Visalia brewer to open tap room
Moose Dog Brewery will begin selling beer in stores, restaurants in the next few weeks
By Reggie Ellis
VISALIA – The next time you go into a store to buy a bottle of craft beer, you might see the words “Brewed in Visalia” on the label.
Moose Dog Brewing owner Jeff Wimp said his American and English style ales will begin production next week and find their way to local shelves in the coming months. Wimp, who launched the craft brewery in 2013, said is looking to have his beer sold in bottles at SaveMart Supermarkets, Chapala restaurant in Visalia and The Mad Duck Craft Brewing Co. in Fresno.
“We originally wanted to start small and things just kind of opened up,” Wimp said.
Wimp said he is also in the site plan review process to expand his location in the Industrial Park to add more production space and potentially a tap room. He already occupies half of the building at 9626 W. Nicholas Ave. and already needs more space. He said the tap room would serve a good variety of beers including brown ales, porters, pale ales, IPAs, and stouts. Wimp said he expects the tap room to come before the Visalia Planning Commission sometime before the end of the year.
“We want to have a Central California flavor to our beers so we are working with navel oranges and citrus,” said Wimp. “A lot of people are excited about having some sort of the tap room on the northside of town.”
Wimp, who doubles as principal at El Capitan Middle School in Fresno, has been home brewing beer as long as he can remember but didn’t attempt to start a commercial brewing operation until 2013. He named the company after his dog Duke, a great dane who his wife once quipped was a moose of a dog. The logo features a large dog with antlers.
Wimp said his ultimate goal is to open a tap room in the micro brewery district in downtown Visalia once his beer has a following locally. The Visalia Planning Commission approved a “Micro-Brewery, Micro-Winery Overlay District” on July 11, 2016 which allows taprooms and tasting rooms in the district to operate without serving food. The special zoning district encompasses approximately 220 acres surrounding Main Street from Murray Avenue to the north, Ben Maddox Way to the east, Mineral King to the south, and Santa Fe Street to the west.