December 17, 2013
CRAFT Beer & Wine (formerly Du Vin Fine Wines) opens in Alameda,
Former proprietor to stay on as shop expands into craft beer.
CRAFT Beer & Wine, LLC, today announced the purchase of Du Vin Fine Wines on Santa Clara Ave in Alameda, CA. For over 12 years, Du Vin Fine Wines has been Alameda’s favorite wine shop, most recently winning Alameda Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for “Best Wine Shop” for two consecutive years. Under the stewardship of its owner, Dan Marshall, Du Vin Fine Wines has created a legion of loyal customers due to outstanding customer service and its selection of wines from around the world.
In announcing the sale of his shop, Marshall said “During the past several years, I’ve gained a growing passion for hand-crafted, or ‘craft,’ beers. It started about three years ago when I installed a small beer cooler in my shop and received an immediate, positive response from my customers. I’ve been looking for a way to expand both my wine and beer offerings, and the sale of the business to a new partner turned out to be the perfect solution.”
The new owner, Russell Rasmussen, a long-time craft beer enthusiast, is eager to turn his passion into a vocation. A former insurance executive, Rasmussen grew up in Alameda and graduated from Alameda High School. With his wife Suzanne he returned to Alameda from Dublin, Ireland, to raise their son, a student at Edison Elementary School.
According to Rasmussen, “This is the perfect confluence of events. I wanted to enter the beer business and Dan wanted to expand the shop’s beer and wine offerings. Together we’ll make a great team. Dan will be the general manager of our new store. He will be the ‘wine guy’ and I will be the ‘beer guy.’ Between the two of us,” he continued, “our customers can be assured they will get great advice on what to drink tonight.”
According to Marshall, “CRAFT will to continue to offer an outstanding variety of European wines while expanding its selection of quality local wines.” Rasmussen says that the shop’s beer selection will be weighted towards local craft beer and quality European ales and lagers. “I’m having fun introducing people to smoked lagers from Germany and sour ales from Belgium,” he says.
Rasmussen also plans to concentrate on the growing market for beers matured in wooden barrels. “Aging beer in wood adds unique characteristics that create an incredibly complex beer,” he states. “In fact, we’re talking to a local brewery about barrel-aging one of their beers in wine casks from a local winery. Talk about the marriage of beer and wine!”
Rasmussen believes the timing of this transition could not be better. “We are going through this transition during the middle of the holiday season, which means we’re incredibly busy. But we are now fully stocked with over 200 great wines and 90 top-flight beers for the holidays. And our selection of sparkling wine and champagne has never been better.”
While December sales are keeping them hopping, both Marshall and Rasmussen are looking forward to January. According to the new owner, “We plan to replace our two-door beer fridge with a huge multi-door unit. Our beer selection is going to explode!” Marshall is equally excited stating “We will be adding additional wine racks, which will enable us to expand our wine selection by more than 50%!”
Finally, according to Marshall, “We plan to redecorate in January and then hold an official Grand Opening party. I hope all my customers can come by to check out the new store. I’d like to thank them for the tremendous support they’ve given me over the past twelve years. Hopefully, they’ll be as excited about our new shop as I am!”