Toast New Novato Brew Pub
By Tanya Schevitz
Independant Journal Writer
Cabinet maker Alan McGowan finally got to see the fruits of his
labor this week when Moylan's Brewery and Restaurant opened across
from Vintage Oaks shopping center in Novato.
built this brewery. I did all the cabinet work in here. I wanted
to see how it turned out," said McGowan, 38, as he walked up to
the 52-foot white birch bar he crafted.
It took owner Brendan Moylan four years to steer through a complex
maze of local and state regulations before he could open his new
brewery off Highway 101 on Rowland Way. Business is hopping. One
recent night, customers had to elbow their way to the bar for
one of the brewery's five beers made by brewmaster Paddy Giffen,
Allan Sanderson was driving to his office at Fireman's Fund on
afternoon this week when he saw the brewery was finally open.
really nice. I figured anything that takes that long to build
has got to be pretty good," Sanderson, 43, said. "There is no
place to go in Novato. There is the Hilltop and they do have some
good Mexican restaurants around here, but they really need a place
Microbreweries have gained a popularity in the past few years,
especially among young professionals looking for a place to meet
friends and savor good beer during lunch and after work.
Moylan, 34, who co-owns Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur, said
he saw a void in Novato and wanted to fill it by opening his own
just one of those crazy dreams. The first pub worked out real
well and this type of business is a real fun business and Novato
really needed a fun place for people to go and relax and get a
beer and get something good to eat," Moylan said.
Moylan's serves an upscale pub fare, with everything from vegetable
kabob appetizers to wood-fired pizza and grilled pork chops with
With the Rowland Plaza movie theater right next door, Moylan's
is considering putting in a "movie quick menu" for people who
are in a rush to make it to a show, said manager Kirk Roberts.
got the business right here and Fireman's Fund close by," Roberts
said. "I'm expecting a real killer lunch business to go along
with our dynamite night business."
The inside of the brewery makes it look like it should be set
on the side of a ski slope in Tahoe. The rough wood beams of the
high ceiling are adorned with unassuming candle chandeliers. The
walls are almost bare.
think it has a great atmosphere," said Jim McCaulf, 29. "It has
that kind of rustic woody look."
He wasn't sampling the beer because he was on a short break from
his job as a meter reader for PG&E, and he didn't want anything
but the meters spinning.
Alan Heim and Ben Jones expect that they and their colleagues
at NCO Software will be frequenting the spot.
Jones, who fancies himself a beer connoisseur, crtiqued the brewery's
is not too heavy. It's got a low enough alcohol level that you
can drink it at lunch and it's very fresh so you don't get a lot
of iron residue and flakes. This was very good," said Jones, 25,
as he drained a black forest beer.
work just up the street and we think it's a great idea. It will
mean lots of off-site meetings," said Heim, 31, who does technical
support for NCO Software.
As he and Jones finished up their beers and meals, Heim grinned
and, in his best Arnold Schwarzenegger accent, said: "We'll be
Moylan's is not just a place to down a cold brew. It is a family
place as well.
Doug DeSalvio, 34, a chiropractor from Novato, brought his wife
and two young daughters to Moylan's for lunch this week.
day spots and even night spots are few and far between. The food
choices are limited and now that we have a brewery it makes it
more fun to go to," DeSalvio said.
from IJ staff reports