Written by: Jessica Cartie
Another early morning, but this time Brian and I were on our way to The Bruery tucked away in Placentia, Calif. Passing through the small front room of the building, we moved into the giant warehouse where brewing takes place every day. Giant metal tanks took up quite a bit of space in the middle, while racks of wooden barrels lined another wall giving it a rustic feel. In between sat an awesome looking bar and taps ready for tastings.
“This is how a real brewery should look like – tanks everywhere,” said Brewer Jay Goodwin, 25.
The tanks took center stage, but one odd thing I noticed were several creepy baby dolls sitting above the bar and on top of a few barrels. It piqued my curiosity, so I asked 26-year-old Doug Constantiner who immediately laughed aloud. He explained that one year for Halloween he dressed as Zach Galifianakis’ character in The Hangover, and therefore carried around a baby. It got left at The Bruery, and then to tease a co-worker who was disturbed by the creepy dolls, Doug and a few others placed dolls they found around the brewery in hard-to-reach places. So there the dolls sit.
Doug was the first person Brian and I met at The Bruery, and right off the bat with the doll story, we knew this place had a fun, unique atmosphere. A laidback kind of guy, easy to make conversation with, Doug wore a bright tie-dye t-shirt and a relaxed smile. Bitter-sweetly, this was his last day and half at The Bruery. This may lead you to believe that’s why he was so laidback, but in fact, all the guys seemed easygoing and genuinely happy to be making beer for a living. It helps that they are all in their mid to late-20s and early 30s making it easy for them to relate to one another and work together to create great beer.
“We have a free license on creativity,” said Doug. “Patrick built this company on that. The goal is that it will be well made, high quality beer.”
Founder and CEO Patrick Rue started out home brewing during his first year of law school and things expanded from there. According to The Bruery’s Web site, they look to “create beers with character and depth using the simplest and purest of means.” Moreover, they have created a reputation of using unique and often unconventional ingredients, which beer enthusiasts cannot seem to get enough of.
The question Brewer Jay Goodwin, 25, always asks is: “How can we make [the beer] even crazier?”
To name one unusual style beer, their Orchard White is a Belgian-style wit brewed with orange peel, coriander and lavender. It was definitely different, but that is what I liked about it. It was light, fresh and I could distinctly recognize the lavender, which made it all the more appealing. Brian’s favorite beer of the day was the Cuádruple, pronounced quadruple, which is brewed with dark agave syrup. Another unique aspect of The Bruery’s brewing process is the use of barrel aging. One example is their Black Tuesday which is an Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon barrels for over a year. Every beer we tried was completely unique with an incredible amount of flavor. Doug also said they are currently brewing a beer using truffle salt. If that’s not unconventional enough, I don’t know what is. The more we talked to Doug, the more we got the feeling that this was more than beer.
“It’s a blend of art and science and I’m more of the artistic side,” said Doug. He would soon be using his artistic side to start his own brewery, Societē Brewing Company, which is why it was his last day at The Bruery when we met. Doug and Co-founder Travis Smith, formerly of Russian River Brewing Company and The Bruery, are currently developing a productions brewery and tasting room in San Diego, Calif.
While some, like Doug, have aspirations to start their own brewery, others are happy to work as a brewer and have made The Bruery their home. Victor Lester, 25, was an electrician alongside his father prior to landing a job as a brewer 10 months ago. Victor first worked with his father to install the electric systems in The Bruery, and he only homebrewed on the side with his father and brother for fun. When he learned of a job opening, however, he jumped at the chance.
“The Bruery was one of my favorite breweries before I started working here, so it’s a plus,” said Victor.
Jay started at The Bruery in November 2008, six months after its inception. He graduated with a degree in psychology a few months earlier, but became interested in home brewing because of his roommate.
“I knew how lucky I was at the time to get the job, so I worked my ass off.” Like everyone who works at The Bruery, Jay started at the bottom and has since worked his way up. He enjoys what he does. “Every day is different – a different style, a different beer.”
In the end, that is what The Bruery is about – aspiring to be “an influential force in craft brewing.”
For more information on The Bruery, including tasting room hours and more about the beer, visit www.thebruery.com
To follow the progress of Societē Brewing Company, CLICK HERE to “like” them on Facebook.
Doug Constantiner, Brewer.
Jay Goodwin, Brewer.
Victor Lester, Brewer.