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September 29, 2023

Wine & Beer Stroll draws large crowd to downtown Hollister

Local winemakers, brewmasters showcase their artisanal skills

Armando Medina made his way up and down San Benito Street as he searched for the perfect beer at the 8th Annual Wine & Beer Stroll in downtown Hollister on Saturday. 

He never came up with a final decision in the end, but the one thing he was certain of was that the event was a success.

“It’s awesome because the community gets to come together and it’s something to do downtown,” he said. “And everybody is getting along, that’s what I like to see.”

The Hollister native said he also enjoys the event because it gives local businesses a chance to receive some extra financial support in a time of need. 

“As a community, it helps everybody bond and [we] get strong together,” Medina said. 

Several businesses in town paired up with a local winery or brewery on Aug. 21 as they poured samples of everything they had to offer.

Joshua Inn Bed & Breakfast, La Catrina Mexican Grill, Johnny’s Bar & Grill, Bene Gifts Hollister, Pour Decisions Taproom, Mad Pursuit Brewing Company and the Running Rooster were just some of the 20 businesses that hosted a pour spot, serving either a one ounce glass of wine or a two ounce glass of beer. 

The guests enjoyed wine from local wineries such as Calera Wine Company and DeRose Winery, both located on Cienega Road in Hollister. 

Mike Kohne and Maura Cooper, co-owners of Crave Wine Bar & Shop, are currently going through the renovation phase. But, they still managed to open the shop’s doors for this year’s stroll. 

Kohne said the Aug. 21 event was a great way to introduce themselves to the community and let people know what’s in store for the near future. The wine bar will replace Serendipity Gifts, 616 San Benito St., and they aim to open sometime later this year.  

A trio of breweries out of Hollister, including Grillin & Chillin Alehouse, Brewery Twenty Five and Pinnacle Brewing, offered some of their more popular craft beers.

The brew crew at Pinnacle Brewing had set up at the Running Rooster restaurant parking lot, handing out small samples of two different types of hazy IPA and a blonde ale. 

Pinnacle Brewing co-owner Adam Damm took a stroll down San Benito Street to see how other places fared. The one thing he consistently noticed was that the guests looked like they were enjoying themselves.

“Just look around, obviously the town likes it and it’s pretty cool,” he said. 

Co-owner Ian Hudson said the IPA has local hops that Hollister Hop Yard grows for them and they also grow hops onsite at the brewery as well.

“It’s nice to have this localism happening and the fact that we have so many breweries opening up here, the more the merrier as far as we’re concerned,” he said.  

Hudson said it’s been excellent having more breweries pop up because he called it “creativeness feeding creativeness.” He mentioned that other brewers have had to step up their quality and ingenuity to keep the craft beer scene going.

Hudson talked about how the small community of brewers and winemakers gets excited to see what comes out next instead of trying to outdo each other. He said they create a network—that way they’re able to come up with new ideas and concepts when it comes to beer making. 

“We’re all after the same thing to provide people good times, good food, good booze, good wine and everything,” Hudson said. 


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