Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Experiments

Experimenting is definitely one of the more fun practices in brewing beer. Flavors, colors, names all that stuff. Around the holidays brewers get especially adventurous with spices and higher gravity beers. We are happy to fall in suit because it’s just a good time.

Ross and I have been brewing holiday beers together for a few years now. Some of you may have had the pleasure of tasting our Dead Santa from last year, mildly spiced brow ale. This year our beer is going to be called Hammered Holiday because, all the spices that went into it had been smashed with a hammer. No kidding.

We also had a batch of stout finish a few days ago so we thought we should do something special and age some on something…. A quick trip down to Wholefoods produced a lot of somethings….

Cherries, cranberries, blackberries, cinnamon, dates, figs, black strap molasses, agave, ginger... the list goes on। Diving right in we started chopping things up pouring stout on them and tasting. A little of this a splash of that and presto, we had some pretty nice flavors. We settled on two combinations.

1) Cherries, blackberries and cranberries
2) Figs and dates


Come to our holiday party and we will be tapping both of these beers and the hammered holiday of course! It will be on 12/18/2010.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eastern European Beer Collectors

This is a strange phenomenon that I really wasn’t prepared for. Another one of the subcultures in the world of things that most of us didn’t know was even out there. What I am referring to are the eastern European Beer Collectors.

No seriously, I get an email almost every day from some die hard beer collector in Poland, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungry, or the Czech Republic. If I was to total all the counts of beer novelties these people claim to have in the emails they write there would be over 100,000 items!

Sometimes I wonder if the emails are even real. They are all written in the same broken English, everyone seems to have about 6,500 items and I always ask them to send me a self addressed stamped envelope so that I can send them something (which I will) and no one ever does. Besides, how did they find us? We are barely even a blip on the beer radar. So, I think to myself maybe this is some kind of scam, but why and for what?

Just when I have convinced myself they are out to get me, someone will send a picture of themselves or their kid with their collection. I love beer, freaking awesome…

Friday, July 2, 2010

MTB Robot Testimonials

I was hooked up with an awesome MTB crew through a good friend, Andrew Kempe. Because we love mountain biking and they love beer we meshed our passions by providing Coulter IPA for their annual SoCal TrailRiders camping event. Needless to say I would have loved to be there myself to crush beers and trails alike.

One of the coolest things ever: When they returned the kegs and taps and such, they also handed us a book of comments from the riders on the beers! Everyone was super stoked on the beer and our generosity. Apparently what goes around does come around.

I am not entirely sure what came over us but Johnny, you’d recognize him as the dude crushing IPA at the bar or sleeping on our couch, started reading the comments like a robot / Steven Hawking recording. Here are some of the ridiculous recordings for your viewing pleasure.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day of the Irish

Live Irish music, and brewing Irish coffee stout what could better! We had one patron so fired up he kept saying "Are you hearing this?" Needless to say he took home growler of beer and some video of the band.

It's funny how things just fall into place sometimes.... We have been running pilots of strong, near imperial coffee stout for the last couple of months. We finally settled on a recipe that kicks ass and ordered the ingredients for a full batch. In all of the preparation of brewing I completely forgot that Pete, my sister’s fiancĂ© and one of our brewers, was coming to play music with his crew of master musicians.

They have been on an Irish folk music kick and it just so happened that I was brewing our stout with Irish yeast! World class musicians and world class beers, it was truly a thing of beauty.

Normally this wouldn’t be such a special thing but it just so happened that they play traditional Irish folk songs and I was brewing a strong stout that uses Irish yeast.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Not Mother's Day

Today is Mother’s Day, but yesterday was not Mother’s Day, it was Sick-One-Saturday.

Johnny’s thoughts on making stuff to use:
‘The culmination of a creation’s beauty lies in it’s use. This is the precise reason that my favorite things to make by hand are functional. Just as beer is more satisfying out of a hand blown pint glass, a finely shaped glass functions only to it’s full potential when it carries carefully hand crafted beer. Sitting in a brewery owned and operated by close friends while enjoying just such a combination is the polar opposite of drinking a light beer in a plastic cup amongst strangers.’-Johnny

Evan’s thoughts on making stuff to use:
"My friend Johnny is a sick glassblower, and he made these sick cups, and so we wanted to make sure they worked, so we filled them up with sick brew, and they work sick and we slammed beer, sickones. Check the sick sequence of action shots and other sickness. Sick." -Evan

Bottoms up..........

Wet tested and approved for functional applications.

-Happy Mother's Day

Monday, April 19, 2010

Morning Cup of Coffee

I am a coffee drinker. This is a statement that I avoided for the majority of my life, but I've been on the bean long enough now that I have come to accept it. In fact I respect it as well, and having learned a little about the business I am glad that the business is moving to a fair trade. This will allow the farmers around the world to get the best price possible for their product.

My friend Nathalie's husband, Dave, is taking this to the next level and roasting his own fair trade beans in Denver and donating part of the profits to the local food bank. The project is called Beneficial Beans. I got to thinking that this would be a great opportunity for us to brew a killer beer and do something good for the community or the world. So, we got some samples of the beans and are running some test batches.

Coming soon to the tasting room.... Imperial Coffee Stout.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Ribbon is Cut!

The opening weekend was a hit. Huge thanks to all of you that made it down/up/over to the brewery. We couldn’t have done this without everyone’s support and participation. Family and friends came from all around for the experience, beer, and brewery tours.

Saturday was the main attraction with a ribbon cutting, DJ, raffle, and free snacks! The place was packed with brewery fans and supporters from all over Cismontane California. Kristy Chu, from the Orange County Register, was there and followed up with a
great story and pictures.

Sunday was also a blast with more of the same. We sold out of growlers by 3pm and started filling coffee cans and shoes to make up for the lack of supplies. Okay, so we didn’t fill shoes and such, but the growlers are gone for sure.

Thanks again for everyone that came and to the restaurants in the center that helped with catering: The Neighborhood Grill, Celinda's Mexican Food- closed Sunday, Scott's Donuts and Deli, and El Fenix Carniceria.

We are all about great times, good people, tasty snacks, and delicious brews to wash it all down. -Cheers

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Time Has Come

That's right, the tasting room is open and we are priming the pump for the Grand Opening on April 10th and 11th. We have been open for the last two weekends and, although the opening has been very soft, we have received great support from the community, friends, family and a young neighborly rattler.

Our first beer El Modena, mild (brown) ale with an American edge, has already received a great review from our new friend Ron, the founder of the OC Beer Society. The Peninsular Pale will be hitting the first pallets tomorrow and we are looking forward to more smiling tongues. So try to make it to the grand opening to be one of the first to taste our I.P.A.

I can’t tell you how good it feels to be finally moving this project forward with solid products and great people. We are looking forward to the day that all of you make it in if you haven’t already!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Brew Days

It's hard to believe that these days are really here. After all the blood, sweat and tears it felt like we may never see the day where we put all of this hard labor and equipment to work for us. But the day has come.... and don't think for a second that it was smooth sailing.

We crammed to get everything ready for the weekend. Mr. Stewart pulled out all the stops and had all the brewing materials lined up to arrive Friday morning. I was enjoying a brew and chatting about the brew day to come with my friend Laura and her family when I got the call, the grain didn’t show. Bummer.

Believe it or not there are some great people (and great brewers) in this World. One shining example is Patrick Rue from
The Bruery. The man hooked us up and supplied us with the grain we need to get through our first batch, saving us days of waiting time.

Once up and running everything went surprisingly well. The brewing went off without a hitch and the wort was looking pristine during the whirlpool when the pump crapped out at about midnight. Bummer x2. We had to bypass the heat exchanger, it took 48hrs to cool and let’s just say we are a bit skeptical about the fermentation, although it seems to be kicking ass.

All in all everything is working well with a few more bugs to work out. Now on to batch 2, chocolate vanilla swirll…

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's just a little paint right?

Uh, ya... like four days worth. This was the biggest surprise to us from the health board. "You guys like painting, right?" uhhhhh "Of course we do! Ceilings are our favorite!"

Truth of the matter is everything went very well and if a little white paint is going to make it possible for us to brew, consider it done. 5 guys 5 days, done.

A couple more loose ends to tie down including our city permit and that’s it. With all that behind us we are getting ready to whip up our first batches this weekend.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Ominous Rain

Today brought rain to the brewery. I watched in awe as a river formed and engulfed the planter next to my truck, and then the side walk. As the flash flood approached the door I decided that it was time build a raft, and then the hail started.

As I hastily tied together empty kegs with brewer’s hose, the skylight began to drip on my head. I looked back toward the tasting room and I notice the front window was beginning to burst at the seams. This is the end I thought, as my phone buzzed in my pocket. Sure enough it was a text from the citizen warning me of a tornado notice that was just posted to the national weather service site, fuck.

Well, I thought at least the EverSoft service guy will be here to save my ass shortly. The phone begins another round of buzzing and this time it’s a call… EverSoft dispatch. Apparently, the driver was swept way by the torrential down pour on the 405 in his service truck and wasn’t going to be able to make it, fuck.

That’s when I decided it was time to start loading the animals in two by two. Buzz… another text from the citizen, “There are a lot of wet beavers out there today.” I wasn’t sure if I should be pissed off or laugh, doesn’t that asshole know that I’m nearing the end?

This all must be some kind of horrific omen of what is to come tomorrow, inspection day.

-The Cismontane Stewart