The kegs at the Claremont Colleges’ parties are appealing in that they’re free. However, for those seeking beer with a bit more character, a recently opened craft brewery in Claremont is hoping to change the local perception of beer.
Located a block north of Pitzer College in an unassuming industrial park, Claremont Craft Ales is brewing top-quality craft beers spanning a range of flavors certain to please anyone from the novice beer drinker to the most seasoned beer geek.
The brewery is the child of Simon Brown, Emily Moultrie and Brian and Natalie Feffer—home-brewers who took their love for good beer and turned it into a microbrewery. Longtime residents of Claremont, they opened the brewery with the intention of bringing craft beer to the community, in the same spirit as the numerous boutiques and mom-and-pop shops in the Village.
“All of the locals that live in Claremont that appreciate local business, that appreciate artisanship and handcrafted things … we want them to be proud of their beer,” said Brown, Brewmaster and Co-Owner of Claremont Craft Ales.
By naming their brewery after the city itself, they sought to create an immediate connection between their business and Claremont, reflecting the connections they have developed in their years living here, as well as to help turn the city into a destination for high-quality beer.
The opening of the brewery comes during a craft beer revolution in the United States, with a nearly constant stream of newly opened microbreweries while sales of macrobrews such as Coors, Budweiser and Miller drop each year. In the recent past, there has been a gradual shift in American beer culture toward craft brews made with incredible attention to detail and with a range of flavors that are nowhere to be found in the beers sold by mega-breweries. Claremont Craft Ales follows a tradition of beer that privileges quality over quantity.
In the few months that the brewery has been open, it has already become a fixture of the community—a place for professionals to stop by on their way home or for students to come by and work on homework with free Wi-Fi over a pint of fresh beer.
“You can just come here as you are and relax,” Moultrie said. The space is open to all, with dogs and children of beer-drinkers being a common and welcome sight. Claremont Craft Ales is not a destination for intoxication, but a space to enjoy beer in an unpretentious setting with good company.
If you already know your Double IPAs from your Stouts, then you’ll feel right at home. If you haven’t had a sip of beer in your life, the staff is more than willing to discuss beer and help you find a brew that suits your palate. As beer-lovers and brewers, the members of Claremont Craft Ales are thrilled to be able to talk about their passion with others and raise the overall standard of beer drinking in their city.
“With our craftsmanship and attention to detail, we have a more intellectual approach to beer,” Brown said when asked about how his brewing process reflects the values of the 5Cs. “It’s a perfect match for the colleges—a more curious crowd that wants to try new things.”
Claremont Craft Ales creates beers that are easily enjoyable regardless of your previous experiences with beer, but with plenty to mull over should you decide to delve a bit deeper into the flavors behind each glass. And with the brewery so close to campus, there is no better way to experience the joy of a fresh pint.
What to try on your first visit? Brown recommends that “whether you think you like beer or not, get the whole sampler flight.” You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the flavors you experience.
Claremont Craft Ales
1420 North Claremont Boulevard, Claremont, CA 91711