After four years of planning, Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse will open its new expansion at 1920 Shattuck Avenue, bringing many changes in design and structure to the 30-year-old establishment.
The renovations will not only double the size of Triple Rock but will also include a new kitchen, enlarged dining area, new bathrooms, increased space for customers and a new finish and paint for the current area. Triple Rock also plans on augmenting its draft system to enable it to serve more than 150 additional customers simultaneously.
Space issues were the primary reasoning behind the renovations, as the brewery often has a line going out the door and around the block on days it offered specials, leading to difficulty accommodating reservations with large groups.
“We have been thinking about this for years now. I have been here for almost nine years and this has been a conversation we have been kicking around for a while,” said Jesse Sarinana, the general manager at Triple Rock. “What it came down to was the business space next door eventually becoming available, so we had the room to start expanding.”
Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse was established in 1985 by brothers John and Reid Martin and is the oldest original brewpub in America, according to the Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse website. The brewery is still currently owned by the Martin brothers, who also assisted in planning the renovations.
The renovations come just in time for Triple Rock’s 30th anniversary, and Sarinana noted that they were necessary for the brewery to remain relevant despite its age.
“It is a pretty big milestone, when you consider John and Reid Martin … having the business and having the staying power in a relatively changing environment is really cool,” Sarinana said.
Marc Byrne, who has bartended at Triple Rock for almost three years, noted that the renovations have not resulted in any major changes for the brewery as it continues to operate. The holes in the walls were covered and service was not at all impacted, he added.
The brewery’s location near campus has resulted in a diverse following of many ages. It has attracted many regulars for years, who are excited by the potential the new renovations bring.
“I am very excited to see what the new menus have and the new bar, even though I don’t really drink at all, ” said Quig Driver, a UC Berkeley staff member who has been frequenting Triple Rock for 15 years. “I really like it here and it’s nice that they will have an expanded space.”
The new expansion is set to open in mid-August, according to Sarinana.
“I think people are going to be really happy with the renovations. We are going to bring something really cool to Berkeley’s food scene,” Sarinana said.