STOCKTON – Students may come and go.
But over the years, they still find their way to some of the local hops.
Take students from the University of the Pacific. At first, they’ll stick around the comforts of campus – in particular, the Don and Karen DeRosa University Center, which is the hub of student life with dining, retail, and entertainment – before branching out.
“The Valley Brew is always a popular spot (in Stockton),” said Sonia Leong, who is an instructor at the conservatory of music.
Kellie Jacobs has owned the Valley Brew Family Restaurant since 1997. From August to May, she knows when UOP students are back in school based on the boost to her business located at 157 W. Adams St.
“We also get a lot of administrators here,” Jacobs said on Thursday.
The Valley Brew has undergone several incarnations over the years, going from just a pub to one of the top entertainment spots in town.
The roots go as far back as 1853. The then El Dorado Brewing Company provided beer to local residents of San Joaquin County. When the Prohibition Act was passed, the company ceased operations only to be re-established years later.
Jacobs did just that in the mid 1990s despite just having a medical background.
The quality of the product certainly helped as the Valley Brewing Company produced several award-winning beers over the past decade. The London Tavern, for starters, won a silver medal in the 2010 World Brew Cup while the Uberhoppy claimed another prestigious award in 2011.
The Valley Brew is also known for its West Coast IPA and London Tavern. “We’re looking to have 20 beers including four of our own on tap within the next 30 days,” Jacobs said.
Students and music lovers alike frequent the Valley Brew – in association with the UOP Brubeck Institute – on most Tuesdays and Thursdays. That’s when the Take 5 Jazz Club takes on the look of an “old groove” Jazz club beginning at 7 p.m.
The Valley Brew also plays host to a variety of entertainment, including a comedy / hypnosis act and a jam session featuring local musicians held every other Sunday.
“We also get (UOP) kids coming here on the weekends. They come for the $5-per-pitcher (11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays) or to watch sports,” Jacobs said.
The Valley Brew is adorned with sports memorabilia – try autographed photos, jerseys and balls – and collectible and flat screen TVs are tuned to a sporting event.
Students also take advantage of the food specials at the Valley Brew made possible by the new chef Eric Davis.
Jacobs’ favorite feature of the Valley Brew facility is the spacious outdoor dining area.
“It’s just a great place to sit back and enjoy the day or for large groups to gather during a nice, cool evening,” she said.
Included are students celebrating a milestone such as graduation, in turn, bidding adieu to their college life in Stockton.
The Miracle Mile is popular with UOP students. On most nights, they’ll gather at the nearby S-Mart Foods for a quick grub and the alcoholic beverages of their choice.
Other places of interest for students here include the AVE on the Mile (2333 Pacific Ave.), The Abbey Trappist Pub (2353 Pacific Ave.), Starbucks Coffee Company (2535 Pacific Ave.), the Stockton Empire Theatre (1825 Pacific Ave.) and Tiger Yogurt (4343 W. Pacific Ave.).
— VINCE REMBULAT
209 staff reporter