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FEB/MAR 2005 | REGIONAL | WEST COAST

Beer In Lodi Again
By Mike Long

When anyone mentions the town of Lodi, most people think of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song. But now people will have something else to think of, with the opening of Northern California's newest addition to the craft-brewing scene. Upon walking into a very open and inviting pub atmosphere, there is no mistaking the prominent aspect of Lodi Beer Company: the 15-barrel Bohemian Brewing System brewhouse that dominates the floor.

Once past the gleaming brewing system, you cannot help but notice the fine detail that has gone into the renovation of the building. The blend of 1920s attention to detail and modern simplicity is very pleasing to the eye. Owners Roger Rehmke & Rich Dickson, who also happen to be the brewers, started homebrewing together over 10 years ago. They started work on the brewery/restaurant in July of 2003 and opened in October of 2004. The majority of the construction was performed in-house by Roger, Rich and the staff.

The brewers plan to have at least 10 house brews on tap at any time, with a definite slant toward German lagers. I tried the pilsner and a dark lager Roger had just put on tap. I found both beers to be good representations of style. Ale lovers, don't despair! You will be delighted to know that an IPA is coming on tap, and there are plans for many big ales in the near future. However, Roger and Rich will concentrate on their passion: brewing German-style lagers.

The restaurant is ably run by Sam Rehmke who also has many years judging beer on a national level, while Alex Rosas is the head chef, preparing food from standard pub grub to much more unusual and elegant restaurant fare. I enjoyed the Putanesca. Like the beers, all the sauces and dressings are made in-house fresh each day.

With the seating capacity of 183, you are sure to find a seat and make new friends in the ever-friendly, down-home atmosphere of downtown Lodi. "Stuck in Lodi again" does not sound bad at all after a visit to Lodi Beer Company.

Lodi Beer Co.
105 S. School St.
Lodi, CA 95240
(209) 368-9931

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