There are three of us here at 2 Tread Brewing and our unique experiences, desire to push into the unknown, and easy hearty laughs have helped this business move from concept some two years ago to its current state.

Like many things, it all begins with a beer in hand after some mileage on the bike.

Twelve years ago, Bill drove to Utah from Southern California with a camper van and some bikes. Bill had just been anointed into a group of friends called “Big Ring Brews” that is a group of dedicated outdoor-types that push hard but also appreciate fine wine, excellent beer, and great food. Everything tastes even better around a campfire and there have been many of those, often with conversation that leans toward the philosophical. That is ultimately what pushed Bill to make the leap from a good job in pharmaceutical regulatory compliance to doing something that is just a bit more fun… to have a chance to support the local community and to simply make people happy.

Bill had enjoyed working in pharmaceutical research contributing in a small way to drugs that changed the world. He worked on many clinical trials, from Crixivan, the first Protease Inhibitor that helped change HIV infection from a fatal to a chronic disease to the testing of Viagra when it was a still a cardiac drug and its common use today was just an adverse side effect.

Bill’s interest in exceptional beers began while traveling the world for work, including a rainy stint living in England and loving it. At one point in his travels he managed to talk a bartender at a Belgian beer bar in Stockholm, Sweden into selling him an unopened bottle of Westvleteren (might not have been quite legal in Sweden since he put it into a to-go food box) that he “smuggled” out of the country and back to the States.

The idea of a brewery had germinated, and now we had to find a great location. We’re not picky at all- it didn’t have to be perfect, just very close to perfect. It took us a full two years to find the location and negotiate the lease. But, just because it’s hard doesn’t make it not worth doing- we wanted to make sure that you could hang out in a big beer garden that gets morning light and afternoon shade, or roll your bike in through the big glass rollup doors.

Location found, now it was time to find the perfect Partners. How do bikes continue to be the one degree of separation?

Christian August has been best friends with a friend of mine here in Santa Rosa since 3rd grade. We’ve ridden bikes together and I knew he used to be in the industry but I didn’t know what he had done and I already had a brewer in play so we didn’t talk much shop. But, when the original brewer fell through and I asked his advice about finding somebody new, it turns out he knew somebody perfect for the job- himself. He sent over his CV and instantly I knew that one of the two new Partners had been found. He is passionate and detail oriented, has formal Davis Brewing Education under the tutelage of world renowned brewing scientist and educator Dr. Michael J. Lewis as well as the MBAA, IBC, and less formal education from teaching conversational English to Professors of Brewing Science from the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, CZ. Oh, did I forget to mention that he is one of the two founding brewers of a major regional brewery as well as a former Brewmaster at that same brewery which was a forerunner in wood barrel fermentation practices here, stateside? Yea, there’s that. He took them from pre-production as Assistant Brewmaster to roughly 10,000 bbls/yr as Brewmaster.

With Christian onboard, we needed one more key person. When I was looking for locations we had been in negotiations for the space next door to Echelon Bike Shop in Railroad Square. I dropped off a few growlers of beer and made some friends, one of which (Phil) tells me his wife manages a large restaurant and might be interested in something new. Again, the cards were just right. His wife Tracy Heydorn turns out to have been the GM at the Red Lobster in Rohnert Park where she won numerous awards over her 15 years there, and helped Darden (the parent company) train up other GMs from around the world. At one point she commented that she “likes managing the books”- that fact alone was enough to bring her onboard in my mind. But she can also cook, bartend, manage staff, and pretty much anything else as far as I can tell.

It’s one thing to find people with the right qualifications, it’s another to find people that are willing to take a leap into business ownership and put their house on the line. Fortunately, both Chris and Tracy have agreed to be Partners and to take the leap- we are in this together all signing on a pretty big loan and getting ready to create about 60 jobs in Santa Rosa. Jobs that will be fun and where everybody is treated like family.

Cycling continues to play a role in our lives, as does skiing and adventure in general. We’ve largely given up racing but still enjoy pushing ourselves to ride fast on dirt or tarmac – but sometimes a more casual in-between now allows some chit chat. Our children are now starting to ride themselves so the tradition continues. We still love to have a beer and huddle over a smoking BBQ after an epic time on the dirt or roads of Sonoma County.

We know we’re all lucky to call this slice of paradise home. Now we want to provide you the best place to catch your post-ride beer or dinner- or tequila if it was one of those “over the bar” days. Yep, while we are serious about our beer, we’re also serious about providing you the best experience possible, and we’ve heard from a large number of people that they wish that they could bring their friends for a margarita, an artisan martini or one of our specialty cocktails while they get to have some serious beer and food. Now that’s just what you can do. We look forward to meeting you.