After upping their offerings during Covid, the Mountain View bottle store is making a comeback (and bittersweet).
by Heather Zimmerman
Mountain View’s downtown bottle store, Jane’s Beer Store, has helped keep residents stocked with foam during the duration of the pandemic stop and beyond. The store, located at 720 Villa St., opened in 2012 and offers a range of craft beers, from local offerings to beers in the United States and abroad.
Jane’s Beer Store, located in downtown Mountain View, offers craft beers, ciders and mead. (Courtesy of Jane’s Beer Store)
“It’s a bit of a mix of everything, so we have a pretty big selection of Belgian beers. German beers. We also have other beers from all over the world, but a lot of the beers are also local, so a lot of the Bay Area , much of California – Sacramento, San Diego, “said Stuart Keith, manager of Jane’s Beer Store. The store also carries other craft alcoholic beverages, such as ciders, mead and seltzer waters. .
During the first months of the pandemic, the store, like so many businesses, was limited to offering curbside pickup. As the state has reopened and public health rules have relaxed, customers are returning to shop in person, but some are still calling to collect orders, Keith said.
Jane’s has relied on its strong Instagram and Facebook presence to keep followers up to date with the latest arrivals, which is especially helpful during shutdown when customers can’t visit the store.
Social media post highlighting new stocks – Jane’s Beer Store relies on Instagram and Facebook to publicize its latest offerings, which has been especially helpful in keeping customers in the know during the shutdown. (Courtesy of Jane’s Beer Store)
“We’ve tried our best to keep social media up to date. We usually take a photo and write a little description of each beer or cider and then put it on social media and it usually attracts a good number of people who are excited about the new products to come, ”said Keith.
The continuing trend among breweries towards unique and colorful artistic labels has helped ensure a range of photos featuring bright, eye-catching cans and bottles that will appear on social media feeds. Some of these beautifully packaged beers would actually have been much harder to find before the pandemic, as a number of breweries that typically sold to restaurants and bars began to pack more of their beers for retail.
During the pandemic, breweries shifted their focus from kegs to other packaging like cans and bottles. (Courtesy of Jane’s Beer Store)
“As many bars and restaurants had to close (during closure), many breweries were keging their beers less, meaning they focused more on packaging. There were even breweries than we did. We couldn’t get before the pandemic that since they increased their packaging we were able to start receiving their cans and bottles more frequently, ”Keith said.
The last year or so didn’t seem to alter customer tastes for the styles of beer they craved. The most popular styles of beer before the pandemic continued to see steady demand, Keith said, with the reigning champions still being IPAs and sour, as well as stouts and cask-aged beers.
“IPAs are definitely number one, and within IPAs there are almost two styles: West Coast IPAs, which are a bit more bitter and lemony, where the hazy New England style is more tropical and rather sweet and fruity. We sell tons of it every week, ”Keith said. He said many customers are drawn to sour beers in hot weather and to stouts and similar strong drinks during the winter months.
Going forward, Jane’s plans to add a fourth refrigerator to create an additional cold store, which Keith says is becoming increasingly important as new breweries require their beers to be kept cold to promote durability. shelf life and stability.
With Jane’s location one block from the Mountain View Caltrain station, Keith said that before the pandemic, it was quite common for customers to come after work for a beer on the way to the train, to check it out. enjoy on the ride home or en route to a Giants game in San Francisco, as it’s legal to drink on the train. This group of customers has not really returned yet, as Caltrain’s ridership is slowly picking up speed. But since reopening last month, customers have returned regularly, especially on weekends, and with the store’s location in the city center, there is constant traffic, whether they are long-time customers. date or casual visitors who are downtown to meet friends or go shopping.
“There are always new people coming and going. I feel like almost every week I have a new client that comes in saying, ‘Oh, we’ve just moved into the neighborhood and we’re going to start. coming here, ”Keith said.
Jane’s Beer Store is open Monday through Wednesday. 1 pm-7pm, Thu-Sat 12 pm-9pm and Sun 12 pm-6pm For more information, visit janesbeerstore.com.
Immerse yourself in culinary news. Subscribe to the Peninsula Foodist newsletter. Bi-weekly, get an overview of the latest openings and closings, find out what the Foodist is excited about eating, read exclusive interviews, and stay on top of trends affecting local restaurants.