Cali, Part 4 – The Bruery!

16 Jan

A relative newcomer to the craft beer scene, The Bruery has made a VERY big impression on craft beer lovers!  This was definitely when I really appreciated having Daniel along with us, because he is much more scientifically-minded than I am!  He asked SO many great questions throughout the tour… and when Tyler showed us their in-house yeast lab, Daniel was like a kid in a candy store!  This has to be one of my favorite pix that Jayd took at The Bruery, of Tyler holding one of their yeast samples!

Here are some tidbits from our tour of The Bruery:

  • 30% of their production is draft, and all of their bottling is done in 750ml champagne bottles that they get directly from Germany.
  • It used to take 17 hours to bottle the product of their 17-barrel fermenter, by hand, one bottle at a time.  With their new bottling machine they can do the same amount in 4-5 hours!
  • Almost all of their beer is bottle conditioned, sitting 2 weeks… though their saison stays in for two months, as the brittanomyces need to develop their character.
  • Their Black Tuesday Imperial Stout is 19.5% ABV and is oak aged in bourbon barrels for over a year, which increases the alcohol content by 3-4%… the beer goes in & out of the wood & picks up some of the alcohol!
  • While they are refraining from making an IPA, they did make an IPL (India Pale Lager)
  • Every year they are doing a beer with grapes – they’ve already done a zinfandel, a pino and a chardonnay, and next year will bring a champagne style beer.

We arrived kind of late, but we had a little time to sample a few of their beers:

Cuvee: This beer was aged in chardonnay barrels and definitely smelled like wine – you can taste the wine too, and it was nice & sparkly and a little sour too – I REALLY liked this one!

Sour In The Rye: I wasn’t as big a fan of this, as it was too sour for me, but you do get the red wine smell//taste.

Orchard White: This Belgian-style witbier was what I sipped as we strolled through our tour, and I’m super glad this is the one I chose to have a full glass of, ’cause I loved it! The coriander & citrus flavors are really well balanced and it’s just a really approachable, friendly beer!

Snicklefrits: Based on the smell I thought I’d love this one, but I definitely did NOT like it.  Daniel thought it might be the bitter orange, but to me the smell & the taste definitely didn’t match up.

Two Turtle Doves: This is their winter seasonal offering, and the second in their series (last year was the Partridge in a Pear Tree… betcha can’t guess what next year’s will be?!?)  This was definitely very chocolaty and a great dark winter beer… and Daniel’s only suggestion was that if they had added some chili to it, it’d be spot on.  He’s got some great observations :)

Here are the rest of the pix that Jayd took during our tour & time at The Bruery – enjoy, ’cause these are the last that I got from her… until next time I drag her along! :)

So that concluded our time at The Bruery, and it was once again time to hit the road.  Our return trip was just as eventful, if not more-so, than our morning drive… once again, here’s how it went.

“So Daniel, where are we dropping you off?”

“Let me call my family & find out what the name of the hotel is…”

~Daniel gets on the phone & during the conversation Jayd & I hear him say….~

“yeah, we should be there in about 2 hours…”

At which point I interject vehemently with…

“2 hours?? No way, we’re going to be there in about 30 minutes…”

ummmmm……

Daniel, perplexed, says…

“wait, we’re only 30 minutes away from LAX?”

ohhhhhh crap…..

“um, no… we’re only 30 minutes away from the Long Beach airport, which is where we’re flying out of….

Daniel… did you think we were flying out of LAX???”

Yup, that’s right folks… at 2 or 3am the night before when we were making our fabulous plan, Daniel said something like “my family is staying at a hotel right by the airport, so you guys can just drop me off when you’re going to catch your flight!”… and none of us bothered to clarify just WHICH airport we were all talking about!

So, since we’d gotten a late start and had dallied both at Stone Brewing and The Bruery, Jayd & I were cutting it close for catching our red-eye, and definitely didn’t have time to take a detour up to LAX to drop Daniel off, and no one in his family had rented a car so they couldn’t come down to pick him up… and so began the frantic mission to find Daniel a bus or a train up to LAX at about 7pm on a Sunday!  The end solution was really quite funny…

Luckily, the bride & groom live in Long Beach & just happened to be headed up to LAX that same evening to catch a flight for their honeymoon!  We were able to catch them just as they were heading out the door… and they said that if Daniel could catch a cab to their apartment, then they could give him a ride… but he had to get there quickly!  So, we’re getting this information AS we’re pulling into the car rental return parking lot and Daniel hops out, we hug good-bye, and he makes a mad dash through the lot towards the taxi stand!  It’s at this point that Jayd leans in to the passenger seat & spots Daniel’s iPod… which we’d been listening to on the return trip!  Jayd grabs it & takes off at a sprint herself and manages to catch up with Daniel as he is IN a cab at the stop-light!  Amazing :)

The last little detail that really added to making that day the BEST SUNDAY EVER, is that when Jayd & I boarded the plane… which was a 9pm red-eye from CA to NYC… we were seated next to each other (window & middle), and the aisle seat in our 3-seat row was literally the only empty seat on the entire plane, which meant that we had the luxury of spreading out a bit for the flight home!!!

A best gal-pal, a new friend, a gorgeous coastline drive, two fabulous brewery visits, a dip of the toes in the Pacific, last-minute ride-share luck, reclaimed iPods and empty airline seats… really, how could it not have been the BEST SUNDAY EVER?!? :)

One Response to “Cali, Part 4 – The Bruery!”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Craftbeer & Photography « The Hops Honey - January 13, 2012

    [...] was gracious enough to shoot some truly amazing photos for me as we visited Stone Brewing Co and The Bruery on Sunday, before our red-eye flight home to NYC. If you haven’t already checked out those [...]

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