Sunday, January 25, 2009

Batch No. 50 -- Grand Funk Aleroad

I just heard from the Best of Show winner, Al Buck, who brewed the marvelous Grand Funk Aleroad, a Gueuze. I eMailed him last night to let him know and his wife Nina read it this morning. He was brewing up a batch at the time and was reportedly jumping around his kitchen when we received word. Congrats Al, you deserve it!

This beer reminds me a lot of Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze. It's sour for sure, but there's so much finesse in the layered flavors of leather, barnyard funk, citrus / lemon, and indescribable qualities that make this so wonderful. Al told me this is a blend of a 1 year old lambic and a 2 year old lambic. We'll brew this in mid-February of this year, and the 2nd batch in February of 2010. At the proper aging rate, this beer will be released in the Spring of 2011. Based on my growth projections, we'll be somewhere around Batch 300 when this beer is released (or at l hope!).

I wonder where Al got the name from. We'll most certainly be calling it this-- it's a damn funny name. Al is looking into traveling to our brewery to brew this with us. I hope he does.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Batch No. 50 Competition Results

The judges all had a fantastic time judging the 62 entries that came in for our second homebrew competition, the Batch No. 50 Competition. Thanks to all who entered. There is clearly some amazing talent in homebrewing community when it comes to Belgian-style and experimental beers, and we're honored to have sampled these beers.

The results:

Category 16 - Belgian & French Style Ales
First: Oaked Strong Saison Hybrid, Kyle Manns, La Habra, CA
Second: Saison 566, Sean White, Brooklyn, NY
Third: De Dolle Clone, Rick Adams, Lakewood, CA

Category 17 - Sour Ale
First: Grand Funk Aleroad, Al Buck, Hillsborough, NJ
Second: Flanders Red, Bryan Smith, Torrance, CA
Third: Ich bin ein Berliner Weiss, Blair Howard, Rumsey, CA

Category 18 - Belgian Strong Ale
First: Mr. T's 30 lb. Necklace, Sean White, Brooklyn, NY
Second: LT, Patrick Duke, Orange, CA
Third: Pleasuretrip, Todd Peterson, San Dimas, CA
Honorable Mention: Harvest Tripel, Patrick Miller, Portland, OR

Category 23 - Specialty Beer
First: Sourfest, Todd Peterson, San Dimas, CA
Second: Liquid Whole Wheat, Bryan Smith, Torrence, CA
Third: Wheat Chocolate, Jim Schmalzried, Garden Grove, CA
Honorable Mention: Citrus Blossom, Brent Brubaker, Riverside, CA

Best of Show (our 50th Batch of Beer): Grand Funk Aleroad, Al Buck, Hillsborough, NJ

Congratulations to all of the winners! We're looking forward to brewing Batch No. 50 - Grand Funk Aleroad, it's an amazing sour beer.

Thanks to the judges and the stewards (not in any particular order):

Mark Harris
Tyler King, The Bruery
Jonas Nemura, The Bruery
Cristian Sierra
Dave Moody, Backstreet Brewery
Andy Marshall, Black Market Brewery
Evan Price, Hangar 24 Brewery
Lyn Davidson
Brent Rahn
Jim Wilson
Brent Brubaker
Brad Nixon
Mitch Steele, Stone Brewing Co.
Jake Ratzke, Stone Brewing Co.
Hal Ward
Pete Bakulic
Brian Cockle
Bryan Tetzlaff
Jay Goodwin
Matt Staley
Ben Weiss

Thanks to Joan and Dennis Paul (my parents in law), who brought the food for the judges.

And a big thank you to Rachel Rue, who pretty much did everything. Cheers!

Batch 50 Competition Update

The Batch 50 judging is well underway...

Friday, January 23, 2009

This Weekend at the Tasting Room (1/23-1/24)

Here's how the menu board is shaping up for this weekend-

Tomorrow morning (Saturday) the Batch 50 competition will take place.  17 different judges from commercial breweries and the BJCP will be casting their votes, so good luck to all!  The results will be announced at the tasting room immediately following the judging, so come on by during normal tasting room hours.  

To celebrate, we decided to put the cask of Black Orchard Mole Poblano (aka holy mole) on tap for this weekend.  For this cask, we have taken Black Orchard and added roasted cocoa bean, roasted and dried poblano chiles, and cinnamon, similar to the traditional mole sauce.   If you come by tomorrow, there will be some special Mexican appetizers specifically chosen to pair with the cask.

Hottenroth Berliner Weisse is finally back, and we love this one even more than the first.  It is  tart and delicious!  Finally, not to forget you hopheads, Humulus Ambre is now on tap.   It's a continuation of our hoppy Belgian-influenced beers, this time a moderate 6% and loaded with American hops.  Both the Hottenroth Berliner Weisse and Humulus Ambre are draft only, so be sure to get a growler fill if you want to take any home.


Chief Style Officer/ Owner

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Tasting Room with Tom Leykis

Yesterday Rachel and I went to Hollywood to do an episode of The Tasting Room with Tom Leykis, a syndicated show mostly on wine and beer.  It was a lot of fun to meet "The Professor" Tom Leykis in person, as well as Gary, Dino, and their intern.

Two segments will come out of what was taped yesterday.  The first one will air this weekend.  This show is broadcasted to 25 markets, and some air it on Saturday, while in Southern California (LA / Orange County) it is aired from 5 to 7 PM PST.  You can listen live over the Internet from 5 to 7 PM PST at

Thanks to Gary and Tom for bringing me on!

Friday, January 9, 2009

"New" Kegs

Our amazing brewing team spent hours spray painting, numbering and cleaning our "new" 50 liter kegs! Now if I can only get our keg washing machine to work so we can actually use them! Thanks a lot to Ben, Jay and Jeffery (who volunteered his time) to get this done!
Here's Bryan serving some guests at our tasting bar. Make sure to come in and say hi to one of our newest team members during tasting hours!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Brewing Saison De Lente Today

Heating up the mash/lauter tun

Jonas and Jay mashing in Saison De Lente