My apologies, as the last few months have been a blur, and there has been no time to update this blog. We have been in a brewing and building frenzy, dialing in the brewery, filling barrels, and building partnerships with fellow LA visionaries. The following is a update of our activities and progress.
We are honored to report that new friends, bottle shops, bars and restaurants have been asking for our beer, and here I would like to explain why supply is so limited during our first year. We have been dedicating a large portion of our initial production to filling barrels for long term beer projects which we will enjoy in the future. Our philosophy of “Slow Beer” requires a brutal test of patience, where the beer is in control of the calendar.
Our goal at Dry River is to challenge, surprise, and delight the discerning drinker with rustic, hand crafted beers. We chose not to be confined by styles, tradition, or trend. Rather, we aim to explore the infinite realm of possibilities which the modern beer universe offers. We thank our supportive and amazing accounts like Bar Bandini, Sunset Beer, Silver Lake Wine, Urban Radish, Buzz, and Far Bar. We are adding a few more top notch accounts soon including guest taps at Phantom Carriage & Arts District Brewing.. More TBA.
Lacto Soured Beer:
After encouraging feedback from our first few batches of Para Sol, our 3% ABV petite sour, we decided to increase our sour power and installed two permanent lactobacillus tanks. These tanks are home to the beer souring bacteria that we, as sour beer fans, have learned to love so much.
We pump warm wort from the mash tun into the tanks and let the bacteria have their way with it for a day or two. Solar heated water is utilized to keep the bugs at orgy temperature, effectively creating solar powered sours. The PH drops and sourness ensues.
We then use our proprietary solar flash pasteurization method to terminate bacterial activity. Beer is transferred to pre-inoculated wine barrels for secondary fermentation with our arsenal of international yeast strains. Beer is then transferred again into aging barrels for tertiary fermentation and character adjustment.
Beer is finally re-fermented in the bottle, and aged until maturity. A lot of work and care indeed, but I am happy with the direction these beers are going. I feel the method offers a bit more dimensionality than the standard kettle souring techniques.
At Dry River, we have all but abandoned the use of steel vessels in our fermentation process. Instead, we utilize oak barrels from Central Coast and Napa Valley artisanal wineries for the fermentation and aging of beer.
Each barrel has a unique name, personality, and yeast/bacteria cocktail which produces very unique flavors and aromas. Primary barrel fermentation occurs at ambient temperature, while barrel aging enjoys a cooler 70 degrees. After months or years, barrels are blended or bottled independently, depending on blending panel consensus.
We launched the first Dry River beers through our bottle club, and we continue to enjoy and appreciate our growing family of members. We have held two, private, bottle club appreciation events at Frog Spot on the LA River where we had the pleasure of meeting and sharing special kegs with our dearest supporters. They were intimate events where supporters turned friends over tacos and loving beers.
It is always a joy making a exclusive beer for our bottle club family, and look forward to sharing more secrete beers with more of you in the future. Thank you for your support and encouragement!
Solar Hot Water:
With the abundance of SoCal sunshine, we decided to install a Solar Thermal hot water system, which captures solar energy and heats water for use around the brewery. Since installing the unit, we have eliminated the use of our traditional electric hot water heater almost completely. The solar heater provides free hot water, up to 200 degrees, for uses such as mashing, yeast & lactobacillus propagation, cleaning, keg washing, and process pasteurization of house bacterias.
Our brewery does dot utilize modern conveniences like air conditioning or beer chilling glycol systems. It does get hot, so we have recently installed a solar powered ventilation system which harnesses the sun’s energy to pull hot air out of the brewery. The results have been excellent, with a 10-15 degree ambient temperature drop during hot days. We plan on modifying the system to also pull in cold air at night to keep the building cool using only solar energy.
More updates to come. Thnak you all for your support!