Brewery and taproom planned where The Union used to print its newspaper

Sign of the times: The Union’s former pressroom could become a brewery (Photo credit: The Union Editor’s Twitter account)

A local who proposed building a brewery and taproom east of downtown Grass Valley has now set his sights on a new location: the empty space where The Union used to publish its newspaper before it outsourced the printing to the Sacramento Bee, he told Sierra Foothills Report.

“We’re in the process of getting a use permit and putting it there,” applicant David Krikorian told us. The goal is to open a brewery and taproom — complimented by wine tasting and a wood-fired pizza oven — between August and November, with construction to begin “soon,” he said. The project is subject to city approval.

“They called us,” said Krikorian, who is proposing the brewery and taproom at 464 Sutton Way, adjacent to The Union’s newsroom and advertising offices. “They had space available and didn’t know what to do.”

Krikorian added that The Union’s parent, the Swift Communications community newspaper chain, “had done this at another location,” in Colorado. The Union will be leasing the space to the Krikorians, he said. (While a new business is appreciated, this presumably would create another “conflict of interest” in The Union’s newsroom as it writes about other local breweries, such as ol’ Republic and Three Forks in Nevada City, and related businesses.)

Newspapers are outsourcing their printing to larger publications to cut costs. Meanwhile, craft breweries are booming all across America.

According to Krikorian, a “rainmaker” in this deal was Grass Valley contractor Keoni Allen, whose business renovated the space after The Union relocated from downtown Grass Valley to Brunswick Basin in 1978. “Keoni put us together,” he said.

Keoni has been close friends with Jeff Ackerman, a former publisher of The Union. Keoni also has been active in the Nevada County Contractor Association’s Political Action Committee. Allen is going to be the contractor, and the architect is Deer Creek Studio of Nevada City.

1849 Brewing Company plans a 15-barrel brewery and taproom in the space where The Union’s newspaper had been printed, according to Kevin Krikorian, who is going to be the brewmaster. “I’ve been brewing for a few years,” he said. Kevin said he went to Fresno State for winemaking and also has branched into brewing.

The brewery and taproom plans to offer a wide choice of beers: IPAs, pale ale, light and dark ale, stout and lager beers. “It depends on the demand,” he said. The brewery also will offer wine tasting; the Krikorians also have a winery called Deo Volente Vineyards.

1849 Brewing Co. (named after the Gold Rush, Krikorian said) also plans to offer food, with a wood-fired pizza oven (presumably akin to  Three Forks).  It has filed its fictitious business name statement with the Nevada County clerk-recorder.

The brewery’s five fermentation tanks will come from Brewbilt of Nevada County, which has been featured in our magazine.

Krikorian has proposed the Grass Valley Brewery east of downtown Grass Valley. But he dropped his plans amid a zoning controversy on property where the brewery was to be located. The details are here. The Krikorians relocated to Grass Valley from Danville in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Grass Valley elected officials have been seeking to bring a brewery to town — noticing the success in Nevada City with ol’ Republic  and Three Forks, as well as the boom in craft brewing. Ol’ Republic Brewery recently won a prestigious “best of show” honor at the California State Fair. Three Forks also won an award at the Fair.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

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