There’s a lot brewing over at Steve and Jeremy Raub’s humble Glassell Park establishment.
Last Saturday, the father/son-owned Eagle Rock Brewery hosted the Maltose Falcons’ 8th annual Doug King Memorial Competition, a Beer Judge Certification Program-sanctioned event open to homebrewers from across the nation. This year’s winner, like last year’s, will collaborate with the Raubs to produce 500 gallons of the winning beer — a portion of which will be kegged and taken to Denver for the Pro-Am competition held at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in September.
Donny Hummel, the winner of last year’s Maltose Falcons event, saw his smooth Imperial Red Ale with Rye, aptly called “Red Velvet”, take home GABF Gold in 2010, propelling the then-10-month-old Eagle Rock Brewery into the national craft beer spotlight. This year’s winner, Jeff Crowell, hopes to follow in Hummel’s footsteps with a Dortmunder Export. But production of Crowell’s Pilsner-like lager is just one of the treats Steve and Jeremy Raub have in store for fans of Eagle Rock Brewery in 2011. All the details after the jump >>
Next Thursday marks the first anniversary of Eagle Rock’s tap room. And to celebrate, the Raubs will brew 400 gallons of Libertine, the “Imperial Amber Witte” they first released last February. The new batch will be made with 60 pounds of sage honey, and boast an 8.6% ABV. Look for it on tap around town in the coming weeks.
You should also expect to see another round of their Populist IPA at bars this week. December’s batch was exceptional, but Jeremy thinks this one will be even better, thanks to “one rare brew day when everything went right” and a new recipe designed to dry the beer out a bit, allowing the the hops to be even brighter and snappier than they were before. But this time you needn’t worry about getting your pours before everyone else. Populist is about to become much more plentiful, as the Raubs plan to move it into regular production this year, alongside their holy trinity of Solidarity English-style Black Mild Ale, Manifesto Belgian-style Witbier, and Revolution American Extra Pale Ale.
The increased productivity at Eagle Rock Brewery is due in large part to the addition of head brewer Pat Morse, who the Raubs hired in June. Jeremy says that prior to hiring Morse — who, unlike the Raubs, came with commercial experience from working at Harpoon Brewery in Boston — the brewery’s production had maxed out at 25 to 30 barrels per month. But with Morse’s help, the Raubs have increased their monthly production by as much as 70%. That increased efficiency, coupled with growing demand, has prompted the Raubs to purchase two new fermenters and a new brite tank (where beer matures, clarifies and is naturally carbonated through secondary fermentation), both of which will be installed by the end of this quarter, effectively doubling the brewery’s production capacity.
The new equipment will arrive just in time to start feeding Eagle Rock Brewery’s new bottling line, which the Raubs hope to have up and running this summer. Though the details have yet to be confirmed, Eagle Rock bottles will most likely be found at several L.A.-area Whole Foods locations, Red Carpet Wine in Glendale, Silverlake Wine, and Colorado Wine Company in Eagle Rock.
And if that isn’t enough good news for you, Jeremy says we might see more Red Velvet in the not-so-distant future. I’m thinking 2012, barring the apocalypse. Keep your fingers crossed.