Ask Brian Hunt the most fundamental of questions—Why beer?—and his answer is surprisingly succinct: “Beer is real,” he says. “It’s an everyday beverage. It’s always relevant.” Hunt has been brewing commercially since before there was a craft brewing industry, and since 1992, his little Santa Rosa brewery Moonlight Brewing Company has been churning out small batches of ales and lagers that are uniquely rooted in Northern California. “I strive to honor the sacred trust a beer drinker gives a brewer,” Hunt says. “I don’t just send a beer out there, into the marketplace. I sell a pint of—hopefully—delight to individual thirsty people.”