It was 1987 when we broke ground on our Mountain View location. Tied House was the brainchild of Lou Jemison and Andreas Heller. Lou had taken a trip to Andreas’ hometown of Baden Baden, Germany and stayed with Andreas’ family. Soon after arriving, while Louis was getting over jet lag, Frau Heller took Louis on a tour of a new microbrewery in a neighboring town. Call it lack of sleep, or genius, but Lou decided he wanted to open his own microbrewery back in the states, based on what he saw in Germany. In the mid-80s, brewpubs were not common in California, and Tied House became one of the first of its kind in Northern California by the time the first pint was poured in January 1988.
Since 1988, Tied House has seen many guests come and go. The restaurant is in the hub of Silicon Valley, and on any given day you’ll rub elbows with Google execs, Stanford professors, and NASA scientists. In fact, while working at NASA Ames, Captain Scott Altman and his crew became regular visitors to our humble brewpub. They enjoyed their watering hole so much that Captain Altman and the crew took a Tied House coaster into space on one of their missions. They all returned safely, and to document the trip, we have the coaster framed on a wall inside the restaurant. Look for it next time you visit us.
The walls of the Tied House hold other treasures, including multiple awards and our Clubhouse mugs. Our awards include the first “Golden Bear”, the trophy that signifies Best in Show at the annual California State Beer Competition. You might also notice plaques, ribbons and medals. Some of our awards include: Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals from the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), plaques from the World Beer Cup, First Place Gold from the California State Fair, and ribbons from all of the aforementioned. There are so many awards from over the past two decades that there is not enough room on our walls for all those we have collected. In recent years, Ironwood Dark has taken First Place at the California State Fair 3 out of 5 years (as of 2014).
Our Clubhouse wall came about in the early 1990s. While who really came up with the idea is a point of dispute, Steve, our Clubhouse mug member #1, is generally credited with being a part of this idea. Steve still comes in a few times a week, and is now joined by 154 other regular patrons, who all have a numbered mug hanging on our wall. This is probably our most popular wall; our staff receives numerous questions daily about what in the world is going on with the mugs. Like Steve, our Clubhouse members pay a small annual fee to use one of our mugs. For their fee, they receive a bit more beer for their money more than our “civilian” patrons. They also are rewarded with Tied House logo gear, special events like our annual San Jose Giants tailgate and game, and even more beer.
What’s even better about the Clubhouse wall? The other side of it is our brewery! As you look around, you will also see our kitchen. Our kitchen crew and their offerings are always a draw for guests. On any given day you might smell our smoker cranking out our baby back ribs or Idaho trout, watch as flames spark up on the grill from our house ground top sirloin burgers, or become mesmerized by a waft of garlic from our garlic pesto fries. Our crew creates delicious, house made specialties for roughly 300-500 guests on any given day.
Tied House has seen its share of awards, patrons, and been around for 24 World Series, and five U.S. Presidents. We plan to be around, as an important part of our local community, for another two decades, and hope you become a part of our family, and the next chapter in our history.