The Art of Brewing
As the craft beer scene in Los Angeles expands, Angelinos are bound to see new brewers and breweries popping up around town. It seems that no matter which walk of life you are coming from, beer is what inevitably brings us all together. Meet the team at Villain Brewing Company, and ambitious group of brewers who didn’t get into the hobby as engineers, scientists, or even chefs, these guys are quite literally artists – four students from CalArts. Their goal is to open a brewery that also functions as an art gallery showcasing various local pieces including some of their own.
We had the opportunity to sit down with the team and talk about their vision.
This Villain team is comprised of four people. Christopher Hahn, Daniel Quiñonez, Arnulfo Reyes, and Matthew King.
Christopher Hahn , a Photography and Media Major from Northridge, CA, is the Brewery Director and Co-Founder. He leads the beer aspect of the collective and is in charge of research and development, creating recipes, and overall brewery operations.
“I am interested in experimenting with ingredients outside the norm to create unique recipes. I love researching the history behind the different types of beer and how they connect with their place of origin. I am a huge follower of Football (soccer). I support Liverpool FC and Bayern Munich.”
Daniel Quiñonez, a Photography and Media Major from Wilmington, CA, is the Head Brewer and Co-Founder. He considers himself a craft beer connoisseur and collect many rare beers – many of which are high in IBUs. He’s an avid photographer, but also works with sculptures, video, and graffiti-based art. Daniel is a Dodgers fan and dirt bikes in his free time.
Arnulfo Reyes, a Photography and Architecture major from Pasadena, CA, is the Visual Engineer and is Head of Operations. He is in charge of constructing all visual elements related to building, structural engineering, and is also the archiving manager. He loves beer and has also has an unhealthy obsession with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Matthew King, a Graphic Design major from Los Angeles, CA, is the charge of the creative side of Villain Brewing. He handles branding, design, packaging, printing, and screen-printing. In other words, not only is he part of the brew team, but he’s the mind behind all the really cool Villain swag. On the side he trains as a boxer, which he has been doing for 10 years
Villain is asking for $20,000 to help fund their project. They are looking to use this money to help them open their gallery, buy kegs, and fund a custom built 1 BBL brew system. Everything is made by hand, specifically their hands. From the Kickstarter rewards to the brew system itself – from conception to execution, these guys are building it. The team understands that their brew system is small, but they are looking to start nano and deliver their product on-site only. This will help them stay creative and true.
Villain hopes to have a wide array of artistically crafted brews. They are current working on three as their flagship though – Gunner – Imperial IPA, Bad Luck -English Coffee Porter, and Hell Cat – Red Ale. Each recipe is approached a little differently, but they start out with color and work the recipe from there.
*At this time, I haven’t been able to taste the beers for myself. This will hopefully be rectified in the near future and I’ll be sure to update this section when it happens.
Bierkast: Why Beer and Art?
Villain: We were all graduating and needed to think about ideas. What are we planning to do with our lives. We decided to experiment with a brewery, and now we are trying to make it work.
Bierkast: Why Brewery?
Villain: We really like beer. We also home-brew so it was a natural progression.
Bierkast: You are also going to have an Art Gallery, Correct?
Villain: Yes. Like us, our friends are graduating and they don’t have a space to show. We want to give them a space in LA that is also beer friendly.
Bierkast: What are your favorite LA Breweries?
Villain: Golden Road Brewery, Bootleggers, Strand, and, while not LA, Bear Republic. We were are also inspired by HESS and their 1.5 BBL brewing system.
Bierkast: What are your favorite non-LA Breweries?
Villain: Unita, we like the labels too.
Bierkast: Do you have any favorite beer labels?
Villain: Label – Uinta Hop Notch (Danny), Ale Smith – Anvil (Matt) , Great Divide (Chris), Any German Labels (Chris) , Golden Road Can Design (Matt), Double Daddy Speakeasy (Arnulfo)
Bierkast: Is it true you make all your kickstarter rewards?
Villain: Yes. We consider ourselves a functional sweatshop and don’t mind working long hours. It’s a lot of late nights, but we do our own screenprinting and laser engraving too. We did an event for an Art Walk at Nyehaus and were charged with making 200 match books, 50 beers, 200 coasters, a Nyehaus Brown beer , and laser engraved hand outs.
So there you go. Villain Brewing Company enters the fray as one of the upcoming LA breweries. Be sure to check out their kickstarter and help them out by letting other beer minded people know. At the time of this article they have $1879 raised with 23 days to go. Help them out by sending some money their way and spreading the word. Every little bit helps.