Time has come and gone, soulful roots have been planted and the doors of Brouwerij West will finally open! Watching Brian Mercer’s dream unfold (post conception) in front of my eyes has truly been an awe-inspiring experience. Everything from trampling upon mounds of dusty gravel, to scaling the roof of the original wooden structure has been an adventure in and of itself. Every intricate detail in this handsome WWII-era warehouse has been meticulously orchestrated to provide a welcoming atmosphere for guests to enjoy. Beer drinkers and architects alike will revel in seeing gleaming fermentors that sit majestically at the heart of the ‘brouwerij’.
With new digs comes a new assistant brewer – many applicants were eager to brew side-by-side with Mercer, but Jeremy Czuleger fit the bill perfectly. Czuleger most recently hails from local Costa Mesa hotspot Barley Forge. His brewing expertise originally stems from his time at Trumer Brauerei (of Berkeley, CA), where beer purity and consistency is practically law. Not only does Czuleger bring knowledge to the table, but a great attitude and admiration for beer. I’m excited to see what the future has for this dynamic duo.
Now, the journey of building the ‘brouwerij’ has come to an end – the journey of running a brewery begins. What can we expect to taste this coming weekend? A limited menu of classic styles, made with old-world methods – and no IPAs.
Saison Extra – 6.5% ABV An excellent beer to start your day with, and a flagship of the brewery, Saison Extra is an accessible version of the increasingly popular style. Pouring a clean golden color, this beer brings subtle complexity to the tip of the tongue, then scrubs the palate clean with a light carbonation and dry bite. With such a clean flavor profile, you’ll be surprised it rings in at 6.5% ABV, since it drinks like a much lighter ale.
Dog ate My Homework – 7% ABV Saisons are my go-to style when my taste buds need to be quenched by funky farmhouse succulence – so this beer was apropos. This beauty pours luminously ruby red, with pleasant acidity and crisp freshness. Wine aficionados will fall deeply in love with the familiar notes this brew brings.
My First Rodeo – 6 % ABV 100% Brett saison brewed with a blend of Washington barley, German wheat and Belgian barley. Highly drinkable, effervescent, clean and citrusy. A perfect beer for a tepid Southern California day.
Grand Opening Day is scheduled for this Saturday, Feb. 27th. Check them out! http://www.brouwerijwest.com