SAN FRANCISCO — Over the last year and a half, Local Brewing Co. has continually grown as a taproom; with beer competitions and workshops, a handy beer curator, and canning their fresh beer for distribution to customers around the Bay Area.
Regan Long, head brewmaster and co-founder at Local has always had the idea to involve the community in her beer since before the brewery was open.
The beer curator
Brewing for about 16 years, Long has continued to keep delicious brews on tap with community input from a curator she put together more than a year ago.
“We want create beer that is small batch, fresh and specifically speaks to the community that’s around us,” said Long.
She also talked about the ways the curator helped Local in ways she would have never guessed.
This curator helps other taprooms around the bay area fill the gaps in their bars as well as The Fairmont Hotel trading Guinness out for their American stout called Sutro Tower.
Distributed locally and fresh
The brewery distributes to local stores like Whole Foods, Gus’s Community Market and Healthy Spirits.
Beer freshness is guaranteed. with orders coming in on Monday and deliveries going out on Wednesday, any Local beer seen in a store is never older than 30 days.
“(There is a) big difference between fresh beer and beer that’s aged 30 to 60 days,” said Long.
“That’s one of the reasons why I selected this particular brew house size… it’s only 10 barrels so every batch of beer we do is only 20 kegs, meaning we blow through beer really quickly, so you’re never going to find a beer that’s more than a couple weeks old from us.”
New flavors in rotation
Local has room to expand within itself, with two new tanks coming in February.Almost tripling their brewing capacity, Local will be able to do double batches.
With new brews out almost weekly there is always something new to try. This week, Local is re-releasing their Winter Sweater Imperial Porter which has 50 pounds of gram cracker and Madagascar vanilla beans.
They are also releasing last year’s Winter Sweater Imperial Stout that has been aging in a Cabernet Sauvignon barrel they received from Bluxome Street Winery, this Thursday along with the fresh batch.
Another new brew, which is Long’s favorite, is called Tradewind. A tropical stout that has a 6.9 percent alcohol level, it’s described by Long as light and refreshing with a coconut character.
The Local community
With the main focus being on the community, Long explained that customers had asked quite often for a sour beer. Catering to the local community is important for the brewery, and so they brewed a kettle sour.
A quick sour or a kettle sour is Local’s way of creating a sour brew quickly, because a quick sour only takes three days instead of over a year.
As for the future of Local, Long wants to open other locations in the area that all focus on their communities.
“The idea is that we would be brewing beer that really fit that neighborhood community,” said Long.