December 7, 2023


Advocacy. Mediation. Success.

Buffalo Bill’s Brewery closes in Hayward

HAYWARD — Right after approximately four a long time in company on B Road, iconic Hayward institution Buffalo Bill’s Brewery — a person of the to start with brewpubs in the state and an early contributor to craft beer innovation — has closed its doors for great, the proprietor announced this 7 days.

Geoff Harries, who has brewed beer at Bill’s given that the late 1980s and owned the enterprise given that 1994, posted the information of the closure to the brewery’s social media channels Wednesday afternoon.

“Sadly, Buffalo Bill’s Brewery is officially closed until the subsequent passing of the mash paddle of this historic and unique place. Thank you all so a lot for the support in excess of the yrs. It has been an outstanding and superb journey. More than the past 33 years Buffalo Bill’s has been my residence, my loved ones, and my dream,” Harries wrote.

“It’s a tragedy, and we’re getting rid of a image of Hayward. It’s challenging to envision how it will be changed,” reported Kim Huggett, the president and CEO of the Hayward Chamber of Commerce.

“It is heritage passing. Buffalo Bill’s for the longest time has been the anchor of our downtown, the signature company for downtown Hayward. The area where discounts had been accomplished. The location exactly where pupils cling out, the put to go to look at a ballgame,” Huggett said.

Opened in 1983 by photographer and homebrewing fanatic Monthly bill Owens, the brewpub’s name grew locally as a place to grab a contemporary beer, and it was later credited with earning the country’s first commercially brewed pumpkin beer, dubbed only, “America’s Primary Pumpkin Ale.”

Omar Morales, a comic e book author who was lifted in Hayward, attended California Condition East Bay in Hayward, and now life in Pleasanton, claimed he’s witnessed Bill’s mature and modify by the decades.

“I spent a whole lot of time at Buffalo Bill’s. It’s the form of spot wherever you could usually run into old good friends,” Morales, 41, mentioned Thursday.

“Now, as an grownup and a family members gentleman, it is more a spot we go to celebrate birthdays, Valentine’s Working day a few moments, day evenings with my wife,” he said.

“The finest detail I’ll miss is, in Oct, when it is my birthday, we would go there to rejoice, and I would bring residence a case of Pumpkin Ale, and I would hoard it,” Morales mentioned.

“Just savoring them listed here and there, striving to make them past until finally the subsequent batch would come in. Boy, I absolutely hope any person finds a way to retain that Pumpkin Ale in circulation even following the doors have shut.”

Hundreds of supporters of the brewery have been flooding Harries’ posts with comments sharing their sadness at the information and recalling moments they loved beer with friends and relatives inside of the brewery’s warm space or on its sun-drenched patio.

“Great recollections of grabbing a Tasmanian Devil beer and jalapeño and cheese breadsticks while likely to college at Cal Condition Hayward,” Bill Jostmeyer wrote.

“I will overlook the position!,” he wrote. “Thanks to Geoff and all the tricky employees that produced my faculty years simpler. Cheers!!!!”

Serving beer immediately to people on internet site of a brewery was not authorized less than California’s “tied-house” rules right before a change in the landscape of condition brewing laws in the early 1980s, which Owens stated he “took gain of” and supported.

After then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Monthly bill 3610 into law in 1982, California turned dwelling to 3 of the to start with 5 brewpubs in the nation, together with Bill’s, in accordance to point out assembly data.

Owens had beforehand revealed a guidebook identified as “How to Develop a Tiny Brewery,” which was later up to date and republished with Harries. Owens also revealed multiple beer brewing journals.

Even though there may possibly be discussion about which brewpub was actually the quite very first to exist in the country, “clearly he was an inspiration, staying one of the earliest,” beer author Jay R. Brooks said of Owens.

“I consider it influenced rather a several folks and it assisted put the Bay Region on the map,” Brooks stated of Owens’ brewpub product and guidebook.

Owens’ get the job done aided uncovered the increased Bay Area’s beer tradition, which is now “arguably a single of the most effective beer scenes in the country,” Brooks said in an job interview Thursday.

There is also a “clear legacy” of the pumpkin ale tracing back to Owens, Brooks said. Owens, in prior interviews, reported he developed the beer with a massive portion of grocery-store pumpkin pie spices and property grown pumpkin flesh.

“Pumpkin beer was built in colonial times. But in modern situations, it was Buffalo Bill’s that designed pumpkin beer what it is now,” Brooks explained.

Owens, now 83, started the American Distilling Institute, and Distiller Magazine. He’s not as wistful as some about the reduction of Bill’s.

“In my letters, I say ‘onwards.’ There are new worlds to conquer,” he explained.

Harries, who browse Owens’ guidebook, requested for a task there in 1987, but was made available only a probability to cleanse out brewing tanks for no cost for Owens in the late 1980s. Owens at some point employed Harries and quickly promoted him to brewer, according to the business’ web page.

Beneath Harries, the enterprise expanded substantially to dozens of workforce and hundreds of every day prospects at its peak, alongside with significant distribution of its beers. He pointed out in his write-up that he “came shut to personal bankruptcy numerous occasions,” but often located a way back again.

It was not crystal clear Thursday why the brewpub is closing, and Harries did not right away respond to a ask for for remark.

In social media posts and opinions from final 7 days, the brewery was advertising and marketing new can patterns, and stated that it was trying to get a return to its total normal hours, which experienced been minimized in the wake of the pandemic.

“You’re shedding a piece of Americana,” Morales reported.

“It’s just unfathomable to me that all that is likely absent. There is a ton of taste in all those brick walls,” he said.

“It’s likely to go away a massive hole appropriate in the centre of downtown Hayward,” stated.

“Buffalo Bill’s was often about people,” Harries wrote in his article about the closure.

“You shared your 1st dates, your previous dates, your birthdays, anniversaries and celebrations of existence with us,” he explained.

“I will constantly treasure these recollections and will generally be grateful that you shared them with us.”