Local family set to open Winters' newest brewery

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Hooby’s Brewing, soon to be Winters’ newest brewery, is the culmination of one local family’s dream. Chad Stocking, one of the younger family members, says that they had been jokingly talking about starting a brewery for years before they decided to get serious about it. The Stocking family had always assumed that they would be opening their business at the old gas station on Highway 128, which they have owned for many years. They even had a name picked out based on the nearest cross street, Hoobyar Lane. When Main Street Cellars closed and the space at the corner of East Main Street Elliot Street opened, the Stocking family decided it was time to stop planning and start doing. “With the way downtown Winters is going–jump in now,” is Chad Stocking’s point of view. Luckily for the family, they had actually begun taking steps to start their new business venture roughly a year before the downtown space opened. By the time there was a downtown location for them to rent, they had already begun the process of securing permits. “It all kind of happened at the right time,” Stocking says. Now they are waiting on building permits to complete the renovations that they have planned for the restaurant. In order to create more seating space they decided they had to take out on load-bearing wall. While waiting for the permits is time consuming, Stoking is optimistic that once they are in place the process will go smoothly. As for the most important aspect of a brewery–the beer–Chad Stocking began researching brewing as soon as the family began talking about opening a brewery. “I’m an I.P.A. fan,” Stocking says, and adds that it doesn’t hurt that I.P.A.s are currently very popular. Every family member has their own role to play in the business. Stocking says that they have always been a close knit family, and that he grew up with everyone working together at the ballpark their father managed in Vacaville. Stocking says that even now he and his siblings vacation together. Operating the business together only made sense. The inside of the building is currently being renovated, but the family has big plans for new seating areas and Winters-themed decor. With elements like old fruit picking ladders for lighting fixtures and apricot flats for menu boards, the family is combining “old Winters” with the town’s new status as a foodie destination. The brewery will have a kitchen, and they intend to serve a small menu with items like appetizer plates, sandwiches, salads and desserts. They have also added a large cold box behind the bar, from which they will serve beer on tap. They have expanded part of the kitchen, made plans to add another fire escape door and have repurposed the upstairs room to potential be rented out for private parties. One major change that they’ve made to the outside of the building is the removal of all of the front landscaping. The family is planning to replace the plants with a high-top bar that will look out onto Main Street. They are keeping the bocce ball court, and made sure that their alcohol license extends all the way to the end of the court. Stocking has been researching how other breweries operate on his yearly trips to Bend, OR. He say that whenever he’s travels there he goes to different breweries and tries to learn from them. One element that he is excited to bring to Hooby’s is a unique fundraising technique he saw in one such brewery. Stocking plans to install a popcorn machine in the brewery, with a box for donations alongside it. He likes the idea of using the popcorn machine to raise money for local causes. Right now the Stockings are hoping to open by the end of September, but they know that early October is more realistic. As they wait on permits to come through, they are staying active promoting their business on social media and selling merchandise. For more information about Hooby’s Brewing visit HoobysBrew.com or email hoobysbrew@yahoo.com. Follow them on Instagram @HoobysBrewing and find them on Facebook at facebook.com/HoobysBrewing.]]>

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