Biz Beat

Craft brewer Sandude makes land in Modesto

Sandude, a Turlock-based craft beer venture that started four years ago, will open a tasting room around Feb. 1 on 11th Street in downtown Modesto, seen here on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015.
Sandude, a Turlock-based craft beer venture that started four years ago, will open a tasting room around Feb. 1 on 11th Street in downtown Modesto, seen here on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015. jwestberg@modbee.com

Whenever JanetteFreitas serves up Sandude beer at a festival, someone asks her where the brew pub is located. In a few weeks, she will have an answer for those folks.

Sandude, a Turlock-based craft beer venture that started four years ago, will open a tasting room in Modesto around Feb. 1.

“We will have 12 of our own beers on tap, along with wine, soft drinks and waters,” said Freitas, who co-owns Sandude with her husband, brewmaster John.

The tasting room is the latest step for Sandude, which has been growing steadily since starting with brew festivals. Now, Janette Freitas said, the beer can be found at Save Mart, Raley’s, Costco and dozens of restaurants.

The Freitases originally hoped to open a tasting room in Turlock, but haven’t found a suitable spot. That’s still a hope for the future, Freitas said.

For now, they will be in Modesto, next to Commonwealth, a pub on 11th Street.

“Modesto has been so welcoming for us to come there,” Freitas said, noting that they went from plan to permit stage within a couple of weeks.

Rather than competing, Freitas said the two businesses will complement each other.

“We can feed off each other and hopefully we can keep people (in the area),” she said.

Sandude won’t serve food but will invite people to bring in their own or order from nearby restaurants. “We’re planning live entertainment, a comedy night and a trivia night,” Freitas said.

The atmosphere is definitely laid back, not like a nightclub, she said. Staff will fill growlers for thirsty customers who want to take some Sandude home. Plans call for a beach vibe to match the Sandude theme. Merchandise, including hats, shirts and the like, will be available.

But, of course, beer is the main attraction. And the tasting room also will serve as a testing area.

“We’re excited to feature our other beers we haven’t been able to market,” Freitas said. “This will really put us on the map.”

Find Sandude’s tasting room at 1028 11th St., Modesto.


Elsewhere around the Business Beat:

I can’t believe 2015 is coming to a close already. It’s been a pretty interesting year on the local business scene. We’ve had lots of places open up, and more than a few close their doors. Like many longtime Modestans, I was saddened to read my colleague Pat Clark’s story about Keller’s closing after 60 years.

At the same time, it’s been exciting to see new businesses in new or existing spaces. What generated the most interest, just gauging by my emails and phone calls, were Panera and Habit Burger, both of which opened in Modesto this year.

It will be fun to see what 2016 has in store. I’ve talked about some of it already – Crossroads in Riverbank continues to expand and will bring in offerings that include the highly anticipated Five Guys burgers early in the year. Agriculture continues to reign supreme, and 2016 will see dairy giant Hilmar Cheese open a new milk processing plant in Turlock. Also in Turlock, Dust Bowl will complete its massive new home off Highway 99 sometime in the first quarter. I suspect Amazon in Patterson will continue to expand, and perhaps will be joined by more distribution centers.

As 2015 comes to a close, I would like to thank all of my former colleagues, friends and readers for the enthusiastic response to this column, the questions and the tips. And by all means, keep them coming!

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