Some people have different ways of coming up with an idea. Some people might have to sit down in a quiet place to gather their thoughts, others may have to go for a run, but for Camino Brewing founders Nate and Allen, it took traveling to Europe and biking over 1900 miles to convince each other that starting a brewery was the right idea. For those who do not know, the Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage trail that was at first an old Roman trade route that ends in Spain in the City of Santiago de Compostela where legend has it that St. James’ remains are there. It was this 1900 mile trek that convinced Nate and Allen to start Camino Brewing.
What I really appreciate more about their backstory is that Camino is all about history, even the beer garden is located in a historical location. Nestled in downtown San Jose, about five minutes from San Jose State, Camino is actually neighbors to the famous and historical Faber’s Cyclery. The building itself was built in 1882 but Faber’s was a cyclery which many locals bought their bikes from for almost 100 years. Current owner, Alex LaRiviere has since allowed Camino to expand into their courtyard when the COVID-19 restrictions were in place. Many of the fixtures in the taproom itself were made from reclaimed wood from historical buildings as you’ll hear in the interview.
Though we didn’t get to hear from Allen in the interview, Nate goes on to say that both he and Allen currently keep their day jobs as lawyers, which is no shock to me. More and more brewery owners need to keep their day jobs in order to keep the doors open. Nate though isn’t doing too much of the brewing nowadays, that job has gone to head brewer Kim Pollock who comes by way of 21st Amendment. What’s great about Camino as well is their dedication to the collaborations for a good cause including Ales for ALS and the Pink Boots Society, which you’ll hear more about in the episode. In my opinion, when you’re able to combine multiple passions, you are on the way to pure happiness, and at Camino, they’re smiling from ear to ear.