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The Golden Road to Anaheim: Victor Novak Interview

Brewer Victor Novak discusses his time in LA and his return to OCNGingold_GRVictor_web_002

Golden Road Brewing announced earlier this month that they’d be launching their first major expansion brewery in Anaheim. The Los Angeles based brewery found 56,000 square feet of prime real estate just a few steps away from Angel Stadium. This second location not only solidifies Anaheim as a beer town to be reckoned with, but also brings home Victor Novak, acclaimed brewer from TAPS in Brea who has been working for Golden Road for the past six months; and who will be running the show at this new location. In Victor’s own words, taking charge of this new facility “couldn’t be more perfect for an Angel’s fan.”

I’ll spare you too many of the details of this new brewery because, first off, it’s been discussed in many other articles and blog posts, and secondly, I want to focus on Victor and let you hear him talk about this new opportunity in his own words. I sat down with Victor last week to discuss what he’s been doing with his time in Los Angeles, and found out how he’s going to approach the task he’s been given; putting the Golden Road stamp on a town already buzzing with terrific breweries.

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Meet Andy Black of MacLeod Ale’s in Van Nuys

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Macleod Ale’s brew master Andy Black has a style all his own. On the two occasions I’ve met him, his signature style of work-overalls and well-groomed mutton chops has stood out in rooms usually filled with baseball caps and blue jeans… and less well groomed facial hair. I wouldn’t call his style bold, because it comes off as much more authentic than that. Which fits in with Black, and MacLeod Ale’s whole deal, which is to say an old-world style and mentality that’s subtle in some ways yet surprisingly fresh in others. Along with owner’s Alastair and Jennifer Boase, the MacLeod Ale brewery in Van Nuys is offering British inspired ales that are, across the board, low ABV, on cask, and served at a warmer temperature than you might be used to. It’s perhaps the only place I know of in Los Angeles, if not California or beyond, doing these British ales so by the book.

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Barley Forge Opens In Costa Mesa – Meet Greg Nylen

**Note: a version of this interview will appear in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of Beer Paper LA**
 
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Have a conversation with Barley Forge owner Greg Nylen and you soon realize his words reveal as much about the brewery as they do about Nylan’s own character. Methodical and delicately worded, Nylen has been both a successful career lawyer and home brewer for the past 24 years. Barley Forge has been planned, again methodically, for the last 14 years. With brewer Kevin Buckley on staff creating some of his own recipes while also scaling up Nylen’s home brews, Costa Mesa now bears the fruits of these labors with the recent opening of the city’s first production brewery. Buckley’s resume boasts breweries from Iowa, Chicago, and Canada before working in San Diego at both Alpine and Back Street Brewing.
 
Located one street behind the always-packed retail and restaurant destination The Camp, Barley Forge is set to place a decisive stamp on a part of town that was in high need of a good brewery. Oh, and by the way, the beers are damn tasty. I sat down with Nylen to discuss the big plans and small details of opening a new brewery, transitioning recipes from home brewing to large-scale production, and what Barley Forge has in store for the community.
 

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