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Relax with Friends at Brix and Hops

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Brix and Hops is the love child of Jeff Daniel and Carrie Gooding. Five years ago, while drinking martinis on their honeymoon cruise, the newlyweds came up with the idea of creating a cool place where one can go to enjoy quality wine and beer. The result of their post-nuptial fancy is the sophisticated marriage of select local wines and craft beers in a spot where one can relax, unwind and meet, as well as make, new friends.

With four years of careful and tenacious planning, the couple was able to realize their dream at one of the most sought-after locations along School Street. The establishment’s proximity to some of Lodi’s best restaurants, trendy and eclectic shops, the Lodi Stadium 12 Cinema and Farmer’s Market is definitely the result of dedicated design.

Jeff and Carrie hope to fill the gap in Lodi’s beer scene, providing a low-key place to chat and mingle after a movie, a nice dinner or just coasting along the quaint and quiet streets of Downtown Lodi. “Our dream was to create a place where people could come together without the loud and raucous atmosphere of a bar. We really had to work with the planning commission to present it as not just another bar,” Jeff explained. Brix and Hops has met that goal and appears to be the happening place where wine connoisseurs and beer lovers can come together and sample or share a glass of some of the best the area has to offer.

The beer and wine bar carries a fully stocked assortment of 24 craft beers on tap as well as wine selections from several select local wineries. Many of the beer choices, which are rotated periodically, come from Northern California microbreweries, such as 12 Rounds and Track 7 from Sacramento and Dust Bowl based out of Turlock. The prospective brews are chosen by an independent council of Professional Tasting Associates who meet periodically for the sole purpose of tasting and critiquing. Although the beer menu is changeable, the wine list is exclusive to just a few of the most consistently exceptional wineries in the immediate locale.

But the proof is in the pilsner, and when Jeff handed me a Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout, I thought I had died and gone to Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cup Heaven. Naturally, I wanted to sit and sip this delightful, chocolate-and-peanut-butter-flavored brew, but there was much more to come. The flight of four set in front of me represented some of the tastiest and most drinkable suds I’ve ever swilled. The flavors were reminiscent of citrus, raspberry, vanilla and coffee bean. And to tempt me beyond reason, Carrie confided that they would soon have Almond Joy Brown by Black Market Brewing Company on tap. It was truly a fine beer tasting experience, to say the least.

If you plan to go, take advantage of the area eateries, as Jeff and Carrie want you to know that you are welcome to bring in snacks; they will even help coordinate a cheese plate from Cheese Central just across and down the street. “Order a pizza, bring your lunch; you are a guest in our home,” Jeff encourages. Be sure to check their website to stay abreast of all the fun events such as Tap Takeovers and live music. You can preorder tickets for special events such as the upcoming Nornight, which will be catered and feature porters, stouts, IPAs and even ice cream.

There is always sure to be a good time had by all with plenty of brew, wine and swag, as well as good company and gracious hosts at Brix and Hops, Downtown Lodi’s newest and most happening beer and wine bar. ■

Visit Brix and Hops at 14A S. School Street in Lodi; the website is brixandhops.com and shares what’s happening and what’s on tap currently. Call 209-452-0070 for special requests.