LA River Brewing Company is poised to make a big splash in the Culver City brewing scene. With a strong brand identity and a line up of creative beers, they are looking to settle down near the Expo line and become Culver City’s first production craft brewery.
LA River Brewing has launched an ambitious Kickstarter.com fundraising campaign to help jump-start their production brewery/destination space. Earlier this week, Bierkast sat down with LA River Brewing Company to discuss who they are, what their brewery vision is, and find out more about their kickstarter campaign.
Ryan Truax – A homebrewer from Washington who has worked in the food and beverage industry for over 15 years. He currently bartends and manages at Father’s Office. He’ll be responsible for brewing and recipe creation. His approach to brewing is extremely methodical. With detailed notes, he focuses on changing one variable at a time to achieve recipe perfection. And if that wasn’t enough, later this month, a new bar called The Garage opens in the Culver City area and Ryan will once again be lending his bartending and managerial skills to this fine new establishment.
Tanner Worth – Also from Washington, although he didn’t meet Ryan until after they moved to LA and were working at Barneys Beanery in Santa Monica. An accomplished homebrewer, Tanner currently works the bar at Waterloo & City in Culver City in addition to a day job in pharmaceutical sales. For LA River Brewing he is the salesman, ideaman, and lifter of all things heavy during brew day.
Constance Marshall – Along with Ryan, Constance is also responsible for brewing and recipe creation. Constance has a natural talent for brewing outside-the-box beers and is a perfect compliment to Ryan’s analytical side. When she’s not brewing, Constance is a veteran member of the LA Derby Dolls, an all-woman roller derby team.
Jessica Marshall – The final piece of the LA River Brewing puzzle. Jessica currently works at Sony in Culver City as a story board artist. For LA River Brewing, she manages branding and marketing. While she is the first to admit that brewing is not her expertise, she is the glue that keeps the team together and moving toward the common goal of brewery ownership.
The LA River Brewing line up will have the breadth to cover all the major styles and the depth to capture some really creative category busting beers. The year round releases include
- Pacific Pale-isades, a California style pale ale featuring a robust hop profile
- Silverlake Hopster IPA, a caramel-colored IPA with a malty backbone but a true west coast IPA all the way
- Rolling Brown Out, a full bodied chocolate nutty brown ale
- It’s Always Beach Saison, a light easy drinking French Saison with traditional earthy complexity
- Valley Blonde, a sessionable, crisp California Common that strikes a great balance between rich malt flavors and spicy/herbal hop bitterness
When I visited with the team, they were brewing the inaugural test batch of a Eucalyptus Belgian Tripel. Constance, fresh off a trip to Australia, wanted to create a beer that showcased Eucalyptus. She and Ryan put their heads together and came up with Mr. Peabody’s Elixir – a Belgian Tripel infused with locally sourced Eucalyptus leaves. While it was obviously too early to taste this beer, I can’t wait to try it!
As with any start-up company there have been challenges along the way. The team was quick to compliment Eagle Rock Brewery (Steve, Jeremy, and Ting) and Strand Brewing (Rich and Joel) as key members of the industry that have been incredibly supportive of LA River Brewing. In an industry that is as young as LA craft brewing, having the help of breweries that have trail blazed a path for others is incredibly helpful.
In addition to the local brewing community, Ryan found inspiration in Brewing Up a Business by Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione. It is a highly recommended book for aspiring brewers, entrepernures, or anyone looking for an inspirational read. Jessica cited Beer School: Bottling Success at the Brooklyn Brewery by Steve Hindy as a source of great inspiration for branding, marketing, and business development within the craft beer industry.
Location is important to the LA River team. They believe that a great location that will 1) represent the brand well and 2) provide a unique gathering space for beer geeks, community members, and the general public. For LA River, their location is Culver City. All four owners have ties to the Culver City area and recognize its potential in the LA craft brewing scene. After the completion of their kickstarter and equity fundraising campaigns (going on now), LA River Brewing will secure a location that is in close proximity to downtown Culver City, as well as the new public transit Expo line.
As with any great project, the team at LA River Brewing cannot do it alone. That is why they have recently launched a kickstarter campaign. They have set an aggressive target goal – that once successfully funded will be the biggest brewery project on Kickstarter.com! LA River Brewing needs to raise $75,000 to meet their goal. If they don’t make it, they get nothing!
The good news is that during their first few days, they have already surpassed the 10% mark. If you are a fan of good beer, or small businesses, or both – please do the LA craft beer industry a huge favor and donate to LA River Brewing’s Kickstarter page: LA River on Kickstarter. Help spread the word by telling your friends and family about the project. Together we can build LA’s next great brewery!