Santa Clara Valley Brewing: The Stories Behind the Names Behind the Beer
Santa Clara Valley Brewing (SCVBC) was founded in 2012 by master brewer Steve Donohue and Silicon Valley tech veteran Tom Clark. They both agreed that craft beer in the South Bay needed better recognition, and the only way to bring focus to the area would be to create a world-class brewery and taproom right in the heart of the Santa Clara Valley.
Mark Fazzio, marketing and events manager at SCVB, gave a rundown of the meanings behind the names of some of their popular offerings: “The concept of naming the beers comes from the brand mission [of SCVB], and having a local area or landmark name for each brew we create.” Sit back then, and enjoy this history and geography lesson, courtesy Santa Clara Valley Brewing.
ELECTRIC TOWER (IPA): Electric Tower is the name of our flagship IPA. If you look at the history of San José, one of the more iconic landmarks was the electric tower that stood downtown from the early 1880’s until 1915. The tower was the inspiration of J.J. Owen, the editor of the San José Mercury News. Owen was fascinated by the potential of electric lighting. At the time it was built, San José was proclaimed to be the only electrified city west of the Rocky Mountains.
HEART'S DELIGHT (BARREL-AGED WILD ALE) Our barrel-aged wild ale pays homage to the agricultural history of the Santa Clara Valley. Santa Clara Valley — with its scenic beauty, mild climate, and acres of blooming fruit trees — was known as “The Valley of Heart’s Delight.” Until the 1960s, Santa Clara Valley was the largest fruit production and packing region in the world with thirty-nine canneries. Our barrel-aged wild ale pays homage to the agricultural history of the Santa Clara Valley. Santa Clara Valley — with its scenic beauty, mild climate, and acres of blooming fruit trees — was known as “The Valley of Heart’s Delight.” Until the 1960s, Santa Clara Valley was the largest fruit production and packing region in the world with thirty-nine canneries.
NEW ALMADEN RED (IMPERIAL RED ALE): The New Almaden quicksilver mine was known for its cinnabar, a bright red mercury ore that was used by the Ohlone people for paint. Found in the hills at New Almaden, crushing and then roasting the rock extracted the mercury, which was used during the great California Gold Rush to extract the valuable gold from its ore. New Almaden mercury was used in sluice boxes during the California Gold Rush to amalgamate with gold.
LOMA PRIETA (IMPERIAL STOUT): Approximately 34 miles south of the brewery, Mt. Loma Prieta stands tall at 3,790 feet, making it the tallest peak of the Santa Cruz mountain range. Spanish for “dark hill,” Loma Prieta provides a dark backdrop to many of the Santa Clara Valley’s vistas. Loma Prieta Oatmeal Rye Imperial Stout was brewed with the spirit of the mountain in mind — large, looming, dark, and imposing.
PERALTA (PORTER): Our Peralta Porter displays the same hearty character as the resilient landmark it’s named after: The Peralta Adobe is the oldest building in San José. The adobe, built in 1797, was named after Luis María Peralta, its most famous resident. The Peralta family was part of the group of settlers that arrived in Alta California with Juan Baustista de Anza on his 1776 expedition, and helped found the Presidio of San Francisco, Mission Santa Clara, and the Pueblo of San José.
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Santa Clara Valley Brewing
101 E. Alma, San José