By Kira Golden
Tucked away in a little corner of Thousand Palms, Coachella Valley Brewing Company seems like the type of place you can only find if you already know where it is. After two years though, it’s hardly a secret anymore. CVB’s locally crafted beer can be found on tap in most of the bars and restaurants around the valley these days, and is always the first name that rolls off the lips when a visitor to the valley asks about local brews. From the outside, a person would never guess that one building could hold all the machinery and technology to brew beer, let alone at the levels they’ve been producing. Inside, the tasting room is simple and casual, with a menu written in colorful chalk and barstools lining the walls and scattered around high-top tables—the perfect place to grab a beer and a pretzel, and hang out with your best buds. The beers have inventive names, such as Kolschella, Desert Swarm, and Dubbel Date, showcasing the fact that the owners have been inspired by the Coachella Valley from the beginning. Chris Anderson, Brewmaster and partial owner, explains the ideas that got them started.
“We had an idea of something that was distinctly local and trying to use as much local ingredients in our beers as possible. Ninety percent of the people who come out here don’t even know there’s agriculture in the east valley, so we wanted to bring a little awareness to that, and show off how good the products are,” he said. The founders also built their brewery to be as eco-friendly and waste-free as possible. From technology that allows them to get more use out of the necessary chemicals, to their high-efficiency brew system that uses 60% less water and produces 65% less waste, the brewery is state of the art, and is one of only 15 breweries to operate with these systems. “We put a lot of thought into making it an efficient brewhouse,” Anderson nodded. “Last year we were awarded for it—Coachella Valley Water District recognized us as one of the water-savers because of the system we use.”
There’s definitely something to be said for the way they produce, but let’s not forget the product itself, much of which has won awards as well. From sours and lagers to I.P.A.s and stouts, CVB has a beer for everyone. The popularity has grown since they’ve opened, and Anderson said he has felt the valley become more receptive to craft brewing in that time. Their membership program has gotten a big enough following that they’ve added different levels. “It’s humbling,” Anderson said with a shrug. Memberships include discounts and free gifts, as well as exclusive invites to special events.
One such event will be the celebration of their two-year anniversary, to be held on October 17th from 2pm-9pm. The $20 ticket includes 12 tasters and a souvenir tasting glass. There will be live music and food vendors, and they will also be pouring the beer brewed especially for this event—an Imperial India Brown Ale, described by Anderson as having “toffee character and some tropical notes,” for those with an advanced palate to note. Tickets can be bought at the door, or you can visit their website, cvbco.com.
There’s a lot going on for the brewery in the next months. In addition to attending Oktoberfest in Yucca Valley and an event with Hangar 24 this past weekend, on the 25th, they will be doing a tap takeover at Whole Foods, and brewing a beer made with organic dragon fruit. They are also participating in the first ever Coachella Valley Beer Week, from November 13th through the 22nd, which will feature all the valley’s local breweries in various tastings, tours, dinners, and events. For more information on each brewery’s events, visit coachellavalleybeerweek.com.
At year two, Coachella Valley Brewing Company has already exceeded their original expectations. “We’re at like, year five in our business plan, but it’s only been two years,” Anderson laughs. They’ve worked very hard on their product and on becoming a staple in the community, and it shows, but Anderson noted that they haven’t even scratched the surface of what this brewery is capable of accomplishing. “We have aspirations of having a separate, dedicated barrel-aging facility, and a separate temperature-controlled fermentation room that would also serve as our distribution house so that we would have a bigger cooler, since we’ve already outgrown ours. That would free up space for more tanks here.” In the meantime, they plan to keep doing what they do best, which is brew great beers with local ingredients. Anderson’s advice to anyone visiting the valley (or anywhere, for that matter) is to drink local. It’s always going to be better.
Since opening its doors in August 2013, CVB has achieved significant success:
- Became the first fully-dedicated ABC license ‘Type 23’ brewery in the region
- Secured statewide distribution with Young’s Market Company of California and Arizona
- Earned a 2014 silver medal for Monumentous IPA in CVB’s first competition at the Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition; and earned a 2015 gold medal for Monumentous IPA
- Earned 2015 gold medals for Monument on Fire and Phoenix at the Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition
- Secured more than 100 tap handles in the Coachella Valley
- Served in more than 900 out-of-valley accounts
- Featured on draught in key accounts, including Downtown Disney, LA Live/Staples Center, and locations in downtown Los Angeles and San Jose
- Featured at the world-renowned Coachella Music and Arts Festival for two years in a row
- Transitioned three core brands into 6-pack long necks for greater distribution
- Selected to pour at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado two years in a row; and selected as a presenter at the Great American Beer Festival on the topic of brewery efficiency
- Started extensive small batch barrel aging and sour program using local ingredients from farmers within the Coachella Valley.
- Voted the “Best Brewery” in the Coachella Valley by CV Weekly
- Named as a top 12 brewery in the California by the Culturetrip.com
- Awarded most commercial water-friendly business in the Coachella Valley by the Coachella Valley Water District.
The anniversary celebration will be held at Coachella Valley Brewing Co at 30650 Gunther St., Thousand Palms, from 2 – 9 p.m. Attendees will receive a free souvenir tasting glass, along with 12 beer tastings for the $20 admission price. Coachella Valley Brewing Co promises great fun and most of all great, local craft beer at the event. For more information, visit www.cvbco.com or call the brewery at 760.343.5973.