Banning’s Brew Rebellion is receiving a new focus as the company’s owners move brewing operations to Banning.
Brew Rebellion’s humble beginnings in Yucaipa have grown the nano-brew’s image into a local underground icon supported by many beer lovers from the desert to the coast and even in small patches across the country.
Started by a couple of beer nerds brewing in their garage, Brad O’Donnell, Andy Sutifin and retired owner Ed Parker have created a unique nano-brewery that targets the exploratory taste buds of beer lovers, according to their loyal patronage.
With a unique crowd funding approach alongside the selling of their beer in swap meets, the trio managed to establish their nano-brew originally in Yucaipa but expanded to a San Bernardino location and a Banning location opening in 2017.
Favorites such as the White Chocolate Raspberry stout, variously mixed Honey Wheat beers and exclusive sour brews have allowed the company to stand alone in their approach to brewing in the area.
Microbreweries are permitted to produce up to 15,000 barrels in a year; Brew Rebellion, which does not disclose production numbers, is a nanobrewery that registers even smaller annual production numbers.
Originally Brew Rebellion opened on the outskirts of a quiet residential area in Yucaipa in 2012 before moving its brewing operations to San Bernardino more than three years ago.
O’Donnell describes Brew Rebellion as “the Grateful Dead of beer” and has gained a positive reputation within the beer community for brewing unconventional takes on classic beer styles, and pushing the boundaries of what is traditionally accepted by self-labeled “beer snobs.”
The company’s transition comes after the retirement of one of the three original owners, Ed Parker.
Part of that transition process is targeting areas of operation that benefit the company the most.
O’Donnell said after the retirement of Parker that it was time to reevaluate some of their priorities, and that moving all operations to Banning — including its microbrewing — would be the company’s best path moving forward.
O’Donnell said that their goal was to focus on a more local market due to the size of their brewery, which would struggle to compete directly with some of the larger breweries that are in the region.
By focusing brewing operations in Banning and emphasizing a location that lacks competition, O’Donnell hopes to better stabilize their long-term goals and keep the company moving forward.
“I’m always happy to hear about the progress coming from the Rebellion,” says Dante Spano, founder number 81.
(He was one of the first 100 investors in the company). “Being involved from the start means I have a real appreciation for the things that they do and I’ve always loved their beer. I do wish they had stayed in Yucaipa so that I can visit more, but it’s nice to see a such a close-knit, hard-working establishment target a new area for the future. I wish them the best.”
Spano explains that his involvement was sparked from a close relationship with O’Donnell’s son Blake O’Donnell, and through an exclusive investment opportunity, he was allowed to purchase a founders number to help be a part of the crowd funding process that helped to get the brewery off the ground.
He said that early on he gained appreciation for the approach of the brewery because they “refused to abide but the so-called rules” and offered different versions of the beers he already loved.
“It’s in the name,” Spano says. “They’ve always been rebels, and their beer reflects that.”
With the closure of Brew Rebellion’s flagship location at the former Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino last month, the company shifts its sole focus to Banning, where Brew Rebellion will be the only nano-brewery — or brewery of any type, for that matter — in the area, and hopes to further its success and the success of other potential Pass area breweries by being the foothold in a region lacking in a growing market.
Brew Rebellion is open daily, starting at 4 p.m. during the week and opens at noon on weekends.
With open-mic nights, live music and other events held in Banning — now its only location — Brew Rebellion’s new focus will be a unique opportunity for the Pass area to experience crafts brews locally.
Staff Writer Trevor Caddel is a founding investor with Brew Rebellion. He may be reached at email@example.com or by calling (951) 849-4586 x117.