Sunday, August 31, 2008

Trade Winds Tripel

I just realized I haven't been plugging the Trade Winds Tripel as much as I should be, given that it's my new favorite beer and we released it about two weeks ago!

A very late summer seasonal, perhaps even an Indian summer seasonal (crap, why didn't I put that on the label!), Trade Winds Tripel is a Belgian-style Golden Ale brewed with the Asian-inspired ingredients Thai basil and rice.  For those of you who swore off drinking beer with rice, it's about time to consider your choices again.  Don't blame it on the rice, it's the boring beer the rice is in!

The Thai basil comes through in the aroma as a flowery, almost hop-derived, and the rice imparts a coconut-like quality.  In the flavor, the malt contributes a hint of sweetness, with the Thai basil delivering unmistakeable herbal and floral qualities, and the rice giving a hint of coconut-like creaminess in the finish.  The relatively high carbonation and the dryness of this beer keep it immensely drinkable.

I've heard several people call it a dangerous beer on various occasions for its high drinkability while maintaining a respectable 8.1% ABV.  Dangerously delicious, perhaps.  Dangerous after guzzling two bottles and deciding to drive around on Labor Day weekend?  Definitely.

If you get the chance, I'd recommend enjoying one over this Labor Day weekend.  Be safe so you can go back to work on Tuesday!

LA County Fair Beer Competition

Last weekend Tyler and I judged some fantastic beers at the LA County Fair Commercial Beer Competition.  I entered several of our beers with the hope that we might be able to gain some recognition for The Bruery, and I'm very happy to report we did earn a few medals!

- Experimental Beers: Gold, Humulus Bruin
- American-Style or German-Style Sour Ales: Gold, Hottenroth Berliner Weisse
- French-Belgian Style Saison: Gold, Saison Rue
- Belgian and French-Style Ale: Gold, Black Orchard
- Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beers: Bronze, Levud's on Oak (more commonly known as Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch No. 1 - Levud's)

Full results are available at

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stone 12th Anniversary

A recap on a festival that happened a few weeks ago, but is certainly not old news--

The Stone Anniversary Festival was pretty fantastic for us.  We brought every beer we've released so far (Orchard White, Black Orchard, Saison Rue, Trade Winds Tripel, Batch No. 1 - Levud's, Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch No. 1 - Levud's, Hottenroth Berliner Weisse, and Humulus Bruin).  We went through 84 gallons of beer; not a minor feat.

The reason this festival was so great was that many of the people coming up to our booth did not know about The Bruery.  We were able to meet them personally, explain who we are and what we do, and have them try our beers.  I think we might have a few new customers now.

It was also great to talk to people who have been supportive of us since we started-- old homebrewing friends, fellow BeerAdvocates / RateBeerians, and Southern California brewers.

The folks at Stone did an amazing job organizing the festival.  I was overwhelmed by the coordination and helpfulness of everyone working.  When we arrived, everything for the festival was unloaded from my truck onto a golf cart, and was driven off to my booth.  Not having to drag around a few jockey boxes, Co2 containers, and our fairly heavy new portable bar made the day all that much better.

We're looking forward to the 13th Anniversary!

The line for Barrel Aged Batch No. 1-- sorry to those who patiently waited and didn't get any!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tastings / Tours / On-Site Sales Approved!

This past Tuesday I had a hearing before the Placentia Planning Commission to decide whether The Bruery should be permitted to have a tastings / tours / sales at the brewery.  The Commissioners seemed very interested in the brewery, and it was approved!  It didn't hurt that the previous item on the agenda was a bit gloomy-- the revocation of a permit for a massage parlor (happy ending, anyone?).

We'll likely start tasting room hours on Friday, September 5th.  We'll do our best to be open every Friday (2 pm to 8 pm) and Saturday (12 pm to 6 pm).  As we get closer, we'll let you know for sure. 

I'm looking forward to having visitors and being able to share our beer and passion.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Vote Yam '08

Even though it is smack dab in the heat of summer, and our summer seasonal Tradewinds Tripel is about to hit stores, just like the grasshopper and office supply and clothing store commercials are telling us, it's time to start preparing for fall. Instead of stocking up on protractors, notebooks and erasers, we at The Bruery have decided to hoard a different sort of supply, namely yams. I am sure you are thinking that I must have misspelled yeast, or that I meant to say hops, with the hop shortage and all. But we like to think a little different here, and we have a yearn'in for the yams. 440 lbs of yams to be exact.

Tomorrow we will be brewing our fall seasonal- Autumn Maple. And for this beer, we have decided to abandon pumpkin for the OTHER fall favorite- yams. It's the year of the yam. Pumpkins are so over. They have no flavor of their own, carving them with those cheesy pumpkin carving knives is hopeless, and they always end up just getting that fuzzy mold on the bottom of them, well before Halloween. Now yams are the true friend- freshly available year round, , better nutrition than a regular potato, and just the right amount of phallic shape to warrant a snicker or two at the grocery store. Oh and those sweet potato fries that everyone loves so much? Really yams.

Pumpkins have had their day, so now it is time to give yams a chance. We will be hand roasting 440 lbs of yams on the barbeque, to be added to this special beer. Oh So Yammy! Maple syrup, molasses, and traditional pumpkin pie sort of spices will be added as well. We will report back with how it goes!