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Beer Mile St. Clair Brown

St. Clair Brown co-owner and winemaker/brewmaster Elaine St. Clair, at right, pours in her Vallejo Street tasting room. The winery/brewery worked to organize the inaugural Napa Beer Mile and will serve as the event's check-in point.  

In a first for Napa’s beer scene, downtown breweries are calling out curious drinkers for the city’s first beer-themed walkabout.

Suds seekers can take to the streets for the Napa Beer Mile on Saturday, Feb. 9, and stop on the trek at Napa’s six participating breweries from noon until the last brewery closes.

Organizer St. Clair Brown on Vallejo Street will serve as the check-in point, where a $35 check-in fee gets beer walkers a stamp card of all the breweries to hit. From there, walkers will take ad hoc paths of their choosing, collecting stamps and discounts as they go.

For those who reach all six, a full stamp card will earn a Napa Beer Mile hat that can be collected at any one of the brewery stops. The mile begins when St. Clair Brown opens for check-in and will take walkers between Tannery Bend Beerworks, Napa Palisades Saloon, Downtown Joe’s, Trade Brewing and Stone Brewing – Napa.

St. Clair Brown president and co-owner Laina Brown credits staffer Christina Summers with the concept, which has been several months in the making. “She came to me and said ‘Why doesn’t Napa have its own beer trail? There are a bunch basically within a mile!’ We ran the idea by the other brewers and everyone was super excited,” Brown said.

Organizers hope the Beer Mile, the first hops happening of its kind in the city’s downtown, will bring new notice to the area’s growing standing as a craft beer locale. Half of the breweries on walkers’ paths opened in the last two years. The latest, Stone Brewing – Napa, appeared to validate the idea of Napa as a beer town worthy of attention from breweries of its size and stature with its opening in 2017 at the historic Borreo Building downtown.

Pushing that image a step further, the bid behind the Beer Mile, Brown says, is now “to unify the six craft breweries in peoples’ minds and hopefully get them thinking about Napa as a real craft beer community in its own right.”

Beer milers may note the absence of one significant downtown beer name from the list of stops, however, with Fieldwork Brewing at the Oxbow Market having turned down a place in the event, organizers said.

But at the six breweries taking part, milers can expect a range of discounted drafts for the day, like the $4 beers at St. Clair Brown that on other days go for $7.50.

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Wine Reporter / Copy Editor

Henry Lutz covers the local wine industry. He has been a reporter and copy editor for the Register since 2016.