Saturday, December 12, 2009


After Twenty Plus Years ...... Drake's Is Out in the Open!

Most people don't know that Drake's Brewing Co. is located in the old powerhouse building of San Leandro's former Caterpillar factory. What is now the "West Gate Center", was a previous industrial site that was reused and renovated as a shopping & business center some 25 years ago. Tenants include Home Depot, Sports Authority, See's Candies, and Walmart. Shoppers have no problem finding those places. But, those of you that have visited the brewery can attest to the fact that Drake's is a tough find the first time. Driving around (& around & around...) til you finally spot (or miss...) what might be a brewery in a metal building at the back corner of the huge complex. (The pallets of kegs often out in our parking area is usually what tips people off that they have arrived at Drake's.)

What has made finding our location even more difficult all these years, is the lack of a sign on the building. The only signage has been a small "Drake's Brewing Co." crudely hand painted on the door to the tasting room. (Looks like the work of a drunk man, really.) The way we have described getting to the brewery has been something along the lines of "Drive behind the Walmart to their loading dock, then look for the grain silo". See the pic of our building on the right hand side of this blog... nothing to let you know you've reached Drake's. Yesterday, after 3 days of work, that all changed. We are a clandestine brewery no more!

Quite a milestone. Drakes has a real sign. Actually three of them. Here's some shots of the signs being installed. Notice our new "mark" (the round red circle) that you will find soon on the new Drake's labels and bottle caps.

Lastly, thanks to google maps we have also been able to mark exactly our location in the center. Check it out! So, finally after 20 years, we think we've solved (most of) the problem of finding Drake's!

Thanks for reading! -- The Drake