Prospecting for a brewery in Mariposa is now easy because Prospectors Brewing Co. opened in August of 2012 smack dab in the middle of downtown.
After another brewery in the area went under, Prospectors decided to buy a new brew system, hire a brewmaster and give it a whirl. With the experience brewmaster Justin Burnsed has attained from studying at UC Davis Master Brewing Program, his beers are full of a range of flavors.
“Justin is amazing! He has a true gift, a real pallet for brewing. He is all about flavor and believes the beer experience is much like wine,” said Terry Evans, Prospectors’ Managing Member.
Prospectors serves beer in oversized glasses, appropriate for the style of beer being served. And they make sure it has a foamy head, which encourages people to take in the aroma of the beer, sip through the foam and enjoy the true character of the brew.
They have four beers that are always on tap: American Wheat, German American Blonde, IPA and Stout. And they rotate specials so that there are always six beers on tap. Specials are specific to the time of the year.
In their first year of operations Prospectors introduced 21 beers. And they anticipate in 2014 to produce 21 to 24 beers, most repeats with a few new ones.
“We love to mix it up and keep it interesting, and our customers appreciate it as well. They are always asking what is coming next, often naming the beer from the prior year’s offering,” Evans said.
Hillary Tholen has been serving customers beer at Prospectors for the last year. She has come to love the saltiness of the German Wheat Beer. Although after dipping a cookie into the Stout, it is a tossup now between the two.
Evans says even though he likes all of his beers, the IPA ranks on top because it’s different, smooth but not bitter and the ABV is seven percent. “The most popular is a close race between our IPA and German American Blonde.”
Right now they are serving winter ales as well as a flavorful Vanilla Porter, which will be followed by a higher ABV version of their German American Blonde, which is more “hoppy.” Prospectors next seasonal offerings will be spring and summer ales.
“If someone likes craft beers, coming in to see us is a must. It is interesting how often we hear, ‘I am really an IPA lover, not much into stouts or wheat’s but I love all of your beers,’” Evans said.
The location is small, intimate and engaging. It is a hang out among locals and a good spot to learn about Mariposa if visiting.
“As with many small towns and especially towns that benefit from tourism, Prospectors has made a contribution to the community by offering great local beers and a great environment for locals and visitors alike to relax and hang out,” he said.
According to Evans, “If you build it, he will come.” If someone provides a good product people will seek it out.
With this concept in mind, Prospectors is opening another taproom north of Mariposa, in the town of Murphys, towards the end of April or early May. They plan to open on Main Street in the heart of town, serving beer, local wines and food to patrons. Future plans might also include bottling their beer.
Prospectors Brewing Co. is located at 4996-A 7th Street in Mariposa. To find out more visit www.prospectorsbrewing.com.