Friday, January 11, 2008

Sac Brewing Updates

I just spoke with Peter Hoey, brewmaster at Sacramento Brewing Company, and have a few nuggets I think you'll find interesting - even if you're not from the region.

First, the sale is still pending TTB approval. Estimates for this to go through range from days to months - typical of the feds, right?
(Pictured: Left - Peter Salmond, head brewer at SBC's Oasis; Right - Peter Hoey, SBC Brewmaster)

In the Tanks

Peter has two very interesting projects going on right now.

His most complete project is a tank-conditioned Tripel/Strong Blond. Peter has a fondness for bottle conditioned Belgian beers, when compared to the tap versions. He feels they have more character, especially styles like Saison, which he is well familiar with. So, with that in mind, and given he has an empty tank for the winter slow months, he's decided to condition an entire batch in a tank! He capped off the tank last night, went home and wondered if his hair-brained idea would work, or if he'd come in to find nothing happening. Overnight, the pressure of the tank rose to 4 PSI! That is a very promising result. This beer is very lightly filtered (6 microns) to allow a hazy appearance without being thick. In addition to the base ingredients, Peter has added Turbonado Sugar - or sugar in the raw. With the way it's looking now, patrons can expect to see this beer in early February.

The other project is one closer to the heart, Rory's Ale (I guessed on the spelling, that could be really wrong). This beer is being made to celebrate the birth of his first baby, due any day now - and his wife, Britney, looks fantastic, ready to deliver! This beer is due a couple months after the baby, with an expected delivery of March. It is also a Belgian inspired beer, with pomegranate and sour cherry juice additions. From everything I've heard, from before it was ever brewed till now, this beer is going to kick ass.

Finally, something a bit more 'regular'. Peter's just finished brewing an English Style Porter. This will be ready soon and is intended to get the locals through the rest of our cool months here. I believe this is their first 'straight' porter. In the past they've made "Double Shot", a porter made with coffee additions - which is currently on tap too, very drinkable with coffee notes that are not overpowering or long lingering.

Till they are complete, locals and regulars can go and enjoy Sac Brew's regular offerings - the Red Horse and Sacsquatch are exceptional these days, with minor tweaks by Peter proving to have serious impact on the beers' overall flavor. Red Horse is again dry-hopped, with slight changes in the varieties used. The Sacsquatch has less smoked malt and is incredibly drinkable (oh, it did win the Best of Show honors at the 2007 California Brewers Fest). Of course, you could also enjoy the Russian Imperial Stout that took bronze at this years GABF, great this time of year. What's great about these beers, they're bottled and distributed in a number of Northern California markets. I believe I also heard they are making their way into San Diego these days too, but I don't know many details there.