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]