Revision Brewing backs out of West Sac deal, will locate in Reno

Jeremy Warren filling growlers in 2013 at Knee Deep Brewing Co.
Jeremy Warren filling growlers in 2013 at Knee Deep Brewing Co.

Revision Brewing, led by rising star Jeremy Warren, has dropped plans to open its craft brewery in West Sacramento and is poised to sign a lease for a building in Reno.

The surprising news, announced on the yet-to-open brewery’s Facebook page Monday, likely will be viewed as a blow to the Sacramento-area beer scene. Warren said he reluctantly made the decision to move because the lease terms for a potential West Sacramento location were not to his liking, and he could find cheaper rent in Nevada.

“It was very emotional,” Warren said Tuesday morning of the Facebook announcement. “I wanted to send it earlier in the day, but it was one of those things where I just couldn’t hit the button.”

Revision still may maintain a local presence. Warren said he’d like to open a satellite operation in Sacramento sometime in the near future.

The brewery is the much-anticipated new project for Warren, who founded Auburn’s Knee Deep Brewing and left last year following a dispute with co-owner Jerry Moore. Warren is widely admired for his mastery of hops, especially with his signature beer style, India pale ale. In 2012, Knee Deep exploded onto the scene when Warren’s Hoptologist won the prestigious Bistro Double IPA competition in Hayward, besting the legendary Pliny the Elder, among others.

“I was shocked. I wanted him to be here,” said Rob Archie, owner of Pangaea Bier Cafe, the popular craft beer destination in Curtis Park. “Jeremy has a lot of passion, and he is a big part of the brewing culture here. He brought that energy, and to see that energy leave, it’s hard.”

Warren, who co-owns Revision with brewer Jeb Taylor, said the deal fell through on the nearly 20,000-square-foot industrial building in West Sacramento because agreement on several lease terms couldn’t be reached. The city of West Sacramento had worked to make the launch of Revision as smooth as possible, applying for a grant through the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development to provide the brewery a loan for its startup costs. Warren said he wound up turning down the loan and instead secured private financing.

In May, Warren went public with details of his plans to open a major production facility and tasting room in West Sacramento. It was an ambitious project, with projections to grow into brewing 50,000 barrels a year and employing 25 people.

Warren said he tried for weeks to keep the project alive in West Sacramento or at least nearby, but he eventually turned to Reno, where he found a larger building at a lower price.

“I’m about to sign a lease tomorrow,” said Warren, who graduated from the University of Reno and was living in Reno when he started Knee Deep in his garage. “We searched pretty much every available building in West Sacramento. Some of the owners flat out didn’t want to have a brewery in the building. Once we knew this was going south, we started looking at other areas – Rancho Cordova, Rocklin, Lincoln, everywhere. When I left Knee Deep, I didn’t think finding a building was going to be the hard part.

“It’s heartbreaking. It’s not what we wanted to do.”

A.J. Tendick, co-owner of West Sacramento’s Bike Dog Brewing, said he had hoped to have Revision in the neighborhood. “I was pretty excited to have folks that I like, who make beer that I like, down the street from Bike Dog, so I was disappointed when I heard the news,” he said. “I helped sell them on West Sacramento being a good location and that the city staff and council was great, so it was at least nice to see that their interaction with the city was positive and not at all the reason for leaving.”

From the beginning, Warren’s plans for Revision have included a second, smaller brewing location. He said Sacramento likely will be the site of the satellite operation, which already has investors. The 8,000- to 10,000-square-foot second facility could open in less than a year. “We already have a million dollars set aside for the satellite location,” he said.

With permits, construction, equipment installation and other details to work out, Warren says he expects Revision to open in Reno by October or November.

As for the Sacramento beer market, Warren said, “We hope to keep our following. It’s still our No. 1 mission to serve the greater Sacramento area.”

Blair Anthony Robertson: 916-321-1099, @Blarob