SAN CARLOS — With so many new breweries opening up in San Francisco through 2015, it’s only fair that the Peninsula should get a new brewery. Blue Oak Brewing, a craft brewery slated to open in San Carlos later this year, will feature not only an eclectic mix of beers, but a mastermind leading the operation with a biotech-inspired influence.
A homebrewer from the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, Alexander Porter, founder and brewmaster of Blue Oak, is bringing his 20 years of experience doing large scale fermentation in the biotechnology industry to the Bay Area brewing scene. The brewery will be located at 821 Cherry Lane in San Carlos and share space with Redwood Coast Cider, a craft cidery that just completed its Kickstarter campaign and is slated to open in October.
“Our approach is really a science-based approach,” said Porter. “I’m a chemical engineer and I formulate my recipes based on all the ingredients and I look at all my malt bill reports, I do cell counts on my yeast, I check the acid content in my hops. In that sense I can get some really good predictability.”
Five main beers to be featured
Beer drinkers will be able to enjoy a slew of different recipes that Porter has dialed in throughout his homebrewing years; his beers have been poured at non-profit fundraisers and art events around the Bay Area for the last several years.
Once ramped up into production, Porter says Blue Oak Brewing will feature five main beers:
— a Belgian Pilsner made with Saag hops and 2-row malt
— a Bock that Porter say is “closer to a Helles Bock and a Munich Lager”
— a West Coast IPA, bittered with Chinook, flavored with Amarillo, Citra and Simcoe at the flame out, and dry-hopped with Cascade, Simcoe, Citra and Mosaic
— a Chocolate Espresso Porter
— and a final Belgian to be determined (either a Tripel, Dubbel or a Belgian Strong)
Funding the new brewery
To fund the brewery, the company has launched an Indiegogo campaign — part of a multi-pronged effort including a loan from the Small Business Administration and a portion of self-funding — which will conclude 42 days from today.
Donors will receive gifts based on how much they donate, some being a pint of beer per month for life ($100 donation); learning how to brew on their system ($500 donation); and getting to create and brew your own seasonal beer that will be served on tap at the brewery ($2,000 donation).
Porter hopes the brewery will be ready for a soft launch in November and ramp up to full production after its opening.