Thursday, June 3, 2010

Our Story

Van Houten Brewing Company (say "van HOW ten" ) is a Marin-based, family owned and operated craft nanobrewery-in-planning. Johnny and Creek Van Houten, a husband and wife team, are the mainstays of the operation. Johnny's dad, Tom serves as consultant and works with Johnny to perfect recipes. Between the two of them, they have almost 20 years of homebrewing experience.

Johnny and his dad, Tom, began their quest for great beer while attempting to recreate a limited edition beer which had fulfilled its mission by becoming unavailable. They decided to try to make it themselves and found that their own beer was even better. Let’s face it, there is an alchemical chemistry geek appeal to brewing - the hydrometers, spiral copper tubing, magnetic stirrers, and large boiling kettles over rocket-ship-like flames all has a certain appeal.

Creek joined the team by loving Johnny, who instilled in her an undiscovered love of beer, which bodes well for their marriage. She is the Minister of Information and honing her skills in navigating government acronyms on our way to official breweryhood... or is it breweryship.... brewerydom?

Anyways, the beer began showing up at movie nights and pirate parties – then weddings and anniversary gatherings, and the requests began. And so, the microbrew movement settled in and thrived, and California got their IPA on, while our father and son team continued their quest honing skills in British Ales, and German Lagers, (not to leave out the Belgians). Perhaps it is our Dutch and British blood that causes us to yearn for old style beer brewed by the simplest means possible.

Ten years later, we’re just plain tired of people asking us for beer so we’ve decided to take the plunge, make our dreams come true – and bring great beer home.

Sometimes we get help from our friends (like Shakes and Hank at right) doing what we lovingly refer to as "market research."

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