Triple Rock Brewery. Photo: Frank Farm/Flickr
Triple Rock Brewery. Photo: Frank Farm/Flickr

It’s been four years in the making, but Berkeley’s Triple Rock has finally set an opening timeline for its expanded dining, kitchen and beer production space on the 1900 block of Shattuck Avenue.

In 2012, we announced that the brewery had made plans to build a two-story building next door to the brewpub, which is currently located at 1920 Shattuck, and to expand the brewpubs operations across both buildings. Triple Rock is sharing the new building with a neighboring engineering firm.

We now hear from Triple Rock that the build out is nearly complete, and that the brewery expects to open the new addition mid-August in conjunction with the brewery’s 30th anniversary.

The addition will add 3,080 square feet to Triple Rock’s footprint — doubling it in size. Most notably, the addition will include a new kitchen, which will allow Triple Rock to expand its bar area and to add additional beer production space. In other words, the brewery will be able to increase its beer offerings — never a bad thing. The original restaurant space will also be getting new finishes and paint.

The bar in the original Triple Rock. Photo: John Myers/Flickr
Triple Rock’s bar will grow and get a fresh coat of paint after the renovation. Photo: John Myers/Flickr

Opened in 1986, Triple Rock is one of the country’s first brewpubs, and it is, according to the brewery, the only original brewpub to still be run by its original owners. Brothers John and Reid Martin originally opened the pub as Roaring Rock Brewery and Alehouse, but after a trademark dispute with Rolling Rock, changed the name to Triple Rock in honor of the brewery’s three beers regularly served at the name: Pinnacle Pale Ale, Red Rock Ale, and Black Rock Porter.

Eventually John Martin went on to help found and operate four additional breweries, including Jupiter in Berkeley. (Reid Martin moved to Seattle to found Big Time Brewing.) John Martin also purchased Drake’s Brewing Company in San Leandro in 2008, which opened Drake’s Dealership last August in Uptown Oakland and will likely be the closest analogue to the revamped Triple Rock.

Martin has tapped Taylor Smith, current executive chef of Drake’s Dealership, to oversee the new kitchen. Smith will stay on at Drake’s as well, and will be splitting his time between the two brewpubs. The new menu will be slimmer — Smith plans to keep favorite items the burgers in place, but will likely refine them a bit. He also plans to update the new menu seasonally. We expect to see glimpses of Smith’s eclectic, fusion-y bar food on the menu at the new Triple Rock.

We’ll keep you posted on the brewpub’s progress as it gets closer to opening day.

Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse is at 1920 Shattuck Ave. (at Hearst Street), Berkeley. Connect with the brewery on Twitter.

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Kate Williams has been writing about food since 2009. After spending two years developing recipes for cookbooks at America’s Test Kitchen, she moved to Berkeley and began work as a freelance writer and...