Picture yourself eating a handful of red raspberries, drinking a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade, or sipping on a glass of fine wine. Those sour, tart, and acidic flavors you are currently imagining are what makes sour beer taste quite different from traditional beers. These flavors, which are unique to sour beers, are the product of time and the right mix of microorganisms. While our sour beers age in oak barrels for 6 months to 3 years, a blend of microorganisms will shape the sour, tart, and acidic flavors we’ve come to desire. Yes, sour beers take an exceptionally long time to develop, but we think that sour beers are well worth the wait.
Sour beer is our favorite style of beer. The flavors produced by this unique fermentation and aging process cannot be replicated in any other food or beverage. Due to the involved process, sour beer is not often a commonly brewed style, making it difficult to find. We’d like to help change that.
Aside from our personal preferences for the beer, there are also practical reasons for going all-sour. By focusing completely on sour beer, we can concentrate on learning as much as possible about the reasons why those unique flavors are produced in sours. With our entire focus on sours, we have crafted a cellar around the production of sour beer. Our space is dedicated to the conditioning of barrel-aged sour beers. With high ceilings, a moderate climate and plenty of space, we give our barrels an ideal home to create their unique flavors.
It’s been said that constraint breeds creativity. By adopting a singular focus on crafting sour beer, we plan on thoroughly exploring flavors through both conventional and experimental methods to create exciting new beers.
Our name may remind you that sour beer is only a small part of the American beer landscape. However, for us, the name is about a mission. The mission is to discover the brewing and fermentation methods behind a “dream barrel” of amazing sour beer. This is why we’re starting an all-sour beer company. We are in search of The Rare Barrel. In our quest to create a range of exceptional sour beers, you will search for our finest barrel of sour beer: The Rare Barrel.
On an annual basis, we will organize an exhaustive search (tasting) of our barrel house to find our finest barrel of sour beer. A team of craft beer enthusiasts, sour-heads, homebrewers, brewers, BJCP judges, cicerones, and foodies will taste through our barrel house and select our finest barrels of sour beer. Once the “search party” has determined the top barrels of sour beer, the founders of The Rare Barrel will taste them, and name the finest of the final barrels as “The Rare Barrel.” Shortly after the search, we will serve The Rare Barrel at a party for all attendees to enjoy. Additionally, we will re-use The Rare Barrel’s culture of yeast and bacteria into a new batch of beer, with the intention of recreating the amazing flavors of The Rare Barrel for more to enjoy.
Jay has been interested in craft beer since college, when he and Alex homebrewed beer in their apartment. After graduating, Jay was lucky enough to be hired as a brewer at a six-month old brewery in Orange County. Three and a half years later, The Bruery has now made Rate Beer's list of best brewers in the World four times, and is a winner of medals at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. Outside of beer, Jay enjoys great food, great friends and baseball games (Go Giants!).
Alex fell into his craft beer adventure on a tour of New Belgium Brewing. While on the tour, Alex had an epiphany: brewing is using the science of biology to create art (beer)! Shortly after that visit, he began homebrewing back at UC Santa Barbara with Jay. When Alex isn’t thinking beer, he enjoys surfing, traveling, and tweaking his breakfast burrito recipe.
Brad is a start-up company executive in the biotech space. He is currently CEO of CharlestonPharma, LLC, a company focused on developing therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer. He enjoys taking on new challenges, mentoring, and tasting great beer.