Island Brewing Company Celebrates 15th Anniversary
Island Brewing Company will celebrate its 15th Anniversary with a weekend of scheduled frivolity and a new Anniversary Beer release starting Friday, July 8 and running through the weekend to Sunday, July 10.
Owner and founder Paul Wright started as a homebrewer in 1991 after his wife Cheryl gave him a homebrew kit for Christmas in Novato, CA. He joined the local brew club and started winning awards. Soon he found himself president, heading up the Marin County Fair competitions, eventually winning runner up homebrewer of California. After burning up all the burners on the stove, was banished to brewing outdoors. He decided to take it a step further and took a job at Marin Brewing Company to learn the ins and outs of professional brewing.
The Wrights were familiar with Carpinteria—their three daughters went to UCSB, so the dream to open a brewery in an idyllic spot went into motion. After years of planning and dreaming, the brewery began in 2001 in the commercial buildings on the west end of Carpinteria Avenue, first as a production brewery that only serviced wholesale accounts. Island Brewing Company began bottling in 2003. In 2005, a space in the former citrus packing warehouses opened and the brewery moved to its current ocean-view location on the tracks and opened its retail tasting room. “It takes a village to raise a brewery,” said Paul Wright of the journey. “We love being part of this community and brewing beer for this community.”
The plan to expand the brewery was initiated in 2013. Beset by hurdles of many kinds, the expanded tasting room and patio finally opened up in 2015, just in time for Avocado Festival, and work is underway to finish the additional restrooms. “It’s been a long haul, but the future is looking good,” says Wright. “It’s been great to be able to work with my daughter, Laurie Matthews and her husband Mark on a daily basis. Ryan Morrill is heading up our brewing team with some great beers, we’ve got a solid sales and delivery team, and the beertenders in the tasting room are doing a top notch job.”
The fun starts Friday with a special beer release to commemorate the milestone, the 15th Anniversary Ale, a Strong Scotch Ale, with a limited release of a Bourbon Barrel-aged version. A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony by the Chamber of Commerce will follow next, celebrating what is by all respects a new chapter in the Island Brewing Company history. Japanese Taiko Drummers will bring heart pounding rhythms, from 6:00-7:30 pm. Friday will also see a 10% discount on all purchases redeemable for those wearing vintage Island Brewing Company merchandise. There will also be an Oldest IBC T-shirt contest with prizes for our long time supporters.
Saturday, July 9 festivities begin with the bagpipe and drum corps at 12:00. A VIP Beer Tasting runs all day, $20 for a souvenir goblet and five samples of our most special beers. Saturday, Tina’s Ports of Paradise Polynesian dancers perform, we’ll hold our 15th Anniversary Ceremony, the Nesta Steel Drum Band brings island vibes, and SolTree brings the grooves.
Sunday, July 10th features a second round of VIP Beer Tastings. We will have a Conch shell blowing contest and live music from South on Linden to round out the weekend.
See you then if not sooner!