by Chris O’Neal

Institution Ale Co.
438 Calle San Pablo, Camarillo
MadeWest Brewing Co.
1744 Donlon St, Ventura

If you’ve ever crammed yourself into the tasting room at Institution Ale Co. in Camarillo, you’ll be happy to know that its new location is almost ready to be inhabited, with the new sign hung last week.

The current brewery sits behind Camarillo’s Old Town in an industrial park and can squeeze in 20 college kids and a family of four on paper, but in reality people seem to think it fits the whole of Ventura County and out-of-town visitors on most weekends.

Opened in 2013, the brewery quickly reached its max brewing capacity for the growing demand surrounding its brews, such as the Scary Dairy (recently re-released in early March) and the White Walls IPA (released on March 15). In the current location, Institution brews between 25,000 and 30,000 gallons a year on a 93-gallon system; when the new location is completely up and running, the max capacity, after expansions, will be between 310,000 and 465,000 gallons per year.

The new location will give the family brewing team room to stretch their legs in 12,800 square feet and an 800-square-foot patio to boot.

Meanwhile, Ventura’s latest brewery, MadeWest Brewing Co., has signed a distribution deal with Stone Brewing Company, meaning you’ll be seeing Ventura beer beyond the county line in the near future.

The deal will see MadeWest beers at around 25 locations in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, from restaurants to brewpubs. Stone’s distribution arm manages 35 craft breweries, including Ladyface Alehouse in Agoura Hills.

The brewery’s pale ale, IPA and the MW Standard will be gracing taps in both counties.

MadeWest opened in January in a 13,820-square-foot building off Donlon Street in Ventura, making it on par in brewing size as neighboring Surf Brewery. With its current setup, MadeWest can brew 155,000 gallons a year — 930 gallons twice a day for 83 days of the year. When the need arises for more, the warehouse itself has enough room for expansions to allow brewing up to 620,000 gallons a year.

Go forth, Ventura County breweries, and prosper.

Chris O’Neal is installing a taproom in his house. Take note, Stone. Follow him on Instagram @atchrisoneal.