Friday, November 14, 2014

Meet the Homebruer: Keith Pumilia

We certainly have a lot of new faces around The Bruery lately. Our newest cellarmen comes all the way from Louisiana. Keith's energy and enthusiasm for craft beer is infectious (no pun intended), and it's no wonder when you learn about his homebrew background.

How did you become interested in the hobby?
In 2005 I was visiting my future in-laws in Japan and my future father-in-law showed me how he had been homebrewing for years there. I was immediately hooked.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Share Your Passion: Retail Director Matt on Bluegrass Music

Growing up watching Grandpa Olesh on harmonica, my uncles on stand-up bass and guitar, and Dad on mandolin, it only made sense that I’d end up with an affinity for good old-fashioned bluegrass and country music. Long before I knew of any craft beer or had the slightest idea of what I wanted to do as a career, I knew and loved bluegrass. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of my family playing classics like Nine Pound Hammer and Hickory Wind in the garage at family parties.

I don’t recall exactly when I started playing music but I’m extremely grateful that my parents sat me on a piano bench when they did. I played piano for several years, and I like to think I was pretty good at it. But, I wasn’t truly passionate about it. I’m not the type of person to go on doing something I’m not passionate about, and I guess I picked up that trait at a young age.

When I turned 12, I decided to step away from the piano lessons and pick up guitar. Before I knew it, I was playing the blues and learning bits and pieces of popular songs. Then I hit the phase where I listened to a lot of metal and wanted to be in a punk band. Eventually, I rediscovered my roots and officially fell in love with bluegrass music. Artists like Clarence White and Doc Watson simply blew my mind, and I’d listen to & practice the same songs on repeat in hopes of picking up a trick or two. After my first few months of at my first job, I bought myself a bluegrass classic - a Martin HD-28, and it’s still my pride and joy.

A few years back, I heard about an insanely talented young bluegrass musician named Chris Thile. Listening to him is probably the biggest reason I decided to pick up Mandolin. I assume the inner Dead Head is also partially to blame.

As far as concerts go, I try to get to as many shows as I can, and usually plan for at least one bluegrass-heavy festival per year. High Sierra and the Huck Finn Jubilee have been recent favorites. Bands like The Punch Brothers and The Devil Makes Three are always must-sees while in town. I’ve been eyeing a bluegrass festival coming up next March and already can’t wait! There’s just something about seeing a bluegrass band live that’s a little bit transcendent to me. The precise intricate musicianship, the passion you can see and feel, the relaxed and unpretentious vibe, the humble and appreciative attitude. It’s all good stuff, and oddly enough as I hear myself describe what I like about bluegrass music, I could say the same things about why I love the craft beer community as well!

At the end of the day, few things make me as happy as finding the exact song to fit my mood on the way home, cooking dinner while listening to music, or playing music on the couch. Craft beer may be the passion that’s most obvious to the outside world, but right alongside will always be a love for bluegrass music.

Post written by Matt Olesh, our Director of Retail Operations and cheif wearer of fashionable hats.

Read more from our passionate staff:

Friday, November 7, 2014

Meet the Homebruer: Josh Reyes

If you've been to our Tasting Room on weekends recently, you may have noticed the occasional option to sign up for tours of our brewhouse. Though we're working on relaunching an improved tour program in the near future, in the meantime Josh is able to parade a few interested folks around. Josh is one of our newer additions to The Bruery family, but he's by no means new to beer and brewing.

When did you start homebrewing?

Much like many of our own Bruers, I started homebrewing in college.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Share Your Passion: Wood Cellarman Cesar on Making Music

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in music. As a young kid I would steal my dad’s dress shoes, don my tiny blazer and dance for hours in front of the television while Moonwalker played on repeat.

I didn’t have rhythm to save my life but I still went for it. As I got older, I found myself listening to my dad’s LP’s, which I now listen to on a daily basis. Even as a kid, I loved the crazy, sporadic drumming of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Frank Zappa. Trying my hand at snare drum in elementary school, I found myself bored with the marching band’s 1-2-3-4 counts and switched to trumpet. While I played that for a few years, I was disappointed it didn’t give me the freedom to truly “rock out”.

While in middle school, I met a friend who was an aspiring DJ who listened to a new type of music that I wasn’t used to. The nice blend of hip hop and electronic music and rock filling his playlist resulted in a bit of a sporadic feel, but still seemed to flow since all the music had the same roots. We used a program that would use clips of music and we would simply piece everything together to make our own tracks. This program opened a new platform for my musical expression that I would be reintroduced to later in life.

I didn’t get my first drum set until I was out of high school but I borrowed friends’ sets to play in hard rock-type bands. Jumping from band to band, I really couldn’t find people that would want to play the same music that I wanted to play. That’s when I went back to the computer and synthesizers to make electronic music that I could control and make my own.

To this day I still (infrequently) make music in the comfort of my own home just for the sake of making it. I like to DJ house parties or small gigs from time to time and try out the material that I put together. Whenever I get the chance, I’m always down to jam with some friends, analog style. I always keep a pair of drum sticks in my car in case a spontaneous jam sesh presents itself.

Listening, learning, and making music will always be a passion of mine ... of course alongside my passion for great craft beer.

Post written by Cesar Alfaro, one of our packaging team members turned Barrel Whisperer. Cesar is a talented homebrewer and cheesemonger who also goes to lots of epic music shows where he unleashes his glorious flowing locks of El Salvadorian hair.

Read more from our passionate staff:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Black Tuesday 2014 Sale Details You'll Want to Know

It's that time of year again! Black Tuesday 2014 will soon be ready for sale to the public.

Every year we've worked to make the experience of getting this beer as pleasant as possible, and this year we are proud to announce a new method for those interested in purchasing Black Tuesday 2014. We will first be holding a drawing to determine who may purchase the beer this year, followed by an extended purchase period. There will be plenty of time to get your ticket into our drawing and to then purchase the beer. Here are the details on the Black Tuesday 2014 public sale.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Bruery returns to the Beer Bloggers Conference, this time with Bruery Terreux, too

Our marketing team of Benjamin Weiss and Cambria Griffith headed down to San Diego last weekend not for Comic-Con, nor for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship series, and not even for BronyCon. We went to beer blogger paradise at this year's Beer Bloggers Conference, a three day journey through time and space with beer fans and writers from all over the nation.

The party began late on Thursday night with a very private hang out session in our barrel warehouse at the future home of Bruery Terreux.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer Camp Crafts with our Bruers: JD's DIY Stencil Tee

Those that know me are aware of my unhealthy obsession with soccer. But what they may be unfamiliar with are my amazing crafting skills!

With the English Premier League starting this month, I had to create a silly shirt to support West Ham United. With past crafting failures such as my Tie Dye American Flag Shirt and several others botched efforts, I felt I needed a guaranteed quality shirt. So yeah, why not create a stencil with cardboard and then spray paint an under shirt -- that sounds simple and clean!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer Camp Crafts with our Friends: Rustic Burlap Beer Trekking Memory Boards

We've been busy having fun with some summer camp-inspired crafts at The Bruery, but we want to see what you've been creating, too. Contribute your craft to The Bruery Blog by entering our Summer Camp Crafting Blog Off. Our fourth contributor, Kay Dutz, found a way to display travel memorabilia on a memo board, complete with beer bottle caps and all.

My friends and family send me postcards from across the country and around the world. I wanted to display them on something more exciting-looking than a bulletin board. In addition, I wanted to have a place to keep my bottle caps as a reminder of all the tasty microbrews I've been drinking.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer Camp Crafts with our Bruers: Cesar's Upcycled Wine Barrel Cheese Board

At The Bruery we go through a lot of barrels. For just one blend, we typically go through 30 to 100 barrels! People always ask me, “What happens to all the barrels that once you’re through with them?” My usual answer is, “Nothing." Once the barrels have been used for clean beer purposes we actually can’t use them use them again because they are no longer lean and have too many buggies from their previous use. So, once we’re done using them, we stick them in a yard to wait for the next owner to make something creative out of them.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer Camp Crafts with our Friends: Upcycled Beer Bottle Garden

We've been busy having fun with some summer camp-inspired crafts at The Bruery, but we want to see what you've been creating, too. Contribute your craft to The Bruery Blog by entering our Summer Camp Crafting Blog Off. Our third contributor, Lena Starbird, turned a bunch of her favorite empty beer bottles into adorable little succulent planters.

Shortly after getting married in late 2008, I was diagnosed with stage four Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and six months of aggressive chemotherapy treatments followed. We quickly discovered that life is way too short to drink bad beer and after winning that one I jumped off the wagon to celebrate and soon added microbreweries to our roadtrip must-do lists.

Somehow this snowballed into a substantial collection of empty beer bottles that were just too pretty to toss in the recycling bin. So when our tiny condo began looking like a terrible episode of Hoarders, we came up with the idea for a Craft Beer Garden outside on our patio.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Camp Crafts with our Friends: Giant Scrabble Wall Art

We've been busy having fun with some summer camp-inspired crafts at The Bruery, but we want to see what you've been creating, too. Contribute your craft to The Bruery Blog by entering our Summer Camp Crafting Blog Off. Our second contributor, Lauren Obreg√≥n, cut and painted these super giant scrabble letters as wall decor.

My husband and I just moved last August to the LA area from Boston. Almost exactly a year into being CA residents, I was going insane not having anything on our walls (ok, we've NEVER had anything on our walls-- on either coast). It looked like we were living in a men's college dorm. So, this last Monday morning I decided that by Monday night we'd have art.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer Camp Crafts with our Friends: Beer Label Letters Decoupage

We've been busy having fun with some summer camp-inspired crafts at The Bruery, but we want to see what you've been creating, too. Contribute your own craft project to The Bruery Blog by entering our Summer Camp Crafting Blog Off. Our first contributor, Kim Parsons, gussied up her walls with some super giant beer label art.

I needed some beer art to go on the walls of a friend's restaurant & brewery. So I came up with this Beer Label Letters Decoupage project.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Camp Crafts with our Bruers: Chris D.'s Upcycled Wood Barrel Planters

When I was a kid I hated helping with yard work at my parents house. It was mostly raking up leaves from a giant sycamore tree my parents planted when we first moved into the house I grew up in. As I’ve gotten older I’ve fallen in love with gardening. I now understand my father’s obsession with giving life to seedlings and watching them grow.

Not everyone has space for a garden or has a backyard. Thankfully, container gardening on a patio or an apartment balcony can be enough for most everyone. Recently I wanted to add a few fruit trees in my backyard and I thought that putting them in into wood barrels sounded like a great idea. It adds a nice decorative touch to an outside area and most dwarf or ultra-dwarf fruit tree varieties do well in a container.

Summer Camp Crafts with our Bruers: Cambria's DIY Floating Beer Bar

While swimming around in Mexico/tubing down the Owen's River/floating on Lake Isabella, I needed a way to have my beverage float alongside me while I was in the water. Most of the time I'd just hold it, but sometimes you need to have your hands free to use a squirt gun on someone. It seemed like an obvious solution to this problem was simple: add some stabilization to my already buoyant beer koozie. Now the only problem I faced was that I hadn't come up with a way to do it myself ... yet.

This project involes two main parts: a koozie and a float the koozie sits in. You can opt to attach the float it to your koozie with glue, or just slip it on without glue so you can adjust the buoyancy of the whole thing as you empty your beverage. Your float will be a looser fit depending on how big you cut your holes.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Camp Crafts with our Bruers: Victor's Reclaimed Pallet Herb Garden

This is a project that arose from the desire to create a vertical herb garden that wouldn’t occupy much square footage since the rest of my backyard is pretty much occupied with growing several varieties of the hottest peppers in the world.

I had seen a few Etsy posts from my wife that touched on the subject and gave me a good head start in the design department. I didn’t use any one specific set of directions, rather I just pulled the best ideas from several sets of plans that I had decided were the best fit for what I wanted. This project really doesn’t require any set of specialized skills as long as you can use a few basic hand tools and a circular saw.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Camp Crafts with our Bruers: Matt's Tie Dyed Tank Tops

Last summer, we ordered some tank tops to be sold in The Bruery Tasting Room. Warm weather, beaches, beer festivals, outdoor concerts, BBQs ... sounds like tank top season to me! But, we ended up with quite a few of these tank tops left over.

As I was looking at the pile of white tank tops with their bright multi-colored The Bruery logos, I thought back to a bluegrass festival I attended with my dad a few weeks back. I was a little surprised to see a few other attendees sporting their tie-dyed brewery shirts that day. That’s all the convincing it took. We were about to have some hippie-inspired, hand-crafted, tie dyed The Bruery tank tops.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer Camp Crafts with our Bruers: Benjamin's Barrel Stave Bottle Openers

I drink a lot of beer and therefore have quite a collection of bottle openers. Not like I really need them since I’m well versed in opening bottles with the edge of a table, a lighter, a ring or another bottle, but it’s always nice to actually have some sweet looking devices that are specifically made for popping the top on my favorite craft beer.

I had seen some examples of bottle openers made out of a piece of wood that uses either a nail or a screw as a the opener and I always liked these. They are used as a lever, applying force in the opposite direction from the standard bottle opener, which actually leads to a more “proper” manner of prying a crown off of a bottle. And if you are a bottle cap collector, this version of an opener won’t bend the crown.

You will need some tools for this crafty project, but it’s good to own tools, so here is an excuse to buy a few.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Camp Crafts with our Bruers: Jessica's Beer T-shirt Modifications

Working in the beer industry has a few perks. Besides all the free beer and cool people there are lots of t-shirts (at least to me this is a bonus). What better way to support your favorite brewery than by wearing their merch? However I generally do not like to represent my local brewery with just a simple t-shirt.

By applying some DIY (do-it-yourself) techniques, I have modified many of my favorite brewery t-shirts.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Recipe: ¡Bionicos del Cesar!

Here at The Bruery we love our fruit in beer. So much so, that it’s difficult think of what to do with it when we’re not putting it in beer. And we’re not too keen on garnishing the sides of our tulip glasses with fruit either.

So what can we actually do with fruit that doesn’t involve randalls, aging, ninja slicing, and racking?

I used to hang out with my dad on the "mean" streets of Los Angeles. Being a kid, I was hungry every 5 minutes. That meant my dad would have to find food quickly that I wouldn’t complain about. To the rescue came the street vendor around the corner who, if memory serves me right, would always have a plethora of fresh fruit in her cart.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Juicy June: Brace Yourself for All the Fruited Brews

We had a fun month during May releasing tons of archived bottles for sale in celebration of our 6th anniversary. We thank you for coming to visit us, whether it was to just grab a few bottles to complete your craft beer collection or to raise a tulip of an old favorite from the archives.

As we roll into June, we have loads of great new and archive beers to look forward to on draft. In addition to the annual bottle release of some seasonal favorites, we also have fun archive bottle pours and even an archive bottle sale, too.

Here's what you can look forward to for our Fruited Beer Month of June. For exact dates of these happenings, follow The Bruery Tasting Room Facebook and Twitter. Please be aware these items are subject to change -- we were just so excited about all this good stuff to come, we wanted to let you know what's up.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bruery Terreux™ to open in Anaheim, California

It's with great excitement we share news on a big step in our growth here at The Bruery. We will launch a new brand & tasting room in 2015, specializing in farmhouse-style and sour ales, both traditional and modern.

We are pleased to announce the formation of Bruery Terreux, a new brand that will focus solely on farmhouse-style ales fermented with wild yeasts as well as oak-aged sour ales. Our original brand will rededicate its focus specifically on experimentation with non-wild ales, modern twists on classic styles and aging beer in bourbon and other spirit barrels.

Bruery Terreux, which translates to “Earthy Bruery”, first and foremost takes inspiration from the earth, presenting flavors in as natural of a way as possible, as nature intended. Wort will be brewed on our brand new GEA CRAFT-STAR brewhouse and then transported to Bruery Terreux's own facility a few miles down the road. All fermentation, barrel aging and packaging will take place at this second facility. A brand new Bruery Terreux tasting room will also be opened at this location in late 2015 where customers will have the chance to enjoy Bruery Terreux’s offerings in a unique setting.

Our current brands that are brewed with wild yeasts or bacteria such as Saison Rue, Oude Tart, or Hottenroth Berliner Weisse, will be transitioned to Bruery Terreux. The recipes will remain the same, but will be overseen by wild beer specialists and will be bottled under the new branding. Exciting new beers will also be added to Bruery Terreux’s lineup.

More details will follow over the coming months. As this project is subject to approval from the City of Anaheim and the California Department of Alcoholic Beverages, details are subject to change.

Please follow Bruery Terreux on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for late breaking developments.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Design Contest! A Coaster + A Postcard = A Coastcard

We certainly enjoy having you stop in for a beer or some tasters at The Bruery Tasting Room, and as we continue to slowly and carefully grow our small craft brewery, we want you to be a bigger and bigger part of who we are. After all, we have the opportunity to grow and become an even better brewery for you because of your support!

With this in mind, we think it's about time we give our coasters a little refresher at The Bruery Tasting Room, so we're on the look out for new coaster design ideas.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Learn 5 Things About Belgian's Inventions & Innovations

There's no shortage of Belgian geniuses that have created lots of awesome inventions, innovations, and super brilliant ideas (like the Smurfs). It wasn't easy to pick which five were our favorites, but these might be the best ones to keep in your back pocket for trivia.

Did you know that the Belgians invented ...

Monday, April 7, 2014

Learn 5 Things About Belgium's Cuisine

When we think of Belgian food of course the waffles, chocolates, and beer come to mind. But Belgium has contributed a looooooot of other dishes to the culinary world (and most all of them seem to come with fries, according to our own Benjamin).

Here are five of the most delicious ones we've found, and some we even tried for ourselves when our team went to Belgium last year.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Learn 5 Things About Belgium's Painters

Northern European paintings have their own distinct style -- blame it on the lighting, weather, or a host of cultural differences. We're not going to take you to art history school (we're probably not really qualified to anyway), but part of Belgium's culture certain lies in it's fine art, and some unusual anecdotes lie in those artists' biographies.

Did you know ...

Learn 5 Things About Belgium's Music

When you think of country music and jazz guitarists, your mind probably doesn't go straight to Belgium. We've found some favorite gems about Belgium's music history and culture that should undoubtedly prove useful in a bar trivia game ... someday.

Did you know Belgium:

Learn 5 Things About Belgium's Traditions

Each country has a set of unique traditions as part of their cultural identity. Belgium is lucky enough to have some that date back to the 14th century that we've found particularly fascinating.

Did you know that Belgium:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Learn 5 Things About Belgium's Languages

(photo via Somewhere in the Middle)

Belgium is a country with a pretty complex identity. Crammed in between a handful of other countries that have been in and out of fights since the beginning of history, Belgium is geographically predisposed to being a melting-pot of cultures. It's no surprise then that the country is home to lots of languages and dialects.

Did you know that Belgium:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Learn 5 Things About Belgium's Geography

April showers bring ... facts about Belgium!

As we celebrate Belgian beers at The Bruery for the month of April, it seemed like we should take a step back and look at Belgium itself. For the beginning of April we'll be posting a brief daily blog with some fun facts you can brag about over a beer or two at the Tasting Room while enjoying the special releases and happenings we have planned there.

Let's start with some geography-related facts on Belgium ...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Expansion Update 5: The Bruery Provisie

As you probably guessed from all of our recent posts on expansion, we were saving the best for last and today we are excited to announce the plans for The Bruery Provisie™.

The Bruery Provisie is a "Beer Spa" and is set to open in early Fall of this year just two doors down from our current Tasting Room.  Initially it will only be open to our current Society members, but there are plans to open new Provisie memberships in 2015.

Our Beer Spa will be a one of a kind destination for beer lovers to relax, rejuvenate and detox while enjoying beer inspired products such as Hop Tea.  The Bruery Provisie will feature many of the standard spa amenities, but with a beer twist.  Hop oil massages, barley soaks, honey & hops foot baths and once our new brewhouse is in place, we're even reconfiguring our current mash tun to become the ultimate beer lovers' hot tub!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Meet the Homebruer: Brian Cockle

Brian Cockle is one of the silent heroes here at The Bruery. He keeps our tech stuff running smoothly during the day, but is a homebrewer and dad by night. He's a bit notorious for his huge & techy homebrew set up, which you can see even more of over on his blog.

When did you start homebrewing?
Like a lot of people, I started homebrewing back in college.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Meet the Homebruer: Sean Flannery

You may have already tried Sean's pilot batch brew back in February during one our Meet the Brewer nights. Like many of our homebruers we've posted about on this blog, Sean began pursuing the hobby in school before becoming a pro.

When did you start homebrewing?
I started homebrewing in college with a friend that had a malt extract Hefeweizen kit and invited me to assist. The beer came out with a ton of sediment and we packaged it in 3L plastic bottles. It tasted ok, but was just the beginning for more ideas.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Meet the Homebruer: Andrew Bell

You may have recently had a chance to meet Andrew Bell, our experimental brewer who oversees what's happening on our pilot system. Andrew has been a fan of The Bruery for a long time, and we were stoked to hire him on two years ago to brew on our team. Before he brewed professionally, he was an avid homebrewer and a bit of a beer geek, (and we like that).

When did you start homebrewing?
A few years before I was legally allowed to purchase alcohol. I started by making ciders and eventually moved on to brewing early on in my college career. I was curious about the science behind fermentation, as well as seeing if I could actually create something good.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Meet the Homebruer: Jamie Burns

Surely you remember Jamie's friendly face from all those trips to pick up your Reserve Society or Preservation Society beers from the Tasting Room.

Jamie has been with The Bruery for three years, but about a year and a half ago she had the opportunity to get her hands dirty with a homebrew lesson from one of our former brewers.

When did you start homebrewing?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Meet the Homebruer: Tyler King

Sometimes it's hard to believe we just started brewing in 2008. Our first employee those six years ago was Tyler King, who signed on to do just about anything that was needed.

He was still in school and tasked with marketing and advertising our summer seasonal as part of an internship with The Bruery, but he was also going to be brewing with Patrick. Tyler is now our Senior Director of Brewing Operations, overseeing all the beer happenings here.

It wasn't only the timing that was perfect when hiring Tyler -- he also had proved himself with his homebrewing prowess, which was apparent with the success & praise of his Flemish Red recipe, which has over time become the beer you may know as Oude Tart.

When did you start homebrewing?