Drew Pletcher didn’t launch Hand-Brewed Beer in L.A. to crank out just another IPA. He and his partners set out to upturn the microbrew industry. Here’s how he says they intend to do so:
Q: What about your beer stands out from other micro-brews?
A: By now, the microbrew industry has grown to the point where people have expectations when they hear that a brewery has an IPA on tap. Hand-Brewed Beer wants to flip that expectation and deliver something unique. For example, we have a beer called the Chubasco IPA that’s brewed with Serrano and arbol peppers that balances the traditional hoppy taste in an IPA. You don’t see that everyday.
Q: How do you choose such unique flavor profiles?
A: It all begins with what we think would make for an interesting beer, which is usually a single flavor or a combination of flavors. For example, our Vanilla Raspberry Bourbon Porter began with the simple thought about how to combine beer and bourbon. From there, we build upon the profile by adding complementary flavors like vanilla and raspberry. The Erudite Wit started the same way—how can we take white pepper and make it into a beer.
Q: How do you know when a flavor is working? Is it because you’re drinking it every step of the way?
A: To be an effective brewer, like a chef, you have to try your product to understand its flavor profile. I’m learning this everyday from our lead brewers Brian Hand and Tony Castaneda, both of whom work tirelessly to improve on our beer’s flavor.
Q: Do you have any advice for young home-brewers who want to make this their profession?
A: Start simple and learn the science behind making the beer and the flavors you want to achieve. Then attempt to home-brew a few batches. After you have a general knowledge of the process, find an experienced brewer or micro-brewery in your area to learn from. Enegren Brewing Company in Moorpark, California was a huge supporter of Hand-Brewed Beer early on. They worked with us to share their knowledge, equipment and experiences. If you’re in California, feel free to reach out to me at DPletcher@handbrewedbeer.com for any business and legal advice about how to start a brewery.
Q: How can DSC members taste your beer for themselves?
A: We’re currently raising money for a tasting room, which we hope to build this year. We’re selling $1,000 lifetime memberships and $300 annual memberships to our tasting room that will get you drinks, discounts, special releases and access to private events.
If you can’t wait check out the list of restaurants and bars serving up Hand-Brewed ales here.
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