Craft beer is experiencing a renaissance. If you’ve picked up our latest issue, than you already know this. Microbreweries are popping up faster than your opposing political party’s “dark past” commercials during election year, and many of these craft beer establishments are taking form right here in Jacksonville. While we continue to spotlight the growth of craft beer in our region, it is important to note that we are not the only city, nor state, undergoing a profound growth in beer options. According to the Brewers Association’s “State Craft Beer Production & Sales Date for 2013,” the state of California contains 381 registered craft breweries, an increase of almost 30 percent from 2011. Amongst this growth, lies Saint Archer Brewing Co.
Josh Landon, an action-sports manger that grew up filming alongside legendary surf-filmmaker, Taylor Steele, founded the San Diego brewery, commonly referred to as “Saint Archer.” Having once managed the careers of professional surfers like Mick Fanning and Taylor Knox, Landon noticed that the Californian surf, skate, snow and art culture lacked a beer that was truly behind both athletes and artists. Using his connections and relationships within the industry, Landon put together an unreal crew of guys to establish Saint Archer, including professional skateboarder, Mikey Taylor, and skateboarding’s golden child, Paul Rodriguez. Together, they we’re able to reach out to the entire actions-sports community, ultimately providing them with an initial investment of $3 million.
Since then, Saint Archer has taken off, building a 20,000 sq. ft. brewery from scratch, and selling 7,200 barrels within their first year — double the amount that has ever been sold by a brewing company in their first year, said Steve Wagner, president of Stone Brewing Co., the largest brewery in Southern California. “Now, we’re doing about 25,000 cases a month, about 75,000 six packs a month,” Landon reported. “That’s just from L.A. down … we have distribution in 30 states waiting for us, and I can’t make [enough] beer to get out of LA” Among the brand ambassadors for Saint Archer are professional surfers Taylor Knox, Dusty Payne, Josh Kerr, Laura Enever and professional skateboarders, Eric Koston, Shane O’Neill, Bryan Herman and Omar Salazar. While it may be more than a minute until you’re able to get your hands on one of there beers, there is no doubt that you’ll want to be waiting in line.