top of page

Our Story

man holding surfboard on beach


"Life is good out here" is our daily mantra.  What's not to love about the California Coast?  Every inch is awe-inspiring.  Whether you're hiking among the redwood trees in the north or surfing the waves in the south, the diverse California Coast has something for everyone.  We're blessed to live in the middle of it all.

People.  Pints.  Possibilities.

Inspired by California’s Central Coast, the brewery was created by a group of dreamers who believed that, through hard work and dedication, anything is possible.


Rich:  Rich wanted to open a brewery with his childhood best friend, Craig.  The only problem was that he had yet to meet anyone crazy enough to join him. With a passion for working with kids and helping people, Rich began a career in education.  During this time, Craig made beer all across America, settling in Montana, and Rich visited him each year to make a few batches and test out new recipes.


Frank:  Frank, a military veteran, also found his way into education and, like Rich, quickly moved from teacher to administrator. Frank had always wanted to go into business for himself.  Through a chance conversation with Rich, Frank said he wanted to open a coffee shop. Rich pitched the brewery idea he had for the last 15 years. Frank was not only interested, but took a trip to Montana to meet Craig. 



Craig and Frank immediately hit it off.  Frank got the opportunity to learn about the business, see the brewing process, and drink some of the best beer he had ever tasted. Frank was inspired; really inspired. ​



Upon his return from Montana (and the blessing from his wife and three young daughters), Frank quit his job.  He set out to find a location.  He met with Mike Tozzi, owner of Tozzi's Auto Body, and fell in love with the building.  With Craig's expertise, and close friends and family as investors, we got to work. Rich, inspired by Frank's determination and the possibility of building a company together, left his job in education to work full-time on the brewery.

Two men, Rich and Craig
Two men outside Sunrift Beer Co
Back image of three men sitting at outside bar
Three men, Rich, Craig, Frank

We Learned from the Best.


Craig Koontz, best friends with Rich since middle school, taught us everything we know about making beer.  His experience in the craft beer industry started in college at Four Peaks Brewing Company in Arizona.  He consulted and brewed in Washington, Alaska, and California before opening SunRift Beer Company in Kalispell, Montana, in 2018.  We spent time in Montana studying and learning everything we could about the beer-making process. 

The Building

It was a true labor of love to turn the former Tozzi's Auto into California Coast Beer Co. It took nearly two years to bring our vision to life.  We made some awesome discoveries along the way and are proud to have reused many of the materials. 

Check out pictures from the construction process under "The Brewery" to learn more about our journey.

street view of original building, large metal roll-up door, auto body shop
man on tractor digging up dirt

Our Friends

We could not have finished this project if not for a little help from our friends. 


One of our partners, Jeff Gallagher, was instrumental in getting demo work done.  He is a master with that skid-steer. 

Many "safety meetings" were held during the project and we cannot thank our friends and family enough for all their help and believing in us.

Bigger than Beer

Beer is perhaps the most social of beverages and is made special by the people we share it with.  While the beer brings us together, it’s the people that keep us coming back.  


We want our customers to feel like they were personally invited into our home. 

For us, every day at Cal Coast is a gift.  You choose to spend your money and time with us, and for that, we are grateful.

We spent a lot of time building California Coast Beer Co. and perfecting our beers - we think it's equally as important to invest time in getting to know our customers.  You will find Frank or Rich on site at all times, ready to pour you a pint and have a conversation.


It's bigger than beer:  It’s about loving people, sharing our passion with our family and friends, and realizing that anything is possible.  

street view of building with large bear on wooden door
bottom of page