We have made great progress in the last few months as we have been building the brewery and navigating legal mazes and obstacles. Suffice to say, Los Angeles is one of the hardest places to open a brewery in the nation. This is evident in the disproportionately low number of breweries in the city. But fear not, as our determination has redoubled and we look forward to opening in a few short months.
Since moving to LA in September 2014, I have been continuing my research in capturing and utilizing wild, local yeasts in the fermentation of beer and bread. I’ve had great results with a wild yeast which I invited to dinner here in Boyle Heights. Using this airborne yeast, I have made several delicious and interesting mild sour beers and wonderful sour dough breads.
I am very excited about these local strains, because sometimes your local yeast strain can produce pretty gnarly brews. By utilizing local yeast, we can produce a truly local beer that decreases our carbon footprint by forgoing the use of yeasts from places like Belgium. Also, the use of local yeast reduces energy consumption from refrigerated fermentations. These yeasts are acclimated to our local climate and perform happily in warmer temperatures.
In addition to employing local microbiology, I have been experimenting with the wide plethora of regional ingredients and botanicals. California brewers are particularly blessed with not only having access to world class hops and malt, but also a giant cornucopia of locally grown adjuncts both common and exotic. California flowers, fruits, herbs, cacti, and botanicals offer an endless palette for a curious brewer and mad scientist such as myself. I am very excited for you to taste what I have been working on.
Dry River Brewing's brewery is being built in a 110-year-old wooden, bough truss building with a long history of crucial manufacturing in the city of Los Angeles. The original wood is a beautiful red, California hardwood, which I have been painstakingly recycling into brewery elements like tables, brew cabinets, solar light enclosures, a bottle capper and filler, and my office desk.
We are currently refinishing our concrete floor, installing new plumbing, new electric, LED and solar lights, solar water heaters, and our walk in cooler. We also are preparing room for our wood barrel farm and our keg fleet. I am building a high efficiency keg washer which uses recycled water and captured heat from other brewery processes.
Brewing license update
After months of diligent work by team Dry River and the gracious participation of our petitioners, we are happy to announce that the LAPD and the Boyle Heights neighborhood Community Police Advisory Board (CPAB) has lifted their opposition to our brewery in Boyle heights. Open dialogue and participation has led to a great triumph and we appreciate everyone’s help and support from the city of Boyle Heights and beyond. We are proud to be the first Brewery in Boyle Heights in recent history.
Even though we make beer, we share important core values like environmental and community stewardship with many. Over the last few months we have been building relationships with some amazing organizations here in LA. Here are some exciting and synergistic partnerships we are building:
LA River Revitalization Corp. - www.larivercorp.com
These guys are championing so many cool projects around the great LA river revitalization master plan. Like us, they recognize the importance and potential of the LA River. Bike and kayak trails, wetlands, parks, connectivity, and nature restoration are some of the projects we are looking forward to contributing to for a better future for LA.
Good Eggs - www.goodeggs.com
An amazing farm to table, home delivery service which brings the best, local food direct to your door. We will partner with Good Eggs to transform their "scratch and dent" fruits into delicious beers and fermentables. And, of course, we are working on the ability to add a bottle of Dry River to your fresh groceries from Good Eggs.
Mott Street Urban Farm - www.tinyurl.com/MottStFarm
Part of the LA Garden Council, Mott St. Urban farm is an awesome local urban farm located here in Boyle Heights. Their produce contributes to great causes like the Downtown Women’s Center. We are currently growing hops there, with the intention to brew a special beer that will benefit the garden. Urban gardens are great ways to feed local people with locally grown food and bring communities together through cooperation.
Great times and Beers to come!
Cheers, Naga Reshi Brewmaster