Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Beer? In Fairfax? Ask the eight ball...

It's a question that could only be answered by the auspicious orb of our communal Ouija-baiting youth and the compositional imperative of Pamela Z. Anyone who's walked the henna-tinted and patchouli-scented lanes of our fair town of late would be sure to notice a certain something, a certain "ghost town" vibe creeping through the vacant storefronts, "For Rent" signs fading in the sun, the je ne ce qua of a depressed business climate in an area that for all intensive reasons ought to be booming. There's a commercial malaise infiltrating our little hamlet, one that doesn't seem to be affecting the belly-dancing costume jewelry shops or the salt crystal lamp Tibetan Buddhist hemp fabric so you can rest medicine outlets (or the 7-11, for that matter), but one that has called for the demise of many locally-owned outfits, including our only CD shop, a bookstore, and a movie rental outfit, which certainly leaves you wondering what weird wind is blowing to cause such a stagnation, and when it will relievedly change direction again.

And in the wicked path of the weird wind might be something a bit more dear: our very own public house. As reported by Brent in our local rag, it looks like there's a little land and lease tussle beneath the green, idyllic pasture of Fair-Anselm Plaza.

From an email by our trusty publican Mike Altman:
"This brewpub has been a long strange amazing trip so far, one we hope to continue for years on out. We want to be able to teach [our son] Joey how to make those fine sudsy elixirs of love & hand crafted sodas you have all come to love and cherish.

Much of this, though, is out of our hands. We have tried since last August to sign a long term deal, so that we may be here for generations to come. All we can do now is continue to bring all our guests that experience we strive so hard at achieving while waiting to see what happens with the building. We will know this month whether the building will change hands, and are hopeful that we will be about to work out a fair long term lease."
The good news at the moment is that it looks like the betters' odds are in favor of the Sacto developers purchasing the land - lock, stock and barrel - and focusing their energy on the wasted lots across the avenue, leaving Mike with a new landlord and a new lease on (his business') life. We shall see in two weeks' time, or thereabouts...

The other good news in local brewing and beer-drinking news (despite the lack of any advertising whatsoever, and the fact that the benefactor of the event - the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce - hasn't even updated their online calendar since 2007 to show that it's actually happening) is that the 13th annual Fairfax Brewfest is on for the Saturday after next, March 15, at the Fairfax Pavilion. It's a great event, with good music, excellent food, and even better beers, probably from the fifteen nearest and dearest breweries, my guess being: Iron Springs, Marin Brewing, Moylan's, Broken Drum, Magnolia, Lagunitas, Drake's, 21st Amendment, Rafters, Beach Chalet, Russian River, Steelhead, SF Brewing, Thirsty Bear, and Wunder Brewing (too tired to link, check here instead).

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