Boccebrew, Bocce Court Construction Boccebrew, bocce court Construction.
Phone: 415 828-2055 • Email:

BOCCEBREW - Holding Court

WINES & VINES       September, 1999


by Larry Walker

A few years ago, Sandy and David Brewer of Boccebrew were at a party in Tiburon.  It was a good day with people enjoying the food and wine, when the host invited the guests to join him at the bocceball court in the back yard.

"We loved it," Sandy Brewer recalled.  "We had a glass of wine in one hand and could still play the game.  It seemed like a perfect game for wineries."

David Brewer had had a landscape construction business since 1978, so he felt that bocce ball could fit into the framework of his operation. Sandy Brewer had a job in  import / export, but for some time had been wanting to start her own business.  "So I thought, let's build bocce ball courts.  I checked the Internet, and nobody was doing it," she said.

Well, what is bocce ball anyway?  It's a game played on a hard-packed surface -- usually a mixture of clay and oyster shell.  There are international regulations for the courts.  The standard is a court 91 feet long by 13 feet wide, but a court 60 feet by 10 feet is big enough for all levels of play.  The court itself is basically a wooden box, with side and back walls of pressure-treated wood, supported by posts or bolted to concrete walls.

"Bocce ball is a real social sport, that's what made us think of going to wineries with the idea," Sandy Brewer said.  "It's a sport for everybody, young and old and you can have fun playing it while enjoying good food and wine."

Besides wineries, bocce ball courts have been built by restaurants, retirement facilities and individuals.  Boccebrew recently built a court for Landmark Vineyards in Sonoma County.  "We feel that bocce ball goes with the whole atmosphere and feeling of a winery," she said. She added that courts can be developed to meet individual winery specifications. "It just depends on what people want.  We can also fit the courts into decks, arbors and other garden projects."


David Brewer said one important thing in constructing the court is to protect against gopher and mole damage.  "We lay down a steel mesh hardware cloth, and that seems to work," he said. "The important thing is to make sure the court will last through all weather.  You have to have good drainage. You don't want the court to turn into a mud puddle," he said.

He added that when dealing with a client, he likes to find out what sort of court they want in terms of size and use. " A lot of people don't really know what the game is about, so you have to start from square one."

David Brewer said what people wanted was to attract picnickers and people who enjoyed being together as a family.  "The bocce ball side of our business has really taken off," he said.  "It's now about one-third of our overall business, and I still don't believe we have really reached our potential market. I'm putting together a website and I have the germ of an idea for a video teaching people how to build their own courts."

He said that he could also refinish old rundown courts and bring them back up to speed for quality bocce ball. 

Brewer said the costs for construction, depending on the condition of the site, was about $12 a square foot for the court.  It takes about ten days to build a court and he said maintenance was simple.  "Anybody who has taken care of a clay tennis court can do it. Basically, it's like dragging the infield for a baseball game."

David Brewer can also do just about anything needed in the way of landscape or outdoor carpentry.  He also does stonewalls and masonry.

"It's just been fun watching the wineries and other businesses become interested in bocce ball. It's a fun game that can be played while you are enjoying good food and drink." he said.