Husband and wife team Chuck and MJ Silva have set off on a new adventure to the Central Coast of California for a fresh start, opening Silva Brewing. It seemed very natural to establish our brand with the Silva name since marrying in mid-2015. With Chuck’s contributions in the brewing industry for nearly 18 years, the Silva name has become popular for high quality, superior flavor, and innovation so we felt our brand would be very recognizable from the start. MJ’s support for this project has been pivotal in moving forward now rather than later.

Our ultimate dream is that we would have a small farm brewery located in wine country where we can grow ingredients to infuse into our farmhouse ales, grow fresh vegetables for the dinner table, and shorten our work commute down to a walk to the brewing barn. In performing our due diligence we discovered that the San Luis Obispo zoning ordinance doesn’t currently allow for breweries to be located and operate in the agricultural processing areas, this revelation meant that the farm brewery dream would become a longer term goal.

We will continue to interface with the SLO County Supervisors as this topic is addressed. Meanwhile another opportunity presented itself in downtown Paso Robles behind The Pour House. Business owner Shawn Copen invited us to look at the space directly behind his craft beer bar and landlord Russ White welcomed us with open arms. We signed a lease effective February 1st giving us a small space to start up Silva Brewing where we can launch our portfolio of delicious, small batch, craft brewed beer (there are currently over 20 beers on the list). Good news is that we’re able to source ingredients from local farms for the specialty beers and we can actually walk to work!

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Back in the early ‘90’s I would catch myself daydreaming of becoming a winemaker with the vision of making Rhone style wines and Champagne.  That interest led me toward a more accessible fermented beverage as I started my homebrewing hobby in 1994.  With 4 years of tasty homebrews under my belt the daydreams morphed into a career in making beer.  Then I took a leap of faith, quit my day job (Department of Defense Contractor), and signed up for brewing school (American Brewers Guild) which I attended in February, 1998 with some encouragement from my Mom.  It turned out to be probably the greatest investment in myself that I’ve ever made.  I started commercial craft brewing in San Diego in April, 1998 and there’s been no looking back!  While I’ve had a great run brewing in San Diego I’ve always had the dream of owning and operating my own business and brewing on my own terms.  Roll the clock forward to 2015, the year in which I marry MJ, resign from one of the nation’s top 50 breweries, and establish Silva Brewing with my new wife and now business partner.  With the shared dream of a change in pace from city life we targeted San Luis Obispo County (where I was born) to relocate and start our Farm Brewery.  The attraction of beautiful Central Coast California, the culture of a richly developed wine country, and being closer to my family made it an easy decision to return to SLO County where we found our new home in El Paso De Robles (The Passage of the Oaks).  I love the oak trees as well as the almond and walnut orchards! 

Although it’s necessary to put our Farm Brewery on the back burner for a bit we’re still moving forward, thanks to a not so subtle push from my supportive wife, opening Silva Brewing in Downtown Paso Robles.  I have a vision of brewing several clean and crisp fresh beers for daily quaffing, reaching back to some old award winning recipes as well as developing some bright new ones. The plan of brewing farmhouse style beers with wild yeast and bacterial fermentations will go forward even though we’re not starting out on a farm.  Please be patient for our barrel aged treats where extended aging rewards us with magnificent flavor development.  Of course I’ll also embrace locally grown ingredients that I can infuse into my specialty brews for uniquely flavorful and delightful beverages. Cheers!

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MJ is short for Mary Jo, I answer to both but prefer MJ.  My passion is in flavor – savory and delicious, I love cooking and eating good food and pairing the food with drinks.  In the last dozen years I developed a hobby for craft beer.  As a result, I’ve spent many hours in tasting rooms (even worked for a few breweries in San Diego County) and started acquiring enough of the breweries releases to consider my cache of craft beers a small collection.  Being involved in the beer industry has changed my life, I’ve met the best, kindest, and most interesting people in tasting rooms including Chuck.  Chuck has always talked about his dream, “someday I’d like to have my own brewery…” and this statement began to resonate with me.  With the passing of my parents I realize that life is too short!  It’s my viewpoint that if you have a vision then you just need to take the leap and go for it!  I said to Chuck that he should follow his dream and he listened, so here we go together, dumping our heart and soul into this project! 

Right now my day job is with a Natural Foods Company based in San Diego which I’ll be keeping while Chuck gets the brewery up and running.  I am a huge numbers nerd so I spend countless hours creating and analyzing Excel worksheets and I am sure my skills will be very helpful to our business in the future.

Now that our project is going forward the thing that has me all excited is learning to work on the brewery floor.  I want to start at the bottom and I want to learn the whole process.  I am not afraid of hard work so there’s a good chance you will find me cleaning kegs at our brewery on a Saturday morning.  I want to thank everyone for all of your love and support as we move forward with building our brewery.  I look forward to meeting all of you in our tasting room.  Cheers!