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Golden Road

When it comes to beer, simply tasting great is not enough for Golden Road Brewing. Launched in 2011 by co-founders Meg Gill and Tony Yanow, the brewery was built to bring fresh craft brew to beer lovers in the most sustainable, socially-minded way possible. And doing good while brewing great has turned out to be a winning combination for this do-gooder brewery.

Based on Golden Road’s explosive growth and successful bid to transform LA into a booming beer town, we’d say that approach has worked out pretty well…both for the brewery and legions of beer lovers who prize the brewery’s fresh, clean West Coast flavors. And there’s no Golden Road beer that’s done more to save the world than Heal the Bay IPA – the ultimate, summery IPA brewed to help the Heal the Bay foundation protect California’s waterways.

The Ultimate Summer IPA, Two Ways to Brew


Golden Road Heal the Bay IPA Extract Recipe Kit


Golden Road Heal the Bay IPA All-Grain Recipe Kit

The BREW: Golden Road Heal the Bay IPA

According to Golden Road co-founder and avid surfer Meg Gill, the inspiration for Heal the Bay IPA was born on her board.  “I saw a Heal the Bay beach cleanup after surfing one Saturday in Santa Monica and was immediately drawn to the organization.”

For 30 years, Heal the Bay has been working to protect the Southern California watersheds. And since 2013, Golden Road has helped in that effort by donating a portion of the proceeds from brewery sales to the foundation.

In Meg’s mind, it’s a natural fit on so many fronts. Golden Road was built around the idea of fostering a community of socially-minded beer enthusiasts in Los Angeles. Plus, Heal the Bay IPA is brewed to be clean, bright and fresh, and that’s exactly what the Heal the Bay foundation has been working so hard to achieve – fresh clean local waterways in Southern California.

Best of all, though Heal the Bay IPA started out as a seasonal summer beer, it quickly became a crowd favorite in the burgeoning LA beer scene. A perfectly balanced symphony of juicy, fruity hops and simple malt profile with a crisp, dry finish, it’s the ultimate year-round IPA for LA’s endless summer. Not to mention, the perfect way add a splash of California sunshine to any locale lucky enough to carry it.

And now, the beer famous for being crafted in Los Angeles can be crafted in your home. Authentically, deliciously, repeatedly. Because, for the first time ever, Golden Road’s finest brewmasters have shared the recipe in a kit crafted especially for homebrewers.

The Good Stuff: Brewing & Tasting Notes

BREWING
NOTES

SRM: 3.5

IBUs: 65

ABV: 6.8%

FERMENTATION TEMP: 68F

ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1.063

TASTING HIGHLIGHTS:
Light in body · Bright · Citrusy · Juicy · Clean · Fresh · Summertime

PAIRING HIGHLIGHTS:
Burgers · Fish and Chips · Salads with Fresh Fruit (Mangoes, Pomegranate Seeds, Citrus)

Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes:

Pours a pale straw color with a brilliant white head. Nose is bright, citrusy, juicy with loads of tropical hop aromas. On the palate, it is light in body with subtle malt notes and explosive flavors of mango, grapefruit, pineapple and a delightfully dry finish. The perfect summertime IPA that appeals to both craft beer lovers and any beer drinker craving a bright, refreshing brew.

Brewmaster’s Pairing Ideas:

Perfect with beach or poolside fare like the ultimate burger, fresh off the grill, or fish tacos with a squeeze of lime. The citrus character of the IPA also complements fish and chips, as well as salad greens topped with fresh fruit like juicy mangoes or pomegranate seeds. Pair it with a hand-tossed pizza sprinkled with cilantro and roasted peppers to play off the caramel notes.

More Exclusive Golden Road Recipes!


Golden Road Wolf Among Weeds IPA Extract Recipe Kit


Golden Road Wolf Among Weeds IPA All-Grain Recipe Kit

The BREW: Golden Road Wolf Among Weeds IPA

Golden in color and light to medium in body, this classic West Coast IPA is a celebration of the majestic hop species, Humulus Lupulus, to which it owes its name. In Latin, this phrase translates roughly as “Wolf Among Weeds,” after Romans observed hops’ tendency to overtake other plants in the wild.

At 8%, this silent and seductive Wolf will sneak up on you with tropical, citrusy, dank hop notes and a hint of rye. Golden Road’s goal was to  showcase the bright, tropical notes of Simcoe, the pine of Chinook, and the slight dankness of CTZ. The result is a complex layering of abundant hop flavors and aromas with an aggressive but pleasantly dry finish.

BREWING
NOTES

SRM: 2.5

IBUs: 75

ABV: 8.0%

FERMENTATION TEMP: 68F

ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1.071

TASTING HIGHLIGHTS:
Light to medium body · Tropical · Citrusy · Dank Hop Notes · Hint of Rye

PAIRING HIGHLIGHTS:
Burgers fresh off the grill · Fish Tacos · Samosas


Golden Road Get Up Offa That Brown Ale Extract Recipe Kit


Golden Road  Get Up Offa That Brown Ale All-Grain Recipe Kit

The BREW: Golden Road Get Up Offa That Brown Ale

A rich English-style Brown Ale with a great malt character, toasty complexity, rich notes of caramel and chocolate…and just enough hops to keep everything in balance.

Golden Road added trace amounts of smoked malt to this recipe, in order to emphasize the roast, while keeping malt sweetness from lingering. The darker malt qualities come forward while you drink, as the smoke continues to slowly surface.

One of the most important aspects of becoming a great homebrewer is to know your ingredients. This beer is a classic example of how an intimate knowledge of specific malts can turn what some might consider a pedestrian style into something truly exceptional.

BREWING
NOTES

SRM: 20.0

IBUs: 20

ABV: 5.5%

FERMENTATION TEMP: 68F

ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1.056

TASTING HIGHLIGHTS:
Complex toastiness · Rich notes of Caramel · Biscuits · Chocolate · Well balanced

PAIRING HIGHLIGHTS:
Richly Marbled Steaks · Short Ribs · Barbecued Pork


Golden Road Oatmeal Milk Stout Extract Recipe Kit


Golden Road Oatmeal Milk Stout All-Grain Recipe Kit

The BREW: Golden Road Oatmeal Milk Stout

The beer is built upon a solid foundation of the classic British heirloom malt, Maris Otter. The supporting malts, oats, and lactose all serve to keep everything in harmonious balance.

Golden Road wanted to marry the silkiness of an Oatmeal Stout with the subtle sweetness of a Milk Stout, all the while creating an extremely drinkable dark beer at 5.5% ABV. The idea was to create a beautifully balanced stout that would surprise even those who never thought they would enjoy one.

BREWING
NOTES

SRM: 30.0

IBUs: 17

ABV: 5.5%

FERMENTATION TEMP: 68F

ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1.062

TASTING HIGHLIGHTS:
Medium in body · Roasty · Hints of Dark Chocolate · Extremely smooth finish

PAIRING HIGHLIGHTS:
Burgers · Barbecue · Virtually any dessert

Meet the Brewmaster

When young beer lover and So-Cal transplant Victor Novak found himself on the other side of the country, cruelly cut off from his beloved Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, he did what the most intrepid beer lovers would do…he homebrewed a clone.

Good thing for the rest of us that he did. That first homesick-curing batch set the stage for one of the most esteemed careers in the brewing world…a 20+ year journey that would lead Victor from Philadelphia’s Dock Street Brewing all the way back to the West Coast, where he helped shape the Orange County beer scene before ultimately taking the wheel as Brewmaster at Golden Road Brewing.

In a town overflowing with great breweries, Victor has garnered praise and scores of GABF medals for brewing clean, classic, traditional European-style beers…occasionally highlighted with a thoughtful, surprising twist. His take on a barrel-aged Imperial Russian Stout — Remy, aged in Pappy Van Winkle barrels…maybe you’ve heard of it? — became one of the most coveted annual bottle releases in history.

But when an opportunity arose to start brewing his passion projects on a larger scale for Golden Road Brewing, Victor decided to step out of his comfort zone and meet the challenge head-on. Now, instead of brewing 15 barrels, it’s 200-300 a day. But the exploration and creative process leading up to brew day is the same, and that’s what helps shape Golden Road’s world-famous beers.

“We have a very collaborative atmosphere, so regardless of who comes up with an idea for a new IPA, classic lager or barrel-aged beer, we all get to chime in and add something of value. We truly get the best beer possible this way,” says Victor.

In many ways, Victor is never too far away from his homebrewing roots, though you could say he’s upgraded a bit from the homebrewing kit he received as a Christmas present from his girlfriend in 1992. His first batch of homebrew was inspired by a beer and style he loved. And since then, he’s traveled the world to better study and understand the roots, science and methods behind classical brewing styles in Belgium, Germany, Britain, France and the Czech Republic.

That research has contributed to a skill set that’s made made him one of the most decorated brewers in Southern California. But no matter how refined his palate, Victor always appreciates beers that appeal to both die-hard beer geeks and flip-flop-wearing beach-goers alike.

“You have to be able to do a wide variety because everyone has a short attention span when it comes to style,” says Victor. “People always want something new.”

The same guidelines apply when it comes to homebrewing. When Victor selected the recipes for Golden Road’s first-ever homebrew recipe kits, he chose a mix of the brewery’s most celebrated styles. “Our reputation right now is very IPA focused. We do IPAs and classic styles, but still touch on other really interesting beers as well.”

The result is an expertly curated selection of Golden Road’s greatest hits: Heal the Bay IPA, Wolf Among Weeds IPA, Get Up Offa That Brown Ale and Oatmeal Milk Stout. All famously crafted in California…now available freshly brewed in your own home.


Golden Road Heal the Bay IPA Extract Recipe Kit


Golden Road Heal the Bay IPA All-Grain Recipe Kit


Golden Road Wolf Among Weeds IPA Extract Recipe Kit


Golden Road Wolf Among Weeds IPA All-Grain Recipe Kit


Golden Road Get Up Offa That Brown Ale Extract Recipe Kit


Golden Road Get Up Offa That Brown Ale All-Grain Recipe Kit


Golden Road Oatmeal Milk Stout Extract Recipe Kit


Golden Road Oatmeal Milk Stout All-Grain Recipe Kit

Golden Road Heal the Bay IPA

When it comes to beer, simply tasting great is not enough for Golden Road Brewing. Launched in 2011 by co-founders Meg Gill and Tony Yanow, the brewery was built to bring fresh craft brew to beer lovers in the most sustainable, socially-minded way possible. And doing good while brewing great has turned out to be a winning combination for this do-gooder brewery.

Based on Golden Road’s explosive growth and successful bid to transform LA into a booming beer town, we’d say that approach has worked out pretty well…both for the brewery and legions of beer lovers who prize the brewery’s fresh, clean West Coast flavors. And there’s no Golden Road beer that’s done more to save the world than Heal the Bay IPA – the ultimate, summery IPA brewed to help the Heal the Bay foundation protect California’s waterways.

The Ultimate Summer IPA, Two Ways to Brew


Golden Road Heal the Bay IPA Extract Recipe Kit


Golden Road Heal the Bay IPA All-Grain Recipe Kit

The BREW: Golden Road Heal the Bay IPA

According to Golden Road co-founder and avid surfer Meg Gill, the inspiration for Heal the Bay IPA was born on her board.  “I saw a Heal the Bay beach cleanup after surfing one Saturday in Santa Monica and was immediately drawn to the organization.”

For 30 years, Heal the Bay has been working to protect the Southern California watersheds. And since 2013, Golden Road has helped in that effort by donating a portion of the proceeds from brewery sales to the foundation.

In Meg’s mind, it’s a natural fit on so many fronts. Golden Road was built around the idea of fostering a community of socially-minded beer enthusiasts in Los Angeles. Plus, Heal the Bay IPA is brewed to be clean, bright and fresh, and that’s exactly what the Heal the Bay foundation has been working so hard to achieve – fresh clean local waterways in Southern California.

Best of all, though Heal the Bay IPA started out as a seasonal summer beer, it quickly became a crowd favorite in the burgeoning LA beer scene. A perfectly balanced symphony of juicy, fruity hops and simple malt profile with a crisp, dry finish, it’s the ultimate year-round IPA for LA’s endless summer. Not to mention, the perfect way add a splash of California sunshine to any locale lucky enough to carry it.

And now, the beer famous for being crafted in Los Angeles can be crafted in your home. Authentically, deliciously, repeatedly. Because, for the first time ever, Golden Road’s finest brewmasters have shared the recipe in a kit crafted especially for homebrewers.

The Good Stuff: Brewing & Tasting Notes

BREWING
NOTES

SRM: 3.5

IBUs: 65

ABV: 6.8%

FERMENTATION TEMP: 68F

ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1.063

TASTING HIGHLIGHTS:
Light in body · Bright · Citrusy · Juicy · Clean · Fresh · Summertime

PAIRING HIGHLIGHTS:
Burgers · Fish and Chips · Salads with Fresh Fruit (Mangoes, Pomegranate Seeds, Citrus)

Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes:

Pours a pale straw color with a brilliant white head. Nose is bright, citrusy, juicy with loads of tropical hop aromas. On the palate, it is light in body with subtle malt notes and explosive flavors of mango, grapefruit, pineapple and a delightfully dry finish. The perfect summertime IPA that appeals to both craft beer lovers and any beer drinker craving a bright, refreshing brew.

Brewmaster’s Pairing Ideas:

Perfect with beach or poolside fare like the ultimate burger, fresh off the grill, or fish tacos with a squeeze of lime. The citrus character of the IPA also complements fish and chips, as well as salad greens topped with fresh fruit like juicy mangoes or pomegranate seeds. Pair it with a hand-tossed pizza sprinkled with cilantro and roasted peppers to play off the caramel notes.

PLUS Another Exclusive Golden Road Recipe!


Golden Road Get Up Offa That Brown Ale Extract Recipe Kit


Golden Road  Get Up Offa That Brown Ale All-Grain Recipe Kit

The BREW: Golden Road Get Up Offa That Brown Ale

A rich English-style Brown Ale with a great malt character, toasty complexity, rich notes of caramel and chocolate…and just enough hops to keep everything in balance.

Golden Road added trace amounts of smoked malt to this recipe, in order to emphasize the roast, while keeping malt sweetness from lingering. The darker malt qualities come forward while you drink, as the smoke continues to slowly surface.

One of the most important aspects of becoming a great homebrewer is to know your ingredients. This beer is a classic example of how an intimate knowledge of specific malts can turn what some might consider a pedestrian style into something truly exceptional.

BREWING
NOTES

SRM: 20.0

IBUs: 20

ABV: 5.5%

FERMENTATION TEMP: 68F

ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1.056

TASTING HIGHLIGHTS:
Complex toastiness · Rich notes of Caramel · Biscuits · Chocolate · Well balanced

PAIRING HIGHLIGHTS:
Richly Marbled Steaks · Short Ribs · Barbecued Pork

Meet the Brewmaster

When young beer lover and So-Cal transplant Victor Novak found himself on the other side of the country, cruelly cut off from his beloved Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, he did what the most intrepid beer lovers would do…he homebrewed a clone.

Good thing for the rest of us that he did. That first homesick-curing batch set the stage for one of the most esteemed careers in the brewing world…a 20+ year journey that would lead Victor from Philadelphia’s Dock Street Brewing all the way back to the West Coast, where he helped shape the Orange County beer scene before ultimately taking the wheel as Brewmaster at Golden Road Brewing.

In a town overflowing with great breweries, Victor has garnered praise and scores of GABF medals for brewing clean, classic, traditional European-style beers…occasionally highlighted with a thoughtful, surprising twist. His take on a barrel-aged Imperial Russian Stout — Remy, aged in Pappy Van Winkle barrels…maybe you’ve heard of it? — became one of the most coveted annual bottle releases in history.

But when an opportunity arose to start brewing his passion projects on a larger scale for Golden Road Brewing, Victor decided to step out of his comfort zone and meet the challenge head-on. Now, instead of brewing 15 barrels, it’s 200-300 a day. But the exploration and creative process leading up to brew day is the same, and that’s what helps shape Golden Road’s world-famous beers.

“We have a very collaborative atmosphere, so regardless of who comes up with an idea for a new IPA, classic lager or barrel-aged beer, we all get to chime in and add something of value. We truly get the best beer possible this way,” says Victor.

In many ways, Victor is never too far away from his homebrewing roots, though you could say he’s upgraded a bit from the homebrewing kit he received as a Christmas present from his girlfriend in 1992. His first batch of homebrew was inspired by a beer and style he loved. And since then, he’s traveled the world to better study and understand the roots, science and methods behind classical brewing styles in Belgium, Germany, Britain, France and the Czech Republic.

That research has contributed to a skill set that’s made made him one of the most decorated brewers in Southern California. But no matter how refined his palate, Victor always appreciates beers that appeal to both die-hard beer geeks and flip-flop-wearing beach-goers alike.

“You have to be able to do a wide variety because everyone has a short attention span when it comes to style,” says Victor. “People always want something new.”

The same guidelines apply when it comes to homebrewing. When Victor selected the recipes for Golden Road’s first-ever homebrew recipe kits, he chose a mix of the brewery’s most celebrated styles. “Our reputation right now is very IPA focused. We do IPAs and classic styles, but still touch on other really interesting beers as well.”

The result is an expertly curated selection of Golden Road’s greatest hits: Heal the Bay IPA, Wolf Among Weeds IPA, Get Up Offa That Brown Ale and Oatmeal Milk Stout. All famously crafted in California…now available freshly brewed in your own home.

Inside Golden Road Brewing

Amazing, right? With the Brew. Share. Enjoy.® Brewery Edition Kits, you may not have sunny SoCal skies overhead, but you’ll have the next best thing to an all-access brew day at Golden Road itself, because we’ve worked hand-in-hand with Brewmaster Victor Novak to get each recipe just right and perfectly scaled for homebrewing, so you’ll be able to tap into Golden Road’s world-class beers with every batch.


Golden Road Heal the Bay IPA Extract Recipe Kit


Golden Road Heal the Bay IPA All-Grain Recipe Kit


Golden Road Get Up Offa That Brown Ale Extract Recipe Kit


Golden Road Get Up Offa That Brown Ale All-Grain Recipe Kit

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Elysian The Wise ESB

Elysian The Wise ESB holds a place of honor as Batch 0001 in the Elysian Brewing Company brewing books. And the tributes don’t stop there. This uniquely Pacific Northwest take on a traditional ESB has won three Great American Beer Fest gold medals and ranks as one of the highest-rated ESBs in beer circles around the world.

But this flagship beer is notoriously hard to find anywhere other than its natural habitat – in the heart of the Seattle beer scene where it grew up. That’s why we collaborated with Elysian Head Brewer Josh Waldman to bring homebrewers everywhere the exclusive recipe that launched 20+ years of Elysian Brewing.

One Flagship Beer, Two Ways to Brew

The BREW: Elysian The Wise ESB

In classical mythology, Elysian Fields was the paradise reserved for the heroes immortalized by the gods. In Elysian speak, it’s where the gods took their favorite heroes when they died. You’d go the The Elysian Fields and during the day you’d hack each other to bits with swords then at night your bodies would come back together and toast to beer all night long. And when the co-founders were naming their now 20+ year old brewery, Elysian stuck. So when it came time to name its first beer, the brewery decided that The Wise — a reference to Athena, goddess of wisdom and craft – would be the perfect fit.

The Wise ESB is also a perfect fit for the Pacific Northwest hops country it calls home. Its hops-forward take on a classic ESB leans heavily on some local favorites to provide its signature character – Chinook for bittering, Cascade and Centennial for finishing. The result is a delicate citrus and floral hop profile that perfectly balances this ESB’s complex, malty depths.

To capture the essence of The Wise ESB, we paired up with Elysian’s Head Brewer, Josh Waldman, and brewed a recipe specially scaled for homebrewers. From there, we tweaked and tested, added and experimented until we came up with the perfect combination of malty, hoppy, bitter and crisp.

Your Brew. Share. Enjoy.® Brewery Edition Recipe Kit produces a Wise ESB that pours a brilliant copper-red, with a creamy, lacy head and notes of caramel, honey, citrus and a touch of pine, as well as pronounced hoppiness and a crisp, bitter finish.

The Good Stuff: Brewing & Tasting Notes

BREWING
NOTES

SRM: 12.5

IBUs: 60

ABV: 6.2%

FERMENTATION TEMP: 65F – 67F

ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1.060

TASTING HIGHLIGHTS:
Caramel · Honey · Citrus · Delicate, Floral Hops · Complex Malts · Well-balanced and Delicious

PAIRING HIGHLIGHTS:
Roasted Chicken · Fish and Chips · English-Style Cheeses · Maple Bread Pudding

Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes:

Reddish-copper ale that pours with a thin, creamy beige head. There are sweet, subtle aromas of caramel and honey, with notes of citrus and a hint of pine. Pleasantly bold hop flavors (bittered with Chinook, finished with Cascade and Centennial) against complex, malty depths. Well-balanced and delicious.

Brewmaster’s Pairing Ideas:

Perfect with traditional English dishes like Fish and Chips, or a sharp British cheddar. Also pairs well with anything from Roasted Chicken to Game Hens and spicy Barbecue. With well-rounded malts and a crisp, satisfyingly bitter finish, it complements just about any meal. And because it’s medium-bodied, but relatively lower on the ABV scale, it won’t leave you feeling full before the main course.

Meet the Brewmaster

Head Brewer Josh Waldman is no stranger to off-beat breweries known for challenging the norm and brewing on the wild side. His first pro-brewing gig was with Magic Hat in 2002. After Magic Hat, Josh made his way west to Seattle, brewing with Georgetown and then ultimately joing the Elysian crew in 2012. 

Notorious for irreverent beers and innovative ingredients, Elysian has allowed Josh to explore exciting, eccentric flavors to his heart’s content. Here’s his take on everything from beer crushes to life choices.

Who developed the recipe for Elysian The Wise and what makes it so special?

The Wise was Elysian’s first batch of beer…Batch 0001, brewed 21 years ago by Founder and First Head Brewer, Dick Cantwell. It stands up as a strong version of the style and really was an early example of an American, or Northwest, take on a style.

What’s your favorite food to pair with The Wise?

Soft pretzel and mustard. Fish and Chips.

What’s a typical day like at Elysian?

Like a day in any other brewery (sort of). Clean. Brew. Fix the stuff that broke. Clean again. Beyond that, just figuring out how best to get more into (and out of) every beer you’re making, be it Blood Orange, Cold Brewed Coffee, or just more hops.

What was the first beer you fell in love with?

I was first fascinated with Guinness. Then I met the beers from Magic Hat. I loved them so much, I just had to work there.

What are your favorite beers in the world?

The signature beauties of the world, the beers all brewers covet, like Orval. Saison DuPont. And then, and then, there’s Anchor Porter.

If you could brew anything, and budget, sales and feasibility weren’t an issue, what would you brew?

I’ve been toying with a Shiso Leaf Pilsner, and MAN! is Shiso expensive for a commercial size batch.

Do you have a guilty pleasure beer?

Nah, no shame here. Although, I was caught grabbing a second Lemon/Rosemary Shandy in South Africa by a hop grower. That was tough. The beer was nice though.

With so much great beer in the market (especially in Seattle) how do keep your brews different, unique?

You have to work to stay relevant, and you have to work harder to stay ahead. Looking to other industries, culinary trends, checking in with home brewing circles, and just taking chances when brewing are what helps us. Talk to farmers, growers, and suppliers to better understand the ingredients you’re working with.

If you weren’t a brewer, what would you be doing?

That does not compute.

The Inside Scoop on Elysian Brewing Company

There are classic brew styles and there are experimental brew styles. Few breweries excel at both. But that sweet spot of intersection is where Elysian Brewing Company has made its name…and made it in an undisputed, award-winning, world-class kind of way.

Whether it’s golden beets, pumpkin or yerba mate, Elysian is constantly seeking ways to make great beer even better. And that’s why they got so excited about helping homebrewers do the same with the beer that started it all — Elysian The Wise ESB.

According to Elysian, innovation and collaboration are the cornerstones of the brewing world – for both pros and homebrewers. So here’s your chance to collaborate with one of the world’s most experimental brewers!

William Richartz

William Richartz

Where are you from?  Menomonie, WI “When in doubt, go to Stout.”

What is your favorite brewing topic to talk to customers about?  Really, I love to talk about any topic. Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus and their roles in sour beer top the chart. I also enjoy barrel aging, clean or sour, and barrel maintenance. I have a horticulture background, so any time people want to talk about unusual grains or herbs, I am game.

What was your biggest brewing blunder? Accidentally adding a pack of Brett. Lambicus to my yeast starter for an Russian Imperial Stout. Had two starters going for two different beers and made the cardinal sin of having one too many on brew day. It was not until I went to pitch the Brett starter that I realized it was just wort. The RIS went down the drain a few months later.

What movie have you watched the most times?  Star Wars Empire Strikes Back, and anything with Milla Jovovich. Seriously she is awesome, Return to the Blue Lagoon, Kuffs, The Fifth Element, Ultraviolet to name a few. My wife gets upset if we watch too many in a row.

What was your proudest moment in your fermentation history?  Traditional blended Kriek. Years to make, pounds and pounds of cherries and then it was gone in no time.

My first time in New Zealand I collected some spontaneous wild cultures and currently have a few batches of beers going from that. Hopefully that become my proudest moment if they turn out. So far so good.

Why do you brew?  At one point in my life I wanted to be a chef. I grew up watching all the great cooking shows on PBS. Yeah PBS, there was no Food Network or Cooking channel. I find that brewing is a great way to satisfy that same creative process, plus you get beer in the end.

When did you start brewing?  I believe it was 2010, shortly after buying a house. I finally had room to brew!

What is your brewing system?  A pretty simple 18 gallon kettle that I made into an electric kettle with the classic 10 gallon cooler, immersion chiller, and elbow grease. I think most people would be surprised to see my system, very basic. Oh, not to mention my notebook, refractometer, pH meter and my two cats that are WAY too much help.

What is your favorite style of beer for drinking and for brewing? Munich Helles, German Pils, and anything Farmhouse or sour. I try to brew a turbid mash lambic twice a year to keep a good stock for blending and fruiting. I also enjoy brewing historical and obscure styles. Otherwise I like trying out different grains to see the flavor profiles. Always trying to find grains that will help build body into Brett beers. Brett can real chew up beers and leave them with a thin mouthfeel. Spelt (raw or malted) has proven great for this but malted rye and malted oats are great as well. Honestly people need to play more with grains. Just no Hefes please.

If you could share a beer with anyone throughout history, of even fictional, who would it be?  Anthony Bourdain, but he better take me to Thailand for real deal pho.

Where do you spend your non-brewing time?  Gardening and Vacation! New Zealand anyone!? Everyone should have a chance to drink German Pils made with Nelson Sauvin hops while down under.

Who are your three favorite musicians/bands?  Trent Reznor/NIN does that count for one or two? Pink Floyd and Nirvana.

Aaron Finger Brewmaster at Northern brewer

0317-NB-SP-HopShot-820

Short Pour: HopShot for your Beer, Not your Eyes

“There’s no such thing as too many hops!” We all know some hop-head who lives by these words. But, truth be told, as much as we love those super-hoppy, over-the-top delicious double IPAs, there’s always the risk of going too far. If you’ve ever crossed that line, you know what I’m talking about.

Farley’s Feature – This is Not Your Father’s AB InBev!

This is Not Your Father’s AB InBev

I first got into homebrewing in the early 1990s after I spent a year studying in Scotland. While I was there, I traveled the continent and tried a huge variety of beers. Coming from the United States, I found European beer totally mind-blowing. I discovered malty 90 Shilling Ale in Scotland, well-balanced bitters in London, refined and wine-like Trappist ales in Brussels, bready and clovey Hefeweizens in Germany, and hoppy and robust golden pilsners in Prague. It opened up a whole new world: I had no idea there was so much diversity of flavors and experiences out there to explore.

In 1993, I found myself back in the States. Apart from a handful of visionary brewing pioneers, the United States was largely a beer desert. It was in that environment that I started a small homebrewing shop that I named Northern Brewer.

Northern Brewer’s mission was to educate our customers about the amazing diversity of international beer styles and to help people brew those beers on a hobbyist-scale. It was quite a challenge to convince somebody to brew a lambic, a stout or an IPA when 99% of the beer being sold was an American lager made with corn or rice.

But an amazing thing has happened over the past 20-odd years. Everything has changed.

Today, whether you are in New York or Memphis, you can’t go into a restaurant without finding a variety of delicious, interesting, and often locally-produced beers on the beer list. Everybody, everywhere is demanding better beer. It is clear to me that homebrewers drove this change, transforming the United States into the most exciting and dynamic beer scene on the planet. And who are the proprietors of the thousands of new local breweries? Homebrewers like you and me.

So when I sat down recently and thought about our 20-year old mission — particularly the part about educating people about beer — I began to look around the office for a spot to hang the “Mission Accomplished” banner. And then the phone rang. On the other end AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer and parent of Anheuser-Busch. As you might imagine, I was more than a little skeptical that we would have anything at all to talk about.

What I soon realized is that this is not your father’s AB InBev! It turns out that the world’s largest brewer has also seen the light — which is something that was unfathomable even 10 years ago.

Our relationship with AB InBev is already paying dividends. We’ve joined the brewers at Goose Island to make an authentic homebrewed version of their wonderful Milk Porter. This is just the first in what will become a regular series of partnerships with brewers across the country. If there are particular beers, styles or breweries you’d like us to work with, send us an email or give us a call. We want to hear from you!

We’ve also been working with the AB InBev team to source ingredients that have never before been available to North American brewers. Southern Star — a unique, pleasant hop variety bred and grown in South Africa will be available later this month. You won’t find this hop available anywhere but Northern Brewer! We are also on a mission to bring European craft recipes to American shores through an exciting new program this year, and this is just the beginning.

AB InBev understands that today’s beer drinkers are looking for creative, flavorful beers that are produced by local breweries, often in settings like neighborhood tap rooms and brew pubs. And they are transforming their company to deliver that experience.

Over the past five or six years, AB InBev has assembled a truly remarkable portfolio of craft beer brands. While many craft beer fans were justifiably concerned that the world’s largest producer of “macro beer” would destroy these beloved breweries, they have in fact been allowed to operate independently and far exceed their dreams for reaching new levels of innovation with their styles and serving more beer lovers. When we agreed to join AB InBev, we did it so that we could continue our mission with a partner that shares our values about what beer can be. We want to enable tomorrow’s brewers to unleash their creativity, and continue to drive the brewing culture — not only in the United States, but throughout the world.

For our customers, of course we need to continue to earn your trust every day, just as we have since I started this business 23 years ago. Northern Brewer is still dedicated to helping you unleash your creativity and passion for great beer. We know the freshest and most exciting beer you will have this year is probably one that you made yourself. Knowing we will be moving forward in our mission with the proud backing and full support of our partners at AB InBev fills me with tremendous optimism for the future ahead.

Skol!

Tim Vandergrift

Tim Vandergrift

Where are you from?  
I’m from White Rock, a little village on the beach just south of Vancouver, Canada

What is your favorite brewing topic to talk to customers about?  
I love to talk to folks about anything in beer that they’re passionate about–it’s what they love that makes it interesting, especially if it’s a topic they know more about than I do. Particular styles, their brewing setup, their favorite hop, anything someone is really engaged in makes for a great conversation.

What was your biggest brewing blunder?
Oh man, where do I start? I’ve been brewing since 1978, so any skill I have is due to the incredible amount of mistakes I’ve had time to make. Overall though, my sloppy note-taking skills early on left me with great beers I couldn’t replicate, and that’s a shame. It’s like the man said, “The difference between science and just screwing around is writing it down.”

What movie have you watched the most times?
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The level of detail is amazing, and as a fan of Hunter S. Thompson I was impressed with how well it carried the spirit of the book.

What was your proudest moment in your fermentation history?  
My wife never drank beer before we met, but tasted a few of the ones I made. I did my first decoction mash on a Belgian Witbier (oh it was a miserable 9-hour brew day) that I thought turned out really well. When it was done, I kegged and carbonated it, put it on draft in my keezer and then left for a two-week business trip.

When I got home, I invited some buddies over to try it, and I was right: it was better than any other Witbier I’d ever tried. I went back to get a second pitcher of beer and the keg blew. I panicked, checked the keezer for puddled beer, looked around the patio for stains in case it had leaked, and finally asked her if she’d seen any pools of beer.

Turns out she drank the whole thing. I wasn’t even mad.

Why do you brew?  
My initial motivation was to make beers like I read about in books. Growing up in rural British Columbia we didn’t get any beer other than industrial lager–even the stuff labeled Guinness was actually an industrial lager with caramel color in it. If I wanted to taste Bass Ale, I had to make it myself–so I did!

Nowadays, I do it to challenge myself. I was trained to cook in a French Brigade kitchen, and I’m a professional winemaker, and brewing, along with cheesemaking, pickling, smoking meat, roasting my own coffee, hunting, gathering mushrooms, gardening and a dozen other hobbies keep me grounded and connected to the world around me.

When you come right down to it, I have Attention Surplus Disorder, and brewing really feeds that monster.

When did you start brewing?  
My first batch was in 1978. If anyone does the math, I was underage even for liberal Canada. I was actually nerdy enough that I didn’t brew just so I could have access to alcohol, I did it because I was curious and it seemed cool–it still does.

What is your brewing system?  

I’ve literally gone through a dozen iterations of brewing setups, looking for the one that suits me best. For the most part, I use a three vessel setup based on the Fermenter’s Favorite® ten gallon all-grain rig, combined with a 15 gallon Edelmetall Brü® Kettle and two Edelmetall Brü Burners, along with a Steelhead pump and a Shirron Plate Chiller. It’s super versatile and having a pump is like having a brewing assistant right there.

I had a Blichmann Top Tier system, but I didn’t have a dedicated space to leave it set up, and it was always a huge brew day. Lately I’ve been experimenting with a Grainfather and that’s pretty cool–I can brew indoors and knock out a five gallon batch while I do other things (I work from home, so multi-tasking is a huge benefit).

What is your favorite style of beer for drinking and for brewing?
I’m with Charlie Papazian, my favorite beer is the one I’m drinking right now. However in the last year I’ve put a lot of effort into lager brewing, and after a lifetime of pursuing the hoppiest IPA’s I could make it’s been great to make balanced, crisp beers with rich malt.
But if you’re asking me what I think the best beer in the world is, it’s definitely Duvel.
There, I said it.

If you could share a beer with anyone throughout history, of even fictional, who would it be?  
That’s a tough one, there’s a whole pub full of people I’d like to sit down and shoot the breeze with over a few pints. If I had to pin down just one, it might be H.L. Mencken. He was pretty amazing and I get the feeling he had a lot of great stories that never made it into print.
Either him or Benjamin Franklin. You look at that picture on the hundred dollar bill and you can tell he loved a good time in a tavern, and he was a pretty clever guy.

Where do you spend your non-brewing time?
I like to ride my motorcycle (Kawasaki ZZR1100) really fast, or go hiking–there’s so much beauty outdoors in British Columbia that you can never get tired of it. We have every type of terrain you can imagine, including true desert and glaciers, along with temperate rainforest and amazing mountains.

Who are your three favorite musicians/bands?
I’m a big jazz fan so I could fill up this page with all the stuff I like, but that would leave out classical and rock. I’d go with Miles Davis, Pink Floyd and Mozart.
Really, only three? That leaves out the Punk I grew up on, the guilty pleasure of Prog Rock, Southern Fried Rock, Opera, Fusion, Cuban music, Spanish guitar, Thrash Metal . . . sorry, my Attention Surplus is acting up again.

Brewery Edition Kits

The Brew. Share. Enjoy.

Brewery Edition

These ARE the beers you’re looking for.

The Brewery Edition is unlike anything we have ever created before. For the first time ever, homebrewers like you will have exclusive access to the most sought-after, limited-release beers in the world, complete with first-hand insight from the world-class pro brewmasters who created them.

With these kits, you’ll be able to brew the beers that even the most passionate beer lovers in the world can only dream about…tap room exclusives, discontinued recipes and experimental batches that have become the stuff of rare beer legends.

It’s the most intimate brewing experience possible, because you get to appreciate the beer, its history and character, from the inside out. The only thing better would be an all-access brew day at the brewery itself!

Ready to brew with the greats? We created the Brew. Share. Enjoy. Brewery Edition just for you. Cheers!

Brewery Edition #3 Golden Road Heal The Bay IPA

Get ready to make waves. Now you can brew Golden Road’s Heal the Bay IPA – the ultimate SoCal summertime IPA, famous for being crafted in Los Angeles – right in your home!

This authentic beer kit recipe straight from Golden Road’s own award-winning brewmasters has been specially scaled for homebrewing, to retain every heady, hoppy, tropical note of the original, along with the subtle malt signature and distinctive dry, crisp finish that has made Heal the Bay one of Golden Road’s most celebrated beers.

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Brewery Edition #4 Golden Road Wolf Among The Weeds

At 8%, this silent and seductive Wolf will sneak up on you with tropical, citrusy, dank hop notes and a hint of rye. Golden Road’s goal was to showcase the bright, tropical notes of Simcoe, the pine of Chinook, and the slight dankness of CTZ. The result is a complex layering of abundant hop flavors and aromas with an aggressive but pleasantly dry finish.

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Brewery Edition #5 Golden Road Get Up Offa That Brown

A rich English-style Brown Ale with a great malt character, toasty complexity, rich notes of caramel and chocolate…and just enough hops to keep everything in balance.

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Brewery Edition #6 Golden Road Oatmeal Milk Stout

Golden Road wanted to marry the silkiness of an Oatmeal Stout with the subtle sweetness of a Milk Stout, all the while creating an extremely drinkable dark beer at 5.5% ABV. The idea was to create a beautifully balanced stout that would surprise even those who never thought they would enjoy one.

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Brewery Edition #2 Elysian The Wise ESB

In one bold stroke, Elysian both resurrected the traditional English Extra Special Bitter style and reimagined it with a flavor profile born in the heart of America’s Pacific Northwest hops country.

Now – 20 years and three Great American Beer Fest gold medals later — homebrewers everywhere can brew a piece of this history themselves, with Elysian The Wise ESB Brewery Edition Recipe Kit.

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Brewery Edition #1 Goose Island Porter

We’re kicking off the Brew. Share. Enjoy. Brewery Edition with a true original. Until now, Goose Island’s legendary Porter has been available exclusively to lucky patrons of the Fulton & Wood Street Tasting Room. But now, you can be among the first to brew this Chicago house favorite at your house.

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Goose Island Beer

For years, beers from Goose Island’s Fulton and Wood series have been an extremely limited draft-only offering. Each beer in the series gives Goose Island employees from throughout the company the chance to work with our brewers to concept new and exciting beers from scratch.

Enjoying one of these beers was a privilege shared by a lucky few at either the Chicago Taproom or establishments in the surrounding area. The barrel aged porter, A Real Nice Surprise, was one such beer that only a lucky few got to enjoy.

That is, until now. Northern Brewer and Goose Island collaborated to bring you a non barrel aged version of A Real Nice Surprise that you can brew at home. Working closely with R&D brewers from Goose Island, we scaled this recipe perfect for home brewers while retaining the decadent, deep chocolate hue. 

Ready to taste it for yourself? Here’s everything you need to know to get started. Cheers!

One Exclusive Porter, Two Ways to Brew

The BREW: Goose Island Porter

This unforgettable Porter actually has its roots in a Goose Island brewing throwdown. Every year, Goose Island employees from throughout the company get the chance to dream up and brew up experimental beers alongside Goose brewers. Out of several entries, only four winning recipe are selected to be brewed and offered in limited release as part of the brewery’s Fulton & Wood series.

As part of their research, the Fulton & Wood team went to Miller’s pub during Christmas time to try their famed Tom & Gerry Cocktail. When they sat in their booth sipping on the infamous and high-octane Tom & Gerry, the team knew the flavors of eggnog, rum and bourbon needed to find a home in a holiday beer. A Real Nice Surprise started its life as a rich porter brewed with chocolate malts that was then aged in a combination of rum, bourbon, and brandy barrels for two months resulting in a smooth, creamy beer that was an instant favorite.  

The brewing team continued to perfect the profile, adding warm and spicy notes, along with a toasted, creamy character. The result is a Porter that has become a favorite among Goose Island employees.

Our brewmasters partnered with Goose Island Research and Development brewer Tim Faith to craft a homebrewing recipe that perfectly captures the complex flavors and character of the Goose Island original.

The result of that collaboration is an unbelievably memorable brew that evokes the creamy essence of the eggnog cocktail that inspired it, along with notes of milk chocolate, nutmeg and a big, toasty malt backbone. It also conveys the complex flavors of barrel aging that have become a Goose Island trademark…without the barrel aging.

Brew plenty, because this is one beer that tends to acquire a following, and you’ll want to savor it as long as you can.

The Good Stuff: Brewing & Tasting Notes

BREWING
NOTES

SRM: 31

IBUs: 22

ABV: 6.6%

FERMENTATION TEMP: 65F – 69F

ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1.079

TASTING HIGHLIGHTS:
Milk Chocolate • Approachable Roast • Smooth Body • Complex Creaminess • Malted Milk Balls

PAIRING HIGHLIGHTS:
Brie • Sirloin Steak • Spicy Chicago Dog • Swiss Cheese

Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes:

Dark chocolate porter with creamy tan-colored head. There is an aroma of milk chocolate and approachable roast. The flavor is amplified by a noticeable mouth coating smoothness and a lingering wood-like aftertaste. Chocolate, roasted malt, oats and a lactose backbone further encourage a uniquely inspired porter that sips oh-so-smoothly. Think Malted Milk Balls with a crisp, delicious finish.

Brewmaster’s Pairing Ideas:

Perfect with creamy baked brie or a nicely-seared sirloin. But it’s got the character to stand up to a spicy Chicago dog, too. Its crisp finish makes it ideal for foodies who want their brew to complement the meal instead of weighing it down. And its warm notes make it the perfect match for anything chocolate. Also, smoked brisket, Stilton cheese, beef stew and vanilla ice cream.

Meet the Brewmaster

Tim Faith is Goose Island’s Research and development brewer – meaning he gets to experiment and trial some of Goose Island’s craziest ideas. His passion for brewing started in college when he started homebrewing with friends. Tim’s involvement with this beer began a few years back when he was on the Fulton & Wood team that came with the recipe. The inspiration for Goose Island’s sweet Porter is the Tom & Gerry, a holiday cocktail often mixed with rum/bourbon, sugar, warm milk and nutmeg. “This beer was made to impress many of these flavors without actually utilizing them.”

“Similarly, the recipe takes the most desirable characteristics from the many stouts I’ve made in my past and combines them for the ultimate experience. Lactose and oats for mouthfeel and flavor, and a massive dark malt backbone.”

Beer Lovers: Brew Your Heart Out

The Brew. Share. Enjoy.® Brewery Edition Kit is unlike anything we have ever created before.

For the first time ever, homebrewers will have exclusive access to the most sought-after flagship and limited-release beers in the world, complete with first-hand insight from the world-class pro brewmasters who created them. Here’s a peek at how we worked with Goose Island’s Brewmaster Tim Faith to make that vision come true.

Brew Day at Goose Island

Amazing, right? With the Brew. Share. Enjoy.® Brewery Edition Kits, your brew day won’t be anywhere near this complex. But, after exhaustive testing and tasting, we can tell you the results are spot on. Our kit is the next best thing to an all-access brew day at Goose Island itself, because we’ve worked hand-in-hand with Brewmaster Tim Faith to get it just right.

The Porter recipe and brewing process has been perfectly scaled for homebrewing, so you’ll be able to tap into nearly 30 years of Goose Island brewing innovation behind each kit.

Home Brew 101 – New

Brew-101_4Steps-1