.Beer Issue: Big Dreams

Novato’s Indian Valley Brewing Company takes off

By Tanya Henry

Novato is getting a reputation—for all things craft beer. Brendan Moylan of Marin Brewing Company’s fame opened Moylan’s across from the Vintage Oaks shopping center in 1995. More recently, the likes of Baeltane Brewing (now closed), BeerCraft and J&M Brewing Supplies have all legitimately added to the slow, but steady influx. The newest addition to the scene is 4-month-old Indian Valley Brewing Company, which dubs itself a nanobrewery and is committed to “brew small and dream big.”

Brothers Joe and Matt Tachis come by their craft honestly. Their father Tom worked as a salesman for the Hamm’s Brewing Company, and the two fondly recall the building at 1550 Bryant Street in San Francisco with its iconic 20-by-80-foot sign topped with a 13-foot 3-D beer chalice. It took years after Tachis senior retired from the beer business, but eventually the three of them would begin home brewing in Joe’s garage in Novato in 2012.

Joe, 54, and Matt, 49, are all about growing organically and not getting ahead of themselves. Neither has quit his day job—Joe is an insurance adjuster and Matt is an electrical contractor—though both admit to being “pretty good brewers.” They’ve set up their two-barrel operation near Joe’s business in a 700 square-foot warehouse in Bel Marin Keys.

“We have already produced 70 barrels of beer,” says Joe, who notes that it puts them on track to beat their 200-gallon goal for the year. With a clear demand for their beers, they decided to bring on more experienced brewer Shawn Cochran, co-owner of J&M Brewing Supplies, who they hope will help them take the brewery to the next level.

Indian Valley Brewing Company currently offers four different brews, with the focus squarely on IPAs: Ship’s Mast New England IPA, Peace Gate Pale, Hazy Blonde IPA and a West Coast IPA. Though no taproom is in place as of yet, the brews can be found locally on tap at Bicycle Brüstop, BeerCraft, Finnegan’s Marin, Hilltop 1892, Rancho Nicasio, Extreme Pizza, Indian Valley Golf Club, Toast and Wildfox. San Anselmo’s Creekside, which plans to finally open this fall, will feature the Hazy Blonde IPA on tap.

Though Joe and Matt hope to continue to grow the business, they are realistic and cautious. “We want to be able to provide beer for the customers we already have,” says Joe, who is pleased with how well their beer has been received and hopes to open a taproom at the brewery, as well as one in downtown Novato.

Along with making their 92-year-old dad proud, the brothers come from a large extended family—12 kids in total—and have plenty of hands to help with events, fundraisers and festivals. They’ve taken full advantage of social media and haven’t been shy about participating in “guest tap” opportunities at bars and restaurants throughout the county.

Given its auspicious beginnings, this young brewery seems poised for success. With dreams of a larger operation (more barrels), additional beer styles and a taproom or two, the brothers continue to take it one day at a time and heed their father’s early lessons: To make the best quality beer they possibly can, and to make their customers happy.

Bottoms up!

Indian Valley Brewing Company, indianvalleybrewing.com.

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