Mobile Bottling Line Comes to California!

The sidewalk in front of logowas temporarily turned into a packaging plant.

A mobile bottling line, long used in the wine industry and for craft beer in the Northwest was hired by Iron Springs Pub & Brewery to truck in equipment and set up a temporary bottling line so proprietor Mike Altman, head brewer Christian Kazakoff and assistant Phil Meeker could fill 22-ounce bottles of three types of ale.

It was a fun one-time-only experiment. “It’s a new adventure for us,” he was quoted as saying in a story at “This is allowing us to get a foot in the door into the packaging side of things and allows more people outside of Fairfax to experience our products. It’s a great way to market ourselves.”

Iron Springs has occasionally bottled their beer by hand inside their cramped brewing facility. Thursday’s test run was the first time Seattle-based Microbeer Source, a mobile bottling company has ventured into California. The 13-year-old company has about 25 regular accounts in the Pacific Northwest.

The company has been exploring the notion of expanding into California and owner Ron Gregerson has been making the rounds in recent months talking to the smaller craft brewers of California to see how much interest existed. Apparently enough. Gregerson brought in new, yet-unwrapped equipment on a new truck for the Iron Springs bottling and is seeking more clients in Northern California.

Bottles of Kent Lake Kolsch, Casey Jones Imperial IPA, Sless’ Stimulating Stout and Epiphany Ale will be sold in selected markets in Marin, nearby counties and at the brewpub at 765 Center Blvd. in Fairfax. The brewpub distributes its beer in a converted ambulance called the Ambrewlance, which runs on discarded vegetable oil from the restaurant.

What does this mean for California beer enthusiast? It means more choices from small breweries who in the past have not had the space or the capital to install a bottling line. And that’s good news. Thanks Ron!