Giovanna Z. Rinaldo
It started as a garage project and grew into a 12,000 square foot building on 2896 Metropolitan Place. This is the story of Old Stump Brewing Co., a family-owned and family-run business in Pomona.
The brewery, which opened in September, is the community’s new go-to spot for original home-brewed beer with an European touch, and a friendly environment to socialize.
The big, open space is inviting and homey. Country and jazz music fills air in the background.
Metal and wood decorations fill the area just enough to give Old Stump the look of a modern-rustic brewery, and the exposed tall gallons make you feel part of the unique handcrafting process.
When it comes to beer choices, there are plenty, varying from light beers, to hoppy beers, and specialty ales.
Specialty Ales include the Chocolate Hazel Nut Porter and a Belgian Style Ale.
Two couples are the owners and founders of Old Stump. One couple, Harald and Barbara Gallob, are in charge of marketing, advertising and social media and take care of brewing the different types of beers.
The other, Liz and Mike Conway, take care of the accounting and human resources and handle operations.
“We’ve known each other for a while,” Liz Conway said. “Actually, Harald and I have been business partners for the last 10 years. And that is kind of how we connected and the four of us decided to go ahead and start this venture.”
After getting a home brewing kit for Father’s Day a decade ago, Harald experimented his hobby with family and friends. The dream eventually fermented into a career, although the journey was not easy.
To have this kind of business, certain city requirements must be met, Liz said. They include having a high enough ceiling, sprinklers, gas and sufficient parking space.
The group looked at over 70 potential places from Orange County to Rancho Cucamonga, until choosing Pomona as the ideal location.
Two years after the empty warehouse was chosen, Old Stump Brewing Co. was equipped and ready to serve its community.
“We were in a financial company for years and years, and (Harald) just said, ‘I would really just love to do this full time’, and I said, ‘Why not?’” Barbara Gallob said. “The inspiration came from a hobby, a dream.”
With everything being homemade, Barbara explained the process was complicated but resembled cooking in a way.
“There is no simple formula, and each beer is catered to (Harald’s) ingredients, the way he wants it to taste,” she said.
With his vast background in the beer industry, and his Austrian influence, Old Stump has the upper hand on innovation as compared to other breweries around, Barbara said.
The key to the business’ success, apart from originality, also lies in customer service and community outreach.
“We just did a big fundraiser for one of the kids in Upland who was diagnosed with cancer, so Saturday night we had a huge blowout with over 200 people here,” Barbara Gallob said.
Team work is one of the brewery’s strongest principles, and that is also extended to all of Barbara’s three kids, Nicole, Matt and Briana, who help operate Old Stump.
“I would say that our most popular beer is our Red Hammock,” said Nicole Quesada, Barbara’s 25-year-old daughter who works as a beer tender.
“But a close comparable one is our Milk Stout, and that’s our take on a smoother Guinness,” Quesada said.
Whatever the preference, Old Stump Brewing Co. has a tasting room and very friendly staff at the disposal of Pomona’s and neighboring communities.
Giovanna Z. Rinaldo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.