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Redwood City brewery Ghostwood Beer Company opens downtown taproom

Uploaded: Jun 29, 2023

Ghostwood Beer Company's Extra Crispy beer is a light, crispy and effervescent brew. Courtesy Ghostwood Beer Company.

By Stephanie Gerson

In late 2018, locally owned Ghostwood Beer Company opened its first taproom on Brewster Avenue in an effort to bring a community-focused brewery to Redwood City. Founder and head brewer Tommy Domingo committed to inventing creative beer recipes to keep customers interested, including Clearly Dangerous, a triple IPA that was honored at Hayward’s renowned IPA Fest.

But in 2020, Ghostwood had no choice but to close its taproom due to pandemic-related losses and a lack of patrons. In the interim, Ghostwood popped up at local outdoor events and facilitated to-go crowler orders from their brewery.

Three years later, Ghostwood’s taproom has returned in a new location, with new ownership, new brews and a menu of bites. Its soft opening is being held today (June 29) from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Ghostwood’s previous owners approached Redwood City natives Amanda and Dan Williams about acquiring Ghostwood, and the couple took over ownership of the brewery in October 2021. They had preexisting plans to open a restaurant in the former Aly’s on Main space that fell through with the onset of the pandemic. With the acquisition of Ghostwood and lifting of pandemic restrictions, the opening of the taproom and kitchen fell into place.

The vision for the taproom is a family-friendly spot with a strong drink selection and simple food pairings to complement Ghostwood’s beers.

The owners aim to keep menu items affordable and accessible to the Redwood City community.

“We hope to not price anyone out,” Dan Williams said.

Chef Jarade Blackmon developed a core menu for the taproom which includes salads, sandwiches and appetizers, as well as kid-friendly items such as sliders and chicken tenders.

Ghostwood's core menu features traditional beer garden bites such as chicken wings and sandwiches along with more creative items like the Pizzanadas appetizer. Courtesy Ghostwood Beer Company.

The creativity in the brewery’s beer flavors carries into the menu items, resulting in dishes such as the Pizzanadas appetizer, Ghostwood’s hybridization of a calzone and empanada, and Summer Blues BBQ Chicken Wings tossed in housemade blueberry barbecue sauce. Ghostwood hopes to expand its menu in the near future to include more vegetarian and vegan options.

Despite the change in ownership, Amanda and Dan still collaborate with Ghostwood’s head brewer Domingo, yet their approach to rolling out new beers has changed since Ghostwood’s early days. Rather than producing new recipes constantly, Domingo developed five core beers that customers can expect on tap, with plans to occasionally introduce new beers seasonally.

With some names inspired by Peninsula landmarks, the five core beers on tap include Alpine Road, a hazy IPA with tropical notes; Fantasma Madera, an elevated and crispy Mexican lager; Under the Sea, a fruity West Coast IPA; Hotel Sequoia, a porter with hints of chocolate and coffee; and Extra Crispy, a light American lager.

Ghostwood Beer Co. continues to offer crowlers for pickup at their brewery on Bayshore Road Wednesday-Friday.

Developing a core food and beverage menu is just the beginning for Ghostwood. The brewery hopes to offer brunch at the taproom as well as outdoor seating, live music and other special events and activities. Visit the taproom on July 4 for a special Fourth of July menu, and stay tuned for the announcement of their grand opening at the end of July.

“Our goal is to give back to Redwood City and the community who have been waiting for us to open for quite some time,” Dan Williams said.

Brewery: Ghostwood Beer Company, 1757 E Bayshore Road Suite 1, Redwood City; taproom: 911 Main St., Redwood City; Instagram: @ghostwoodbeer. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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