.Last Call: Marin Brewing Company

Local fixture closing after over 30 years

When I heard Marin Brewing Company was closing at the end of this month I was shocked and then saddened that the first brewpub in Marin and one I love will be gone.

This April they would’ve celebrated 33 years in business. The bombshell announcement brought old customers flocking back to enjoy the place they have good memories of. 

Until five months ago Will Zenahlik lived in the Bay Area. “I live in Arizona but flew up here. When my friend told me the place is closing at the end of the month I said, ‘we’ve got get up there quick,” Zenahlik said. 

Dropping by early afternoon last week I wasn’t surprised to find it busier than usual. Talking with several people I discovered we all had something in common, we’ve been coming there for at least 20 years. 

Jim Yoell was there at the start of it. “I was here April 1st, 1989 when they opened. I was a regular for years when I lived in the area, even when I lived in Petaluma.”  

Yoell moved to San Jose 13 years ago, but like others, he felt the need to come in one last time. 

Likewise, friends Erik Mueller and JC Krause have been coming to the brewpub for 15 and 20 years. 

“We’re here as normal, it’s just another day,” laughed Mueller. 

Krause reflected on his time there. “It’s sad to see it go. We solved all the world’s problems here,” he said.

There is one problem no one was able to solve, the fallout from the pandemic. Ultimately it was a collection of things that Covid brought on that led to having to close the brewpub.

Marin Brewing Company owner Brendan Moylan reflected on the three decades of the Larkspur fixture. “We’ve made some great friendships and it’s certainly a family. It’s kind of tough to see a family breaking up.”

Chris Cox has not only come to Marin Brewing for a long time but also introduced his family to it. “My family and my kids have all kind of grown up coming here and it’s really sad that it’s not going to be here anymore.”     

They weren’t the only ones sad about this unexpected news. Moylan has heard from regulars expressing their shock and sadness.

 “Marin Brewing Company has a long history for a lot of people. I’ve been getting a lot of emails and a lot of responses on social media. I appreciate all the well wishes and hearing some of the stories,” he said. 

Although Marin Brewing Company is closing, his Moylan’s brewpub in Novato will remain open. Starting next month they’ll be open seven days a week.

“Some of the Marin Brewing Company beers will continue to be made. We certainly look forward to having more batches of Mt. Tam [pale ale], 3 Flowers IPA, and San Quentin Breakout Stout in the future. These are all great beers and we’d hate to see them go by the wayside,” Moylan said. 

Brewmaster Arne Johnson has made the beers since arriving at the brewpub in 1995. He has brewed about 5000 batches since then. He was happy to see the place busy. “It’s cool to see all these people come out after a couple of years of not seeing anybody.”

Johnson wistfully summed it up his time there. “It’s been a great, long ride. This will be hard to leave behind.”

The brewpub sold out of all their merchandise last week so the only thing people will be taking away now are memories.

Moylan said they’re not closed and said people “can come in and hang out and get one last beer in. I suggest doing just that. We’d love to see you and say hello one more time. Then we can see you up at Moylan’s.”

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