The one exception is Batch No. 1 - Levud's. This is a very fine beer, don't get me wrong. This was the first batch, and I didn't know what our mash efficiency would be. I was shooting for a 19.0-19.5 P beer, which when it finishes around 2 P, would end up being around a 9.5% beer. Loren and Mark brewed it to this strength, and I wanted to be as close as possible. We brewed this over two days (15 bbl each day) to fill the 30 bbl fermenter. The first 15 bbl batch came out to be 22.1 P, about a 13% overshot. I scaled back the second batch of it by a few hundred pounds of base malt in order to hit around 17 P, but instead the gravity was 19.9. The combined gravity of the two batches ended up being 21 P, and I wasn't about to water it down. It attenuated to around 1.2 P (94.4% apparent attenuation!!!). Instead of the 9.5% Golden Strong Ale, we have an 11% Golden Strong Ale. I'm not complaining; it still tastes damn good! Those bottles are slow to carbonate right now, so there's a chance we'll be delaying their release by a few weeks. From what I've tasted so far, it has a very similar flavor profile to the outstanding beer that Loren and Mark brew, but with a bit more of an alcoholic punch.
Speaking of releasing beers, we plan on having all of our labels approved and hopefully printed within two weeks time, so keep an eye out for them (I'll post where we're selling though, so don't look around too hard). The label for Saison Rue has been approved, and we anticipate Batch No. 1 - Levud's will be approved in the next few days as well. Orchard White and Black Orchard are currently delayed because the TTB required a formula due to the spices we add to the beers. None of the ingredients are controversial, so I'm hoping their approval moves along quickly.
We'll be kicking off our first releases at Hollingshead Deli, currently scheduled for either Monday, April 28th or Tuesday, April 29th. In early May, we'll be going to beer bars, beer friendly restaurants, and good beer stores in Orange County, Los Angeles County, and San Diego County letting people know we're around and open!
If you'll be at the Craft Brewers Conference next week, our beer will be served there at some point. We also entered the World Beer Cup, so please cross your fingers for us.
It is a huge relief and very exciting to finally be at the point where The Bruery is a commercial brewery. If you would have told me two years ago that I'd be running my own brewery in two years, I wouldn't have believed it. I probably would have said "No, I'll be running my own brewery in a year!" Delays and reality aside, I'm excited and optimistic about the adventure I'm embarking on.