Over many years of entering and judging beer competitions, we noticed a simple, but largely unrecognized insight: some of the best, most innovative beers in America are being brewed by homebrewers. In almost every competition we judged, the award-winning homebrewed beers were more inventive and daring than the majority of commercially available beers on the market. That insight, along with an enduring passion for the craft of beer making, led us to create Barebottle, a San Francisco crowd-inspired craft brewery.
Barebottle Brewing Company was co-founded by Lester Koga, Michael Seitz, and Ben Sterling, three friends and former classmates at Cornell Business School in Ithaca, NY. After moving from Ithaca to the Bay Area in 2007, the three began homebrewing, became certified beer judges, and began winning medals at homebrewing competitions. Barebottle brews innovative beers inspired by the San Francisco Bay Area using local ingredients wherever possible, and partners with local homebrewing groups to develop new beers using a competitive method. Since founding in 2016, Barebottle has been fortunate to win multiple awards and accolades, including the prized GABF Gold in 2019.