Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sour Barrel Aged Beer 101 -- Packaging

It's time for our last blogpost about sour barrel aged beer. Whether it's brewing, cellaring or packaging these beers, each step of the process takes extreme diligence and care to make sure our sour (an non sour) beers stay happy. Such is the life of employees that work at a place that makes crazy delicious barrel aged sours and non sours under the same roof!

Packaging these unique beers not only requires duplicate equipment, which takes up space, funds, and requires even more cleaning; it also takes extreme attention to detail and utmost care, as this is the last stop before the beer heads out on its way to you (and if we're putting a beer in your hands, we want to be proud of it.)

Not only is the chance of cross contamination risky business, barrel aging introduces a plethora of other things that can potentially lead to unpredictable (and even unwanted) outcomes. If one barrel has an unwanted bug that goes undetected,  it might do nothing, or it might ruin a whole batch over time. Alas, these are the challenges we put up with to make the beer that excites us. YOLO?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Great Lakes of Bruery Beer are Coming

In just one week, we'll be launching The Bruery in the state of Michigan!!

Jonas and Cambria will be in Detroit next week to kick off our most recent addition to our list of US states where our beer is distributed, and we want you Michiganders (or Michiganians) to be a part of this launch. We're having an Instagram contest with $100 of Bruery swag for the winning photo. Here's how to enter the contest.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Meet the Homebruer: Benjamin Weiss

Our third employee ever, Benjamin has worked in just about every role at The Bruery. From brewing, to packaging, to marketing, to arts & crafts, he's worked his way finally to Director of Marketing here. But he wasn't always working such a dreamy job. Ben came from the music industry and followed his passion for homebrew, which lead him to this very blog, before becoming a Bruer.

On a foggy Venice Beach day in late 2006, young Ben decided it was the perfect day to crack open his roommate's homebrew kit and boil some wort. Roughly a year later, he got to know a certain Patrick and Tyler.

What happened that made you start homebrewing? 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Meet the Homebruer: Cesar Alfaro

On the cusp of releasing Batch 1000 BRYEIAN, we are profiling some of our homebruers on our staff! Many of our team members developed their love for The Bruery via homebrew clubs, and today those clubs and their members are still very important to us. That's a big reason why we host our Batch series competition for milestone brews.

One of our homebruers made his first batch in 2008, and today he works in our packaging department, carefully bottling and lovingly boxing bottles of beer to be sent out for your enjoyment. His name is Cesar, and he has excellent hair.

What sparked your interest in homebrewing?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sour Barrel Aged Beer 101 -- Cellaring & Aging

We've recently been dissecting the laborious process of making sour barrel aged beers and the process of keeping them happy. Now that we've looked at the brewing and lab work required for these beers, it's time to address cellaring and barrel aging.

After these beers are brewed, they are racked into barrels that fall under the scrupulous watch of our wood cellarmen. These barrels are stored mainly in two off-site warehouses and taken back and forth to the brewery building as needed for filling, emptying, and hugging. Our team spends many hours babysitting these barrels to make sure they (and their precious cargo) are content.

When we brew batches of sour beer for aging, we won't see them again for many months, or even years. On top of that, a percentage of beer evaporates from these barrels each year, so we actually end up with less beer than when we started. This means we're making beer that is not being sold immediately, some of which is very moody, expensive and vanishing into the air!

It takes building relationships with wineries and coopers to get these barrels, not to mention some funds to afford storage space for them. And since we love to get crazy with ingredients at times, getting large quantities of fruit (including weird ones) to add to these beers can certainly tally up some costs.

But we believe this is all worth it to make the beer we love. Lots of you had questions about our sour barrel aged beer, so we addressed the cellaring & aging side of things in this post.