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Rich City Biz – April 24, 2017

Featured Member - YES Nature to Neighborhoods: Support Richmond’s youth on May 4th!

YES Nature to Neighborhoods is a Richmond nonprofit that provides low-income youth and families of color with transformational experiences in the outdoors, health and wellness trainings, and year-round leadership training and support so that Richmond residents can thrive as successful adults and leaders in our community. Since 1999 we have sent over 5,300 youth to residential summer camp and provided 1,000 families with weekend Family Camp community building retreats.

On May 4th, you can help YES Nature to Neighborhoods raise essential funds to send hundreds of Richmond youth to nature-based, life-changing, residential camps this summer. YES will be participating in East Bay Gives, an exciting 24-hour online giving blitz throughout the entire Bay Area. Last year YES raised $4,000 in 24 hours to send more youth to camp, and we hope to do it again!

You can turn a $20 donation into $4,000 through the many matches and cash prizes offered, and YES has a plan to make it happen! We’re especially seeking donations at exactly 8am, 7pm, and 9pm: Donations made at exactly these times through our special East Bay Gives page: may be doubled, or could earn us instant cash prizes of $1,500 - $3,000 additional dollars!! It takes about 5 minutes to set up your donation, so if you’re really excited about winning these added donations for YES, cue up your donation a few minutes in advance and click submit a few seconds before the hour! Of course, donations at any and all times during the day are also welcome. Your support will help bring more low-income Richmond youth in contact with the outdoors, and with their own greatest potential. Learn more about YES Nature to Neighborhoods at

Yes to Nature Neighborhoods

Armistice Brewery - Coming Soon to Marina Bay

Siblings Alex and Gregory Zobel started brewing together after their mom's got some bad health news. That Christmas, Gregory bought Alex a small, one-gallon homebrewing kit, and the only stipulation was that they had to brew it together. They were both living in LA at the time -- Gregory was pursuing a career in film and television production and Alex was working on her doctorate at UCLA. After brewing a batch of terrible beer, they jumped headlong into the hobby. Saturday mornings would find Alex riding eastward on the then-new Expo line with five liter Erlenmeyer flask full of yeast. They brewed in Gregory's cramped studio apartment in Downtown LA and read everything they could on the subject. The hobby delighted their mom, who was happy to see that this brother and sister pair who had feuded fiercely as children not only tolerated each other but looked forward to spending hours together on their weekends.

When their mom's health took a turn for the worse, they both moved back up to the Bay Area to help take care of her. They continued brewing in the barn. At this point, they had honed their craft and were winning some of the most prestigious homebrewing festivals. The hobby was quickly turning into something more serious -- it was a coping mechanism that allowed them to clear their heads while doing the emotionally heavy work of care-taking, but soon they started thinking of it as a potential career option. Gregory took a full time job managing a brewery in Sonoma County; during the summer Alex worked the taproom and became a certified beer judge. Sadly, their mother, who was a badass businesswoman, passed in 2015, but not before they had the chance to read her the business plan and solicit her advice. Not long after she passed, the barn where they brewed was torn down, but with the help of their step dad, they were able to salvage much of the wood to incorporate into the brewery.

Alex buckled down and finished the dissertation while Gregory scoured the listings for brewing equipment; then the two set out to find the perfect spot for their brewery. Alex was just down the road in El Sobrante and after exploring the area they realized quickly that Richmond was the spot -- it is beautiful, diverse, historic, centrally located, and full of civic pride. Unbelievably, at the time there was only one other brewery! Since then they've been welcomed by the local brewing community -- East Brother and Benoit-Casper -- and the broader community as well. Alex lives in nearby El Sobrante in a charming tiny house on what will soon be a thriving eco village (with goats!) and Gregory lives in Richmond near the water in Brickyard Cove. When they're not at the brewery, Gregory works at Press, a fine dining restaurant in St. Helena, and Alex is a volunteer faculty member at the Prison University Project at San Quentin State Prison. The brewery is slated to open in late June.

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