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Inside Bruery Terreux: Meet Jeremy Grinkey

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I have a storied history with The Bruery. In many ways I owe my inroads to the craft beer industry to their generosity, as well as their beer. It was Oude Tart that gave me my “a-ha!” moment while attending the first Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival. As I’ve written before, it sent a mushroom cloud through my brain (I must have gotten in line at least three more times for that beer, trying to define what hit my taste buds). It was Tyler King, former head of brewing operations for The Bruery, that granted me my first interview for the California BrewMasters book. Lastly, it was thanks in part to a sizable donation by The Bruery to my Kickstarter campaign that California BrewMasters was published in the first place.

I tell you all this for a couple reasons. Might I have an inherent bias? Quite Possibly. But the point I’d also like to make is that as an Orange County native, The Bruery always stood out as a beacon of what was possible in craft beer. In those beginning years, a focus on sours and the use of 750ml wine bottles seemed niche and innovative. And it was. Today, just a mere three years since my first interview in Placentia, sour beers like Oude Tart are booming in popularity. Anaheim and the surrounding area has made itself a beer city well worth talking about. How quickly the tide of craft beer rushed through our lives, changing not only the way we drink but also shaping our thought process as educated consumers. While I don’t think The Bruery can take all the credit, I have no problem calling them pioneers. That’s why, when I heard they were starting Bruery Terreux, a new brand that will, in their own words, “focus solely on farmhouse-style ales fermented with wild yeasts as well as oak-aged sour ales,” I had to stop by and see what all the fuss was about.

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Spooky Meets Funky at Phantom Carriage in Carson

Meet the Boys Behind LA’s Phantom Carriage

NGingold_PhantomCarriage_004from left, Head Brewer Simon Ford, Founder Martin Svab, and Assistant Brewer Brendan Lake

Phantom Carriage was a little hard to find initially, but the good stuff usually is. Tucked into an industrial space in the city of Carson, I found my destination and parked my car at a spot drenched in sunlight. Tinted shades still on, I walked through the entrance, doing away with the expected brightness of a Southern California day and stepping into what can only be described as utter darkness.

It took me a minute to set my course. Adjusting my eyes to the dimness, shapes began to converge creating my first impressions of a brewery that, while only a few months old, I’m sure to experience again and again. For a brewery that doesn’t have its grand opening until this coming Saturday, Phantom Carriage was raucous in the best way. A brisket sandwich and homemade pickles (fermented with lacto, of course) scooted past me and caught my attention. The place was packed. I made my way past the horror-film screening room, and up to the bar. Towards the back of the tasting room, two walls stacked with barrels four rows high took my attention away from the tap list.

I was greeted by head of brewing operations Simon Ford and was immediately handed a Muis, a 100% brett fermented wild Belgian-blonde ale. It was crisp and light despite a full flavor and a wildness that I hadn’t expected. It was the first beer they put out, thanks to a past collaboration with Monkish, and it was a great introduction to their line up. In the back I met founder / general manager Martin Svab and assistant brewer Brendan Lake. Martin, as you’ll read, has been in the craft beer industry in some capacity for the last decade, and after three years finally gets to witness the fruits of his labor with the upcoming grand opening.

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