What had been shaping up as a big year for Napa County’s beer scene ended up on a down note as the valley’s only large-scale brewery closed up shop and moved with little fanfare.
Napa Smith Brewing, a fixture in the industrial area at Highway 29 and Jameson Canyon Road, announced over the summer that it would make a major expansion, with a new brewery in Vallejo and production at an existing brewery in Nashville, Tennessee, home of R.S. Lipman Brothers, a beverage manufacturer and distributor that bought the brewery in the spring.
Left somewhat unclear, however, was the fate of the Napa facility, a brewery and taproom. Earlier this month, however, that facility closed with little public notice. Today, the sign by the highway is gone and the building stands vacant.
“It was born in Napa and we absolutely intend to keep a presence in Napa,” spokeswoman Angela Evans said. “What happened is we couldn’t scale up to keep up with demand where we were.”
Vallejo offered more space and easier access to water, she said. The Napa facility closed this month and the entire staff of 14 remains on the payroll at the new location. They hope to open a new taproom in Vallejo sometime in the first few months of the year.
Details of the future in Napa are still being worked out she said; probably it will be in the form of a downtown taproom, possibly with some limited production capability for…
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