Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

New Sour Beer Brewery Announced

By Jay Brooks
Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 at 9:51 am in On Beer.

Yesterday I received the word that there’s a new brewery opening soon in the Bay Area. It’s called The Rare Barrel and they’ll be a gypsy brewery specializing in sour beers. By gypsy, they mean to brew at area breweries and then ferment, age, package and serve their beers at their own facility, with that location still to be determined. One of the founders, Jay Goodwin, used to be the Head of Barrel Aging at The Bruery, so he knows his way around a barrel room.


From the press release:

Northern California is rich in brewing tradition and is home to some of the best breweries in the world. Hoping to add to this proud history, we are pleased to announce that we will be launching an all-sour, all-barrel aged “gypsy” brewery in the San Francisco Bay Area named The Rare Barrel.

What do we mean by “gypsy” brewery? We plan to partner with the great breweries of the Bay Area for our brewing needs, and we will be building our own barrel warehouse for fermentation, packaging and serving our beers to the public.

Our team is made up of people committed to producing the highest quality sour beer. Co-founders Jay Goodwin, former Brewer and Head of Barrel Aging at The Bruery in Orange County, Alex Wallash, homebrewer and Sales Representative in biotechnology, and Brad Goodwin, entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical industry, make up our crew of passionate craft beer lovers.

We hope to release more details of our plan over the next few months. We look forward to producing beer with experimental methods, a singular focus on quality sours, and a commitment to the craft beer community.

No word yet on when we’ll see, or more importantly taste, the first beers, but you can follow their progress on The Rare Barrel Blog or on the website.

In the meantime, here’s how the describe the idea for The Rare Barrel:

As Head of Barrel Aging at The Bruery, Jay started focusing on inoculation and management of the sour barrels. The brewers would send him wort and he had a whole warehouse full of barrels to play with. The idea was born there. Why not team up with breweries here at home in the Bay Area and start entire sour-only barrel warehouse to Northern California?

Since sour beers will take over 1 year to mature (a long time!), they are brewed less frequently due to limited fermentation space. Jay quickly realized that if they built their own brew house, it would collect probably a good amount of dust. Therefore, they decided to partner with host breweries in the Bay Area to produce our wort. While a host brewery will produce their wort, The Rare Barrel will manage fermentation, blending, packaging, and distribution. This model ultimately allows The Rare Barrel to maximize barrel aging capacity while supporting local craft breweries. It’s a win-win situation!

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