(Editor's note: This is part one of a two-part series. The second post can be found here.)
If we had to pick the one question we get the most (besides the obvious “When are you going to open?”), it would be some variation of “What kind of beer are you going to make and serve?” The Bay Area is practically overflowing — thankfully — with craft beer nerds, and everyone we talk to is dying to know what they can expect from us.
We’ll start with a little backstory, because the history between Dan and myself has a lot to do with the direction we’re taking this brewery in. For those who don’t know, Dan and I met while working as engineers at Google in 2005, and over the years we’ve had the good fortune to travel quite a bit. Dan and I have drank beer either together or independently in over two dozen countries, and this has influenced us tremendously, both in terms of the beer we like to drink as well as the beer we want to brew and serve to you.
Distilling our style into a few words is pretty tough, but the best way to describe it is this: We plan on making beers you love inspired from our love of traditional European beers — from Belgium, France, Germany, the UK, etc. — as well as from the Americas, and anywhere else we find amazing flavors.
For example, we might take a West Coast pale ale and use Belgian yeast strains to impart a dry, fruity flavor. Or we’ll use a red wine yeast from our great friends at Sutton Cellars in a sour weiss ale. Perhaps we’d take our favorite Belgian recipes and hop them a little more aggressively, or use date sugar & tamarind.
We don’t necessarily see this as “taking traditional beer recipes and tweaking them.” Rather, we’re drawing upon our experience drinking and tasting beer around the world, contemplating the characteristics we love most about those beers, and using that as inspiration to create delicious San Leandro ales. And it’s not just beer we’re getting ideas from – we’ll take notes from our favorite foods, coffees, teas, herbaceous/smokey/peaty/oakey liquors, and anything else that tickles our fancy.
So, did that answer your question? Kinda? Sorry, you may have just wanted to know what kind of beer you might get when you have a seat in our tasting room? Okay, fine, here’s our newly posted menu. This is highly subject to change — what you find on tap one week will be totally different than the next. In fact, it might disappear entirely… and then it might come back the following season, and taste completely different.
To find out why we would do such things and toy with your emotions, check back next week for part two of this post, where we’ll talk about our actual process for creating recipes, brewing them up, and deciding what gets poured (and whether it stays or goes).