Discovering the Past and Burying 2020: Mare Island Brewing Co.’s Historic Time Capsule Ready for Contributions
BENICIA, CA, January 20, 2021 – Funny things happen when renovating a new location: You find building secrets previous owners didn’t expect you to find. This was definitely the case when Mare Island Brewing Co.’s founders Kent Fortner and Ryan Gibbons began remodeling their new Benicia location (Mare Island Brewing Co.’s First Street Taphouse in Historic Downtown Benicia). They discovered a large cistern (a historic water-holding tank) under the building.
To celebrate the opening of Mare Island Brewing Co.’s newest location, they’re going to turn the cistern into a time capsule to commemorate the, ahem, uniqueness of 2020, and leave something behind for better years ahead, with the intent to reopen the time capsule in 2031 (at the earliest).
Mare Island Brewing Co. Founder Kent Fortner said, “We racked our brains with what to do with such a find. Ultimately, we thought it was a great way to bring the community of Benicia together to honor the challenging year that’s just passed, celebrate new beginnings and share our 2021 perspective with the future community.”
The cistern is large–10 feet in diameter and 12 feet deep, like a giant cylinder on its end under the floor–and it had to be in place before the building/house was built over it in 1890. It was dug by hand out of the sandstone that underlies the building and was reinforced with a ring of concrete, then a ring of brick, then a ring of interior plaster. It was completely empty when it was rediscovered during the renovation, save for a remnant of the old “fill pipe”, likely bringing rainwater down from the roof, and an old rusted-out bucket. At some point long ago, the cistern was abandoned, covered over, and simply forgotten.
Fortner added that he’s hoping the community will contribute by submitting items for the time capsule. Potential items could include:
A creative work (painting, poem, letter to future generations, etc).
An article, magazine, or document that sums up 2020/21.
A trinket/memento to commemorate someone lost or growing up in 2020/21.
An item that represents your experiences in 2020/21, or something you couldn’t have lived without.
Submissions should be smaller than a six-pack, and as a reminder, since they will someday be shared with the public, people are urged not to include anything they wouldn’t want public in 10+ years. Mare Island Brewing Co. will pack these submissions into waterproof army-surplus ammo boxes for sealing in the cistern.
Once the time capsule is full, the cistern will be marked with a hatch and commemorative place placed in the restroom and reopened in no sooner than ten year’s time.
The First Street Taphouse will be Mare Island Brewing Co.’s third physical location, which includes their Ferry Taphouse at the Vallejo Ferry Building and their Coal Shed Brewery on Mare Island.
For more information about when and where to bring your time capsule submission, visit https://www.mareislandbrewingco.com/cistern.
The time capsule sealing ceremony is scheduled for later this year once COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.
About Mare Island Brewing Co.
Mare Island Brewing Co. crafts beers and experiences inspired by the rich and storied history of Mare Island, California, home to the first U.S. Naval Base on the West Coast from 1854 to 1997. Mare Island has its share of heroes, characters, and lore that Mare Island Brewing Co. preserves with every beer they craft. With three North Bay locations, visitors can enjoy great beer, food, and live music from our Coal Shed Brewery on Mare Island, across the Mare Island Strait at our Ferry Taproom, or at our newest location in historic downtown Benicia – the First Street Taphouse. Visit https://www.mareislandbrewingco.com to learn more.
CONTACT: Kent Fortner, Founder at Mare Island Brewing Co. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 707-738-2376