A new brewery is opening this summer, in a space familiar to locals and beer lovers alike. Fairfax Brewing Company debuts in August, taking over the former Hen House Brewing Company and Iron Springs Pub & Brewery location at 765 Center Boulevard in Fairfax.

But it’s not just the space that will be familiar; a number of prominent locals are involved in the project. Larry Berlin will be Fairfax Brewing Company’s brewmaster, returning to the Center Boulevard space he helped design and build 30 years ago when it first launched as Ross Valley Brewing. Berlin continued on as brewer with Ross Valley, and the subsequent Iron Springs Pub & Brewery, according to a press release. He also has experience working at Lagunitas Brewing Co. and Bison Brewing Co. in Berkeley. Fairfax Brewing Company partners Alex and Lisa Stricker are also well-known in Marin County’s food and beverage scene, running San Rafael’s State Room Brewery and sports bar Flatiron.

The location will be refreshed, though the Fairfax Brewing team hopes to keep the space family- and dog-friendly for the locals, with plans for a game room with Skeeball, live music, and daily lunch and dinner service. Chef Dan McGerry grew up in town and is joining the brewery as a partner, bringing experience from Duke’s in Huntington Beach and Guy Fieri Signature Restaurants in Sonoma County. He plans to work with local ingredients and gastropub fare, serving fish and chips, chicken wings, meatballs, and more. McGerry will also port over some menu items from State Room Brewery and Flatiron, such as the Lights Out burger. But the menu gets a bit more eccentric from there — yellowfin tuna tacos, pork lumpia, a Korean fried chicken sandwich, and a Thai noodle sandwich will also vie for diners’ attention. There will also be vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, and a special bento box for children featuring a choice of butter pasta, chicken tenders, or a hot dog, along with carrots, fries, an apple, and a cookie.

And, of course, there will be beer. The nascent brewery will produce an upcoming line of IPAs and lagers, plus a porter or a stout, the press release states. But also excitingly for longtime locals, Fairfax Brewing Company will resurrect beers from the location’s past. Already Berlin is set to bring back Ross Valley’s Repack Red, an amber ale that was the company’s flagship offering. Also in the works are collab beers with neighboring breweries with rotating specials of saisons, sours, fruited beers, pale ales, and more. The brewery also intends to offer wine and Champagne, as well as nonalcoholic options like housemade root beer, orange cream soda, and cold brew.

It’s an exciting turn of events for the space at 765 Center Boulevard, which has seen some ups and downs in the last few years. Hen House took over the location from Iron Springs Pub & Brewery after a 17-year run, opening the following April after a revamp. But just six months later Hen House closed its doors because it “did not meet their standards for quality or service,” a spokesperson told the San Francisco Chronicle. The brewery eventually reopened in June 2023, but that didn’t last long either — the Fairfax location closed for good in December 2023.

Fairfax Brewing Company (765 Center Boulevard, Fairfax) debuts in August 2024.

2024-06-12T19:58:33Z dg43tfdfdgfd