Mill Valley Beerworks is a small brewery and beer café located in downtown Mill Valley, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
They brew onsite and also provide a very large selection of imported and craft microbrews.
Some of their in house brews are: Beerworks Black, Kolsch, “Drinkin’ In The Park”, Tea Time Butter and Treble Hook Rye. Their current bottle list numbers in the hundreds. In addition to beer, they offer lunch and dinner services.
Dining review: Brothers brew up a winning spot with Mill Valley Beerworks
WITH MILL VALLEY’S famous Sweetwater gone, many folks had been looking for a new hangout. They may have found the answer at Mill Valley Beerworks – an new Euro-style cafe a few doors down from the original Sweetwater on Throckmorton Avenue where beer is taken quite seriously.
Brothers Justin and Tyler Catalana have created a temple to all things brewed, offering about 10 beers on draft and more than 100 by the bottle. And don’t expect run-of-the-mill choices, either; these guys clearly know and love their beer.
A few tanks sit at the back of the sparsely designed space, which was the longtime home to Dimitroff’s frame shop; the Catalanas plan to brew their own creations on site in the next few weeks, including nonalcoholic beverages such as kombucha tea, root beer and ginger beer.
The decor is minimal, allowing for a modern, edgy appeal. A communal table fills the back of the room, while the entrance boasts about six tables with seating for about 25. There’s seating for about 10 more at the bar, all of which are pale wood, which helps to lighten the small room.
What began as a keen interest in home brewing snowballed into a larger concept.
Born and raised in Mill Valley, the brothers returned home after completing degrees – Justin, 24, in architecture, and Tyler, 32, in biomedical engineering. With the help of their father, a carpenter, they designed and built the space and opened at the end of May.
A small food menu is offered and, although it has a handful of items, the same careful attention and obvious care that went into the beer choices is evident. A cheese plate of either soft or hard cheeses ($5 a plate)) includes the deliriously good and familiar Brillat Savarin Triple Cream. Local Point Reyes Blue is also in the mix along with an award-winning cheddar from the Central Valley. Both are served on plain wooden boards, as is the mixed crostini ($8), four slices of toasted baguette topped with jamon Serrano, taut and pickled boguerones, lardo crudo and a rather chunky and musky country pate.
“We’ve constructed the menu ourselves; it’s really just the things we love to eat,” explains Tyler Catalana.
Justin Catalana had been doing most of the cooking in the tiny kitchen until they hired a cheesemonger. Breakfast has also been added and includes yogurt and house-made granola, Della Fattoria bread and jam, shortbreads and Blue Bottle Coffee, on the morning menu from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
But it’s really all about the beer here. Whether you know and love the craft of beermaking or are interested in discovering lesser-known styles of beer, this place will satisfy. I recently enjoyed a pint of Old Speckled Hen ($7) on draft, and just one sip of the medium-bodied ale with its honey overtones transported me to England where I first discovered and learned an appreciation for well-crafted beers. For Belgian beer lovers there are numerous choices and, of course, the appropriate glass for each style is used. Plenty of German-style beers are offered on tap, while the bottles lean heavily toward Belgium. Sour beers (also predominately Belgian) that are aged up to three years, are showcased here. Even a Japanese brewery that produces ales and porters is included on the extensive and intriguing list.
As an occasional home brewer myself, I couldn’t help but be inspired by what the brothers have created. It’s just a matter of time before beer lovers will discover this new addition to Mill Valley’s downtown. As near as I can tell, it’s long overdue.