Brewing company

Marin Brewing Company closes after more than 30 years

A Marin County institution is closing its faucets after nearly 33 years in business.

Marin Brewing Company is closing its Larkspur Landing restaurant and brewery on January 31, citing the financial difficulty of surviving during a 2-year pandemic as the main reason for the closure.

“It’s a whole bunch of things coming together at the same time, but probably the most important thing I would say is COVID,” said Brendan Moylan, owner-manager of Marin Brewing.

Moylan said that while he was paying rent now, he was unable to make payments at the height of the pandemic. When he received no help from the nearly $30 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, he was sent to the brink.

“We completed the application within an hour of the portal going live,” he said. “We got the general response that they’ve given to so many people and that is they’ve burned out.”

The Moylan’s brasserie and restaurant in Novato will remain open. “I’m the new head bartender,” he laughed. “We are open five days a week at the moment, but will soon be expanding to seven days.”

Moylan opened Marin Brewing with Craig Tasley on April Fool’s Day in 1989. “Right from the start, in October 1989, Marin Brewing Company won the first four of what would become numerous medals at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. “, one says the story on the Marin Brewing website.

The brewery is known for its craft beers with names inspired by the nearby rugged landscape, where redwoods tower over coastal hills and waves crash against cliffs. There’s a Mt. Tam Pale Ale, a Stinson Beach Peach, and a Tripel Dipsea Belgian Style Ale, named after the long-distance runners’ favorite Dipsea Trail. The restaurant and pub, with mountain bikes hanging from the rafters, has long been the place where old college friends met over beers and where hikers and runners refueled after a long hike. Moylan said they host 100 free music shows a year.

The community’s response to the closure has been tremendous, and Moylan said the emotions ranged from “outrage to sadness” mixed with lots of “compassion” and “positive vibes.”

The outdoor patio at Marin Brewing Co. in Larkspur.

Image courtesy of Marin Brewing Co.

“We will miss you very much,” wrote one user on Instagram, where Moylan announced the closure. “Thank you for creating such a fantastic place with great food and great beer! It was always the place to go to meet friends and family growing up! It’s a family landmark for us, so thank you again!”

Before the pandemic, Moylan said the brewery operated with 100 employees. He now works with 50 employees and said he was devastated to let them go.

“They all did a great job and put in the extra time and worked through all the craziness of COVID,” he said.

A few Marin Brewing Company employees will move to the Novato site in Moylan. How many? “Not enough,” he said.

Moylan plans to hold a silent auction to sell the memorabilia on display in the Larkspur; the profits will go to the employees.

“It was a great race,” he said. “We had a lot of great times over the year. We were a local community business. We could donate 500 a year to 300 different groups. That’s why it’s important to buy local Out of town businesses, big businesses, are not the same as local businesses when it comes to helping the community.