MateVeza, makers of cervezas brewed with yerba mate (get it?) so they're naturally caffeinated, announced yesterday they'll be opening up their own Dolores Park-adjacent restaurant and brewery at Church and 18th Streets. Owner/brewer Jim Woods hopes to open the doors and start slinging Argentinian food and caffeinated beers at "Cervecería de MateVeza" as early as spring 2012, provided the California ABC and the Planning Department give their approval.
Although, the maté beer was once touted as a polite, tea-sipping replacement for the (now-banned) Four Loko "blackout-in-a-can", MateVeza isn't subject to the Four Loko ban passed by Jerry Brown last year. So, the biggest hurdle to overcome before opening even a small-scale brewery will be getting approval for that liquor license. No easy task in the protest-happy neighborhoods around Dolores Park. (It doesn't help, Inside Scoop points out, that the brewery will be caddy-corner to a high school.)
As for the product: their beers are quite nice, actually. We had the opportunity to sample a few of them at one of MateVeza's Beerunch Beer + Brunch events at Public House a few months back. (The company is big on the contractions, apparently.) The Yerba Mate IPA is well on the hoppy side, like a caffeinated version of Racer 5 IPA, if you will. The Morpho Ale is a bit flowery given that it's brewed with hibiscus and bay leaves, but if you can't stomach champagne at breakfast, it could easily make for a nice mimosa alternative. You know, something that might actually pair nicely with a warm afternoon in Dolores Park.