Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Real Thing

Our Common Californian is one of the Worlds greatest beers, although it is not known to many. The reality is that it is anything but common and this last batch is just a bit further out of the ordinary. We used about 75% fresh hops, straight off the vine, the real thing.

It a takes quite a bit more fresh hops than dry whole or pellet hops to get the same effect, about 6:1. The hops also impart some very different flavors because the acids and oils have not been degraded during the drying process and there is still water in the flowers.

A unique beer style to California,
California Common or Steam Beer, will be one of our staples. We think it is delicious and so do you! We have experimented with all kinds of ingredient and yeast combinations with great results and will continue to do so. I once witnessed a young lady throw out a disgruntled “Shit” when she realized the keg was empty. She refused to drink anything else for the rest of the night. That’s a true Californian!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Yeast Wrangl'n

That's right kids, we got yeast corrals. May as well be dude ranch with beer hot tubs. Sound good? That's because it is.

These puppies came in from Kansas, and even though I had the flu when they showed up I didn't hesitate to man the forklift. Three tanks at 559.7 gallons of joy a piece. That's a full 1677.1 gallons we can crank out every week.

So put on yer cowboy hat, boots, and get ready to earn your saddle soars. We're gonna be wrangl'n yeast in them there hills. Yeehaw!
Tell ya'll one thing, uncle Rosco sure was fired up on bring'n um home.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Best Place to Put Your Beer

Yes, it's sensationalist, inspiring and down right radical. What did you think? This is some kind of joke?

Look we are as dead serious about beer as the next guy and we built this bar to prove it. Red oak, birch, and mahogany make the skeleton of this fancy beer stand. If we have our way it will hold up the occasional wine glass as well.

All in all we had a blast building this puppy and will hopefully have more fun using it.
What do they say in Hollywood.... oh ya "For Your Consideration"

Monday, September 28, 2009

Burn Baby Burn!

No... I'm not just talking about what I did to myself this weekend although; I did have the pleasure of experiencing the 1st and 2nd degree flavors of burn. Don’t worry, it was nothing major.

What is far more interesting and brewery relevant is the ridiculous heat generating machines that we installed over the last few weeks. I think that we are getting close to 500K BTU in fire power, literally. Check this puppy out. It’s a venerable fire breathing dragon. In fact they call that black part on the top a power burner; essentially it’s a flame thrower. It blows hell fire straight into everything else you see below, which is the chaos containment unit that diverts the explosive force toward the brewhouse.

So the next step is to idiot proof the whole room so I don’t burn myself to a crisp. If the last 72 hours is any indicator of the future, I’m surely screwed.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


For those of you that know me, I am no stranger to rambling. I didn't rock the mutton chops from my past but I man handled this truck like the roadman veteran that I am. I'm not sure if its the long hours behind the wheel or the stand up folk at the truck stops across America but I have a hard time turning down a ramble.

Yes, it is very long... did I mention long?

Indians made it, in the central valley, an hour away from Bakersfield, at a truck stop. Are you scared of curry?

Gee, that's one big can of beer. Will you be my friend?

Could I have a side of sick ass Impala with my brew?

The crazy thing was that we had an easy 6" on the average semi, striking fear in the hearts of men passing under bridges anywhere close to 14'6".

The Bud "factory" gets no sympathy, no matter the hour.

These dudes, Jason and Jason, are technicians, hands down the sickest equipment movers around. But, wait.. is that 97 kegs?! Rosco moved those 3 times that day, ladies be afraid... biceps here I come.

It glorious! Despite the worlds best efforts to slow us down, every once in a while it provides us a chance for progress. It might not be a cure for cancer or get rid of your ex-wife but what were doing might take the edge off. - Cheers

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Before and After - Bathroom

I'd say the shitter is about 85%. Done or not, it was our first tile job, and boy did we need it. It took about two days, one upset stomach, and nearly carnal knowledge of our not-new toilet to get it done. Please excuse the lack of tact in the following post, sometimes you just need to stoop to a lower level to get your point across.

Bottom line is that bathrooms are bathrooms; there is nothing sanitary about them. Yes, people wash their hands, face and whatever else they can fit in the sink there, but that is only for one reason: they have to. The reality is when you do your business in there, a little bit at a time, it gets everywhere. Linoleum is strong stuff, but after ten plus years of action you better believe something is going to soak through. While peeling up the floor, with gloved hands brandishing a crowbar, I hit a soft spot in the linoleum releasing a 'special' smell that will be forever imprinted in my mind. "Don't puke, don't puke," was all could think as I stumbled away audibly gagging. I have a pretty strong stomach, but I couldn't go near that place till I had the front door open and a fan in hand. Like a shield fending off a fire breathing dragon, that fan was my holy reliquary of safety. I think I nearly didn't escape with my health.

Day two... tile. Tiling a floor is no joke, you're on your knees for hours laying goup and setting tiles. Not only is it back-breaking work but it's messy and finicky, and when you are working in the bathroom, toilets are involved. When I say involved, I mean face smooshed on the side of, and sweaty arms wrapped around, we're talking hands freakin' on. At one point I was sitting on the toilet backward, no seat cover mind you, bear-hugging the upper-deck to take some measurements and placing a few tiles. "Dude! Ross, check me out! Talk about hugging the toilet!" Cracking up, Ross said, "Yeah, I don't think you could be closer to that thing if you were puking in it."

All in all we got the job done, almost. It still needs to be grouted and the base needs to be done, but it's looking great and I'm feeling like I trekked across the Bog of Eternal Stench during the rainy season. For those of you in this world that do this kind of thing on a regular basis, my hat is off to you.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

You call that a brewery?

Hell yes! We do apologize for the stature, however... We have been working so hard on this puppy so hard that we almost forgot why we are doing this. Ah yes, brewing beautiful, delicious, aromatic beer. With the brewery torn wide open and construction in full swing we decided it was time to whip up a batch as a friendly reminder that we are on the right track. So, we busted out the old home brew gear and got to it.

It doesn't take much to get you fired up. As soon as the mash fills the room your nerves settle and your mind relaxes. There is something about the aroma of malted grain that sooths the soul, the bright fresh scent from hops that widens the eyes and that rolling boil that gets you excited even at this diminutive stature.

All in all, it was a good end to a great weekend of progress. Bar framed, Storage built, legacy equipment removed, and plumbing capped we are ready to move on to the next stage.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Post Prohibition Bureaucracy

You have got to be kidding me with the paper work! 47 pieces of paper, 4 hours and 1 interrogation later we finally submitted our request and application to the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) for our small brewers permit. I’m pretty sure the only good thing about the ABC’s paper pushing boot camp is that it must weed out some incompetence. You have to be at least somewhat capable to do it with any success. I say “any” because as far as our processor could remember no one has ever done it right the first time.

In the end of it all, we did get our ABC notice up in the window of the brewery site this weekend.

Next stop, the Feds… This one is only 30 pages or so but you don’t have anyone to hold your hand when you have to complete everything all over again. Bummer.

“Why don't they pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything? If it works as well as prohibition did, in five years Americans would be the smartest race of people on Earth.”

-Will Rodgers

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What does it all mean?

Sometimes questions provide more answers than the answers themselves. For instance: What is brewing? Cismontane?

These are pertinent questions that begin to provide a sip of background into what we are doing by the barrel, what we believe you know in your bones, what your eyes absorb as their daily bread, and what is delicious by the pint. For context let’s just start with the obvious, BREWING.

If you read that, good now you know what brewing is not. What it is, is a combination of art, science, history, food, and self-sacrifice in fluid form optimized for human (and some animal) consumption.

Cismontane (see the paragraph “Geographical regions”) is truly diverse in individuals, is the foundation of a culture coveted, the tactile beauty of urban and ecological wonder, and the fundamental roots of our experience. The magnetic draw of this geographical region is measured by what is possible and what has been accomplished.

But honestly, who cares? The citizens cismontane do, and so should you. We stand proud in our beliefs and where we are, like mesoic granite protruding at the base of a continent, forcing the flow of the Sespe River to the sea. We travel our domain like nomads of the promise land, beer in hand to quaff the insatiable thirst that follows us from the sand on the beaches to majestic mountain peaks, from the golden grass and oak savannahs to the chaparral climbing the cliffs above the pacific. This is where we reside, flourish, live, struggle, and preserver.

This marks the beginning of our brewery, and the beginning of something beautiful. A culmination of cultural experimentation passed down through the centuries that finally fermented into what we call Cismontane Brewing Co.

Mash that in a pot full of hand crafted malted grain, boil it with fresh flavorful hops, release the yeast to bring us into fruition, and when it is all said an done… pour a pint and enjoy what you have come to know as home.

Cheers to all… any questions?