ScottsValley, CA. August 14, 2023 – Steel Bonnet Brewing Company today announced the opening of a brand new production brewery in Salinas, CA. This brewery represents a significant increase in production capacity over their current brewery in Scotts Valley, CA and provides the opportunity for significant expansion of growth both at the tap room and in distribution.
Several years ago, due to the growing popularity of their Scotts Valley taproom, the owners of Steel Bonnet, Sue and Donald Cramb, decided to expand production. Donald reflects, “we talked about expanding our current location in Scotts Valley but due to some restrictions, we had to consider other locations, initially in Santa Cruz and Watsonville. However we quickly realized that the availability of space was very limited. We then started to look further afield and eventually found a pretty ideal location in Salinas.” So the Crambs signed a lease for a brand new space on Work St. in Salinas in 2019.
Then, COVID hit. Two years of pandemic restrictions inhibiting development, followed by a shortage of architects, engineers and contractors. “We had to stop all plans to move forward on this front,” Donald recalls. “But thanks to all of the support from our community who gave us the confidence to keep this project going, and for always showing up – even when we couldn’t physically show up – we are finally ready to announce the grand opening of what we’re dubbing the ‘Steel Bonnet Work Street Production Facility’!”
With this facility, Steel Bonnet Brewing will be able to brew up to 10 times more beer, which means more beer on tap in Scotts Valley, and opportunities to sell to more locations, both in cans and on draft. The new head brewer, Tyler Carney, will start to build a production team, while Sue & Donald plan to take more of an operations role, helping with coordination between the 2 locations. Donald notes that “We are fully committed to continuing brewing operations in Scotts Valley and the Salinas expansion will allow us to employ the Scotts Valley brewery more as a pilot brewery focused on recipe development, experimentation and small batch ‘special’ beers. You can expect not just more beer to come out of Steel Bonnet but also more styles, flavors and aromas.”
Future plans for this growing brewery include self-distribution initially to a limited number of existing wholesale customers (those mainly based in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties) and expanding from there, distributing their beer in both the tri-county and Bay areas. Then in the second half of 2024, they plan on opening a tap room in the Salinas area fostering the same family oriented, pub atmosphere as the Scotts Valley location. Canning runs will return and barrel aging programs will expand. “It is very exciting, and a little scary, to see how our beer will be received in a broader context.” says Donald Cramb.
Steel Bonnet will be hosting an event to celebrate their 8-year Anniversary and the Work Street expansion, at their Scotts Valley taproom located at 20 Victor Square B on Saturday, Sept 30th from 12-9pm. Expect food, games, music and lots of great beer!
About Steel Bonnet Brewing Company
Steel Bonnet Brewing Company is a family-owned microbrewery & taproom located just 5 miles from Santa Cruz nestled in the quaint mountain town of Scotts Valley, CA.
Over the 8 years Steel Bonnet Brewing has been in business, husband/wife owners Donald & Susan Cramb and their staff have developed a strong loyal fan following with their unique English, Scottish and American Ale style beer offerings, cozy taproom environment, and strong family roots. “The brewery started with myself, Sue, our son Callum, daughter Katie, her husband Jamie and Sam The Ram Peacock. We wanted to create a local, family oriented, community based pub, similar to the ones at home [UK] where we could go and hang out. Our son and I developed our initial recipes while homebrewing in the years prior to opening Steel Bonnet,” owner Donald Cramb reflects fondly. “Once open, our son in law, Jamie, got involved developing recipes and doing small pilot batches on his homebrew system in Seattle, which are recipes still in use today.”
Steel Bonnet continues to pride themselves on developing new recipes while still retaining their preference for balanced but slightly malt forward beers. “We have tried to steer away from following brewing industry fads but a few have slipped through, such as seltzers,” says Cramb with a slight grin. The brewery has also grown their live music scene, Thursday Trivia nights, rotating food trucks, comedy and more. “We love seeing our community come out for all of the good times!”
Donald & Susan Cramb initially came to America in 1988 when Donald’s job at a prominent European tech company in England offered him a secondment to come to the US and work for 2 years. 35 years later, the Crambs proudly call Monterey Bay ‘home’, having spent time in Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Boulder Creek, and now Salinas, where they are much closer to their new Work Street production facility.
Visit www.steelbon.net or follow @steelbonnetbrewing to stay up to date on taproom events & @steelbonnetworkst for production updates!