first to open, and the taproom opening a few months after.
“It’s kind of a catch 22,” said Kevin Inglin. “You have to lease a space or have a space before you can get building plans and kind of figure out how you’re going to build something in it, so we had to start leasing the space without quite knowing if we’d even be allowed to have a brewery here.”
Kevin Inglin has been brewing his own beer, as a hobby, since the mid 1990s, and knew after retiring from the army he wanted to open a brewery.
Other states where he and his wife have lived in the past wouldn’t allow them to just have a brewery alone; they would have had to open a restaurant in addition, and that’s why they chose California as home for their brewery.
According to Shae Inglin, small batch brewing is what FDR really stands for.
“Our idea is to have a community based tap room,” said Shae Inglin. “This is where we do most of our sales. We won’t be distributing widely — we have a few small accounts and hope to grow that, but not by a lot of numbers, because we are only a seven barrel system.”
Becoming a brewer
Classes are another addition to this brewery and are taught about once a month. These classes demonstrate how the brewing process is done.
Since Kevin Inglin is the brewer in the family, not only does he teach the classes, but also everything he brews on the commercial side is what goes into their taproom.
Their most popular beer is their Down Cellar New England style IPA, in addition to their Cats in Tracksuits IPA that was well-received at the recent Brews on the Bay festival.
Creating an environment where anyone can walk through the doors and find a beer they like among the wide variety was an important quality for the taproom, according to Shae Inglin.
“Something about our tap board that I like a lot is that we always have something that’s approachable by most people,” said Shae Inglin.
“We’re not IPA heavy, we’re not lager heavy — we generally have a little bit of everything.”
The beer they have on tap includes two unique Belgian Stouts (one of which, Orange is the New Black, features citrus notes in the chocolately velvet stout), a Trappist single, an array of IPAs from session to English style, and a wheat saison.
Bringing the beer to the community
Including the community in craft beer at FDR is a major part of the brewery’s mission.
“If you do the market research and you look at the demographics, some might look at it and go, ‘Oh the craft beer demographic isn’t in that neighborhood,’” said Kevin Inglin.
“We looked at it as a positive as a way to build community around craft beer and… expose a whole group of people to [craft beer] who may often be overlooked as potential craft beer consumers.”
Their plan with FDR is to expand in staffing and brewing classes and help bring awareness to the Portola neighborhood.
“Right now it’s a true mom and pop place,” said Shae Inglin. “And we like that… [and] we would like to grow and be able to be a vibrant part of this community through our growth.”