It’s opening day and a great time to remember just how well baseball and beer go together. In 1997 Dan Gordon and Dean Biersch were in dire need of space. For nearly 2 decades Dan and Dean had been successfully brewing their Gordon Biersch beer out of a small restaurant facility in downtown Palo Alto but the pair was finally ready to hit the big leagues of bottling and distribution. One problem, brewing and bottling mass quantities of beer takes a massive amount of space, something that was sorely lacking in Palo Alto. Enter Mr October; Reggie Jackson. By this point the hall of famer was enjoying retirement and his hobby of collecting classic cars, many of which were housed (along with an alleged mistress in a top floor penthouse as the tale goes) in a large warehouse facility on East Taylor and 9th just outside of Japantown in San Jose. Fortunately for Dan and Dean, Reggie had found a new space for his vehicles in Monterey and was vacating the San Jose warehouse. Gordon and Biersch snapped up the space (presumably without said mistress) and the South Bay’s largest brewery remains there to this day.
Fortunately for Mr October, if he’s missing his San Jose digs Gordon Biersch offers free tours of the brewery and bottling facility Monday through Thursday by appointment. The tour is a fantastic way to learn more about the colorful history of Gordon Biersch (followers of 16th century German beer purity laws), the brewing process (Gordon Biersch uses San Jose water!), and the business of beer (Gordon Biersch restaurants are not actually owned by the brewery). Check out the Gordon Biersch Brewery website to learn more and to schedule your group’s tour!
As expected, another great San Jose history lesson from writers who truly love the subject about which they write!
I do enjoy your stories about San Jose
I found you guys… you thought you could hide from me, but… you how wrong you were