Rising Star Brewer Jay Goodwin of The Rare Barrel - Biography

Berkeley , CA

May 2016

Though born in Berkeley and raised on the Peninsula, Jay Goodwin’s plan to open a brewery was hatched at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was studying psychology, as well as home brewing in his apartment with roommate Alex Wallash, when the pair resolved to have a brewery of their own. Wallash would handle the brewing, and Goodwin the sales side. In 2008, Goodwin set about calling all the breweries within 100 miles in search of a job.

He got one, at Orange County’s The Bruery, where Goodwin quickly learned to love sour beer. Wallash ended up putting his biology degree toward bio-tech sales instead of the science of beer production—the two had inadvertently switched their intended roles. After Goodwins’s fourth year at The Bruery, he and Wallash (partnering with Brad Goodwin, Jay’s father) fulfilled their undergraduate dream and established The Rare Barrel in Berkeley. The all-sour beer company (possibly the only one in America, or maybe one of two) started with 700 barrels in 2014. They took home gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup for their American sour ales that same year, picking up even more medals in 2015. With their thoughtful, slow, controlled production projected to reach 2,000 barrels in 2016, The Rare Barrel is poised to become the center for sour beer study, experimentation, and production in the United States.