As part of my CA trip, I managed to find time to align my schedule with that of Patrick Rue, arguably the nicest uber-talent that anyone will meet within the industry. Navigating through the nexus of freeways that define Southern California, I eventually found myself in Placentia staring at one fine site:
Well, the cooperage was mighty impressive, but it only represented a fraction of what this fine man was doing to elevate the standards of beer drinkers all around.
(but it sure is a real sexy part of it…)
After some tippling in the tasting room, Patrick was kind enough show off his digs, which included a pit stop in the aforementioned barrel room to pull off samples from various barrels in multiple stages of aging – lucky day for my friend Eric and myself, indeed.
I sure had fun.
I’ve just finished up a quite enjoyable week in the quaint college town of Davis, CA where I had the opportunity to learn from some of the foremost leaders of the brewing industry. Taking part in the Intensive Brewing Short Course at UC Davis, I had the immense privilege of soaking up invaluable knowledge from both Dr. Michael Lewis and Charlie Bamforth, distinguished faculty and amongst the best instructors you will find on the planet today. I would be remiss to not include both Jim Brown and Sue Langstaff, both equally accomplished and effective in conveying the intricacies of yeast metabolism and sensory training, respectively.
No trip (or beer related endeavor, for that matter) would be complete without some type of beer excursion. Fortunately, we had the pleasure of visiting a little known brewing operation located a few miles north in Chico… and it was quite a sight to behold:
On par with the quality and innovation that Sierra Nevada puts forth in its products, the company culture fostered by Ken Grossman also manifests itself in its “corporate” responsibility, namely with reducing its environmental impact and ensuring a more sustainable production process. Solar panels, CO2 capture, and fuel cells…
Incredible respect. And a quick shot of one of their torpedoes as well:
‘Til that next pint…