As you head south down the CA 101 past San Jose, you’ll reach a small town called Hollister, CA. Founded in 1872 by ranchers and farmers, Hollister has grown to a population of about 37,000.
Hollister is also known as the Birthplace of the American Biker. I remember watching a movie when I was young called The Wild One, starring Marlon Brando, Mary Murphy, and Lee Marvin. The film was inspired by a Fourth of July weekend motorcycle rally in 1947 in Hollister, California that resulted in a minor brawl among a few of the bikers. Sensationalized in the local news media, the brawl, dubbed the Hollister riot, was elaborately trumped up in the July 21, 1947 issue of Life Magazine with staged photographs of wild motorcycle outlaw revelers. The Hollister event is now celebrated annually.
My wife has relatives in Hollister so we stopped to visit. While in Hollister, my wife and I stopped at the Hollister Hills Taproom and Brewery. The “nanobrewery” and bar/restaurant opened in February 2012 and is located in a strip mall in Hollister. Joann Kim and Chuck Frowein, proprietors of Grillin & Chillin, partnered up with friends and homebrewers Sean and Fran Fitzharris to open this compact, clean and friendly establishment.
There was only one Hollister Hills beer available during our visit, but there are numerous guest beers also available. Beer taps line the wall. Food is available, but we had already eaten.
I tried the one Hollister Hills beer available, called Easy Like Sunday Morning Blonde. The beer was on tap. Here are my tasting notes.
Easy Like Sunday Morning Blond (4.5% ABV / 19 IBUs): This beer pours a clear gold color with white foam and active bubbling. Easy Like Sunday Morning has a malt, hay and mild citrus (lemon) aroma. The beer is light-bodied with mild carbonation. Easy Like Sunday Morning has a very malty flavor with a semi-dry and mild bitter finish. This is a nice session beer that I could easily drink on a hot summer day.
I’m looking forward to the growth of this brewery. I can’t really advise making a special trip to find them just yet, but if you happen to be in Hollister (maybe for a motorcycle rally) you should stop by and give the place a try.