BERKELEY BREWED SINCE 1986
Triple Rock opened its doors in March 1986, the creation of brothers John and Reid Martin, only 25 and 28 years of age at the time. Triple Rock is the result of John and Reid's love for beer and brewing, as well as the love of classic American taverns (and dive bars).
The Martins were repeatedly advised to abandon their chosen site and to locate their brewery in the industrial area of Berkeley. At the time, city bureaucrats had never heard of a "brewpub" and there was neighborhood concern about a "factory" being allowed to operate in Downtown Berkeley. Finally, a year and a half later, they received the seven variances necessary from the Berkeley zoning codes and were able to commence construction.
Initially known as Roaring Rock Brewery, the pub catered to a thirsty public. "We had 30 people waiting at the doors when we opened," recalls Reid. The Rock barely made it through that first St. Patrick's Day before the tanks went dry. "Those were the heady days," agrees John. "For many beer loves, coming to Roaring Rock was like a pilgrimage, because brewpubs were so few and far between." The name change was the result of a legal battle with Rolling Rock Brewing. A few rejected names: "Foamy Rock" and "Rolling Duck."
Today, 30 years after brewing their first brew, John and Reid Martin are considered "founding fathers" in the brewpub industry and have gone on to build a small empire of award-winning brewpubs and bars in California and Washington State: Twenty Tank Brewery in San Francisco, Big Time Brewery in Seattle, Drake's Brewing Co. in San Leandro, Drake's Dealership in Oakland and Jupiter in Berkeley. Still, Triple Rock remains their favorite. "It's where real brewpub beer began in the Bay Area," says John. "We feel lucky to have been there at the beginning of the craft brewing renaissance." Some say that you can see a little of Triple Rock in almost every brewpub.