Shadow Puppet Brewing Company is a new brewery that opened on Arroyo Vista (past the Joann’s). It’s in a business park with ample parking. The tasting room features beautiful and classy exposed metal and reclaimed wood, intended to create a “premium winery” type experience. The location also has a playroom so it’s quite kid-friendly and convenient.
Shadow Puppet Brewing Company has about 15-20 beers on tap on any given day, ranging from a light blond ale to dark milk stout. Their specialty seems to be citrusy, fruit-forward brews. Founder Brian Blackburn says his favorite beer on tap is the Tartbreak, a Berliner Weisse brewed with guava. “It’s a light, tart, sweet beer that’s very refreshing,” he says. A good bet for the hardcore IPA fans is the Shadowbox IPA with its knock-your-socks-off grapefruit flavor. My personal favorite was the Crimson Shade, a hoppy red ale which had a pleasantly nutty flavor. The Belma blond ale seems to be making a lot of buzz on Yelp, so be sure not to miss that one!
The prices are pretty affordable: $11 for a 6-beer flight and they have growlers available at $10 for the empty jug and $15-20 for beer to fill it. The 6-beer flight is fun to share, and the growlers are good for parties, or if you’re concerned about sustainability.
The founder and CEO, Brian Blackburn, has been a hobbyist brewer for some time and decided three years ago he was going to leave his corporate job and make brewing his livelihood. After one year of educating himself on the business and two years of development and fundraising, Shadow Puppet Brewing Company opened its doors in February. Blackburn says the name Shadow Puppet was suggested by one of his daughters. Blackburn was making a shadow puppet of a wolf on the wall and he asked his daughter if she knew what the figures were called. He told her they were called “shadow puppets” and she suggested that might be a good name for the brewery. Lo and behold, the trademark for Shadow Puppet had not yet been claimed and so that became the name of the brewery.
Right now, Blackburn says the brewery is working on some more light, fruity, warm-weather beers for summer, so check out the new beers in the coming months!