Brix Factory Brewing Opens Its Doors in West Oakland

March 5, 2024 by No Comments

After much anticipation, Brix Factory Brewing has officially opened its doors at 2400 Mandela Parkway in West Oakland. The brewery boasts a diverse selection of beers, featuring 12 taps pouring everything from refreshing ales to hoppy West Coast-style IPAs.

John Gillooly, a veteran brewer with nearly 30 years of experience and formerly the head brewer at Drake’s Brewing in San Leandro, helms Brix Factory as both brewmaster and owner. He emphasizes a unique brewing philosophy: “We’re not looking to follow trends or be confined by classic styles,” says Gillooly. “We’re simply excited to experiment and create exciting new flavors.”

The spacious 7,500-square-foot facility, previously a print shop and electric vehicle warehouse, houses a robust 15-barrel brew system.

The grand opening weekend, commencing this Friday, showcases a selection of the brewery’s creations, including:

  • Eye of Tasman: A zesty pilsner brewed with a single, aromatic hop, chosen for its intriguing name and unique packaging.
  • Soft Shoulder: An American-style amber ale brewed with corn and six-row malt, delivering a flavor profile ranging from toasty to crispy. Gillooly describes this offering as a “museum piece,” reminiscent of 19th-century brews.
  • Hybrid Blond Ale & Fruit Seltzer: A unique blend that merges the characteristics of a blond ale with the refreshing taste of fruit seltzer.
  • Citrus-Forward, Low-ABV Blond Ale: A light and refreshing option ideal for warmer days.

Brix Factory boasts a dedicated 500-square-foot patio, perfect for enjoying a cold beverage as the weather warms. Additionally, the establishment welcomes canine companions, with a dedicated Instagram page, “Dogs of Brix,” showcasing furry patrons.

The name “Brix Factory” pays homage to the metric unit measuring the total dissolved sugar content in beverages like beer. The brewery’s journey to fruition spanned approximately two years, with Gillooly initially announcing plans in December 2022. While initial negotiations and permits took longer than anticipated, Brix Factory successfully debuted a few beers, including an amber lager and a hazy rye pale ale, during the recent SF Beer Week, generating significant anticipation for the taproom’s opening.

Brix Factory enters the Bay Area craft beer scene amidst a period of consolidation and closures. Gillooly’s previous employer, Drake’s Brewing, recently acquired Sonoma’s Bear Republic, while San Francisco’s Cellarmaker expanded into the East Bay after acquiring Berkeley sour beer specialist the Rare Barrel. Additionally, Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing recently closed its San Francisco brew pub, and Ale Industries in Oakland ceased operations in November 2023.

This trend reflects a national phenomenon, with the American Brewers Association reporting a leveling off of growth in the craft beer market in 2023 after years of continuous expansion. Despite these market shifts, Brix Factory Brewing is poised to carve its own path with its innovative approach and dedication to crafting exceptional beers for the West Oakland community.


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