A conversation with Rebecca Boyles - Beer Revolution and Annex Burger
March 31, 2015
Rebecca opened Beer Revolution with her partner in 2010. Beer Revolution is a popular Jack London destination with the largest selection of local and craft beers in the district.
What is your favorite local ingredient and where do you get it?
“My favorite local ingredient is bacon. We get our bacon next door at The Annex from Millers Ranch, so we actually cure it in house. Millers is located in San Leandro.”
Which restaurateur in Jack London/Oakland do you most respect?
“Chris Pastena - Definitely someone to admire. He’s got a lot of great stuff going on. Each one of his restaurants, each one of them, is amazing all the way to the simple things like salads - that’s not easy to do, and it’s not easy to execute. And to do it on the level he does, that’s some serious credit. And he’s still not too big to fill doing dishes in any one of his places, I really respect that.”
Favorite Jack London/Oakland restaurant other than your own?
“Lungomare. A close second would be Bocanova”
What's one thing about you or your restaurant that people would be surprised to know?
“Everything is local and organic and everything is locally sourced from local companies - everything is well-made even though it’s simple food - It’s the same for my bar too - there are so many amazing small breweries here that I really try to put a spotlight on.”
What’s your favorite beer on tap right now?
“Fieldwork - they have this new beer called chisel. It’s like a session IPA… It’s full of flavor, you know.”
What is your favorite thing to do in Jack London when you take a break?
“I like to go to Merchants saloon and play a game of pool, or walk on the waterfront”
What has surprised you most about your business?
“Honestly, what surprised me the most was the diversity of the clientele that come in. I mean, we get literally every kind of person you can imagine. From attorneys and city officials to hip hop kids and punk rockers to whomever. What’s really cool about that is you can watch people out on the patio when they are having beers, people that don’t even know each other are all of a sudden talking to each other.”
What is the best advice you’ve been given about your businesses?
“Just pay your bills, that’s the best advice”
“I do have one personal thing I do with all businesses, I do everything COD (cash on delivery). Even though I have credit terms with all of my vendors I just insist on COD, that way it’s just done.”
What's next for you?
“You know, Beer Rev, I don’t have any plans on ever expanding it or growing it. I know it’s a recognized brand but I feel like it’s kind of a one and only. It’s very unique even though there are places that have similar models and all -- and I feel like growing that isn’t really a possibility. It would just be fake and generic -- so why do that. Annex, however, is definitely gaining some gravity, and because it’s so simple and so salt-of-the-earth-- I think that it would fit almost anywhere, so that is something I would consider branching out.”
“I wouldn’t mind branching out and opening some more businesses here in the district. I feel like it has such potential and it’s becoming more of a neighborhood. There are so many residents now.”