flights of fairfield beer 1_23_14

Vanessa Noonkester pours beer for guests Thursday at the newly renovated tasting room at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Fairfield. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)


New Anheuser-Busch brewery tasting room takes flight

By From page A1 | January 24, 2014

FAIRFIELD — The brewmaster spoke about “our exclusive Beechwood aging.”

State Assemblyman Jim Frazier came from Sacramento with a certificate of recognition.

General manager Kevin Finger called the new tasting room at the Anheuser-Busch brewery with its “Flights of Fairfield” beer experience “a great opportunity for Suisun Valley.”

The 6,000-square-foot site that replaces a second-story tasting room had its grand opening Thursday, when brewmaster Scott Ungermann invited more than a score of people to raise a glass to mark the event.

Sean Quinn, city manager of Fairfield, said he remembers the space when it was home to the general manager’s office and a conference room at the brewery.

“This is going to be a huge attraction,” he said of the new tasting room.

John Jamison, vice president of retail operations at Jelly Belly, visited from the nearby candy manufacturer.

“This really has an ambiance about it,” Jamison said.

A bar with the Budweiser creed – “We know of no brand produced by any other brewer which costs so much to brew and age,” begins the statement that continues with, “Our exclusive beechwood aging . . . ” – is etched in copper.

The bar’s top is made of all recycled glass. Stone columns have hand-crafted wooden tops with hop designs while the “Flights of Fairfield” beers brewed and served at the Budweiser Tasting Room off Interstate 80 include Shock Top Pumpkin, Shock Top Raspberry and Cran-ber-rita.

Jennivive Soriano, a supervisor of brewery experiences for Anheuser-Busch at its Fairfield site, said her favorite beer is an old standard.

“I’m a Bud Light girl,” explained Soriano, a 1994 graduate of Fairfield High School.

People who work at brewery don’t get to have a glass of beer with lunch, but do get to take home a couple of cases a month, said Soriano. About 250 people work at the brewery that opened in Fairfield in 1976. Up to 300,000 cases of beer are shipped daily from the brewery.

Fairfield Mayor Harry Price said in a press release that, “The new Budweiser tasting room and beer experience will help bring new visitors to the region and offer something new for old friends.”

About 40,000 people a year visit the brewery in Fairfield.

Jelly Belly Vice President Jamison said a new non-alcohol draft beer bean, inspired by a German Hefeweizen ale, has been a hit.

“We may be out of stock in a week,” he said.

The candy manufacturer has about 500,000 people a year at its nearby site in Fairfield, but jelly beans and beer don’t compete for visitors, Jamison said. After they’ve seen Jelly Belly, he said, “We send people over here.”

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 15 comments

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  • innovationinstitutellcJanuary 24, 2014 - 5:48 am

    Budweiser is a great incubator for interesting beers. They also have a great tasting room. And…it's right here in Fairfield by highway 12. Who says there's nothing innovative going on in Fairfield? On a related matter…. Did you know Fairfield has one of the world's highest number of inventions per person, I.E. the ratio of inventions to the population here greatly beats most cities of the world.

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  • S KJanuary 24, 2014 - 6:54 am

    Mentioning the tasting room's day & hours in the article would have been good journalism :-)

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  • ceeJanuary 24, 2014 - 7:57 am

    Mentioning that AB is now owned by the Germans and that we, as Americans are making that country billions of dollars every year would've been nice too.

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  • S KJanuary 24, 2014 - 8:00 am

    Not the Germans now, googled this, "Is now owned by a Belgian brewing company called In-Bev." I stopped buying Bud long ago, what with the brewery being so near us, and yet the price so high, for a 12 back, etc. for that domestic brand.

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  • S KJanuary 24, 2014 - 8:03 am

    P.S. Whatever country anyway, that money is not being made for ANY country but the company, that is still employing many many Americans in all the many breweries scattered around the U.S., not too mention all the American truckers, delivery people. I just think it costs too much :-)

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  • Mr. PracticalJanuary 24, 2014 - 4:09 pm

    SK, you're right. Creating jobs and paying taxes is a good thing. The confusing on is cars. Many American companies build cars overseas. Many foreign companies build cars in the US. So what does one do?

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  • Kathy Gee JacksonJanuary 24, 2014 - 10:43 am

    Great news. This company employs lots of local folks and also brings in tourist money to the area, both badly needed by the City of Fairfield. Do you folks making the negative comments get that?

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  • Danny BuntinJanuary 24, 2014 - 6:29 pm

    I am worried about this mind altering haven bringing crime to the local area? It is funny how we celebrate and accept one mine altering drug, while at the same time, sticking our collective noses in the air with marijuana. Land of the free indeed. I will take a pothead over a drunk any day. If we are going to have a tasting room, shouldn't the beer at least have some flavor? Budweiser is not known for its flavor. It is like Swisher Sweets opening a high class cigar smoke room.

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  • BudJanuary 24, 2014 - 10:13 pm

    pabst , old Milwaukee, rainier, Budweiser, me and many others grew up from these generic type beers. We don't even get a home town discount. whats up with the wind mill, little big and obvious isn't it ? im sure its all for P.R.

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  • S KJanuary 24, 2014 - 10:31 pm

    Yup, reason I won't buy it anymore, price, and when it is right in our own backyard. I used to really like its' taste too, but probably wouldn't anymore, been way too long. How many of you remember Lucky Lager? That was what I drank years ago moving up here in the 70s. Then there was that generic beer at Lucky, and other stores that just said, "Beer," on the can>>LOL., We miss the little puzzles on the Lucky Lager bottle caps :-)

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  • S KJanuary 26, 2014 - 9:06 am

    I noticed in the Sunday paper's advertisements in one or two of the stores selling alcohol, where Budweiser actually has the nerve to charge US NEARBY residents, as much as an import or, "Craft," beer. As a matter of fact, over at Rite Aide, who is normally overpriced on everything>>>IMO>>>a 12 pack of the German beer, "Becks," is actually $1.00 less than Bud. So no thank you Bud, you lost me YEARS ago, unless you start giving some sort of discount to local residents, say within a 5 mi. radius of Fairfield's Brewery

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  • FredJanuary 26, 2014 - 10:21 am

    The Becks we have here isn't made in Germany it's made in, get this >>>St. Louis<<< by a division of In-Bev...

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  • FredJanuary 26, 2014 - 10:35 am

    Brewed right next to "Bud"...People complain that it is not as good as what used to be imported from Germany but I haven't noticed. In fact you don't get that occasional “past its prime” beer anymore...And the price has dropped…And brewed in the USA with US labor, hey I’m in…

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  • Guinness 4everJanuary 26, 2014 - 11:42 am

    Had two bottles of this last night....Guinness Draught........I even think the feel of the design of this bottle in your hand is sexy....

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  • To Aurther...January 26, 2014 - 12:40 pm

    I really like the Black Lager...Good stuff...As far as Bud goes, most American beer is based on the German Style Lager...So I don't think the Germans would approve of the use of rice in "Bud"...And what’s up “Beech Wood Aging”?! They have to fast track the aging process with strips of Beech Wood! You should smell those things when they are done…

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