It was 1995 and Bob Kluver had just tasted his first full mash home brew. The brown ale he held in his hand had weeks earlier been little more than hops, malts, and water boiling over flame. Yet, from this simplicity came something miraculous, something delicate, complex, and delicious. Not only had Bob brewed beer—an exciting feat in itself. He had created an ale that rivaled those he brought home from the grocery store each week, one he could drink with pleasure and share with pride. The moment was exhilarating, a revelation. Without knowing it yet, Bob had become a brewer for life.
As luck would have it Bob knew a successful restaurateur in Corona, California. This restaurant owned by Brian McCormick was investigating ways to expand its business. Brian was a craft beer enthusiast who had realized that there was a beer renaissance while living in the Pacific Northwest. After researching the burgeoning craft beer scene in southern California Brian knew creating artesian ales and lagers offered the perfect outlet for his business ambition. This was a match made in heaven with Brian and Bob becoming business partners. The two began drawing up plans to add a Brewpub to the existing restaurant.
It wouldn’t be until January 1st 1997 that Main Street Brewery opened its doors. A serious craftsman committed to mastering his art, Bob devoted those intervening years to research, experimentation, and a whole lot of home-brewing. His research took him to the brew sessions of local home-brewers, the brewing facilities of established masters, and an extended trip around Europe, where he sharpened his craft and found inspiration in the professionalism and expertise he witnessed there.
In the wake of those years, Bob has developed an exacting brewing philosophy. In short, only a beer that entices and engages the senses can reach after greatness. From the eyes as they take in the brew’s color to the nose as it breathes in the varied aromas to the palette as it judges mouth-feel and body and layers of unfolding flavor, a great beer invites the drinker into a sensual experience that goes far beyond catching a buzz—though Bob’s beers, many of them high gravity, manage that just fine. It is this philosophy that has won Main Street Brewery a dedicated following. Year after year, as beer lovers have gotten the word out, the demand has grown exponentially.
Now, after nearly two decades of running a successful pizza place, brewery, and taproom, Bob, Brian, and their business have entered a season of transition. The shopping center that for so many years had been home to Lamppost Pizza and Main Street brewing was sold and slated for demolition. Forced to close their doors in February of 2014, Bob and Brian will reopen nearby in a newly constructed location in late 2016 or early 2017.
Never ones to sit on their hands, when faced with the prospect of waiting years to brew again, they resolved to put this time to use and keep the beers flowing for their fans. Beginning December 2014, Main Street Brewing will rent brewing and bottling space from Ritual Brewing Co. in Redlands. Come January 2015, three of their most popular beers—Hop Daddy IPA, Hop Mamma IPL, and Bishop’s Tipple Trippel—will be available for purchase in kegs and, come February, select restaurants, craft beer bars, and liquor stores will offer those beers in 22 ounce bottles.
Exciting times and a new chapter for Bob, Brian, and Main Street Brewing, but they know this is only the beginning of what’s to come.