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The Ashby Brewery was founded in 1777 by Charles Foster Ashby, a Belgian philosopher and entrepreneur. From the age of 5, Ashby had lived among the monks at the Chevetogne Abbey near the city of Liege. During his stay among the devout, Ashby studied and perfected the Trappist brewing techniques for which the monks of Chevetogne became so well known.

Following the destruction of the abbey during the Blue Revolution of 1738, Ashby booked passage to the New World and made his way to what is now known as downtown Berkeley, California. Bringing with him ancient yeast strains and the knowledge of the Chevetogne monks, Ashby started up a rudimentary brewery on the future site of the Ashby Brewery in South Berkeley. His efforts attracted local businessmen and game designers, who spun tales of a grand salon where new diversions would be crafted, along with delicious ales and lagers, for consumption among the colonies of New California and Jefferson State.

As Ashby’s reputation for creating high quality beer spread, so did the legends that surrounded the man himself. Ashby was notoriously long-lived, having reached the laudable age of 122 before retiring from public life in spite of his youthful appearance. When asked by a young Mark Twain what had been the secret to his success, Ashby famously declared, “I bring you a message of great importance!” The author didn’t know what to make of this, and the legend of the Ashby Brewery grew.

At the Ashby Brewery and Indie Game Studio, we continue to spread Charles Ashby’s vision of radical new games and brews. We start with pure filtered water from the high hills of outer Berkeley; we add organic malted barley from Oakland community garden spaces; our hops come from a hidden slope of Albany Hill known only to Ashby himself; and the yeast, still the original strain from Chevetogne, dates back to time immemorial.

We hope you will join us for a pint next time you come to the Bay Area. In addition to our classic Cherry Wheat and Shamrock Stout, we hope you will enjoy our Summer Blueberry Pilsner, Press ‘A’ to Continue Ale, and C. Ashby’s 2x Multiplier Dubbel, centuries in the making.

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