On Saturday, February 9th, 2013 Valiant Brewing Company will celebrate its grand opening in Orange, CA. The new brewery is slated to debut four main beers with a slew of other seasonal releases. We were able to get a sneak peak of the brewery during their soft media event last weekend. The equipment setup and capacity for this fledgling brewery is impressive. They have a large 20 BBL Premier stainless brewhouse with a complete line-up of fermentation and bright tanks. When they they are running full steam ahead, you’ll definitely be seeing more of their beers.
The brewery is nice. It’s new, it’s shiny, and there are plenty of bells and whistles. The 20 BBL brewhouse is compact and, like Beachwood Brewing’s system, it has 2 vessels with a manway in the middle. The electronic pannel has a custom faceplate which is also cool. Turning your attention to the center is a yeast lab on wheels, which is a great idea for a full production brewery. We were excited to see that the mobile lab even had USB ports for use with connecting the microscope to a computer. Pretty fancy stuff. There is an oversized cold room behind the bar, which is used to house the beers on tap as well as the kegs being shipped out of the brewery. The taps on the front of the fridge were shiny and flowing.
Valiant’s main focus will be on beers in the higher alcohol range. That being said, they also plan on making session beers. Owner, Brian Schroepfer, says he definitely looks up to the Bruery and their higher alcohol beers and is hoping to do something similar, but still stay unique. When we were there they were pouring the following
Our favorite was the 31 Kings IPA and a close second was the Maverick’s Mighty Ale. Mavericks was buttery like some traditional ESBs are. Old Thumper came to mind immediately. 31 Kings had a very pleasant aroma, and the hop character was very pleasing on the palate. We’ll be looking forward to future iterations of the French Ale and perhaps a barrel aged version of the Stentorian Barleywine although, at 13.5% ABV, it’s already pretty beefy.
We had an opportunity to talk with Brian during the opening and ask him about his methodology and ideas behind his beers.
Bierkast: How did you choose the name Valiant?
Brian Schroepfer: Originally our name was Mangum Brewing. We drag raced and were into motorsports so this fit us. When we found out it was already taken we switched to Valiant. We’re a Catholic family and Valiant fit. It’s a strong characteristic and creates a strong image.
Bierkast: How long have you been working on opening?
Brian: 4 Years. 3 years on the building. We lost the lease on our original space and had difficulties with the city.
Bierkast: How long have you been brewing?
Brian: 9 Years! I was an engineer by trade.
Bierkast: Do you have any plans to bottle?
Brian: Yes. In about 2 months we’re going to receive our Maheen bottling line. We’re going to use it to fill 750 ml bottles with our special Barrel Program beers, which will be between 13% – 17% ABV.
Bierkast: Those are strong beers! Speaking of strong beers, you mention on your site that it’s a major focus.
Brian: Ya. I love big beers. I love Barleywines especially. The home brewed version of Stentorian carried us to a Gold Medal at the NHC so I’m particularly proud of that one. Barleywines are an underrated style, and we want to change that.
Bierkast: So big beers are your point of differentiation?
Brian: Yes. That and multiple yeast strains. We want to use multiple yeast strains in our beers all at the same time to create different flavors. Our Verenda French Ale is actually a Biere de Guarde, and I really like that style. We use multiple strains in that one. I’m very interested in the science behind brewing.
Bierkast: Are there any existing breweries in the LA area that you look up to or admire?
Brian: Definitely the Bruery. Their beers are layered and complex, and I really appreciate that.
Bierkast: Do you have any advice for aspiring brewers?
Brian: Be dedicated. You can’t do anything half-assed. Don’t have two jobs and be sure to stay true and motivated. Be organized, thorough, and don’t lie.
Bierkast: That’s great advice. Thanks Brian.
So there you have it. A new brewery opens in Orange. Their official grand opening was Friday, February 9th, so get your butt down to the tasting room and check them out for yourself.Valiant Brewing Company 2294 N. Batavia, Unit C, Orange Ca 92865 714-408-2VAL(2825) Tasting Room Hours – Grand Opening on Feb. 9th! 12pm-9pm.