Outside of the occasional dive bar and the ever-growing selection at the local Ralph’s, the north San Fernando Valley is fairly lean on locations to pick up a quality craft beer.
CSUN students are especially limited in their options, having only the campus Pub Sports Grill and a handful of local business in which to grab a pint and socialize
However, with the recent opening of San Fernando Brewing Company only a few miles from campus, CSUN alum and owner of the brewery Vic Chouchanian plans to provide the CSUN community with superior beer and a spot to socialize, study and relax.
“We are so valley-centric because we love this part of Los Angeles” said Chouchanian. “This area needs a brewery where locals actually want to go to. We are definitely ready to deliver.”
San Fernando Brewing Company opened in August, and is nestled between the north San Fernando neighboring industrial buildings and non-descript complexes.
The inside of the business resembles a hangar of sorts, with a spacious bar and seating area peering into the machinery and hardware of the brewery operations.
Replete with elongated family-style tables, comfortable-looking couches and intimate bistro table sets, the brewery caters to multiple types of outings ranging from a date spot to a family outing.
“First thing you’ll notice – we don’t have televisions up on the walls,” said Chouchanian. “We like the idea of San Fernando Brewing Company as the type of place where you’ll come in and grab a beer and actually talk to the people you’re with.”
With board games, a popcorn machine, darts on deck and classic rock thumping in through the air, San Fernando Brewing Company hopes to set the scene for a relaxing yet thoughtful dining experience.
“I love stopping in here all the time while I’m working my job in Los Angeles,” said Arizona resident Steve Bryan. “I’m talking to some really nice people and getting to know new San Fernando residents every time I come in. It’s such a friendly place.”
Chouchanian originally got the idea for opening a brewery when he began a brewing beer 15 years ago with a close friend of his and selling it to distributors.
According to Chouchanian, after years of working under the thumb of other people, he decided opening his own brewery would be the best course of action.
“I think there’s a craft beer revolution in the valley and we’re so happy to be a part of it,” Chouchanian said . “People will come in and say ‘Oh, you only serve beer here? Ok, what can I get that tastes like a Modelo?’ With this business we can expand people’s tastes and get them out of the mindset of settling on beer.”
Chouchanian and the staff at San Fernando Brewing Company are especially excited about engaging the local community with their brand of beer, naming certain brews after local valley sites such as Stoney Point Stout and O’ Melveney Red Ale.
“I’ve heard a lot about San Fernando Brewing Company and I really like that a brewery nearby exists,” said CSUN Biology grad student Rebecca Smedley, 27. “I like that their branding is local and it seems like the type of place I could go with friends to for the evening.”
Chouchanian added that integrating the valley into his business was one of the major points of opening the brewery.
“I want to get locals in here, especially CSUN students,” said Chouchanian. “I’m always so excited to know that fellow Matadors want to come in and are patronizing this business. I want students at CSUN to feel like they can study here or just hang out.”
Overall, Chouchanian said that he wants residents of the area to feel like they have a local place that they’re proud to go to.
“It’s not like going to downtown and it’s not like going somewhere in Hollywood,”
said Chouchanian. “People aren’t trying to pick one another up, instead they’re
conversing with one another. I want everyone to feel welcome here.”