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The Rare Barrel
February 6, 2012 | About Us | The Rare Barrel

The Beginning

The Beginning

Jay Goodwin has been lucky enough to work with some incredibly talented people over his three and a half years at The Bruery. A small craft brewer in Orange County, The Bruery has consistently produced high quality beers that challenge both the consumer and their brewers.

In his time at The Bruery, Jay fell in love with the barrel-aged sours he produced such as Hottenroth Berliner Weisse, Oude Tart and Marron Acidife. The brewing team was lucky enough to win multiple medals for sour beer at both The Great American Beer Festival and The World Beer Cup.

He began to think how he could bring what he learned from brewing these styles back to where he and Alex (Co-founder) grew up: the San Francisco Bay Area.  While collaborating with Alex, his college roommate who introduced him to home brewing, and Jay’s father, a lifelong entrepreneur, the team drafted a plan to start a sour beer company back home, in The Bay.

The Idea

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!

The Future

We can’t wait to get started! Since the sour beer production process takes longer than a typical ale or lager, we hope we can get started sooner rather than later. A few things that are very important to us include:

Focus - Since we are focusing on one type of product, sour beer, we believe we can concentrate on the specific challenges that these styles bring more than a brewery that splits time between non-sour and sour beer.

Community - We feel so honored and humbled that we have the opportunity to start a project like this. We’d love for homebrewers, craft beer connoisseurs, distributors, retailers and the beer media to get more involved in the production process with us!

Experimentation - Sour production can happen so many ways…we figure we will try them all! We will make a lot of this information available on our website so when you buy a bottle of our beer you will know everything about the blend, the barrels, the fermentation, the cellaring…everything!



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