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Brews with the Brewjos: Talking Home Brew and Tacos with Brewjeria Co.

carbonacion

I've been covering beer for a few years through my beer page and Instagram account, @inthesuds, and now I've been asked by the fine folks at L.A. TACO to bring some beer coverage to their street art and street food mix. I'm calling my new beer column here "Carbonacion," and I hope you enjoy reading it! Thanks to L.A. Taco for having me...

It has been both a pleasure and a challenge navigating through all the new breweries sprouting up with all over LA. Some are better than others, but at the heart of every beer is home brewing. Everyone has to crawl before they can walk, right?

This is particularly true with making the leap from home brewing to commercial. If you're a nerd like me, you can appreciate when guys and ladies get resourceful and put together their own brew kit. Investigating the L.A. scene, I wanted to see if there were some home brewers making noise who were on the verge of making that leap from their backyard shed to a brick and mortar location. The name Brewjeria came up in several conversations...


With a cool name like Brewjeria, I was mad curious, so I went ahead and contacted the guys to get the scoop on their history, plans, and even where to score some bomb tacos around LA and the SGV (San Gabriel Valley). The fellas invited me to check out their operation in Hacienda Heights, and we somehow ended up at Colonia Taco Bar in La Puente to fill our bellies with some great grub and some brews. I hope you enjoy this quick interview with the fellas at Brewjeria Company. SALUD!!!

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Q: When did you guys form Brewjeria Co?  Why the name “Brewjeria?”

A: Brewjeria Company formed in 2010 starting with 3 primos (cousins). Some of the oldest and most esoteric concoction and potion-making was said to be that of witches and shamans, including alcoholic beverages with medicinal properties. We like the association found in a Spanglish pun.

Q: Who is on your team? Where are you located?

A: "The Brewjos," what we call ourselves, are Adrian Gonzalez, Raul Gomez, Milton Ramirez, Adrian Ruelas, Agustin Ruelas and Isaac Ruelas. We are located in the San Gabriel Valley, specifically Hacienda Heights, but our brewjos also hail from Los Angeles, Long Beach and West Covina.

Q: What inspired you guys to get started brewing?

A: We love beer, we were fascinated by the process itself and wanted to see how close we could come to replicating some of our favorite beers to drink. We also didn’t see or hear of many Latinos brewing and thought, why not us?

Q: What is your current operation looking like now (i.e. capacity)? What is your next move?

A: As homebrewers we have a small capacity. We would one day want to open our own micro brewery in or around Los Angeles with a taproom and/or a brewery pub so that we can continue the theme of good drink, good food and good music.

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Q: What style of beers do you brew? What is your beer roster looking like?

A: We brew various styles of beer with an emphasis on Belgian style beers. We brew a California Common steam beer that we call "Californio" as well as a cream ale, an IPA and porter. As far as Belgians, we’ve brewed dubbels, tripels, golden strongs and dark strongs.

The current line-up: Golden Strong, Tripel, Trippel w/ Cherries and Crem Ale w/ Ginger
The current line-up: Golden Strong, Tripel, Tripel w/ Cherries and Cream Ale w/ Ginger. Shot at Hardware Studio in Boyle Heights.
The current line-up: Golden Strong, Tripel, Trippel w/ Cherries and Crem Ale w/ Ginger

Q: What inspires you to brew certain styles?

A: We like to brew beers that we enjoy drinking. Each of us have a favorite beer, but we all enjoy the challenge that comes with brewing complex beers such as Trappist and Abbey Ales.

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This is the Abbey Ale. Check out that head! Caramel, dark chocolate and some roasted coffee flavors happening here. Great color. Very nice!

Q: What is the beer scene looking like in the San Gabriel Valley?

A: It’s definitely growing; small breweries, bars and brewpubs are popping up all the time and we go check them out when we get the chance.

Q:  What are some of your favorite beers/breweries on the market?

A: We love North Coast Brewing (their Le Merle Saison, Brother Thelonius) and Belgians in general. Brasserie de Roc: Grand Cru, Petrus: Aged Red, American pale ales and amber ales.

Q: Where do you guys go to drink brews? Any favorite hangouts?

A: Lucky Baldwin's (Pasadena),  Wurstkuche (Los Angeles), Far Bar (Little Tokyo), Colonia Taco Lounge (La Puente)...If all else fails, BJ's Belgian list (not house brews)

Q: What are 2-3 places where I can get dope tacos in the San Gabriel Valley? What’s your favorite style of taco…and where can I try it?

A: Taco del Rio has awesome tacos with all the fixings; your meat of choice, onion/cilantro mix, cabbage, sour cream, guacamole and red, or green sauce. They also have bomb Asada fries.

Taco Nazo has been a long time favorite, those fish and shrimp tacos are great. Get a side of guacamole and chips and you’re set.

Colonia Taco Lounge is the new kid on the block and right next to the Taco Nazo on Valley Blvd. They have quickly become a favorite because they specialize in gourmet tacos and craft beer. The Brewjos have actually had several meetings here, or just come over for some tacos and beer after brew day.

Q: What is next for Brewjeria? ​

A: First and foremost, we continue to brew and learn the craft. We are also currently planning to share our brews with friends sometime later in the year. We’re always looking for creative ways to spread the word to our beer geek friends so that we can bring people together for a good time, but to also get their feedback so we can try to improve.

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Check out Brewjeria on Facebook and Twitter @brewjeriaco. Check back here for more local brewing news, reviews, and information from Carbonacion by Julio Trejo!

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