SANTA CLARA — Arcade games, outdoor cornhole and darts may make some think of Chuck E. Cheese. In the case of Golden State Brewery, big kids can now get their chance to play while sipping on handmade beer.
Golden State Brewery opened up their Santa Clara warehouse location as the city’s first brewery since the end of Prohibition, celebrating its grand opening in February. Originally founded in Treasure Island by brewer and manager, Seth Hendrickson, the goal was to open a large space for people to hang out.
“We didn’t have anything open for the public before and we wanted a home base,” Hendrickson said. “We wanted a spot for people to hang out, drink beer, and play outdoor games, and throw a big party.”
Golden State Brewery regularly donates their space and time to charities, where they donate their kegs. They support local sports team like the Ultras for the Earthquake’s Soccer team and Silicon Valley Roller Girls’ team — a sentiment that is important to Hendrickson.
“That’s where relationship building comes in, especially being a small business. I think it’s important to support local teams,” Hendrickson said.
All of the managers, including Hendrickson, his wife, and Brent Ostrander, have decades worth of restaurant and management experience.
“We’ve all come from the restaurant industry, and we’re social-we’re not just going to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to serve you beer,’” said Ostranger. “You might find a place that serves better beer, but you’re not going to out-customer service us.”
The biggest challenge for the brewery is making sure there is enough beer for distributors and clients, which is said to be in high demand, according to Hendrickson.
“People love the fact that they can do more than just come and drink beer,” Ostrander said. “Most breweries are really cramped, but our large space is a hang out like a man cave.”
A beer flight featuring six of their original brews runs $7. Beers like their Bay Area Blonde, Golden State Red Ale, Cold Brew Coffee Stout are all approachable yet extremely flavorful takes on classic beer styles. Their Poppy Pale Ale, Bay Are Blonde and Eureka IPA are available in 22 ounce bottles and available for sale around the Bay Area.
A dog-friendly brewery that even features a “Brew Dog’s Wall” where brewers post pictures of their canine visitors, as well as postings for dogs looking for homes.
“People love their dogs, especially in this community,” Hendrickson said. “Dogs get adopted here. People will have quite a few beers and say, ‘Oh I’m up for a dog.’”
The brewery is working on developing their first test batch for a wheat beer said to debut in the summer. Inspired by a Sea Breeze cocktail, the brewery is creating their first batch of a grapefruit-cranberry tart made from 40 percent wheat. They are also experimenting with future double and triple IPAs and bourbon barrel-aged porters.
“We are a hidden gem over here, off the beaten path,” Ostranger said. “People come in and want to stay because they’re having a good time. They always say, ‘Wow, we didn’t know you guys are here — we’re so glad you have this.’”