The family has decades of experience in the wine industry, but five of the Ceja brothers have decided to trade grapes for grains and oak barrels for copper kettles with the launch of Carneros Brewing Company.
The family won’t be cutting ties with the industry they staked their name on, but under the talents of master brewer Jesus Ceja, the brothers are trying their hand at amber gold in addition to their reds and whites.
“It’s been a big learning curve for us,” said Armando Ceja. “We’ve spent a lot of time crafting beers that are balanced and really crisp.”
Set on the family’s land on Burndale Road at Carneros Highway, the property now includes a beer garden with industrial concrete tables under pergolas that surround the man-made pond and fountain. Inside, the towering tanks of the brewery share space with a sleek tasting bar.
“People can enjoy the product while they watch grain being thrown in the hopper,” Armando said. After two-and-a-half years of work, the new family business opened in July and already has plans to increase production. But that’s down the road a bit, along with bottling their own beer for sale and selling kegs to restaurants.