Brew Rebellion to close San Bernardino, expand Banning
There’s good news and bad news on the periphery of the Coachella Valley Beer Scene this week – well, to be honest, it’s bad news with a light silver lining. Our valley neighbor, Brew Rebellion, is closing its San Bernardino location. The better news is that most of the equipment will be moved to the Banning location.
I was concerned when I heard the news that Brew Rebellion were selling off equipment, then later learned that the San Bernardino location was to be closed. I reached out to one of the owners, Brad O’Donnell for more information.
“I’m bringing most of my stuff up to Banning and going the way I originally brewed,” he told me. “Less is more, we’re not going to distribute outside, and we’ll add more taps and variety in Banning.”
Brew Rebellion did start out very small. They started in Yucaipa, outgrew that facility, then opened up the larger brewery in San Bernardino in early 2016. Within a year, they added the Banning taproom, complete with its own nano-system, although most of the brewing was done in San Bernardino. They were selling almost entirely on-site, with a small number of bottles going to Bevmo.
We visited the Banning taproom last year and had great things to say about their beers. Avoiding the traditional and mainstream, their beers are unique twists and collaborations of style. Everything we tasted was imaginative and well executed.
When I asked Brad for the reasons behind the downsize, he said there were several. Those included the retirement of one of the business partners, as well as the inability to compete with larger companies. By going back to a single, on-premise unit, Brew Rebellion is going back to the model that made it successful in its early years.
While the downsize is not good news for Brad and co, the silver lining is for Coachella Valley drinkers. In effect, the switch will offer us a bigger set up within closer vicinity. Since the brewery will now be entirely situated in Banning, we’ll have a bigger taproom there within a short drive outside Palm Springs. I recommend that anyone in the Coachella Valley swings by and gives them a try, especially if you’re heading out to The Outlets or the casino.
Hopefully good news for what’s to follow.
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