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Who We Are Were
Our Story

Mix a love of beer with a passion for creating, throw in a couple of decades of practice as a homebrewer, a strong sense of personal satisfaction when people appreciate his craft, then sprinkle in a wry sense of humor and you've got a really long sentence. No. You've got a guy who decides to open a comedy club. No. You've got a guy who decides to open a brewery.

Thus is Petaluma Hills Comedy Club. No. Thus is Petaluma Hills Brewing Company, brought to you by JJ Jay.

Located in Petaluma, north of San Francisco, Petaluma Hills Brewing Company started as an idea when, in 2008 while sharing the Big House Blonde in the backyard, a friend suggested to JJ that his beer was good enough to sell. That praise (along with the sudden realization about why he had been invited to so many parties that requested he bring his homebrew) started JJ down the road to eventually starting the company in 2011, raising money in 2012, brewing his first commercial beer in 2013, and quitting his career in animation to become Chief Kettle Cleaner of Petaluma Hills Brewing Company in 2014. View the checklist JJ used during this journey.

Almost all the craft beer recipes at Petaluma Hills are the very same recipes JJ created as a homebrewer. Inspired by his discovery of Pete's Wicked Ale in 1990 and a friend who homebrewed, JJ started brewing his own beer in 1991 and hasn't looked back once. After 10 years, JJ decided it was time to create his own recipes and graduated to an all-grain, 10 gallon, brew system that is still in use at the brewery.

To make sure we never forget our homebrew roots, we have what we call a "Homebroots" program, where we provide the opportunity for homebrewers to get some exposure for their exceptional brews. Check it out.

About the logo:

A very good friend of the brewery suggested running a contest among art students at San Jose State University (where this good friend instructed an animation class) which resulted in this most excellent winning entry. Another good friend of the brewery offered his amazingly creative talent to spiff up the logo and, working together with the winning art student and under the art direction of JJ, produced the final version of the logo (seen in banner version above). Along the way, we changed the wheat to barley and added details to the hills in version 2 and better defined the vineyards (yes, those are not hops) and added some realism in version 3. The next pass of the logo, version 4, further defined the hills and the lamppost, changed the brick font to an Old West style font, brought back some wheat, and better defined the ribbon at the bottom. Note the final version (above) added hops and dropped the lamppost (which captures the unique lampposts in downtown Petaluma but fell out of favor in the logo as it developed).

About out beer names:

Our craft beer names are attempts to evoke that which is Petaluma while also appealing to those who are unfamiliar with all Petaluma and Northern California have to offer. Here is some insight into the origin of our names:

  • Porterluma®: fusion of Porter and Petaluma
  • Big House Blonde: "Big House" is English for "Casa Grande", which refers to General Vallejo's adobe
  • Line & Twine IPA: reference to the Sunset Line and Twine Building in Petaluma
  • Red Tag Ale: nuff said
  • East Side Bitter: Petaluma has an East Side and a West Side, but the name is simply a play on the ESB style initials
  • Tripel J: Foul! This one is named after our founder, JJ Jay
  • Lamppost Ale: refers to the downtown Petaluma lamppost, which is unique enough to contain a rooster head and egg bas relief on the post
  • Old Adobe Stout: refers to Adobe Road on the east side of Petaluma
  • Rivertown Brown: evokes a common Petaluma nickname
  • Pumpkin Patch Traffic Jam Ale: this, but read this first
  • Dated * 1858: This beer craft uses dates and Petaluma was incorporated in 1858. And the logo is meant to evoke this.

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