San José Welcomes New Brewery to Midtown Arts Mercantile

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Adding to a burgeoning craft beer scene in San José, Hapa’s Brewing Co. will celebrate the official opening on Saturday, Feb. 25 of its brewery and taproom inside Midtown Arts Mercantile – the former cannery turned artisanal “maker space” in the city’s Midtown neighborhood. The opening ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. at the facility, 460 Lincoln Ave.

The 7,500-square-foot facility is the brainchild of childhood friends Derek Tam and Brian Edwards, who started brewing in Edward’s mother’s Los Gatos home a couple of years ago as a hobby. As they worked to hone their craft, it didn’t take long to home in on a business opportunity.

“There were breweries popping up everywhere, and we realized San José is developing an active brewing ecosystem,” Tam said. “We said it would be so cool to come back to the area where we grew up and turn this hobby into an actual business.”

The pair joined up with experienced Sonoma County brewer Peter Burrell, with Edwards leaving his tech job to work full time alongside Burrell. About 18 months ago, the team signed a lease with San José-based SWENSON for space inside Midtown Arts Mercantile. The 40,000-square-foot facility was designed from the ground up for manufacturers, artists, and creative retailers. Other occupants include Chromatic Coffee, Good Karma Bikes, and Terra Amico Studio.

San José Economic Development staff assisted the developer of Hapa’s Brewing with project review, seeing a chance to preserve a historic industrial building for modern “maker” uses.

“We know there’s lots of demand for industrial uses throughout San José, and Hapa’s arrival at Midtown Arts Mercantile shows these older buildings can be a perfect fit when creatively retrofitted,” said Kim Walesh, Economic Development Director and Deputy City Manager for the City of San Jose. “We’re happy to welcome Hapa’s Brewing to the midtown neighborhood.”

Hapa’s Brewing kicks off with three brews – including a blond ale, an IPA, and a mocha porter — at it ramps up to a planned eight taps. The facility comprises a 1,000 square foot taproom and an outdoor patio, complete with roll-up doors. While it doesn’t offer its own food, Hapa’s plans to bring in food trucks on weekend afternoons. For now, Hapa’s is focused on the taproom experience, and is researching wholesale agreements with local bars, restaurants, and grocers.

“Hapa’s is exactly the kind of tenant we are seeking for Midtown Arts Mercantile: A unique local business that will provide the neighborhood with a fantastic social gathering space,” said Forrest Cerrato, portfolio manager for real estate developer SWENSON.

Hapa’s joins a small but growing ecosystem of craft beer and other craft drink-related businesses in San José. In the last two years, San José’s venerable Gordon Biersch has been joined by Strike Brewing, Hermitage Brewing, Santa Clara Valley Brewing and Coterie Cellars. Last year, GigaYeast – which makes liquid yeast for commercial and home brewers – opened on Qume Drive.

About San José Office of Economic Development
The San José Office of Economic Development is committed to a vital, competitive San José economy that increases prosperity for people and companies. OED guides the city’s economic strategy, provides assistance for business success, connect employers with trained workers, and provides art and cultural resources to our community. For more information, go to sjeconomy.com.

About City of San José
San José, Capital of Silicon Valley, is the largest city in Northern California and the 10th largest city in the nation, with an ethnically diverse population of more than one million. San José was founded in 1777, once served as the state capital of California, and encompasses 180 square miles. The City’s website is sanjoseca.gov.

West Coast Commercial Real Estate News