Coffee brewed transparently is rare these days, especially when Starbucks reigns as coffee King. For caffeine addicts and lovers alike it is a necessity for the day-to-day hustle and grind. Countless days drinking coffee from-home-to work-to your local cafe – one may not stop and think, “Where does this coffee come from?”. The Brauhaus cold brew is set apart from other cold brews on the market. Two cups of dark roast coffee can get me through the day, but one highball of Batch 43 – Ethiopian with a large ice cub (reminiscent of Jacob Cedeno’s Manhattan) can stand up to an entire work day.
A few months back Co-Founder & design genius Ryan Aquino of Hedley & Bennett invited me to check out Santa Ana’s newest coffee brewery. During my visit I had the immense pleasure of sitting down with Founder William Huttner to pick his brain about coffee.
See full interview of EDBH 1st #BrewedIntelligently Artsian Coffee Brewer Interview!
Photos by Jessica Rice McNew
Explain the core values of The Brauhaus. . .
We have several core values but the one that started everything is Transparency. The transparency displayed in craft beer is what spurred The Brauhaus after hitting dead ends while researching what coffees and brewing methods that many cold brew companies employ. Before we built out our own batch page to be more visually appealing we used a linked Google Sheet on our site, much like Russian River employs. You can go online and read batch comments on Beatification with brewer’s notes, that rules, so why not do the same with coffee?
Being completely transparent made us create something we stand behind and are truly excited about. We strive to deliver an experience we are proud of, no matter what.
Educate us about your unique coffee brewhouse. . .
Scaling Kyoto or cold drip was the objective but at the core was also sanitation. All aspects of the brewhouse can be cleaned in place utilizing a rig purpose built to handle keg cleaning and systems cleaning tasks.
On the brewing end it employs a steady drip, or shower at the capacities that we brew, of blended reverse osmosis water at 36 degrees Fahrenheit for 16 hours. We have granular control over our showering as well as when our extraction begins and ends via butterfly valves. Imagine fly sparging directly into a conical that is flushed with nitrogen to minimize oxygen contact.
During the process we utilize two stages of all-stainless filtering that goes down to 20 microns, eliminating fines and producing a super clean cup of coffee. Using stainless also allows us to maintain oil content giving us a structured body that we really enjoy.
At the end of the process we have a remarkably nuanced coffee compared to batch immersion, as well as shelf stability thanks to sanitation procedures and minimal oxygen contact.
Other than Dieter Ram who else and what else inspires you?
Inspiration comes from the art world, craft beer, and technology. Some of the biggest inspirations can be found on our coffee tables, the NASA Graphics Standard Manual, The Vignelli Canon, Eames Beautiful Details, and BAUHAUS. I love well-designed products that marry form and function.
Who are some of your greatest mentors in the industry?
I got into coffee by accident and found my way via trial and error. In the beginning it was more of a design exercise and fun engineering project to be honest. It wasn’t until I was 15 batches in and doing 40 gallons that the time to switch gears and really scale came into the picture. Mentor wise would have to be all our partners from hardware to sourcing there are so many awesome people in the Coffee and Beer industries.
If you had to pick a favorite cup or coffee from any coffee co. and offer it to a stranger, which one would it be and why?
Go to the closest coffee shop where you can sit at the bar and pick the barista’s brain. Know where your coffee is coming from, how it is prepared, and enjoy!
If you were omnipotent, what would you change (first) to improve our coffee culture/universe?
As time goes on more transparency is being ushered into the industry. With more transparency comes an increase in collaboration and community. This will lead to more people discovering specialty coffee and raising the bar from a product standpoint. A win-win for the consumer and what I ultimately strive for.
What do you like to do in your time away from the coffee brewery?
Love to spend time with my family, girlfriend, and friends. If it happens to collide with craft beer or craft spirits I am in heaven.
What other plans do you have for The Brauhaus?
A café (or two) are in the works right now and we hope to make an announcement in the coming month or two! Along with that we are working on bringing in some awesome coffees and expanding our bottle and keg distribution!