The newest West Berkeley brewery will likely open in spring 2016 on Gilman Street.
Anvil Brewing, a small craft brewery started by home brewers Sean Wells and Tim Sellmeyer, is beginning construction on the brewery site in the coming days. (We broke the news on the brewery, to be located at 912 Gilman St., in May.)
Wells told NOSH this week that Anvil has plans for a two-phase build-out that will include not only a 762 square-foot tasting room, but an adjacent quick-service restaurant as well. Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board approved Anvil’s use permit for both phases during its Oct. 22 meeting.
Wells says that there is not much improvement work necessary for the brewery and tasting room, so construction will move quickly. They will likely begin work on restaurant, which will be located at 916 Gilman St., later in 2016.
Anvil Brewing will be producing a mix of small-batch, handcrafted brews, including both Belgian and American styles. Sellmeyer has a couple of award-winning beers that will likely grace the tap, like a nectarine wheat and a chile-based beer. Wells says that Anvil will likely pour between three and five beers at opening. The tasting room will also offer incidental retail sales of packaged beer brewed on-site as well as limited release bottles.
When the restaurant opens, it will serve a short, simple menu of pub-style food “intended to pair well with the beers. “I really like to have a slice of pizza with my beer,” said Wells. He and Sellmeyer plan to fill the 1,200 square-foot restaurant space with family-style tables and a bar area. Service will be casual.
Anvil’s lease for the restaurant space begins in July 2016, but Wells says he will wait to gauge reception before moving forward with that phase of construction. “If we get a positive response to the beer, we will move more quickly” on the restaurant, he said.
As we have reported in the past, West Berkeley has recently seen an explosion of growth in craft brewing. Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room, The Rare Barrel and Fieldwork Brewing Company have joined established brewery Trumer Pils Brauerei and sake distillery Takara in the last two years. The former Pyramid Brewery & Alehouse location may soon house a collection of even smaller breweries and distilleries.
Despite the seemingly abundant competition, Wells says that his neighbors have been nothing but supportive. He has gotten particularly strong support from Fieldwork Brewing, which is located only two blocks away from the future Anvil site. “Everybody is super stoked,” he said. “I’m thrilled to be part of the West Berkeley community.”