A review of Gerard Walen's book, Florida Breweries

Those of you who know me or follow me on Twitter know how I like to visit breweries in my travels. When I saw that Gerard Walen, aka @roadtrips4beer, wrote a book titled Florida Breweries, my antennae quickly shot up. Having been familiar with his work, both online and in Beer Advocate, I had a hunch that it’d be worth reading. Boy was I ever right!

Gerard profiles sixty six breweries / brewpubs from around the state, devoting a couple of pages to each.  The book is split up into geographical sections and includes a little background on each area. He also sprinkled in some extra info about the container sizes laws in Florida, the chains, beer in the theme parks and more!

Fligt of beers at 3 Daughters BrewingWe paid a visit to 3 Daughters Brewing on our trip through St. Petersburg. They are located in an old plumbing supply warehouse near the Grand Central District. They opened up in December 2013.

We were immediately greeted with a friendly hello the minute we walked in. These guys put some real thought into putting the taproom and brewery together. The taproom has a modern, upscale feel that is very comfortable. The large taproom takes up what was probably the showroom or reception area for the prior inhabitants in the front corner of the building.

R Bar - A brewpub in Treasure Island, FloridaWe recently worked our way through a few of the breweries in the St. Petersburg area. First stop of the day was at the R Bar in Treasure Island, located about a block or so from the beach.  I wasn’t familiar with the name or their beers so I figured it was a good place to start. The fact that they open for breakfast, hours before the other area breweries open, might have had some influence in the choice too.

We arrived about noon and were a little taken aback when we walked in. Let’s just say hashtag divebar.  It reminded me of one of those older bars where the professional drinkers hang out all day (but that does not appear to be the clientele here). That being said, the place seemed both tourist and family friendly. I honestly thought we were in the wrong place until I saw a banner sign on the mirror behind the bar recommending their “fresh brewed beers.”

Good Things Come in Nano Packages: a Review of the Mack House Nano-Brewery

Jason, aka @ZauderWithaZee recently offered to do a guest post about the Mack House located in central Broward, along I-595. Here's what he had to say....

I had a "night-out" pass from The Wife so I headed to the Mack House in Davie. It is located in a little strip mall on State Road 84 in the same strip mall with a country music bar and a Kabooms amusement center.

One of the reasons I really enjoy spending time over in the Tampa / Clearwater / St. Pete area is the collection of breweries and cool places to hang out. Anthony aka @RantOfTheAnt, expressed an interest in doing a guest review of one of his haunts, Dunedin Brewery.

Here's his review....

We recently ran into Chris Guerra of Fantasy Brewmasters and were fortunate to get him to answer some questions about his beer and some of the "behind the scenes" work that goes into developing and producing it.

I know that there are a couple of you behind Wynwood Brewing. Tell us a little about yourselves.

Wynwood Brewing is very much a family operation. The owners are my father, my oldest brother and myself. I started homebrewing in college after my father bought me a homebrewing kit for Christmas one year. I’ve pretty much hooked everyone in my family to craft beer so naturally my father jumped on board and came out of retirement to help me start the brewery.

Although I consider myself a pretty good homebrewer, I knew it’s not the same to jump from a 10gallon system to a 15barrel system, so I wanted to have someone join the team that had the experience. We originally had Jim Patton, founder of Abita Brewing, as part of our team but unfortunately he passed last year. It was a tough loss for all of us. However, Jim helped us out tremendously in his time with us. Not to mention that he was a big fan of our beers, our concept and our neighborhood. Much of the brewery layout and production concept is in part thanks to his guidance.

Earlier this year though, Naga Reshi joined the team as our brewer. Naga and I sat down, talked about our visions, experiences and ideas. I tried some of his beers and knew it was the right fit. He’s been doing an exceptional job with our recipes and working on some new test batches that we can’t wait to share once we are up and running.

How did each of you become so interested in beer?

Naga: Because I love it. How is any guy interested in women? You just are, once you get the bug, that’s it, you’re done.

Luis: I guess because in my family we love libations and anything with malted barley. We’re Puerto Rican, so we find any reason to have a party, get together, drink and eat. So we drink a lot of rum, beer and scotch. In my family particularly we love Scotch, Bourbon and beers.

Are you guys mainly self-taught or were you mentored by anyone? If so, what did they teach you that stands out in what you do today?

Both I guess you could say.

Naga started in 1990 while he was doing an internship for NCR in Dayton, OH. His mentor for the internship was a homebrewer that took him to a homebrew club meeting. Quickly he started homebrewing that summer with his mentor and then reading anything he could get his hands on. From there he kept homebrewing until he saw the opportunity to open a brewpub in Brazil, in Bahia. After a few years he sold the brewpub and opened a 15HL production brewery that he sold and moved back to Miami

I’m self-taught as well, like I mentioned I started homebrewing back in college. I did learn a lot from the time that I spent with Jim. He really taught me to trust in my senses, smell and taste.

Opening a brewery is a big undertaking, what inspired you to do it? How long has it been in the works?

When I first started with the idea of Wynwood Brewing Company there wasn’t a production brewery here in town. It was the Abbey and Titanic that was it. While I was in the process Schnebly Miami Brewing got started and that really inspired me to keep pushing through. The market really is wide open and in the area we are in it can really support plenty of breweries. Not to mention that all of us have our own little niche within the beers we produce or are looking to produce.

From when I first started writing my business plan to today it’s been close to three years. It took me a while to find the funding. After the funding it took me a while to find the right location at the right price. Once we locked down the location last July it’s been permitting ever since. So we’ve been about 9 months in the process since we signed our lease. This process does test your passion and perseverance.

Is there anything in the process that you would do differently if you could?

If I were to do anything differently it would be to over budget. You can never have too much money in this kind of business. Whether it’s in equipment, construction and personnel, you could always find areas to improve and invest in. Luckily we made provisions in our budget and have been able to save here and there. I would of also allowed us more time to open. We really thought that we would have been able to open by late last year. However, we are now in spring and are still working through some of our permits. I heard nightmare stories from businesses around town about opening up but I didn’t want to believe it. So if I were to advise my fellow up and coming brewers it would be to plan accordingly and give it 10-12 months for the planning/drawings stage to permitting and construction.

When do you think you’ll be up and running?

As soon as the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County allow us! In all seriousness we are working on a June opening if all goes well with construction and inspections.

What’s going to make Wynwood Brewing stand out from other craft breweries? Are you planning any tie-ins with the local art community or other groups?

All craft breweries are standouts. We want to produce solid year round beers and be creative with our seasonals and one-offs. Being that we are in Wynwood we take brewing as very much our art and craft. We have a few sayings here among ourselves of “Know Your Craft” and “A work of Art in every glass” because we want to stay true to our craft and consider our beers our art that we want to share with our community. We will be planning on doing events during second Saturdays in the neighborhood and collaborations with other businesses. We want to continue the trend started by the entrepreneurs that are already here in the neighborhood of making Wynwood a great place to visit. It’s not like anything else around Miami.

How big of a system are you going to initially use? What’s your total capacity going to be in the beginning?

We have a 15-barrel brewhouse and will have an initial capacity of around 1,500 barrels. We are already looking at purchasing new tanks to increase capacity. We’d like to grow and not have to be pushing our beers and sacrificing the quality.

What’s your core line up going to be?

From our opening we’re going to have three-year round brews. They will be “La Rubia” which is an alt beer. Pop’s Porter, which is named after my old man because he can’t get enough of it. It’s a nice dark beer with hints of chocolate and coffee with a lighter body than most porters. It’s really designed for the Miami weather. Finally we’ll have our Wynwood IPA that we’ve been playing around with lately. We want an IPA that’s similar to West Coast Style IPA’s and a nice citrusy, tropical fruit aroma. We’ll have some test batches at the events we’ll be pouring and are welcoming feedback from everyone.

Are you planning to brew seasonals and one-offs initially or will those be something for further down the road?

We were actually sitting down this week to discuss our brew schedule for the coming year. It will all depend if we are keeping up with our orders, but we’d like to do a new beer each month. Most of these beers will be out of our pilot system and only served in the tasting room but we really want to get creative. Down the road too we’d like to have a nice barrel-aging program as part of our offerings.

I’m assuming that you are going to start out kegging everything but will you be doing any special release bottles, etc.?

Exactly, from the beginning it will be all kegs. However, we do want to offer some of our special releases in large format bottles. Down the line we are looking at canning.

One of the big trends we’re seeing is collaborations? I know its still early but have you given them much thought or made any plans?

Absolutely. The Craft Beer industry is all about collaboration! We’ve done some collaboration with our fellow homebrew clubs in Miami already. We’re also in talks with some of our local breweries in Miami and the ones that are starting up just like us to do collaborations. Aside from that, Naga has been in conversations with Pete Slosberg from Pete’s Wiked Ale to do a collaboration brew. We’re also working on collaborations with other businesses in the neighborhood such as Panther Coffee and SweetCakes in Midtown.

You have a taproom in the plans. What do you have planned? Growlers?

From the beginning we may keep it very simple as we focus on getting our recipes dialed in the main system. We are going to do growlers and towards the later part of this year we’d like to also have a snifter club. We’d also like to hold special events and have some music in the brewery. We’d like to do community organized events for businesses in Wynwood. We really want the taproom to be a place where everybody comes and gathers, hangs out and shares ideas.

Lastly, the question we ask everyone, if we were to open your fridges, what beers might we find?

Ha! Great question. I always like to ask fellow brewers what they have fermenting! Right now I have a can of Heady Topper, a bottle of Peaches IPA and a Saison that were a collaboration between Beer Snobs Ale, Opus Ales, Fourth Age Brewing, Gravity Brewlab, Misfits, Subvert Ales, Most Wanted Brewery and ourselves. Also, I have a 32oz growler of Tequesta’s Bourbon Milk Stout.

Learn more about Wynwood Brewing on their website. www.wynwoodbrewing.com


Tomoka BrewryI've been fortunate enough to get to know Peter & Jen, the duo behind Tomoka Brewery, over the last year or so and was able to get them to share a little about their plans up in Ormond Beach.

As many of us know, Tomoka Brewing is a husband and wife team. Tell us a little about Tomoka and yourselves.
Jenny is a native Floridian and Peter is originally from Hungary. We've been together 12 years and literally fuel one another's passion for great food. When we first met we were foodie wine snobs and both loved import beers, and that has evolved into a tremendous love of craft beer and great food. At Tomoka Brewery, we plan to showcase and present what we are passionate about to our customers.

We were fortunate to meet up with Daniel Morales and Christopher Campos of Fourth Age Brewing at a local beer fest recently. After we got to trying their beers and talking with them a bit, Daniel shared the following with us.

I know that Christopher and you are behind Fourth Age Brewing. Tell us a little not only about Fourth Age but yourselves too.

Ah yes, the origin of our name. It is a tale more akin to the tragedy of man than a mere creation myth of biblical origin. It is a name born twentyfour moons ago in retaliation to the powers that be. For too long man has stood idly by as Marx’s “Overman” dictated on to us the meaning of a proper ale. We at Fourth Age Brewing threw down the chains that bound us, and chose to walk our own path and create libations of adventure and mystery. Young Oliver, much like Gilgamesh’s epic, our story has no ending. Our insignia is that of struggle. The struggles to explore, cultivate, and understand this world. For much of the same reasons, our name’s origin is not about where we come from, but where we are going. Where all men and women are going!

In all seriousness though, Fourth Age Brewing is just two guys. Christopher Campos and Daniel Morales. Christopher is a mathematician who teaches by day and brews by night side by side with Daniel, who is an Anthropology major and works abroad uncovering past Celtic relics.

Are you planning on taking things to the next level?

We are currently working on our business plan and seeking investors to help get Fourth Age Brewing up off the ground within the next year. I can’t blurt out all the details but we are planning on a full production brewery with a tasting room.

How did each of you become so interested in beer? Is yours another “Mr Beer Kit” gone-wild story?

Chris actually was a beer hunter for years, always staking out all the little spots that harbored any good and rare brews. I was introduced to craft beer through him I say about six years ago at Abraxis lounge. We just drank the stuff up until a few years ago a friend of ours had a little extract kit that had been sitting around for longer than it should have been. He invited us over we brewed the kit and had a blast while doing it. We had to make an emergency run to the now gone Brew Box for some viable yeast and drank our creation a few weeks later. It was the worst damn Nut Brown I have ever had but it sparked our interest and from that moment on, we have been brewing now stop.

Are you guys mainly self-taught?

We did take a class at Brew Box Miami when we first started out but most of our process has been learned through internet research and trial and error. Our ¿Flan? recipe took over a year to get down and we still play with it.

Tell us about your first batches of brew...

Let’s just say that there was a lot of over-carbonated bottles gushing all over my living room after the first few batches. A lot of our first ideas did not pan out, so we would repeat with new approaches to achieve what we were looking for. Our first pumpkin beer was a mess but it taught us what not to do.

What's unique about your beers?

We get inspiration for our beers from a lot of places, sometimes our cultural heritage being that we are both of Cuban descent. Sometimes its food we like or even film and literature. We just like our beers to be bold and flavorful creations that make you wonder how it was made. We like to play with styles and do not necessarily feel we have to stick to any as though they are written in stone. We like to play with spices, herbs and fruits.

Your Flan Stout is unreal. What other beers have you brewed that generate that sort of a response? What’s your favorite so far?

There have been a few hits that we have poured recently that generate a big response such has our Lost City. Its a light golden ale that has bready notes and a lemon finish from the addition of lemon grass. It literally smells like Fruit Loops. Our Balrog Sneeze gets a big response too. Its our American strong ale that is usually way up there in abv. and sits on roasted habanero peppers for awhile. It sometimes also gets aged in our whiskey barrel. As for picking a favorite, that's like asking a parent to choose their favorite child but, it really depends on what we’re doing that particular day. Each of our beers are pretty distinct from one another.

If we were to open your fridges at home, what beers might we find?

Right now we have Avery Maharaja, Rayon Vert, OPB2, The Perfect Crime, a few cans of Jai-Alai and a bottle of the Beast.

So how can other South Florida craft beer geeks get a taste of your beers?

For the time being, just be on the lookout for us at events in the South Florida area. You can check us out on Facebook for upcoming events and tastings. The Fourth Age is coming to Miami, hopefully if all is well, within the next year.

When we did this interview, their name was Most Wanted Brewery but recently they changed it to MIA Brewing Co. Same guys, same great beers, just a different name so as to prevent trademark issues down the road. They are one of the new breweries opening in the near futere in Miami-Dade. We tried some of their beers and then got Eddie Leon to agree to an interview.

I know that there are a couple of guys behind Most Wanted. Tell us a little about yourselves.

Most Wanted has 3 partners; Kevin Smith, Johann Beckford, and Eddie Leon. We started our careers as architects, but had a mutual passion for 3d animation so we started a company together providing 3d services for other architects and real estate developers. Our business was successful but suffered during the “great recession” as the volatile real estate industry tanked. We licked our wounds and learned some important lessons on the need to protect yourself by diversifying your business. After some soul searching and various false starts for new startup ideas we zeroed in on opening a craft brewery.

How did each of you become so interested in beer?

As young college students, we each began our appreciation for beer at parties, but after a while, funneling Budweiser lost it’s appeal so we naturally began to develop our palate. needless to say, in the mid-80’s there was a limited supply of quality beer in South Florida. The best beers we could find were German imports, such as, Spaten & Hacker-Pschorr. We didn’t know what craft brewing was or that it existed in the US. After a trip to Boston in 1990, I stumbled across Sam Adams and Harpoon at the local bars. Around 1993, I was given a home brewing kit by my wife to further my newfound interest in craft beer. The first brew I made was a Sierra Nevada clone that was remarkably good for a first try. Soon after I went on a brewing hiatus since we were poor college students and lived in a small non air-conditioned apartment that wasn’t adequate as a place to brew.

Opening a brewery is a big undertaking, what inspired you to do it? How long has it been in the works?

My brewing kit collected dust for years and my wife would occasionally elbow me about getting back into brewing. It wasn’t until a trip to Schnebly Winery with some friends early last year that my interest was rekindled. We went there for a tasting of their fruit wines, but I noticed they also had a tasting for beer. After sampling their four new brews I couldn’t help but think back to how much better some of my homebrews were. So, the proverbial light bulb went off in my head and I got back into home brewing. Soon after, I realized that starting a brewery in Miami would be a viable business venture. So, technically, our brewery has been in the planning stages for less than a year and it wasn’t until last December that we leased our warehouse and ordered the new brewhouse.

Piero Rodriguez checking out Pink PosseAre you guys mainly self-taught or were you mentored by anyone?

I’m the brewer of the 3 partners and I’m purely self-taught. I developed the basic recipes for our beer lineup, but we now have a much more experienced brewer helping us to improve and refine them. His name is Piero Rodriguez and you might know him from Subvert Ales, which is a successful local home brewing club. Recently, his new version of Hops & Robbers won best brew at the Miami Beach Brew Fest.

If we were to open your fridge, what beers might we find?

I love all Belgian styles. You might catch me with a Leffe or a New Belgium Trippel, but at the moment I have 2 Hunapuh’s in my fridge that are begging to be opened. Just waiting for the right moment to share with some friends. I’m generally not a stout or porter drinker. I like them, but since I like to have at least one brew every night before dinner, I generally try to keep my choice relatively sessionable and lower in calories.

What makes the Most Wanted Brewery different from others?

Making great beer is a given in our industry. You can’t start a brewery and succeed by just making mediocre beer. So, even though we strive to make great beer, we don’t think that that alone will help us stand apart in an increasingly saturated market.

We hope to connect with people as a lifestyle brand that reflects a certain rebellious freedom in all of us. I think we all have a little badass in us. We also all have a passion for things that are genuine and local. Our hope is to make those connections and establish some sort of lifestyle conversation with everyone that is both fun and engaging.

How did you guys come up with the idea to use invasive species in recipes?

We were inspired by the Melaleuca trees that have been invading the Everglades for decades. These trees are crowding out native plants and animals and have been causing serious ecological problems. We hoped to find a solution by harvesting the trees and commercializing them in some way. Other than turning them to mulch, nobody is using them for other promising products that can come from them, such as, the essential oils from their leaves and their teak-like wood. We found that the essential oil from the trees are anti-bacterial and anti-septic. It can be used as a bittering agent and preservative in beer. The wood also contains tannins and can possibly be used for barrel aging beer. We tried the oils in a Gruit style beer, but haven’t tried using the wood yet. We hope to continue experimenting with other plants.

So far what ones have you experimented with? What’s worked the best?

So far, our greatest success has come from using Brazilian Pepper Honey in our Crimin Ale wheat beer. It’s a delicious local honey that comes from bees that pollenate the local brazilian pepper trees. This plant is also considered invasive, but not as problematic as the Melaleuca. No actual plant product is used in our beer, but by using the honey and other products we hope to bring attention to the plants and the issues in our local environment.

Are you going to have a set group of core beers? Like what?

We will have a core lineup of at least 5 beers. They will be selected based on all the great feedback we’ve been getting at the local festivals. We hope to have a good range for all palates, but the clear leaders so far are our High Noon Hefeweizen and our Hops & Robbers IPA. Our Hops & Robbers Pale Ale with ginger molasses has been very successful, but it will be renamed since it’s not really a hop-forward beer. We might have a naming contest for it soon.

The other top beers on the list are Pink Posse, Crimin Ale, and Smokin’ Barrel. Pink Posse is a hibiscus ale that’s actually pink. We are not sure if people really love the tart flavor or just like asking for it because of the name, but the beer is intended to be a unique flavor that appeals to the local palate so we will keep refining it. Crimin Ale is based on traditional Wit Bier style with the added twist of local honey. It’s a nice and refreshing beer, but I’ve been a little underwhelmed by it so we are going to strengthen it’s overall character and increase it’s ABV as well. Smokin’ Barrel is our darkest beer so far. It’s a chicory porter and it’s been very well received. Piero made a special version for the recent Sprung festival with Cacao Nibs and vanilla beans. It was a big hit.

When can we expect to see your beers in the market?

Our plan is to have our beer on the market by August if there are no major delays with construction.

Will you initially be focusing on draft or will you be doing any bottling too?

It’s typical for a new brewery to focus first on keg distribution the first year or two of operation. We are already looking into the costs of a bottling or canning line, but are prepared to just do some good old fashion hand-bottling for some special releases if necessary.

What's your initial brewing capacity going to be?

Our brewhouse is a Premier Stainless 20 barrel - 3 Vessel system. It can produce 620 gallons per batch and because of the separate whirlpool we can easily schedule 3 batches per day. However, our bottleneck will be in our fermentation capacity. Our (3) 40 barrel tanks can be filled in just 3 days. We would then need to wait 2 weeks for the next brewing cycle. We hope to add more tanks as quickly as possible.

Is a taproom in the plans?

The taproom is a very big part of our plans. We have a relatively large space for it and would like to make it as relaxing and enjoyable as possible. In addition to a nice long bar with lots of tap handles, we plan on adding a stage for local bands and a game area with a pool table.

A few other things we would like to point out about our taproom is that we will support other local and Florida craft breweries by having them on tap. We will have regular releases of seasonal, special edition, and barrel-aged brews. Unfortunately, we won’t have a kitchen since production breweries are not allowed to have one in Florida, but we will have packaged snacks and on weekends and special events we will have food trucks.

Leran more about Most Wanted Brewery on their website, www.MostWantedBrewery.com

Miami brewery crafts unique styles, flavors, and even names for South Florida’s thirsty beer population.

Craft beer drinkers rejoice as Miami’s highly-anticipated brewery enters the scene through South Florida’s most popular restaurants, bars, and events. The brainchild of owner Diego Ganoza, Gravity Brewlab is designed to be the answer to the question Miami has been asking for the past several years, "why can't we have creative, top quality, locally-made craft beer; like most other metropolitan cities in the U.S.?"

We recently asked Gabe Grass how his idea for starting GrassLands Brewery came about and how things were coming along as he goes through the various development stages. We’re hoping to have updates as the process continues. Maybe we can convince him to do some guest beer reviews too.

Here’s his story….

Let me start with a quick introduction. My name is Gabe. I’m 30 years old. I’m happily married. I enjoy surfing, being with family, sports, and all things outdoors. Oh yeah, I brew beer. Sometimes really good beer, or so I’ve been told. It’s nice to meet you.

Personally, I’ve never had an entrepreneurial bone in my body; that is, not until I started brewing. As you might guess, I’m not very unique in this aspect – there are thousands of folks out there just like me who taste their own homebrewed creation and contemplate: What if? Well, my “What if?” is slowly, but surely, turning into a reality.

I’m not really sure when it happened, only that it did. I decided at some point in the last three years that I wanted to start a craft brewery. I wanted to call it GrassLands. I wanted to bring people together through my own personal creation. I also had no idea what I was doing…but I was passionate about it and I still am.

Starting a brewery isn’t something that should be taken lightly. As a future small-business owner, I’m all too aware of the disturbing business-survival statistics. About half of all small businesses fail within their first five years of operation. This is a common staple of small business statistics, and usually it’s due to poor planning, inadequate capital and simply just a misunderstanding of the market and/or its consumers. In Florida, the state in which GrassLands hopes to launch, more businesses closed than opened in 2009. That’s pretty intimidating to say the least. However, for the craft beer industry, things are certainly looking up. Florida has a number of big-time brewers, a number of up-and-comers, and a bunch of breweries-in-planning – just like GrassLands. In fact, GrassLands is one of over 1,200 breweries-in-planning throughout the country. Fun, yet scary factoid.
So with all that in mind, I decided that I would be my next boss and became an entrepreneur. I launched grasslandsbrewery.com, which allows me to stay connected to the market and eventual consumers while documenting the planning of GrassLands, and I’m enjoying every minute of it. Furthermore, social networking and social media has made GrassLands extremely accessible. Every day I connect with people I’ve never met who are not only excited about GrassLands, but they’re also offering to get involved in some shape or form to ensure the brewery becomes a reality. Mindboggling. Humbling.

So about the (eventual) brewery. GrassLands serves as both a tribute to my family’s name and my passion for environmental stewardship and animal conservation. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not a crazy activist or anything like that, but I do value shedding light on environment and animal conservation issues. GrassLands’ mission is to craft high quality and unique ales with 100% natural ingredients (organic where possible) while utilizing environment-friendly and sustainability/conservation-focused business and brewing practices wherever and however possible. Once GrassLands is officially in operation, it will host regular events and make annual donations to nonprofit organizations that have similar missions of impacting the environment and animal welfare. I look to Sierra Nevada’s business and brewing model and I’m completely inspired by their innovation in sustainability. GrassLands’ slogan: Earth First Ales – reflects GrassLands’ commitment to brew great beer while also having a positive impact on environmental and animal conservation efforts.
Where are we now? Currently, GrassLands is in a pseudo-holding pattern – figuring out the best launch location and going through logistics like brewing capacity, spatial needs, investors, financials, business plan, etc. etc. etc. While we’re waiting to take the next big step, I’ve been fine-tuning my recipes. GrassLands has enlisted the assistance of a number of craft beer enthusiasts from around the country to provide feedback on future flagship ales – a group I lovingly refer to as the GrassHoppers. Their input will help to solidify the foundation of GrassLands when it comes time to launch.

I want GrassLands ales to not only push the boundaries and expectations for each beer style, but also be of the highest quality. One of my guarantees is that we’ll never sacrifice quality for quantity at GrassLands – so however many varieties and amounts of hops, malts and adjuncts make GrassLands’ Fiery Plains Imperial IPA or Le Roi Rouge Imperial Red award winners, we’re committed to ensuring that our recipes never stray from what made it great in the first place. Perhaps it also helps that I’m a perfectionist when it comes to brewing.

So while we’re not steaming ahead full-force, GrassLands is slowly but surely transforming from a dream into a reality. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to think about the long and most likely tumultuous journey ahead, but I’m completely excited to be on it along with my supporters. It’s been a fun ride so far, and even though my stress level will most likely exceed capacity in the somewhat near future, it’ll all be worth it. I hope to meet you soon, everyone. Prost!

Gabe Grass @GrassLandsBrew
GrassLands Brewery